The 5th Gen Core branding may be a bit misleading for some people considering that this one comes from the low TDP “Y” series lineage and isn’t a successor to the regular “i” line-up. However, Core M isn’t a slouch by any means, though definitely not a power house. It also isn’t the top Core M variant but then there isn’t too much of a performance difference between them. As a fanless processor, it is known to get really hot and hence not ideal for lap use. The flip side to this is the enhanced battery life which is what you’d really want for casual usage like surfing and watching movies.
Some may fault Asus for trying to imitate Apple but that ensures good looks and build quality on its own. Those astounded by the resolution should know that it is not the most colour accurate and the high pixel count definitely hits the performance of applications running at its native resolution.
The SSD is a big plus and 4 GB RAM should be enough for Windows to chug along. The speakers aren’t much to speak of in spite of the MaxxAudio branding but should be good enough when watching the odd videos. The keyboard lacks backlighting which is a huge bummer.
All in all, it is the most bang-for-the-buck ultraportable you can find. Weight matters a lot for portability and Asus delivers on that front. All the other specs are simply good enough to get the job done without any complaints. This is the price point at which one can finally see the Core M going mainstream. Tablets like the Dell Venue 11 Pro 7140 with the same processor are finally touching the $500 price point in the US, making them comparable in pricing to tablets like Surface 3 that come with the Atom x7. So, it isn’t really a surprise to finally see a Core M product land in India at less than 50k, though this one retails for $699 in the US with 8GB RAM.
Bottom Line: The most VFM ultraportable. Look at other options if you are really looking for a workhorse laptop.
Edit: Flipkart later changed the display from QHD+ to FHD and also removed the reference to the touch screen which I had assumed to be a mistake from the beginning. Also, they still have “Pentium Dual Core” mentioned in key features. An unprofessional effort by Flipkart as it indicates a blind copy-paste from the Asus website without checking the product itself. I would revise my rating to about 3.5 if only I could knock half a star off the rating system.
Originally published on Flipkart on 15th May 2015.