- Good Battery Life
- Bigger Screen-to-Body Ratio
- Decent Keyboard with Backlight
- Really Light & Thin
- Internal Can be Upgraded
- Insufficient 4GB RAM
If you’ve read our previous ASUS Vivobook reviews, you’d realize that this particular segment is targeted towards consumers that wants the essentials. During our time reviewing the S15, we were surprised with what it offers for such price tag. Same case applies for the Vivobook A510U as well. One thing with these Vivobook – is – it’s huge.
Along with these Vivobook, Asus announced their smaller version – and that’s the Asus Vivobook S14. During my trip to Japan, I chose to bring this particular laptop with me for both work and play. After using it for a while, it’s about time for me to give you my final verdict in this Asus Vivobook S14 Review.
Design and Build Quality
Remember the Vivobook S15’s design? Expect the same with the Vivobook S14 – in a good way. On the top, it carries the same brushed aluminum finish which gives the laptop a premium touch to it. As for the rest of the body that houses the components and sorts, it’s constructed in a really good high-grade plastic material. As for the enclosure at the bottom, it has a thin plastic enclosure – which is alright.
Opening the lid with just one finger is easy as there’s a lip right at the middle that helps you out with that. Around the display, you’ll notice that it has thinner bezels – which we will talk more about it in the display segment of this review. The area of the keyboard is big and there’s no number pad on it. The keyboard sinks into the chassis giving it a flushed look. The palm rest on both side of the trackpad is big and sufficient enough to rest and type.
So far, it feels like I am using the bigger Vivobook S15.
On the left side, the device has 4 I/O to be specific. Starting off with the charging port – followed by a USB 3.1 Type A (Gen 1), Micro HDMI 1.4 and a USB 3.1 Type C (Gen 1). On the right side of the laptop, we have a MicroSD Card slot, a 3.5mm Headphone Jack and finally a USB 2.0 – with slower speeds.
For a thin profile laptop, it does have a good selection of ports but you still might have to carry a USB Dongle, if you have one too many devices to connect to. Another nice touch would be including a Full-Size HDMI port, but either way – I am okay with it.
Specification and Performance
The unit that we received for review came with this particular specification.
- Intel Core i3 – 7100U Processor with a Clock Speed of 2.4GHz
- Intel HD Graphics 620 (7th Generation Core i Processor)
- 4GB LPDDR3 RAM (Can be upgraded up to 16GB LPDDR3)
- 128GB SATA3 M.2 SSD
Now if you want a better configuration, Asus does offer two other variant that’s equipped with an 8th Generation Intel Core i5/i7 Processor with Intel UHD Graphics 620.
In terms of performance for a specification like that, expect it to run smooth with normal task – thanks to the 128GB M.2 SSD that’s included in the system. This does improve application loading time a lot and the read/write speeds are higher than a conventional HDD. Only downside with this SSD is the fact that, 128GB can fill up in no time. But fret not because thanks to the inclusion of an MicroSD card slot, you can pop one in and not worry about a single thing about it. Take note, the speed will vary accordingly. Now having 4GB of RAM did give a bit of bottlenecking with the laptop, especially running Google Chrome, Word and other small application side by side. It was definitely a huge bummer for me because I tend to open up a lot of tabs on mine. So, that’s that. But if you are doing some light use, that shouldn’t give you any problem.
During my time preparing questions for an Interview session in Japan, I was able to switch between 3-5 tabs of Chrome and Microsoft Word 365 with no hiccups. That’s a huge deal for me. The fact that it runs Intel HD Graphics 620 might sound sad, especially who wants to take a bit of gaming on the go. The thing is, you can play older titles – I played Cuphead, Devil May Cry – two of my favorite older titles. It works like a charm. Be careful as it gets hot over time.
The Vivobook S14 was equipped with a 14” Display with Anti-Glare coating on it.
- 14.0” FHD 1920×1080 Resolution.
For a FHD display, it has a brightness peak of 300 nits. It covers 72% of the NTSC Color Space. The brightness isn’t the greatest but it’s decent enough – it’s visually pleasing. One thing that I like about the VivoBook S14 is the fact that it has a bigger screen-to-body ratio. They managed to cramp in a 14” display into a 13” body.
It houses an IPS Panel, with 178 degrees viewing angle, it wasn’t as washed off as the Vivobook A15 which we reviewed last round. The quality was on par with the S15 we reviewed. Thanks to the matte finish, viewing content under white light is fair. With a peak brightness of 200 nits, it’s not the brightest display but I wish it was brighter than 200 nits.
Even though, it’s not the greatest but the display is good enough.
It’s equipped with a 39WHrs, 2S1P – 2 cell Lithium Ion Battery under the hood. The thing about the VivoBook series, almost every single one of them offers great battery life. With, it’s no surprise that the S14 gave a good battery life as well. After a complete charge, I was able to use the laptop for 4 hours or so.
As for charging, Asus has included a 45W AC Adapter that gives an output of 19V DC, 2.37A. Charging the laptop back to it’s full percentage took about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Keyboard and Mouse
As for the keyboard, the Vivobook S14 features a Chiclet Keyboard with a key travel distance of 1.4mm. The typing experience is nice, and the keystrokes were properly registered. Even tapping at the corner of a key registers the character well. It has a rough texture look to it, but the key quality feels decent. One good thing about the Vivobook S14 keyboard is the fact that it has an LED Backlight. This means, you can type at night with no issue and no worry about a single thing.
The trackpad on the Vivobook S14 has a similar size as the Zenbook 3 Deluxe, which we reviewed a while back. The fingerprint sensor is located at the top right corner of the track pad. Thanks to the Windows Precision drivers, this trackpad is smooth, quick and responsive. It supports all the windows Gestures for multitasking and swift switching.
For the speakers, Asus has opted in for a Dual Speaker with their in-house SonicMaster Technology. During my time, I was watching movies and series. The speaker sounded alright. I streamed content from Netflix and listened to my favorite jam on iTunes. For a laptop speaker it’s decent.
Connectivity & Security
As for connectivity, the Vivobook S14 supports 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and it also comes with Bluetooth 4.1. With my case, pairing it with my Logitech Peripherals and even my Bluetooth earphones were snappy and quick. It does not have a Gigabit Ethernet port but if you want one, you can always get the accessory to connect and use it on your laptop.
For a laptop targeted towards consumer who just needs the essentials, sometimes getting a bit more for what you pay can be a lot fun. In this case, the VivoBook S14 supports Windows Hello for seamless login with the help of your fingerprint sensor.
That’s about the Vivobook S14. You might be wondering who the target audience for this laptop are. Let’s say all you need is a laptop to work or study on, the Vivobook S14 will suit your daily needs. With a long-lasting battery, I am very sure you can jump back-to-back in classes without even worrying about connecting it to the nearest wall adapter. If you ever wanted to own an Ultrabook, the VivoBook feels like an affordable Zenbook but just with the essentials.
If you are someone who’d prefer to play some games on your laptop during your free time, then you can check out their bigger option – the Vivobook S15.