Asus Q301LA-BHI5T02 VIvoBook Cheap Touch Ultraportable

The Asus Q301LA-BHI5T02 is a newly available 13.3-inch touch-screen laptop model from the PC maker’s VivoBook affordable lineup.

Asus Q301LA-BHI5T02

This series is actually the same as the S301LA, with the Q models being exclusively sold via Best Buy. The Q301LA-BHI5T02 is one of the configurations, sporting the 4th Generation Intel Core i5-4200U Haswell dual-core processor at 1.6 to 2.6GHz speed, Intel HD 4400 graphics with some lower-end gaming potential, usual 4GB of RAM, a very common 500GB 5,400rpm hard drive, and a relatively small 2-cell 38 Whrs battery. Besides a 13.3-inch diagonal, the display is characterized by multi-touch support, 1,366×768 screen resolution, and glossy coating. The i5-4000U processor can satisfy all run-of-the-mill users when it comes to daily work like web surfing and office document editing, but it is also reasonably fast for media work, like photo and video editing. The price tag is $600.

For that price, the Asus Q301LA-BHI5T02 also provides stereo speakers enhanced by SonicMaster technology, a 720p web camera, two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, VGA video connector, HDMI port supporting not only Full HD 1080p but also 4K Ultra HD video transmission, Bluetooth interface, Wi-Fi wireless, Gigabit LAN network port, an SD/SDHC digital card reader, and combo audio jack for microphone and headphones.

Outwardly, the notebook is a stylish and sleek piece of hardware with silver-colored palm rests made of durable plastics, dark-gray brushed aluminum lid, and slightly rounded corners. The chiclet-style keyboard with decently long key travel and good tactile feedback is black. The trackpad is fairly big and has integrated “mouse” buttons, like almost all modern notebooks.

This machine is 0.85-inch thick, meaning it’s a tad thicker than the average ultrabook. It weighs four pounds, which is not so light weight for a 13.3-incher.

At the end, let’s notice some differences between the Q301LA-BHI5T02 and the Q300 precursors. The biggest and the only major change is inclusion of the Haswell ultra-low voltage CPU instead of the Ivy Bridge (3rd Generation) ULV, resulting in better integrated graphics. The Haswell provides a longer battery life than comparable Ivy Bridge-based counterparts, but Asus has for some reason included a lower capacity battery of already mentioned 38Whr, whereas the S300 sports a 44WHr unit. There’s no info on battery life, but judging from the specs it shouldn’t be shorter than 4 hours of web surfing via Wi-Fi. Designs are almost the same, with only a minor difference. The power button is now on the left part of the keyboard deck instead of the right and is accompanied by Wi-Fi and Caps Lock indicators.

Overall, the Asus Q301LA-BHI5T02 is a well-rounded touch-screen ultraportable, but the competition is tough in its category. If you don’t mind having a larger notebook, the 14-inch Lenovo IdeaPad P400 Touch – 59371991 is a better equipped choice for less money. Precisely $530. It has a full-voltage 3rd Gen i5 CPU and 1600×900 screen resolution, as well as keyboard backlight, which is missing on the Asus.

Left

Q301LA-BHI5T02 Right

Asus Q301LA-BHI5T02 Lid

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31 comments
  1. Hi Denijel,
    If We compare the Asus Q301LA-BHI5T02 with Lenovo U430 which I think they are very similar
    What would you recommend to buy?

    Thanks
    Neo

    • If you’re consudering the Lenovo U430 TOUCH – 59371574 model ($670 / http://laptoping.com/lenovo-ideapad-u430-touch-59371574-ultrabook-specs-review.html), I think it’s a batter choice than the Asus ($600), primarily because of the higher screen resolution and slightly bigger screen on the Lenovo. In addition, it has built-in 16GB SSD storage alongside the hard drive for faster operation, as well as keyboard backlight, which is very handy when you type in dim light. Also, I prefer Lenovo’s AccuType keyboards because of their excellent tactile feedback. Another nice perk on the U430 is Intel Wi-Di tech for wireless video streaming to TVs.

      Outwardly, the notebooks look similar and have almost the same thickness and weight. The only big difference here are lids. The U430 has a soft touch finish, while the back of the Q301LA is made of brushed aluminum. Bases of both laptops are made of aluminum.

      To conclude, it’s worth spending additional $70 on the U430, but the Asus Q301LA is also an excellent choice for only $600.

