Asus' 14-inch Vivobook X412F delivers value-for-money

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 09 2019 03:12 PM

MANILA - There are laptops for creatives, gamers, business professionals and everyday computer users, which Asus seems to be targeting with the 14-inch Vivobook X412F.

The Vivobook is Asus' mid-tier line of laptops. Vivobooks may not seem as sleek and powerful as those in Asus' Zenbook or Pro series, but these mainstream laptops deliver value for money.

I got to try the Vivobook X412F for two weeks, and while it did not exactly blow me away in terms of performance, I can see this gadget being a reliable workhorse for everyday users.

At 1.5 kilograms, it is pretty light for a 14-inch notebook. Its portability reminded me of the Asus pro which I tested last year.

The X412F's body, however, isn't made of metal, but plastic. Aluminum and magnesium are always preferable, but despite its non-metal build, the laptop still feels quite sturdy and solid. You wouldn't feel nervous about breaking this thing with everyday use.

Open the laptop and you'll be greeted with a screen with thin bezels. Asus says the monitor has an 87 percent body to screen ratio, which gives it a more modern look.

There's also a chiclet keyboard that's pleasantly clicky to type on, while the wide trackpad has a fingerprint scanner.

The Vivobook also features Asus' ErgoLift hinge which gives the keyboard a 2-degree tilt. Asus says this feature makes typing more comfortable while increasing airflow and dissipating heat.

Asus first implemented the ErgoLift design in its Zenbook line of laptops last year. It's nice that Asus is incorporating features from its high-end notebooks into its mainstream laptops.

Our review unit, however, did not come with backlighting for the keyboard, so typing in dark surroundings can be an issue.

Booting up the Vivobook was fast, as our review unit came with a 256GB solid state drive. It took just 9 seconds to get to the Windows 10 login screen. Opening apps was also a breeze.

However, as the unit came with just 4GB of RAM, it felt a bit hobbled when several apps were opened. If you have a habit of keeping over a dozen Chrome tabs open, you will also run into performance issues.

I was told by an Asus representative, however, that the X412F can accommodate another 8GB of RAM, pushing its total to 12GB, which should solve some of the app responsiveness issues.

Its 8th generation Core i3 processor running at 2.1 GHz is adequate for most everyday tasks.

However, the Vivobook's screen may also leave you asking for more. The screen is bright, but the colors are a bit washed out. Colors also shift, and details get lost when you change viewing angles. The 1366 x 768 resolution also seems a little stingy. Clearly, this is not a laptop for serious photo or video editing.

I would have been happier if Asus had used a 1080p IPS panel, but at this price point, you can't really ask for too much.

If you want to connect a lot of peripherals however, you are in luck because the X412F has numerous ports. It has 1 USB C port, 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x HDMI port and 1 SD card reader.

The speakers are average--they don't get very loud even when pushed to the limit, and the sound quality is a bit metallic and thin. But at least, you can plug in your headphones into its combo audio jack.

Battery life is also adequate, providing enough juice for the user the laptop appears to be designed for. You can get 4 to 5 hours of battery life for browsing the web, using Microsoft Office and watching videos. Fully charging the battery takes around 2 hours.

Power-hungry apps like games, and video or photo editing software will likely drain the battery more quickly. But if you're a serious gamer or graphics artist, you probably already know that this isn't a proper gaming or video editing machine.

All in all, for its specs, design, and P32,995 price tag, the Vivobook X412F is a good buy.

I would have liked an extra 4GB of RAM and a better screen, but I appreciated its portability, its numerous ports and its zippy SSD.

If you primarily use a laptop for browsing the web, editing documents or spreadsheets, this laptop will suit your needs.