There are essentially two reasons why people would rather opt for an SSD drive over an HDD drive; storage speed and weight of the overall device.
With the newly released ASUS F402BA-EB91 the company has managed to remove one of such constraints and delivers a laptop that packs a 1 TB hard drive within a very comfortable 0.9 inch size and 3.6 pound weight. Sure enough it's still not as fast a storage as your SSD storage units but then again it's also much, much, cheaper.
Today we dive into the review of the ASUS F402BA-EB91, a very attractive laptop that offers a very affordable price point for those looking to buy a power laptop without emptying out their bank accounts. Asus's latest venture comes with an HD 14 inch display, an AMD processor, 8 GB of RAM and a multiverse of connectivity options that simply aren't that common within budget laptops such as this one. Without further ado, lets get on with the review.
Who's it for?
It's for intensive users who don't need a dedicated graphics chip. For those looking for a solid performance at a low ball price. For those who want to edit videos and images (not professionally). For those looking to multitask on its 8 GB of RAM.
Who is it NOT for?
It's not for people who just want to surf the web and watch videos (they can save money with a cloudbook). It's not for gamers or hardcore graphic designers (you would need a laptop with dedicated graphics). It's not for those who need a very extensive battery life (above 6 hours).
In depth review of the Asus F402BA-EB91, a balanced laptop on all fronts
Let's talk about the design
"Premium" is a word that gets thrown a lot when talking about laptops. In fact, Asus states this model to have a "premium" feel. That said, and while that might be Asus's point of view, allow us not to share in with their vision. This is not a premium design laptop if by "premium" you mean a metal design that ressembles that of a certain company that has a fruit logo.
We state this because we would hate for you to buy this laptop and feel disappointed upon opening the package and seeing that the design does not in fact feel like a MacBook. However, as the old adage says; "you get what you pay for".
That said, within Asus's very own lineup we must admit that this model does boost an ataractive minimalistic design that sets itself apart when being compared to other budget laptops.
¿What about the display and the keyboard?
One of the ASUS F402BA-EB91's most prominent features is the display, packing 14 inch HD display within the frame size of a 13.3 inch laptop that's perfect when editing documents, watching movies and doing some picture editing of your own.
On to the keyboard, we've got a standard chiclet keyboard and there's not much to be said for it. The trackpad, on the other hand, is quite prominent and having tried several Asus trackpads we must say that for a Windows laptop these are amongst the best trackpads in the business.
We should point out however that the keyboard does not feature any sorts of backlighting, an absence thats fairly common within its price range.
Is this a power player? Talk to me about performance!
Moving onto performance, the ASUS F402BA-EB91 is powered by an AMD A9-9420 dual core processor that works at a base speed of 3.0 GHz and can reach its maximum speed at 3.6 GHz when pressed for more demanding tasks.
What does this mean?
Sure enough, if you've never strayed from Intel's brand of processors it can be a bit hard to understand what kind of processor you're looking at. To summarize, this processor can be compared to a 6th generation Intel Core i5 dual core CPU.
In that regard, while an i5 might outperform the AMD A9 in certain departments, the AMD processor does better when handling graphical performance.
What does this mean? Is this CPU not good enough?
It's not really a question of being good enough. It's a good processor and it will do you justice on tasks such as editing code, launching virtual machines, editing documents and doing some light picture and video editing.
Again, if you're intending on doing some heavy image or video editing you'd be better off with a laptop that featured a dedicated graphics.
Overall, the two types of processors are simply different and honestly unless you're a keen observer then chances are you won't really notice much of a difference between the two.
What about RAM and storage?
RAM on the ASUS F402BA-EB91 is composed of an 8 GB DDR3L unit that's (in our opinion) the least you need to ruin a fluid experience with Windows 10. That said, this model does not seem to support the possibility of expanding the RAM manually so if you're a very intensive multitasker then that's definetly a point to consider.
On the other hand, if you're a power user but you typically get along with 8 GB of RAM then there's not much of a point in having the possibility to upgrade if you're not intending on using it.
As far as storage goes, as we mentioned previously, this model packs a 1TB Serial ATA hard drive working at 5400 rpm that should be more than enough to meet your needs for storage.
Is this a gaming laptop? What's battery life like?
While the integrated graphics on the ASUS F402BA-EB91 are a tad better for stuff like editing video and images, that does not mean you're looking at a gaming laptop, this is not by any accounts a gaming laptop and treating it as such would be setting yourself up to be disappointed.
In regards to the battery life, Asus has made no claims so you should expect it to manage anywhere between 4 to 6 hours of battery life under normal usage but we would not advise you to expect much more than that.
Anything else worth pointing out?
As we reach the end of this review on the ASUS F402BA-EB91 we should be quick to mention a few things . Within the pros we would like to mention the inclusion of the Asus Splendid technology which allows the user to modify the blue light emissions of the display up to 33% thereby reducing the eye fatigue caused by staring at the screen for long hours.
There's also an HD webcam, Sonic Master audio (sound is good though not all that impressive) and a USB 3.1 Type C port which allows for data transfers up to 5 times faster than the conventional USB 2.0 port.
There's also the latest generation WiFi ac connectivity which means you get download speeds up to 3 times faster -as long as you have an ac router- and we would also point out that aside from having an HDMI port you've also got a USB 2.0 port, 3.0 port and an SD card reader.
Wrapping things up? Is this laptop worth my money?
Keeping in mind that the ASUS F402BA-EB91 in review is an extremely affordable laptop we simply can't argue that you're not getting good value for your money. This isn't a high end laptop nor does it advertise itself as such. However, it does boast a set of internal specs that make it perfect for power users who don't need a dedicated graphics or a massive battery life in order to get on with their work.
We really like the lightweight design, the ample hard drive and the fact that Asus threw in a USB Type C port into the mix. We also appreciate the fact that it packs WiFi ac support for faster download speeds and though we would've liked the possibility to expand on its RAM capacity that's hardly a deal breaker.
All things considered, this is a very impressive laptop offered at a very competitive price point. A very good choice that won't disappoint as long as you're not expecting a top of the line machine.