  2. Hi, I am looking for a touchscreen ultrabook with the following specifications – minimum of core i5, 500gb storage, maximum of 13.3′ screen (smaller will be good too), light weight – around 1.5/1.6 kg. I have searched & searched and the confusion grows in equal proportions..Any help will be highly appreciated. I would like to limit my budget to around $600.
    Thanks, Neha

    • Well, the Q301LA-BHI5T02 for $600 appears to be a laptop which is closest to your requirements. But, it isn’t a real ultrabook since it doesn’t have hybrid HDD / SSD or SSD-only storage. If you’re ready to pay $100 more, you can get a real ultrabook, the Asus Zenbook UX32VD-BHI5N57: http://bit.ly/1e7ZxVw . The main downside of the Zenbook is the older i5 version.

  3. Hi Danijel,

    Thank you so much for the reply. The page on the link you sent does not exist. However i checked on the net but this particular model does not seem to have a touch screen. Is that so? I am primarily looking for a touch screen. How is the Vivo book s300CA? I might consider lenovo ideapad yoga 13, although quite expensive at $1000 if it is REALLY worth the price.. Quite a few reviews on AMazon say that they have had o return the device due to issues with the wireless card & sound in the fan.

    Thanks once again for help.

  4. Thank you for this helpful article. I have been wanting to buy a laptop for a while, and I was wondering if you think this is the best laptop around. Every site I have gone to says that the cheapest price is $599.99, but I was wondering if I could get it for cheaper on a certain site? Thank you for your time.

  5. I had this Asus book and I love it, does everything for me. But just wondering if I want to change the hard disk to ssd, (256 GB) which one I should buy so that it fits into this Asus vivobook. I mean what size od SSD I should buy?????

    • This laptop uses 2.5-inch hard drives (0.28″ thick) with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, so I think any SSD meeting these specs will work fine.

  6. Hi, I bought the Q301la from BestBuy and I want to upgrade the RAM to 8gb but when I took the back off I couldn’t find it? Any sujestions?

  7. quick question, I rec’d the Q3-1LA as a christmas gift and started it up yesterday…the top row of the keyboard with the ESC key, function keys, volume up/down/mute keys, don’t seem to be working…it’s there a trick to it, I’ve never experienced not having the ESC key work just by tapping it (ie- not having to shift, ALT, fn, windows keys in conjunction)….? think it’s defective and should be returned or am I missing something simple?

    • 4-5 hours is normal for this laptop. The battery is sealed inside, so I think it’s not upgradeable.

  8. I cant download anything from the Microsoft store or update to windows 8.1. I will hit install and immediately it says install failed. I was able to install itunes from online but anything from the store wont download.

    • The Q301LA sold at Best Buy is actually the S301LA model which can be found on Asus’ website. The drivers section for it lists a Realtek sound card. If you already have the laptop you can download some app such as HWINFO, which displays details of hardware.

  9. I had a very unhappy experience with this machine; I bought it for a local teenager (at Best Buy), who rather promptly managed to crack the touch screen – the cracked touch screen then interfered with the other input device, the touch pad, thus defeating functionality; – and another teenager nearby was able to disable the touch screen, by software, thus enabling the touch pad – and so we had limited functionality

    I called Asus to fix this machine and they said to send it to California, I am in NYC, so I asked for a local authorized service center, which was identified, a few blocks from me, walk-in, so I called them (NYC) and learned that touch screens may only be fixed in California

    So I called Asus and asked them to authorize the local service center to, um, provide service and Asus said the locals were noy authorized b/c they didn’t have the parts so I said send them the parts and Asus said the locals were not authorized so I said authorize them, and they said take it up to an escalation within Asus. I am promised a phone call…..

    So I told them I was ‘imposed’ upon, *stronger* language, in fact, just so’s folks know

    BTW, when I gave then the micro-print serial number and model Q301LA, they responded with S301 – duh – NOT Q301LA – but now I know why; the Asus website knew that my s/n was a Q301

    Best Buy took it a little more seriously, they said he would send my complaint from Best Buy to Asus

  10. Slowest computer I’ve ever seen. On every click it takes a moment to stop and think. And every click on the touchpad makes an ear shattering cracking noise. The touchpad also is usually unresponsive to tapping, and refuses to scroll most of the time. Crashed after 2 months of light usage. Fuck asus, do not by any pieces of shit from them.

  11. there is any problem with the 500GB hard drive becoz i heard that the HDD in the ultrabooks it not good it makes sounds .

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