The ASUS VivoBook S15 is from the company’s more affordable thin and light VivoBook lineup of laptops, as compared to the more premium ZenBook series. Arriving at our studios since last week, we’ve had a chance to test run the brand new Asus VivoBook S15. If you’re in the market to purchase a laptop, don’t do so yet until you’ve read this review.
Asus VivoBook S15 – Specifications
|Processor||Intel® Core™ i5-10210U processor 1.6 GHz quad‑core with Turbo Boost (up to 4.2 GHz) and 6 MB cache|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home|
|Display||15.6″ LED‑backlit FHD (1920 x 1080) panel|
16:9 aspect ratio
Frameless 4‑sided NanoEdge display
88% screen‑to‑body ratio
178° wide‑view technology
|Graphics||NVIDIA® GeForce® MX250 with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM|
|Memory||8GB 2400 MHz DDR4|
|Storage||512GB PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD Intel® Optane™ memory H10 with solid-state storage (optional)|
|Wireless||Up to Intel® WiFi 6 with Gig+ (802.11ax)|
|Connectivity||1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C™ (data transfer only)|
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
2 x USB 2.0
1 x HDMI
1 x Combo audio jack
1 x MicroSD card reader
|Keyboard and touchpad||Full‑size keyboard with 1.4 mm key travel Touchpad Fingerprint (optional)|
|Audio||Array microphone with Cortana voice recognition Certified by Harman Kardon|
ASUS Tru2Life Video
|Battery||Fast charge to 60% capacity in 49 min|
50Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery
|Colors||Gaia Green / Resolute Red / Dreamy White / Indie Black|
|Size||359.8 x 233.8 x 16.1 mm|
The Asus VivoBook S15 looks really thin once you unbox it. But when you lift it up, it isn’t as light as I thought it’d be. Maybe I’m just spoiled by the fact that I reviewed the ExpertBook B9 which weighed less than a KG. However, I will say that the laptop is a lot lighter than most laptops these days. Removing all the wrapping plastics and paper, the laptop reveals its sleek and minimalist aesthetics.
We got the red colour variant, so it looks even better in our opinion. It feels sturdy and firm, especially when you open the laptop and get the hinge into action. The laptop has a solid yet premium build, mainly because of its chamfered edges and the material used. It doesn’t feel cheap at all, and the metallic surface of the laptop is also really comfortable to the touch.
On the left, you’ll find the power port, a full-sized HDMI port, a USB Type-A 3.1 port, a USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm audio combo jack. On the right, there’s two more USB Type-A 3.1 port, along with a microSD card reader. There isn’t any.
The Asus VivoBook S15’s NanoEdge display is alright, but I wish it could’ve been brighter. The display tends to have a warmer tone by default, but you can easily fix that in the MyASUS software. Not only that, you can also change the display profile from normal to vivid, or even eye care mode. I thought vivid would’ve made the colour pop even more, but It made the display look more washed out, so I reverted it back to Normal mode instead.
Apart from that, visuals look great on the large 15.6-inch display, even if it’s only on a 60Hz refresh rate Full HD panel. Details are clear, and the bezels are remarkably thin on the sides. There are laptops with even thinner bezels, but you’d have to fork out a larger sum of money for that. The VivoBook S15’s display is already large and immersive enough for our everyday use – surfing the web, reading and writing articles, YouTube watching, and etc. The large screen size will also be a plus for those online video conferences too.
The Asus VivoBook S15 is great when it comes to portability. Despite having a large 15.6-inch footprint, the laptop’s body is smaller and thinner thanks to its thin bezels. This allows me to easily store it in my backpack, with no issues at all.
This might be weird to note, but the laptop’s hinge is one of the best features about it. It’s solid as mentioned before, so it doesn’t wobble as much if you’re using it on your lap or on a wobbly table. Comparing it to the Zephyrus G14‘s hinge, this is a whole lot better. Every time I open and close it, it gives me an oddly satisfying feel.
The keyboard of the Asus VivoBook S15 could’ve scored itself full marks across the board if it didn’t have squished up keys on the function row and arrow cluster. Even the Enter key is shorter than desired, making me click on “4” instead of pressing Enter. Apart from that, the keyboard actually types just fine and the keystroke travel distance is optimal for my hands. The layout positioning is just right, and the keys have a soft yet firm and clicky feel, which is great for someone like me who types a lot.
The trackpad is a standard size, so my palms don’t get in the way. When navigating, it can get a little jerky because of the aluminium material used. But apart from that, it’s fine as you can just disable the trackpad and use a mouse instead. The wrist rest area on the sides of the trackpad are huge, and that translates to a comfortable typing experience. Even after long hours, it only gets mildly warm.
The laptop’s connectivity ports are sufficient, as they offer a rather wide range of ports for all types of devices. From USB-A, to USB-C (no Thunderbolt though), and while it doesn’t have a full sized SD card reader, you’d still get a microSD card reader, which is a plus!
When it comes to daily usage performance, everything runs smoothly. Boot up, apps and software open up fast thanks to the inclusion of an SSD, and navigation is swift and efficient thanks to the 10th generation Intel Core i5 CPU and the generous serving of 8GB of RAM. When it comes to games, the Nvidia GeForce MX250 performs well in handling Dota 2 and CS:GO at well over 80FPS at high settings. Here are a few benchmarking tools we used to test performance of the Asus VivoBook S15:
PCMark 10 – Extended
Crystal Disk Mark
The Asus VivoBook S15’s speakers are tuned by Harman Kardon and they’re loud enough that they don’t distort at high volume levels. The speakers are placed on the bottom, so the audio is fired downwards and it would bounce back up to the user.
That being said, other laptop manufacturers do this as well, but the VivoBook S15 is different in the sense that the speakers have some depth to it. The audio from the stereo speakers have a surround sound effect to it. It isn’t flat at all, as it has great mids and highs. That means dialogue is sharp, and trebles are bright. When it comes to bass, it’s adequate but understandable because of how thin the laptop is.
I’ve tested the Asus VivoBook S15 on daily everyday usage, I’d get around 11 to 12 hours of usage. My everyday tasks include playing music on Spotify in the background, article reading and writing, social media surfing, and YouTube watching. My Opera GX browser would have about 20 tabs open at the same time, and the RAM would handle it just fine. On heavier usage days where i use Photoshop and Premiere Pro, and do some light gaming, the battery would last about 4 hours and that’s pretty good.
Within the MyASUS software, there’s also the Battery Health Charging feature, similar to the one mentioned in the ExpertBook B9 review. It has different recharge ceilings to help you prolong battery lifespan.
Charging the laptop from 0% to 60% took me 53 minutes, and to charge it to full took me 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Having a 10th generation Intel Core i5 and an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU, the Asus VivoBook S15 is a reliable everyday workhorse that you can definitely count on. Not only does it get you through your daily tasks, you’d still have battery left to spare at the end of the day. Its thin and light body makes it easy to carry around with you wherever you go, making working remotely a stress-free agenda in your itinerary.
Priced at RM3,199, Asus might have labelled the price tag a little high for the VivoBook S15. But if you’re coming from a smaller and older 13-inch or 14-inch laptop, and you want something that’s bigger but still thin and light with great performance, the Asus VivoBook S15 should definitely be on your KIV list.