The Asus VivoBook X540SA is an elegant mix of sophisticated style and powerful hardware packaged in a budget-friendly package.
Although the Intel Pentium N3700 processor is a tad outdated in 2016, this laptop includes a discrete NVIDIA GeForce 900 chip that more than makes up for the somewhat limited processing power by providing eye-popping graphics and gaming capabilities.
The new USB 3.1 Type-C port offers unparalleled bandwidth, capable of copying an entire DVD worth of data in just seconds. Throw in the DVD Multi drive and this laptop stacks up nicely against others in the price range.
Braswell Pentium Quad-Core Processor
This Braswell series Intel Pentium N3700 processor clocks in at 1.6 GHz. This might not seem fast until you realize that it can jump to 2.4 GHz in turbo mode when needed. This provides more than enough power for productivity as well as pleasure.
The Braswell processor series from Intel arrived in the CPU market without making many waves. They are simply a die-shrink version of the Bay Trail processors that preceded them. The processor size went from 22nm with the Bay Trail processors down to 14nm with the new Braswell series.
While the new smaller processors won’t have many performance advantages, they are certainly more energy efficient. This helps keep temperatures lower and extends battery life.
The Pentium series of mobile processors isn’t the most powerful, although the N3700 is one of the best models available from the N3000 series.
4 GB of RAM
I really wish I could say that I’m satisfied with 4 GB of RAM but this isn’t 2012 anymore. The worst part is that this laptop can support up to 12 GB of RAM when fully upgraded. Settling for a mere 4 GB of RAM seems kind of degrading when this laptop could have three times more RAM installed but I digress.
4 GB of RAM is definitely enough for most basic computing tasks and multi-tasking. If your average day on the computer includes office documents, email, web browsing, and maybe a little video chat, then 4 GB of RAM is going to be plenty. Just don’t expect to run huge applications like Photoshop while you have 100 tabs open without experiencing a bit of lag.
500 GB Hard Drive
Once again, I would really like to say I’m happy with the hard drive, however, it would have been nice to see an SSD (solid state drive) in this laptop. If you’ve read any of my other laptop reviews then you know that I prefer SSD to traditional mechanical hard drives.
Mechanical hard drives are guaranteed to break down eventually. It’s not a matter of if but when. 500 GB is A LOT of pictures, videos, and music to lose in the event of a hard drive failure. I would recommend making backups regularly if you decide to go with a laptop featuring this somewhat outdated technology.
I really take issue with companies using the term “HD” when it doesn’t mean Full HD. Technology is already confusing enough without manufacturers using terminology in a way that could be seen as a little misleading.
Does this laptop have an “HD” display? Sure, when you consider HD to be 720p. The resolution is actually 1366×768 which is slightly higher than 720 HD, although it doesn’t exactly match up to the specification.
It’s important to note that this laptop DOES NOT have a Full HD resolution of 1920×1080. While the resolution may be adequate for most people, it may be somewhat limiting for others.
Of course, the fact that it’s “HD” really says nothing about whether the display “looks good”. This merely describes the maximum resolution this display is capable of.
Thin and Portable
This is a great laptop for a student or a mobile professional. It weighs in under 5 pounds and is only about an inch thick. This laptop will easily slide into your backpack with a battery capable of taking on your entire day.
Stylish Brushed Metal Chassis
This is one feature that should not be overlooked when considering this laptop. The brushed metal finish really does look great, there’s no doubt about it. If you want a really nice looking laptop that is sure to turn heads and get you lots of attention at work or school then this ASUS laptop is a solid choice.
Features and Specifications
- Intel Braswell Quad Core N3700 1.6 GHz, Turbo to 2.4 GHz, provides high-efficiency performance for everyday tasks.
- 4GB system memory for basic multitasking. Adequate high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once.
- 500GB hard drive for serviceable file storage space. 2 USB 3.0 ports maximize the latest high-speed devices
- Typical 1366 x 768 HD resolution. Energy-efficient LED backlight. HDMI output expands your viewing options.
- Weighs 4.41 lbs. and measures 1″ thin. SuperMulti DVD/CD burner.
The Asus VivoBook X540SA is still a very new product so it’s been difficult tracking down customer reviews online. So far, out of the very few reviews I’ve located, it seems as though people have found this laptop to be a great value.
Unfortunately, not everyone has been so lucky. Take a look at the link below to see exactly what I mean.