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