Asus Vivobook S14 Review: Perfect for right person

After a week’s worth of usage, the Asus Vivobook S14 strikes the perfect balance. Capable internals alongside a capable form factor make this laptop a viable choice. But is this the best out there?

Display

The 14-inch panel on the Vivobook S14 is the ideal size for it to stay portable. But despite being an IPS-LCD panel, it does not come with the best viewing angles. Moving the laptop lid results in visible distortion which becomes difficult when using the laptop at an angle.

The IPS-LCD panel on the Vivobook is a drawback

Brightness for the panel too is on the lower side and in combination, the media experience leaves a lot to be desired. The positive though is Asus’ NanoEdge technology that gives you an 88% screen-to-body ratio. While the bezel-less design makes content immersive, the effect is best only when looking at the laptop at closer to a 90-degree angle.

ErgoLift is the real deal

Asus’ Vivobook S14 is designed differently from the rest. The color accents may not be everyone’s cup of tea but the ErgoLift hinge is definitely a welcome addition. With this technology, the laptop rises and has a natural incline when being used. This allows for improved cooling when in use and more comfort when typing. While the incline is subtle, it does make a difference and has gotten me to use my computer keyboard at an incline too.

ErgoLift is a feature that grows on you with time

There are rubber supports that allow the Vivobook to stay like this. But when used on a lap, there is an element of discomfort. The piercing sensation is strong and in view of this, Asus could consider a softer material for future iterations.

User experience

With an Intel i7 8565U processor and NVIDIA MX150 graphics card, the Vivobook S14 is equipped well. Daily usage is fast with the laptop able to handle multiple programs with 16GB RAM. The laptop does give you enough power to edit videos however rendering times are a bit too long.

Editing video is possible on the Vivobook S14

Additionally, the panel’s color inaccuracy may not be ideal for such things. But for photo editing, the Vivobook may be a viable choice. There is plenty power from its internals and the 1TB storage and 256GB SSD provide ample storage options. Just make sure you are editing on an external display for the best color accuracy.

For a notebook, Asus has thrown in a generous selection of ports

Connecting the laptop to an external display is also simple. With a range of I/O options including HDMI, Type-C USB and Type-A USB 2.1 and 3.0 ports, the laptop is equipped well. There is no full size SD card slot or an Ethernet port though. The inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack is also useful considering the bottom mounted speakers on the Vivobook are not the best quality.

Bottom firing speakers means sound is muffled

As I mentioned before, ErgoLift helps you use the laptop’s keyboard better. But its quality too is outstanding. Keys have a good travel and the keyboard is spaced out well for extended typing. With three levels of back-lighting support, it can be used in dimmer areas too.

Asus could have done a better job with the laptop’s track pad

But the trackpad is where the Vivobook falls short. Clicks are inconsistent and not having dedicated keys is a disadvantage. There is a fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello authentication on it and while the inclusion is good, the scanner is slow to use.

Battery life

The Asus Vivobook S14 comes with a 42Wh battery. With this cell, you get above average power thanks to the power saving CPU on-board. On average, you can expect at least 6 hours of battery life with some impressive stand-by times. But if you are video editing or gaming, usage times drop significantly.

The charging brick can easily be carried around

Asus includes a unique charging brick with the laptop. It is portable and can easily be carried around while on the move unlike bulkier power bricks.

Conclusion

At its Dh3,999 price tag, the Asus Vivobook S14 does a lot of things right. Its design combined with the processing power it brings makes it a viable choice. Ideally, for someone who deals with a bit of e-mail and document editing work and a bit of graphical work, this laptop is perfect given its portable form factor.

But if someone works with graphic intensive applications regularly and wants a portable choice, this may not be it. There are more powerful machines out there that sacrifice on form factor but deliver on power and display quality. In the same breath, if you are someone who will never run intensive applications on your laptop, the Vivobook S14 is overkill and there are cheaper alternatives out there.