Summary: Inexpensive touchscreen Ultrabook. Though its low budget price of $699 or less can be misleading of its quality, the VivoBook S500CA is actually built surprisingly well with impressive looks. Can this Asus hold up in what is becoming an increasingly common category of touchscreen-enabled Ultrabooks?
Pros: Good build quality and sleek design for the price, Large touchpad, Low idling system noise, Touchscreen functionality, User-accessible HDD, RAM, and system fan, Low starting price for a touchscreen Ultrabook, Great design and construction for the price. Good system performance with potential for end-user upgradeability. Low starting price makes it attractive against competing touch-enabled Ultrabooks.
Cons: Very warm surface temperatures when idling, Maintenance panel can be difficult to remove, Average display brightness, Average battery life, Poor outdoor usability due to glossy screen, Arrow keys and numpad are slightly smaller and softer, Higher screen brightness and longer battery life would help greatly for outdoor use. A backlit keyboard like less expensive Asus Q500A would give this model another edge in the budget category.
Conclusion: The Asus S500C is far from a bad machine, but the 720p display, relatively slow processor and limited memory mean that it's not one for the demanding user. It's also not exactly bargain of the century either, and users who want a simple web experience might find themselves better served with one of Asus's brilliant Android tablets instead.
Pros: Nice looks, solid construction, good keyboard and trackpad, a great entry-level Windows 8 machine, great sound
Cons: A bit too expensive, screen resolution is disappointing, average battery performance, heavy