There is quite a market for affordable computers in South Africa, and many manufacturers are making the most of the situation by supplying a range of good-looking portable PCs to the local channel. ASUS is one such manufacturer, and the latest wallet-friendly computer it’s brought to the country is the ASUS VivoBook E12-E203NA.
It’s a thin and light Celeron-powered notebook that’s aimed at people who need a computer for the basics – typing documents/emails, surfing the net, doing some social networking, and watching online videos. For those specific purposes the E203 does a solid job.
Side note: for the sake of my fingers, I’m just going to call it the E203 from here on out.
There are three models to choose from; to give you an idea of the base configuration offered by the range, here’s what’s common across all three models:
- A non-touch 11.6” HD 1366 x 768 display
- Dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor with a burst frequency of 2.4GHz and a 2MB L2 cache
- 2GB/4GB RAM options
- Intel HD Graphics 500
- Dual-band 802.11ac WiFi
- A Chiclet-style Keyboard
- USB Type C, USB 3.0, HDMI, headphone ports
- Up to 10 hours of battery life (*specification may vary by model).
- Windows 10 Home
- A 1-year international carry-in warranty
- A 1-month trial of Microsoft Office 365 for new subscribers
The different models are denoted by three suffixes to the main model name: there’s the FD148T and the FD149T which are identically-configured in all respects but colour – they are white and pink respectively – and then the E203NAH-FD098T.
The FD098T differs from the other two in terms of its storage, RAM, battery size.
It uses a 5400RPM hard drive rather than a 32GB EMMC drive, so there’s more storage available that comes at the cost of data transfer speed, handy for people more interested in storing and viewing videos and photos on their notebooks.
And while the battery is technically bigger than those of the FD148T and FD149T – it’s a 42Whr versus a 38Whr – it still offers “Up to 10 hours of battery life”.
The last differentiator, and arguably the one that’ll have the biggest impact on the user experience, is the presence of 4GB of RAM versus the 2GB of the other two models. That makes the FD098T the one to go for, especially if you plan to have a lot of programs open at once.
This is a superbly good-looking and lightweight laptop range. ASUS has styled it beautifully, giving it a gorgeous graduated finish and a stylish hexagonal motif that really makes it stand out, and it is able to open completely flat thanks to a robust 180-degree hinge.
It also weighs less than a kilogram (980g), which is fantastic for people who move around a lot as it won’t weigh their bags down and hurt their shoulders.
When it comes to entertainment, ASUS has you covered with decent audiovisual features. Their “Tru2Life” video tech enhances videos with clever algorithms that optimise sharpness and contrast of every pixel, and its Splendid tech optimises the resulting image to make visuals really pop off the screen.
Then there are the dual speakers that use ASUS SonicMaster tech to immerse you in surround sound to round it all out, leading to a decent media-consumption experience.
A good starter machine
As its Celeron processor is not massively powerful and the other hardware is very much at the “basic” level, the E203 is a budget machine aimed at people with more basic computing requirements, and lighter wallets.
But it also looks good and weighs next to nothing, and the VivoBook E12-E203’s performance is offset by a very attractive price, putting it in a prime position to appeal to the market of people looking for maximum value for minimum buck when it comes to acquiring a portable PC.
If this machine ticks a few of your customers’ boxes and you’d like to know more or inquire about ordering, contact TD’s Diana Hughes on 011 531 1000 or send her an email.
- Beautiful design
- Lightweight and compact
- Dual-band AC-class WiFi
- All-day battery life
- 1-month Office 365 Trial for new subscribers
- Budget performance