Almost through all of 2020 and 2021, we had a number of students asking us to reccommend affordable laptops, as they had to switch to study-from-home mode. Most people who reached out didn’t really ask me to recommend a student-specific laptop but focused their queries on price, durability and touchscreen functionality. The ASUS BR1100F was probably conceived at the same time. It’s taken a little while for Asus to bring it to India but it promises a strong value proposition particularly for the student community.
I’m not going to use our regular review lens to evaluate this laptop. Let’s first get those hardware specs out of the way. At the heart of this laptop is an Intel Celeron N4500 processor — 1.1 GHz (4 MB cache, up to 2.8 GHz, 2 cores) that’s complemented by 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (user upgradable up to 1TB). Don’t expect the performance levels of a gaming laptop; this one is not meant for gamers. Apps load reasonably fast and I didn’t experience any stutters while browsing or using MS Office Applications. There’s a 42Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery under the hood. Our usage tests validate ASUS’ 10-hour battery claim that should get most students through a whole day of class and assignments.
The design of the ASUS BR1100F makes a big impression. I like the rugged look and the bumper to protect the exterior edges and corners is a well thought-out addition. It’s compact (the flip version we tried out weighs about 1.4 kg). It’s not just drop/spill-proof but the modular design allows you to replace key components with simple tools. Above all that, it’s the 360-degree, any-position hinge that makes the ASUS BR1100F a flexible piece of kit. It’s a laptop one moment and can switch to tablet mode in an instant. You can also use it on tent mode to watch videos or plug into online sessions. The 11.6-inch (1366 x 768 pixels) IPS Panel touchscreen boasts a TÜV Rheinland Eye Care certification to counter the effects of screen time. I’d like to point out that the colours are not super vibrant and the bezels are quite thick.
ASUS calls it a garaged stylus and it is one of our favourite features. The ASUS BR1100F comes with a stylus that is great to take notes or mark-up documents and it works quite well. It charges insanely quick – a 15-second top-up gives you enough juice for 45 minutes. This laptop is kitted with two cams – a standard cam above the display and a high-res 13MP cam that sits above the keyboard. This morphs into a tablet camera once the display is flipped to the back. It’s designed to enable kids to showcase their projects to their teachers over Video conferencing like you would do with an iPad. There’s a thoughtful Webcam shield, that slides over the physical cover to disable the webcam for instant privacy. One of the many features that makes the ASUS BR1100F a great option for students.
The ASUS BR1100F (Flip & Touch) version that we checked out is priced at Rs 29,999. There’s also the BR1100C (what ASUS calls the non-touch version) and it is priced at Rs 24,999.