Review: Asus Vivobook S15 is a rare ultrabook with a big screen
Most ultrabooks or thin notebooks come with screen size of 13 or 14-inch so they can be carried around easily. Asus Vivobook S 15, priced at Rs79,990, is one of those rare ultra thin notebook that offer a massive screen while still retaining the light form factor and slim looks that one associates with the segment of computing devices.
Design: Premium looks, light form-factor
The VivoBook S15 has all the makings of a premium notebook—full metal chassis made of aluminium and a brushed finish on the lid. This gives it a distinctive look compared to notebooks with bare metal finish. The base rests on four big and round rubber stands which holds it firmly on smooth surfaces. It weighs just 1.7kg which is impressive for a 15.6-inch screen notebook and makes it easy to carry around.
The back and front panel are flat but the edges are curved. This gives it a slimmer look than the original thickness of 17.9mm thick with the lid down. The interiors look a lot like the new Macbook Pro notebooks. It has a similar thin bezel design which gives the screen a more edge-to-edge feel, chicklet keyboard engraved in a metal frame and a wide metal hinge holding the screen and keyboard together.
Keyboard: Big keys, comfortable typing experience
The keys are flat, big and also backlit so you can type comfortably in dark. They are also well spaced so your finger would stray less towards other keys. The keys are amazingly soft and respond to the slightest of taps. You don’t have to tap hard to get the response. The palm rest is wide but the touchpad is small. The left and right clicks have been separated with a mark to so user so user would know where to click.
It covers all the connectivity basics and packs two USB 3.0 connectors and a card slot on left side panel and one USB 3.0, 1 HDMI , a USB type-C and a 3.5mm jack on the opposite side.
Display: Big and bright
The notebook’s prime attraction is the 15.6-inch non-touch display which packs resolution of 1,920x1,080p and has an anti-glare coating over it. This not only keeps reflection in brightly lit rooms at bay but also puts less stress on users’ eyes. It is a useful feature but common in notebooks at this price point these days. Despite the anti-glare coating, the screen looks vibrant and handles colours well. This makes it ideal for movie buffs.
Performance: Powered by the latest
The notebook runs Windows 10 and is powered by Intel’s top of the line Core i7 (8th gen) quad-core chipset with 16GB RAM and 128GB SSD. It also offers 1TB HDD so you have ample space for your movies, photos and games. It is one of the few ultra thin notebooks that come with a dedicated graphics. It comes with Nvidia’s new GeForce MX150 (2GB) graphics, which is an upgraded version of GeForce 940M and is ideal for modest games such as CS: Go and Dota 2 at most.It is not powerful enough for the latest and more graphic intensive PC games.
Performance with every days tasks is impressive. Apps load quickly and the notebook boots up quickly, apps open faster and even with multiple tasks we didn’t notice any hiccups. We did notice a slight amount of noise when running games. Battery backup is not on a par with the Macbook Pro’s 10 hours (but can get up to 7 hours of backup on non-stop use.
The Vivobook S15 refutes the notion that ultra thin notebooks have to keep screen size less to keep weight in check and one has to spend upwards of Rs100,000 to get the top of the line hardware. It is powered by Intel’s latest 8th Gen Core i7 chipset with dedicated graphics, and offers the comfort of a big screen, which is unheard of at this price point and the ultra-book segment. If you are looking for an ultrabook with a big screen this is the best option available in the market.
Among small screen options with high-end specs, you can consider the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51 (Rs75,990) for its premium looks and steady performance. It has a 14-inch display, runs on Intel’s Core i7 (7th gen) chipset with 8GB RAM and offers 256GB SSD. It misses out on HDD and dedicated graphics, though.