|We Like||We Don’t Like|
Long battery life
Summary: The VivoBook is probably the most budget friendly laptop we have available these days for college students with enough performance to handle most of your major related applications and software provided they are not too intensive (3d applications, heavy numerical calculations) which luckily are rarely encountered across all majors. It remains extremely affordable while remaining a full blown laptop with enough portability for you to remain productive during your four years of college.
|Specs||Asus VivoBook E403SA|
|Screen||14-Inch full HD 1080P Display|
|Processor||Intel Quad Core N3700 1.6 GHz, Turbo to 2.4 GHz|
|Memory||4 GB DDR3 SDRAM|
|Storage||128GB eMMC Flash|
|Connectivity||802.11 A/C , Bluetooth 4.0|
|Ports||1xUSB 2.0 / 1xUSB 3.0 / MicoSD / headphone jack / HMDI|
|Size||9.3 x 13.3 x 0.7 inches|
Review By Degree
CE/EE: Although this particular model lacks in performance quite a bit compared to other ultrabooks and laptops shown on this site. It’s still decent enough with enough USB ports (4GB RAM is enough unless you are a heavy multitaskter) to run Circuit Design Software, MatLab, and all programming in general. Witih the exception of CAD work and Numerical Analysis (ANSYS), it’s a good option for engineers on a budget looking for a portable device.
ME/CE: Likewise Mechanical and Civil Engineers can still benefit frmo the portability and price of the VivoBook. It should be able to run all types of software encountered with the exception of CAD/CAE software such as Autocad,Revit, Solidworks(lack of GPU) and numerical analysis such as ANSYS (which needs far more RAM and better CPU) which can be both left to school’s computer and leave the rest to the VivoBook.
Unfortunately, architecture students have no option but to buy a powerful machine to run CAD software and this one is not useful for architectural work. Lacks GPU, CPU and RAM. If you are on a budget but still want to handle 3D Modeling and CAD software in general. Please consider the options shown in the article: Best Laptops for Architecture Students.
However, the first year or two you might not need a powerful machine with a dedicated graphics card in which case the asus vivobook is a good option for all other college related tasks.
Science students should benefit greatly from the VivoBook’s portability and long battery life. while remaining quite affordable at the same time. Luckily, science students do not need much raw power for a computer. The most intensive applications you may run into are MatLab, Excel and Visual Basic or any other programming language. All of them can be run smoothly on any modern laptop today. That’s not to say the VivoBook has a low performance. You can still throw some heavy multitasking on it despite the low GB RAM and flash storage. Should you want an even more portable device with a much greater performance, The ZenBook is your next option however it won’t be as affordable as the VivoBook which is already more than enough for science students in general.
CS students can as well benefit greatly from the affordability and portability the VivoBook Offers. It goes without saying programming in general doesn’t require special features from a laptop, surely it does improve compiling times by a second or two but if you are on a budget you can easily put up with it I’m sure. The resolution is still optimal for coding, 1080p and the screen size is a huge plus as welll. Not only that, it has an HDMI port something ultrabooks with the exception of the ZenBook, lack. Meaning you can connect it easily to a much bigger display at home should you want to code on a bigger screen size setting. The storage size shouldn’t scare you off from buying it, programming files do not take much space after all. Unless you are into animation and 3D design or game desigin, this one is a top choice for you.
Medical & Nursing
Just the fact that it’s portable with a long battery life makes it a good choice for medical and nursing students. You won’t be needing much raw performance for softwares. Software applications in med and nursing school are limited to word processor, pdf viewers, video players for procedures / animations and a few for medical re ferences and exams all compatible with these features and a windows machine. A high resolution and a decent screen size do come in handy for histology questions, just viewing figures, videos, or procedures with much more dtail or just general multitasking when trying to write reports or do research from various medical journals both wihch this laptop has. You can’t really go wrong with this one, a must for med and nursing students on a budget.
Business & Accounting
The display size along with the fact that it’s a very portable Windows Machine makes it quite appealing to business students especially those in the financing or accounting sub fields. Business students in general benefit from the portability and the long battery life it offers as they have to move from classes to networking events, meeting for projects and career activites quite regularly. The weight will make sure you don’t have an uncomfortable school day when you bring your laptop. The HDMI port will be useful for external displays and presentations. However like most laptops today it lacks a full size keyboard, if you are into accounting or taking a lot of financing courses I want to remind you to buy one along with any laptop of your choice. Other than that, this is a superb bargain for business and accounting students in general.
Despite having the righit screen size, the right resolution (being 1080p) and the fact that most graphic designers not focused on Motion Graphics and 3D Animation do not require a powerful laptop, it still lacks in performance quite a bit. 4GB is not enough and 128GB as storage is very poor for the type of files graphic design students have to handle and it’s color accuracy isn’t that great (68.5 percent of sGRGB) according to third party testers. It is quite difficult to find a laptop on a budget for graphic designers, display and raw performance being two features that make one expensive. For better ultra portable options consider the MacBook Air, Surface Pro 4, Dell XPS 13. For more powered laptops the Retina Display and the Dell XPS 15 are two great option while still remaining portable enough for you not to tire from carrying it all day.