There's a slice of Windows 8 pie for everyone, as Asus proves with its budget-yet-capable VivoBook series. It's coming to the UK in its 11.6-inch S200 and 14-inch S400 guises, and Pocket-lint was on hand at Asus's Windows 8 announcement to get a closer look.

As well as a variety of other high-end products announced at the Computex show earlier this year - including the Asus TaiChi, VivoTab and more - the Asus VivoBook range focuses on the more affordable end of the market.


Both the S200 and S400 VivoBook models come with the full power of Windows 8, as is apparent by the touch-enabled screens and full desktop experience.

READ: Windows 8 review

We swiped and tapped away at the S400's screen and, although initially an odd experience to be dirtying up a laptop screen, it was responsive to each touch.

The S400 is described as having an "LED HD backlit" display - better known by its native 1366x768-pixel resolution. It looked decent under the mood lighting in which we saw the notebooks - yes, the models have a silver-like interior finish, not the rose-tinted pink as these hands-on pictures may suggest - but weren't able to test visibility in brighter conditions at this stage.


At the core of the S400 is a choice of Intel Core 13, i5 or i7 processor - it all depends on how much processing speed you're after and how much cash you're willing to part with. The S200's Intel Premium 987 and Core i3 options have a little less oomph, but still enough power for basic day-to-day work.

The Windows 8 display tiles had a variety of basic programs set up, but nothing particularly "heavy". A touch of Internet Explorer, Xbox Music and word processing was the limit of our initial experiments. Tying on the keyboard felt well spaced and comfortable though.


To the top corner of the S400's keyboard is the "SonicMaster" logo, which represents Asus's stamp of approval for clear voice and speech as well as faithful music reproduction. At this price point, it will be more of the former than the latter.

The S400 is trim rather than super-slim, and weighs in at a reasonable 1.8kgs. Small and light enough to carry around on the go, no problems. There's also space for two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI output, LAN and VGA connectors, an SD card slot and 3.5mm combo jack for headphone use. The S200 has the same connections but, on account of its smaller scale, weighs in at 1.3kgs.


Both notebooks come loaded with a 500GB HDD and 4GB of RAM. The S400 also has a 24GB SSD drive for quick start-up from either off or sleep - though after we turned it off the trusty Windows Startup kicked into action and began to install a rather large update.

The S200 will be available from the end of October, priced at £399 or £449, while the S400 will be available at the same time with prices of £499, £599 and £699 depending on processor choice.