Open ASUS E410 laptop against colourful graphic ackground

ASUS E410 – Setting the standard for budget laptops

In the technology world, 2020 was the year of the laptop. Due to the global pandemic, the need to work from home rose to an all time high which in turn meant that more people needed laptops.

While most of the high-profile laptops that I’ve reviewed this year were premium, high-end devices, it’s the more affordable devices that many people are buying – whether for work from home purposes or for students.

The A E410 is an intriguing new laptop that definitely meets the affordability aspect but doesn’t fall into the usual pit of easy on the wallet equating to a lack of features, power and usability.

White, gold and blue ASUS E410 laptops

Fresh Design

The E410 is available in a variety of attractive colourways – Peacock Blue, Rose Gold, or my personal favourite, Dreamy White – which each sports an iridescent finish that changes colour depending on the viewing angle. There’s also an assortment of symbols adorning the lid which should serve to make the laptop more appealing to a younger market and makes it stand out from the sea of generic, plain grey and white budget laptops.

Opening the laptop, you’ll see the 14-inch, full HD NanoEdge LCD display, bordered by incredibly slim bezels. The matte display delivers great colours but feels a bit flat and isn’t quite as bright as I’d like. This doesn’t affect any writing or web browsing you might do but it slightly dulls any images or video you’re viewing on it.

There’s no physical number pad to the side of the keyboard – instead, ASUS has rather cleverly equipped the E410’s touchpad with the ability to double up as a touch screen number pad. Not only does this save space, but it also showcases the forward-thinking ingenuity that ASUS is known for with its premium devices.

If you’re worried about accidentally triggering the numeric keys on the touchpad, the intelligent palm-rejection technology ensured that I never accidentally triggered a keystroke on the number pad.

The keyboard itself, while decently spaced out, was a bit too spongy and light for my liking. While other have found fault with the size of the Control, Alt and Shift Keys, I had no qualms with them.

A feature that I’m sure that many people will appreciate, but that I didn’t really have a use for, is the 180-degree hinge which means that you can lay the laptop completely flat. I did, however, appreciate the fact that the keyboard is fully backlit, a feature that is surprisingly lacking from many other laptops in the budget category.

It’s what’s inside that truly counts

Powering the E410 is 4GB RAM, a fanless Intel Celeron processor, an Intel UHD Graphics 600 chip and 128GB storage. Being the nerd that I am, the thing that most impressed me is the has a solid-state drive (SSD), something that’s usually reserved for upper-mid tier and flagship devices.

These all ensured that the E410 chugged along reliably, but also contributed to the overall light weight of the device. Coming in at just 1.3kg, the E410 is an incredibly portable device which is easy to slip into a bag or backpack. The tiny, but powerful, 33W power supply is another thoughtful inclusion by ASUS and not only ensures that the 42WHrs battery stays fully charged, but also makes me question why other manufacturers aren’t including power bricks that are easier to take with you when you’re on the go.

Verdict

The ASUS E410 is a great device for anyone on a budget. While the display didn’t quite live up to expectations and the keys were a little too spongy for my liking, the E410 outperforms virtually every other sub R5000 laptop available in South Africa.

If all you’re looking to do is browse the web, basic word editing and watching the occasional video then the E410 is the laptop for you.