- A+ Battery Life
- Decent Performance
- Nice Build Quality
- Affordable Price Tag
The Vivobook series has so much of options at so many price tags. One of their recent addition is the Vivobook Ultra series – as the name suggest, it claims to be ultra at something. That is the battery life. Well, it’s time for us to find out how good it is. Here’s the ASUS Vivobook Ultra 14 K403 Review.
Design and Build Quality
The moment I took the laptop out of the box, I swear the design of this particular Vivobook was vaguely similar to a laptop which we took a look at last year. In fact, it’s the exact same design as the Zenbook which we saw last year but with some changes here and there. The hinges on the Vivobook 14 is exactly the same, which I have no complaints about. Just that it would have been nice to see the Ergolift on this too. Other than that, the rest of the laptop feels simple and nothing over the top. This Vivobook quickly grew on be because it has the most subtle shade of pink I have ever come across on a laptop, which is really appealing. I have to give them that. If Pink isn’t your jam, ASUS offers the Vivobook Ultra 14 in a near black finish as well.
The laptop is constructed in a mixture of (mostly) metal and plastic. I personally love the build quality on this because it feels really solid. There’s very minimal flex to the body – on the keyboard area. The finish is cleaner and nice to hold. One other good thing about this Vivobook is that – it has a MIL-ST Grade protection. This means that the laptop has the capability to withstand some drops and take a beat.
ASUS Vivobook Ultra 14 packs a very beautiful 14” FHD Display which is an IPS Panel, of course. Nice thing about IPS panels is that they have a better viewing angle and offers better color as well. With that said, the display here also has an anti-reflective matte coating to do exactly what the name suggests. Watching shows on Netflix, using it solely for productivity is really fun. One other noticeable thing about the display on the Vivobook 14 is that the bezels around the display is extremely thin. This is their way of increasing the screen-to-body ratio without increasing the footprint of the laptop. Therefore more room for you to work things.
For a small profile laptop, it has enough ports for you to get through things without worrying about getting a dongle. On one side, we have DC IN, HDMI Port, Full Size USB, USB C and the Battery Indicator. Whereas on the other side, it has another Full Size USB, SD Card reader (Yes, a full sized SD Card Reader) and a Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack.
I appreciate the fact that this laptop has a Full Size SD Card Reader because as a content creator, it can be a pain to carry an external SD Card reader.
Specification and Performance
The variant we reviewed comes equipped with the following specification:
- Intel Core i3 Processor, 8th Generation 8145U
- Intel HD Graphics 620
- 8GB DDR3 RAM
- 512GB PCIe SSD
The laptop is extremely light and doesn’t have an discreet graphics card – but wait, there’s a reason for that – that’s where the battery life comes in. But before that, let’s get into the benchmarks. First to try out the laptop’s SSD Performance – we launched CrystalDiskMark and ran a speed test. In the Sequential Q32T1 Test, we had a read speed of 1874MB/s and write speed of 893.7MB/s respectively. This shows how fast the SSD has the capability to read and write. Good thing about it is that – you can have a fast bootup time, faster loading time in application and most of all, being able to access files in a snap. Moving on we used CPU-Z to verify the specification under the hood and also used Geekbench 4 to benchmark the system – to which you can find the screenshots below.
In a day-to-day usage with that specification, it has the potential to run all your day-to-day productivity based tasks such as Office, Chrome and so on. But as it doesn’t have a dedicated/discrete GPU, it doesn’t have enough horsepower to handle some hard core task such as gaming or even trying AAA titles. But if you still want to play some games, you can – like older titles or even Cuphead which we tried and that worked just fine. It does have an Intel HD Graphics 620, so we launched to see if Lightroom works and to our surprise it worked fine. You can do a bit of light editing and get things done on the go to.
Possibly the best part about this laptop that got my attention. It’s hard to come by a laptop that offers good battery life and the only laptop that I came across during my time reviewing it is the HUAWEI Matebook X Pro. But guess what, we have a new winner. The Vivobook 14 Ultra houses a 72Wh Lithium Polymer, 4 cell battery under the hood. This is possibly the best laptop I have ever come across. Truth be told, I didn’t charge this laptop for two days and I managed to get enough time to use it and get my task done. Nothing beats that. I had each day about 4-5 hours of usage and yet on the second day, I still had about 23% left to get more work done.
Asus claims that it can offer up to 24 hours battery life. But try enabling that Windows Battery Saver mode, it’s going to last longer than that. I can tell you that. During our time, we didn’t edit much but there were incidences like once or twice, mostly media consumption and productivity based tasks.
Trackpad, Keyboard and Speaker
The trackpad on the Vivobook 14 is long and offers enough space for you to move the cursor around on screen. It has a glass-like layer on top which is nice to use and performing Windows Gestures are fun as it’s accurate and precise. On the top right corner, they have the fingerprint sensor which allows you to unlock the laptop with one tap away.
The laptop has a normal full sized Chiclet style keyboard with a key travel of 1.2mm. It also has a backlight for easier typing experience in the dark. The keys have a minimal inward curve as you can see in our product shot. With that, typing on this keyboard is nice and easy. Had a good experience typing on this keyboard and don’t think there’s anything off about it.
Finally the speakers, the laptop has two bottom firing speakers which works well and sounds pretty good. For a small laptop, it has some punchy speakers. If you are planning to listen to some jam or watch movie, well, the speaker is sufficient enough to fulfill your entertainment needs.
Truth be told, the Vivobook 14 Ultra literally caught my attention because of one reason – the amazing battery life it gives to get your work going on and on. In such small profile, it has a decent performance too. The Vivobook 14 Ultra is the affordable thin and light to give an Ultrabook experience – with no dongles of course.