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Asus Vivobook X200

I recently upgraded my aging Acer Aspire One with a new Asus Vivobook. It was running a really slow Intel Atom processor, one of the first generations. It literally took a day to bootstrap Rust, and not all of that time was spent swapping! It worked well for what I originally bought it for, which was as a dumb terminal SSHing into my desktop. I wanted to upgrade to something that could actually run OpenGL things, as well as browse the web without me wanting to give up and go to bed.

The vivobook has served these purposes very well, and at a price that I find very compelling. It has a decent keyboard layout, as well as a fairly nice screen, though the viewing angle leaves much to be desired. The webcam and microphone are of good quality. It has full OpenGL 3.3 (possibly later versions, once Mesa supports them). It can max out Xonotic and still be relatively playable (15-20 FPS), with 40+ FPS at high quality. The CPU is only dual-core, however. It also only has 2G of non-upgradable RAM, which is problematic but was still an upgrade from the older netbook. The screen also goes very dim (yay my eyes!), and fairly bright too.

I would recommend it to anyone looking for a cheap laptop. It fits my ssh-heavy usecase perfectly. My only hesitation is the battery. It only lasts about 2.5 hours, and almost as long to charge. I bought this after sending back a similarly-priced Chromebook, due to the Chromebook’s unfortunate keyboard layout, and poor screen quality.