I hate laptops. By the time I was old enough to discern between good or bad, I always looked up to my desktops when I needed the entertainment and productivity. But times do come when you’re in a bind and you need to have a handy laptop with you. But enough of that. I just went on a business trip in Singapore and had to
beg ask for a device that can help me write. Lo and behold, ASUS lent me their BU401, an edgy laptop that looks so professional, people would think that you mean business, even though you don’t.
One look at the device and you’ll likely judge it as an old IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad minus the red nipple at the middle of the keyboard. It has that professional approach, not too flashy, just practical. The spartan-esque build also shapes up the ASUS BU401 against angry hurls and accidental handslips.
The top cover features the ASUS logo and that’s it. Behind it is a 14.1″ screen capable of Full HD resolution and has a refresh rate of 60Hz. Located at the middle-top of the screen is an average web camera.
For the workspace, ASUS designed it in a way that would make the keys easier to reach. The upper-half is slightly lower than the other half so that the keys are at same level as the user’s wrist. The lower half features a touchpad situated at the middle and accompanied by two large mouse buttons. These mouse buttons can be pressed and do offer a significant amount of feedback. Sitting a wee bit at the right edge is a finger print scanner for added security. Located slightly at the edge on the upper-rights side is an inconspicuous power button that lights up once powered on.
Left side, we have the socket for the charger, a LAN port, an HDMI port, and a lone USB 3.0.
Going to the other side, we have a slot for a Kensington lock, a VGA port, two USB 3.0s, and a single slot for 3.5m input/output audio.
The ASUS BU401 does away with a disc reader in order to make it thinner and more mobile.
The ASUS BU401 utilizes an Intel i7-4510U Dual Core Processor clocked at a base frequency of 2.0 GHz with a turbo speed of 3.1 GHz. It is complimented by a 4GB DDR3L RAM which can be furthered up to 12GB. Lastly, we get a 500GB SSHD for faster boots and loads without compromising on space.
For graphics, the ASUS BU401 is armed with the tandem of Intel HD Graphics 4400 and a measly Nvidia GT820M with a 2GB dedicated VRAM.
For connectivity, the laptop is capable of 802.11ac and is also Bluetooth 4.0 compatible.
Current units available in the Philippines run on Windows 8.1 but a quick (and free) update would get the user a fully-functioning Windows 10.
When I borrowed the ASUS BU401, it was introduced to me by ASUS representatives by smashing it on top of a table. They were incredibly confident with the laptop’s build and has even asked me to do the same, knowing fully well that doing so is taboo, I declined.
Anyhow, I decided to make my overseas excursion as a test for the ASUS BU401 durability. I manhandled it into a backpack filled with necessities, deliberatel keeping it tight and making it scream for air (if it were alive).
Thankfully, the laptop survived after some deliberate smackdowns and bag hurls after a tired day. I also banged it on the desk whenever I’m set to work. Again, a good laptop does not die on its owner during times of distress and need.
ASUS holds that the laptop has undergone an “extra” in terms of durability tests. Using carbon-fiber for its LCD brackets and a spill-resistant keyboard for good measure.
While the ASUS BU401 might not look like a laptop that can grab stares, it sure does look good as a professional setpiece in a meeting room setting. Just look at the laptop and imagine yourself slurping on your already cold mocchiato. Appealing isn’t it? The rectangular form also helps against trauma and is solid enough to be used as a secondary armament against criminals and hooligans.
Hardware-wise, the processing power of the device handles most office tasks. It’s good with documents, internet browsing, and the occasional spreadsheets. Furthermore, the physical workspace offers ample room to rest he wrists while keeping keys at a finger’s reach. It’s also a good experience to type on the ASUS BU401 as the chiclet keys offer a certain feedback when pressed. Although it is hogging a large space, the touchpad didn’t get triggered by my thumbs despite the proximity.
To nitpick, the laptop is an oil magnet. My greasy hands and wrist do leave imprints on the inside and the exterior of the laptop, making it a tedious task to clean-up after (see pictures above). You’ll also need a special cloth to tidy those irritating smudges as tissues won’t work. The bad thing however is that if your hands are as greasy as mine’s, then prepare to give this a rundown before meetings.
Now, should this be a laptop to get? Well, the applications for this are limited to office work and internet browsing. You won’t see the ASUS BU401 rack some numbers in the performance department. But it compromises the lack of firepower with a tanky and simple build. The ASUS BU401 finds grace in its simplicity and that’s one thing to look out for in a market that’s filled with bling and without bite. So yes, if you’re looking for something to make you look more professional and maybe inspire you to act more like one, then the ASUS BU401 is a laptop to get.
The ASUS BU401 has an SRP of PHP 71,995 and comes with Global Warranty. With that price, you’d definitely expect this device not to break down.