Asus ImagineBook 14″ Laptop Review

Quick Review
ASUS ImagineBook MJ401TA Laptop
9.2/10 Our Rating

The ASUS ImagineBook 14″ is a laptop that is priced like a Chromebook and sized like a typical notebook. It is what lies under the hood that makes all the difference.

This laptop gives out visuals in Full HD resolution and gets help from Asus Splendid and Tru2life software packages to create an exhibition of visually stimulating content, like the Chromebook C202SA, but it doesn’t end there.

 Its Audio system also gets support from SonicMaster, another platform that is designed to enrich the quality of sounds that are delivered to the pleasure of the listening audience.

 The build and design will surely catch your eyes, the battery will put up strong appearances, and the keyboard is also well decked, despite turning up to the show without whistles, bells, and backlight.

Although the Intel Core m3-8100Y processor does not spring up any surprises with its performance,  it will waltz past all your regular productivity workflows and workloads, at home and in the office. And with the windows 10 home in S mode software to pair with, there is a lot on offer from the brimming reserves of the Microsoft Store to work with, if you so desire.

Design and Appearance

Asus imagine book 14

Asus does not go out of the ordinary with the design and build quality of this laptop, but it doesn’t turn out any less impressive. The ImagineBook 14″ laptop goes all out in an all-plastic make and an all-white color, the lid features a texture of sorts with the Asus logo emblazoned just below a fine line that stretches across its entire breadth. It is simple in appearance, but the minimalist approach imparts a subtle

degree of elegance to the overall look and feel of the build.

On opening the lid in a flex-free flip, the keyboard deck comes to the fore with the same all-white appearance, while the surrounding texture sports an intricate weave. The whole laptop build feels like one tough nut to crack, and with a weight of 1.7kg, it can still pass for a portable device and a handy grab.

Ports and Connection

The ImagineBook sports a decent port ensemble, solitary USB 3.1 Type-A and USB 2.0 ports alongside a USB Type-C port that external devices and system peripherals can plug into.

Other options include an HDMI and a micro SD card reader for expansion of your storage capacity.

Its connectivity suite incorporates the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 4.2 for the prompt delivery of speedy and steady connections that will come in handy for all your productivity-based tasks.

Keyboard and Input Devices

The keyboard offers a satisfactory typing experience, there are no particular highlights with the key layout, no backlight or caps lock indicator to feed off, and no Numpad to crunch on, but there are other areas that the ImagineBook gets right.

The full-sized keys spread out island-style across the breadth of the keyboard deck, they are aptly firm and responsive, with a travel distance of 1.4mm that makes it well adapted to quick-fire taps and a clicky feedback that is music to the ears.

The touchpad is in a good place too, it is fairly sized and centrally located, while it requires the slightest press to actuate a click or any other gesture across its entire surface.

Audio

With a couple of innovative features on offer, Asus pulls all the stops to make this laptop deliver impressive returns on the audio front. There is the SonicMaster which blends upgraded audio hardware components with customized software and audio tuning for a better sound turnout.

And then there is the delivery of audio encoding and decoding service via a professional-grade codec.

The quality of the product of this graft should ordinarily impress, and the sounds that stem from the generously sized speakers and resonant chambers do seem to echo this sentiment to a very large extent.

The major drawback is with the location of the speakers as they are sited at the bottom of the laptop. The sounds that emerge get a little damper on their frequency as they bounce against the undercarriage surfaces before they can fill your eardrums or your room.

Still, this laptop gets its sounds right, the bass seems to get a boost at higher volumes, and the volume can get really high too.

Display

The display of the 14-inch Imagine Book punches above its weight and price at first blush and at the second time of asking.

Asus imagine book 2ndpic

It is a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display on a TN panel, a decent provision that is even more remarkable when you consider the price of this device. The bezels are conspicuous and the viewing angles are a bit convoluted, but other features are added in for good measure, evocative of the innovation-centric strides of the typical Asus rollout.

Step in the Tru2Life feature with its capacity to enhance the crispness and contrast of the visuals, and then step up to the Asus Splendid feature that offers varying degrees of detail and vibrancy in its two display modes: Normal mode and Vivid mode.

These technologies add color and spice to the display and it should give off a pervasive feeling of enthrallment for every viewer that sets eyes on the screen.

