Pros: SSD storage, compact and lightweight design, Windows 10 out of the box, 8 hour battery life, budget price point.
Cons: No DVD reader, 2 GB of RAM
Lately we're witnessing a growing trend in the cloudbook department. That is; laptops with limited SSD storage, basic specs and a pretty low price point below the $200 mark. This set of laptops have arrived to compete against the almighty chromebooks which are slowly but surely eating up the budget laptop market.
Today we take a stab at one of the most attractive cloudbooks in the market, the Asus E402MA, a laptop that takes it's cue from microsoft and offers decent performance at a very low price point. Wanna know more? Then read up on our full Asus E402MA review to discover if this laptop will fulfill your needs or if you should get back to your search.
What do people think about this cloudbook? See all the customer reviews
Asus E402MA In depth review with Pros and Cons
14 inch HD display and compact Design
This isn't the first time we see a 14 inch cloudbook making the rounds and it surely won't be our last. The Asus E402MA sports a 14 inch IPS display with a standard 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. Nothing new under the sun here. However, it should be pointed out that the image quality will be slightly sharper than its 15 inch counterparts thanks to the fact that the pixels are a tad more compressed in this model.
As far as the design is concerned, we do like this model. It's compact and lightweight, weighing in at roughly 4 pounds and measuring just below the 1 inch of thickness. We also like the keyboard which, although it's not backlit, it does offer a very pleasant separation between keys that make for a comfortable writing experience.
However, it should be pointed out that this model lacks a dedicated numpad so if you where planning to use this cloudbook to do some extensive number crunching you should probably look elsewhere.
Celeron CPU, 2 GB of RAM and an integrated Graphics card
Once we've covered the aesthetics of the Asus E402MA, it's time to talk key specs. In that sense, we've got a run of the mill Intel Celeron N2840 CPU that clocks in at 2.16 GHz and gears up all the way to 2.58 GHz thanks to its turbo function. This is a dual core processor with 1 MB of caché and your standard 64 bit architecture. Good for basic tasks but not your CPU of choice when you want to do labour intensive tasks.
In terms of RAM, you've got 2 GB of DDR3L RAM. Again, this is a growing trend amongst cloudbooks and it basically means that this laptop is not fit for intensive multitasking.
Finally, when it comes down to the graphics side of things, we've got an Intel HD integrated graphics card. A decent graphics card for surfing and watching movies but far from what you would need to run graphic intensive programs.
As a whole, this set of specs translate onto a laptop which is aimed mostly towards students or towards being a "travel laptop". If you're a gamer you shouldn't come anywhere near this cloudbook but if you're a casual browser who likes to watch a few movies, catch up with friends through social media and surf the web then this machine should be more than enough to fulfill your needs.
SSD storage and a hefty Battery Life
Ok, so we've seen that the key specs on this Asus E402MA aren't what you would call "ideal" for power users. However, this cloudbook also has its set of pros which are basically it's 32GB of SSD storage which make the laptop pretty fast on everyday tasks and it's battery life which in this case extends all the way towards the 8 hours of moderate use and 6 hours of intensive use.
All in all, we appreciate an SSD storage over an HDD storage and the 8 hour battery life definitely comes in handy for portability reasons. So if you're looking for a relatively fast laptop for basic computing with a strong battery life then this is a pretty solid option.
Ports, connections and other stuff you need to know
It's time to start wrapping things up in our Asus E402MA review and we do so by looking over the connections made available within the newly released cloudbook. In that sense we've got the standard WiFi b/g/n connection, Bluetooth 4.0, an HDMI output, VGA output 1 UBS 3.0 port, 1 USB 2.0 port and, of course an SD Card reader. It should be noted that this notebook lacks a cd/dvd reader, something quite common within this price range.
Of course Asus implemented an HD webcam on it's flagship budget laptop and it comes along with Windows 10 straight out of the box so there's no downloading to be done once you log onto the internet.
Verdict: Is the Asus E402MA worth buying?
We've arrived at the end of the line with our in depth review of the Asus E402MA and I believe there's little more to be said. All in all, we're looking a pretty solid starter laptop with an astounding battery life and an interesting storage selection.
We would go as far as to recommend this as a starter laptop for kids or as a travel laptop but unless you're looking to do some basic computing we would state that this laptop is not the right choice for complex tasks. Ideally, this cloudbook should be used for browsing the web, checking social media, watching movies and editing documents. Anything that goes beyond that would result in a disappointing experience.
For it's price we believe it to be a pretty good deal, however, if you're interested in this model we would insist that you also take a steep look at the Toshiba CL45/C4335 we reviewed earlier since it gives you similar specs with a more polished design, a bigger storage capacity (64GB vs 32GB) and a lower price point.