When we were given the ASUS BR1100F laptop to use for two weeks, the first impression was that this laptop looked light, extremely portable and user friendly. And for the most part, that’s exactly what we discovered while using it daily.
Clocking in at a budget friendly RM1,599, this laptop is suitable for anyone that has children attending online lessons thanks to its functionality, safety features, and overall usability. In fact, we’d even go so far as to say that this laptop would be quite handy for working professionals that are constantly on-the-go as well!
Here’s what we found:
This laptop is made for basic learning and usage, and it shows. We tested its capability of handling online meetings, YouTube videos and various forms of heavy browser usage. While it was not the fastest laptop we’ve ever used, it’s more than good enough for learning purposes or work meetings.
In fact, we think its inability to handle heavy usage makes it perfect for students as they’re more likely to focus on the subject matter at hand instead of getting distracted by a myriad of tabs on a browser or browser-based games. After all, nothing is more frustrating than being unable to do what you want to do when it comes to laptops. As the ASUS BR1100F is made for learning, it performs this role to perfection.
The 11.6-inch screen projects bright, vibrant colours which is perfect for online lessons, presentations and light entertainment after class. With distance learning, the key is keeping students engaged and the image quality projected by the screen is certainly a big help.
The multi-touch screen also enables students to convert the laptop to a tablet, while the stylus that comes with the laptop is also very welcome for students. This makes it easier to point and draw on the touch screen when there is a need for that functionality – for example, drawing diagrams or circling answers to multiple choice questions. A garage on the left side of the laptop keeps the stylus handy for any situation, and it supposedly can detect 4,096 different levels of pressure. One of the key functions we loved is the short time needed to charge the stylus, with a mere 15 seconds in the garage needed to enable usage for 45 minutes. Talk about efficient!
There are many other little knick-knacks that don’t seem all that important, until you actually need to use the functions. For example, the microphone mute key is conveniently positioned on the top row of the keyboard – making it easy to mute yourself over a call at any time. While this doesn’t seem like the most innovative feature, it’s certainly a lot easier to tap a button instead of moving a mouse to click the mute button. Such functions are only noticeable when they aren’t present, which is a hallmark of great usability.
Similarly, the battery charge can last up to 10 hours, making it perfect for an entire day of learning. While we didn’t stress test the laptop during our two weeks of using it, general usage did come close to the advertised 10 hours so it’s not likely to be too far off the mark when you use it. Other batteries may tap out long before the 10-hour mark, making it necessary to have a charging cable and power outlet nearby. With the ASUS BR1100F, you are free to move where you please. Again, this is another example of a simple feature that doesn’t seem important until you need it for a specific occasion, highlighting the thoughtfulness of its design.
The modular construction of the ASUS BR1100F laptop is also very welcome for those who have the ability to make changes and add components themselves. The captive screws also make it easy for DIY changes and prevents falls and frustration, making it straightforward to open up and modify.
For example, if you have the know-how, it’s a simple task to add in an optional M.2 SSD slot, especially for users that want to use this laptop for more than just learning or work. As highlighted before, the laptop can struggle during heavy usage as the write speed of the existing 128 GB of eMMC storage isn’t, to use layman’s terms, the fastest. With the addition of an SSD drive of up to 1TB, this speeds up processes like reading/writing files and booting up, allowing you to store larger files and videos, and to start the laptop in just seconds. Being able to greatly improve the base functionality of the laptop easily makes this a big plus in our books!
We think the spill resistant keyboard is a wonderful feature as children are not known for their ability to keep liquids in a cup! Spilling drinks is almost to be expected from rowdy kids (and some clumsy adults!), so the spill resistant keyboard is a godsend. No need to worry about spoiling the laptop due to a lapse of concentration, as the lack of gaps between the keys means there’s no room for liquids or crumbs to fall into.
We also tried to pry off the keys as kids are likely to fiddle but were pleasantly surprised to find this next to impossible. As kids, we remember pulling off keys and there’s no reason to believe kids’ habits have changed these days. Compared to other keyboards, this one will definitely stand up to the test and kids will have to make a real effort if they want to pull these keys off!
Similarly, the all-round rubber bumper and integrated safety grip are also great features that ensures the laptop can survive some damage. While it can be argued that US military-grade reliability might sound over the top, regular laptops can be quite fragile in the hands of children or clumsy adults, so the added grips will no doubt lead to less slips and falls. The design also boasts military-grade toughness, so it will be able to withstand some damage, which is especially important if you have children that are in kindergarten or primary school.
One of the biggest concerns as parents is the hours children spend in front of the screen. With TÜV Rheinland certifying the screen for low blue-light emissions, this could potentially help to protect your child’s eyes from damage due to constant screen time. With online learning becoming increasingly common, this feature is one that we believe is extremely important. In fact, working adults could also use such protection for their eyes given the long hours we spend in front of screens!
To the initiated, the noise this refers to isn’t related to audio! According to ASUS, the BR1100F laptop comes with innovative 3D noise-reduction (3DNR) technology in its webcam, which claims to reduce up to 94% of random noise that affects regular cameras. This improves image quality especially in low-light settings, and while we don’t have the technical expertise to verify this, we certainly noticed an improvement in image quality compared to other laptop webcams we’ve tried in the past.
There’s also a webcam privacy shield in place which allows for easy covering of the webcam. This provides an additional level of security for your child’s lessons or general conference usage. While not crucial to a functionality of the laptop, this is another one of those nice features to have. We foresee this will be welcomed by both students and teachers, especially with light conditions likely to be at the back of their minds and learning being the top priority.
Is the ASUS BR1100F worth buying?
If your child is going through classes online or distance learning, this laptop is more than enough to enable them to go through the school day and learn effectively without much disruption.
We’d even go so far as to say that this laptop would be great for working adults who are constantly on-the-go as well due to its rugged features. Anyone that needs to quickly whip out presentations for clients will find the 360° hinge a big help, allowing the screen to be tilted all the way round or to convert the laptop to a tablet!
So all in all, the ASUS BR1100F gets a big yes from us!