Graphics and Gaming

The 14″ ImagineBook comes equipped with an integrated Intel UHD 615 graphics card, it is not remotely a top-tier provision and this much is underlined by its performance over the different intensity of workloads.

With basic photo editing tasks and very light gaming, this laptop can draw from the meager pool of shading units in its GPU to produce a decent flicker-free, and lag-free output.

More advanced tasks like video editing or AAA gaming will bring this laptop to an eventual standstill, even at reduced display and performance settings.

You might be able to get a fighting chance at lower resolutions or with less demanding applications and older gaming titles. It Is the inevitable concession that comes with laptops of such modest pricing.

Battery

The ImagineBook has a 38Wh capacity battery that may appear a little meager on the surface, but it defies expectations to deliver significant returns in staying power.

This laptop can offer close to a full days’ worth of runtime or a complete working hour stretch as long as your work doesn’t involve anything too demanding or processor-intensive. For routine office tasks like emailing, word processing, and web browsing, this laptop can go quite the distance, and when it runs out of juice, it can call on the powers of ASUS fast-charge technology to recharge up to 60 percent under about 55 minutes.

Cooling and Noise Emission

With the 14-inch ImagineBook, you don’t have to worry about the whirling motions and whirring sounds of fans, this laptop operates with a largely uninterrupted repose.

This fanless design of the processors rubs off quite nicely on the performance of the battery and the overall system health by extension. As the strain on the system is passable, the battery and other system components get respite from the toil and toll of heat-induced overdrive.

It does get warm on occasions upon being triggered by a swarm of intensive workloads, but not warm enough to constitute a smattering of hotspots or to become uncomfortable to handle.

Performance

Asus employs the service of Intels’ Core m3-8100Y processor to work with the Windows 10 Home operating system on this device, the result is largely satisfactory for the most part.

The dual-core processor operates at a tolerable energy consumption and heat production rate, alongside a base speed of 1.1GHz. With this processor, the ImagineBook can take on all the rigors of everyday tasks like web browsing and video playback or Office applications like Word and Excel without breaking a sweat and breaking its stride too. It can reach clock speeds of 3.4GHz at the height of multitasking, with apps from the Microsoft store running in full swing, but it will tether on the thresholds if you plug into the Internet at the same time. It might be accompanied by a slight glitch in the display, a fleeting lag, or in the worst-case scenario, a slight warming of the keyboard deck.

The Windows 10 in S mode offers access to a ton of apps from the Microsoft store that are wired to work at their optimum on this laptop. The ImagineBook will not have any problems running any of these apps, it is an area of advantage, but at the same time, it limits users to a one-way traffic of apps only from the Microsoft store.

Disabling the Windows S drive is a one-off provision and the only viable resort, and it opens this laptop up for as far as the processor can allow.

Final Verdict

The general feeling that you get with using the 14″ ImagineBook (to be compared to the L406 14″ Laptop) is one of satisfaction, knowing that you have struck quite the bargain, what with the hatful of exciting features that Asus rolls into this laptop and the affordable prices that it sells for.

This laptop gets plenty of goodies from a dip into the Asus bag of treats and hosts its users to a feast for the eyes with its brilliant display, and music to the ears with its rich audio.

And with the Intel Core m3-8100Y processor joining forces with the Windows 10 in S mode, this laptop gets enough fuel to power through most office productivity tasks and personal use computing activities with minimal fuss.

For the modest pricing on offer, the lack of a backlit keyboard and the inability to upgrade the RAM might be overlooked in favor of a battery that can last a while and a build that is easy on the eyes.

It is a pretty fair deal and a good one at that.

Device Specifications

Standing screen display size      ‎

14 Inches

Processor  ‎

Intel Core m3-8100Y

RAM

4 GB LPDDR4

Memory Speed     

‎3.4 GHz

Graphics

Intel UHD Graphics 615

Display

14.0”, Full HD (1920 x 1080), TN

Wireless Type       

‎802.11ac

Operating System

Windows 10 Home

Item Weight

1.7kg

Product Dimensions

13.2 x 8.9 x 0.7 inches

Processor Brand  

‎Intel

Processor Count  

‎2

Computer Memory Type 

‎DDR4 SDRAM

Flash Memory Size  

‎128 GB