Last spring, Microsoft introduced Windows 10 S, a slimmed-down version of its operating system primarily designed for use in educational institutions. School-age children are famously rough on computer hardware, though. Asus's new VivoBook W202NA notebook puts Windows 10 S in a machine that's designed to take a beating and keep on working.
The buzzword of choice for classroom laptops is "ruggedized." The ruggedization of the VivoBook W202NA starts with rubber reinforcements on the laptop's edges and corners. Asus claims these bumpers helped the notebook survive a 3.9' (1.2 m) drop in testing. The machine also apparently survived a stringent twist-force test, and has a water-resistant keyboard. Even with these protections, schools will need to maintain and replace parts in these devices. Asus employs a modular design for this VivoBook W202NA that gives IT staff easy access to components like the motherboard, battery, power jack daughter board, and display panel.
In addition to being tough, the VivoBook W202NA is also light and portable. It weighs in at 2.7 lbs (1.2 kg) and is 0.9" thick (2.3 cm). The machine should easily fit into a backpack, as its length and width are just about the size of a piece paper at 11.6" x 7.9" (29.5 cm x 20.7 cm). An Intel Celeron N3350 processor lies inside the chassis, accompanied by 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of eMMC storage. Asus claims that the notebook's 38 Wh battery is good for up to 11 hours of usage.
Pixelphiles won't fall in love with this machine, as its 11.6" display has a native resolution of 1366x768. That still works out to a half-decent 135 PPI, though. The VivoBook W202NA should serve for long typing sessions, as the keyboard switches have 1.8 mm of travel. The touchpad is pleasingly large, and there's a comprehensive selection of ports with two USB 3.0 Type-A connectors, an HDMI output, and an SD card reader.
Asus says that the VivoBook W202NA is available now for $279, though we couldn't find it for sale just yet. In September, Asus will sell a consumer-oriented version of this device with Windows 10 Home. The company plans to set the price tag for that model at $299.