Increasingly, we are looking for laptops that are lightweight, powerful and offer maximum utility. And in the Asus Vivobook S14, you might be looking at this exact combination and more.
Design and build quality
While not the thinnest laptops out there, the Asus Vivobook S14 makes up for this with its lightweight 1.4kg build. The brushed aluminium finish adds a splash of premium whereas the orange edges give the laptop character. One thing that also stands out is the lid of the laptop which is sturdy and robust feeling. When opening up, the bottom of the laptop rises for improved typing and cooling, a feature Asus likes to call ErgoLift.
But it is not just this design feature that compliments the typing experience. The keyboard on the Vivobook S14 has a good level of travel for extended use and support for three levels of back-lighting. So for work involving typing, this is an ideal choice. But the track-pad quality feels a bit cheaper than ideal.
Asus has not skimped out on port selection though. The array includes a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a variety of USB 3.1 and 2.0 Type-A ports, an HDMI port and an SD card reader although it is not full size. For someone who is not fond of dongles and adapters, the variety and choice of ports is ideal.
Multimedia and display
Aside from ErgoLift, another flagship Asus feature that makes it onto the Vivobook S14 is its NanoEdge display. Like the name suggests, you get a 14-inch panel with an 88 per cent screen-to-body ratio at a Full HD (1080p) resolution, without sacrificing the video camera. While the display is IPS-level, viewing angles are not good. And additionally, the panel lacks the pop of color that one might get from a similar OLED panel.
This impacts visuals when watching content even with an anti-glare coating on the screen to reduce distraction from surrounding light. And unfortunately, the speakers on the laptop do not make up for this. There are two SonicMaster speakers from Asus on-board but they are bottom mounted which in turn sacrifices sound quality. So for the best sound, using the 3.5mm headphone jack might be your best bet.
Processing power and software
With an eighth-generation Intel core-i7 8565U and NVIDIA MX150 graphics, the Vivobook S14 is no slouch. This variant of the processor is specific to saving energy which should bode well wit the 42Whr battery on the laptop. Aside this, you get a generous 16GB RAM and a hybrid 1TB hard disk space and 256GB of solid state SSD storage.
On the overall, this list of specifications will offer a good middle ground experience. The laptop would even be suited for light gaming and video editing but for hardcore creatives, the screen quality may be a drawback. What will be interesting is how the ErgoLift helps with cooling performance in higher intensity applications.
Aside from this, the software on the Vivobook S14 is Windows 10 as expected. While this is standard, I found the Windows Hello support with the fingerprint scanner on the laptop to be a great and convenient inclusion.
There are aspects of this laptop that still need testing. How the machine’s temperatures hold up and how the battery performs. The included charging adapter is also portable and unique so it will be an exciting couple of days. But for a first impression, it could not have been better for the Asus Vivobook S14. This particular variant of the machine is available for Dh3,999 in a variety different color options.