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Business News/ Technology / Tech Reviews/  Asus Vivobook S16 OLED review: Lightweight and powerful laptop for professionals

Asus Vivobook S16 OLED review: Lightweight and powerful laptop for professionals

Asus Vivobook S16 OLED is a compelling Windows laptop for professionals. It has a 16-inch OLED screen, a light and stylish design, an RGB keyboard, a large trackpad, loud stereo speakers, and excellent battery life.

Asus Vivobook S16 OLED starts at a price of 1,02,990 in India.

Over the years, Windows laptops have lagged behind their Apple counterparts, thanks to the latter's superior build quality, more powerful M series silicon, an intuitive user experience with the MacOS interface, better trackpads and longer battery life. What if I told you there's a new Windows laptop in town that aims to change all that? Well, that's where the new Asus Vivobook S16 OLED comes in, with its 16-inch OLED screen, larger trackpad and RGB-illuminated keyboard in a slim and lightweight form factor.

I've been using the Vivobook S16 OLED as my daily driver for over 20 days, and here's my assessment of how the new Asus laptop has fared in everyday use.

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Design:

The Vivobook S16 OLED that I received comes in this metallic blue finish that Asus calls 'Misty Blue' (for those who prefer darker shades, there is also another colour option called Neutral Black).

As soon as you remove the packaging, you'll notice that this is a very thin and light laptop, measuring just 13.9 mm in thickness and around 1.5 kg in weight. The large 16-inch form factor does mean that it might be a little difficult to fit into most commercial backpacks, but it will also come in handy for professionals who are constantly on the move and prefer a larger display.

The new Vivobook also has plenty of connectivity options including 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports, 2 USB 3.2 ports, an HDMI port, a microSD card reader and a headphone jack.

The S16 OLED comes with a full-size keyboard with single-zone RGB backlighting and a number pad. Following the trend of adding AI functionality to devices, Asus has added a dedicated copilot key to the keyboard (PS. I'm not a big fan of the copilot key and missed the right ctrl key, but that may vary from user to user). However, there is no dedicated fingerprint sensor on the laptop and users will have to make do with Windows' Face Unlock.

Display:

The Vivobook S16 OLED features a 16-inch 3.2K Lumina OLED display with 3200 x 2000 pixel resolution, 120Hz refresh rate and 16:10 aspect ratio. The display on the latest Vivobook has a 100 per cent DCI-P3 colour gamut and Pantone validation for professional-grade colour accuracy. Specifications aside, this is a pretty great screen with vibrant colours and exceptional clarity, making it ideal for watching movies and TV shows. The Vivobook's attention to detail should also come in handy for video editing tasks where the colour accuracy of the display is important.

The immersive screen also makes everyday tasks such as surfing the web, writing in Microsoft Word or creating a PowerPoint presentation feel like a breeze. I used the laptop mainly for writing and the occasional binge-watching session, both of which were enhanced by the screen's high contrast, true-to-life colours and fluid motion.

A movie playing on Asus Vivobook S16 OLED.

I tried using the laptop in a variety of lighting conditions and the 600 nits of peak brightness ensured that I had no problems with readability, even in direct sunlight. This is a 180-degree screen, supported by two hinges at the bottom. The hinge mechanism feels solid and the lid opens easily, even with one finger.

To get the most out of this screen, you need to go into the MyASUS app and select the DCI-P3 colour option. Asus also allows users to adjust the display and volume settings to their liking. I particularly liked the Volume Booster option, which had a slight impact on clarity but allowed me to get a loud sound even in a rather noisy room.

Asus Vivobook S16 OLED features a 16 inch OLED display with 600 nits of peak brightness.
Asus Vivobook S16 display

Functionality:

Apart from the stunning display, the laptop also comes with RGB lighting on the keyboard, which definitely enhances the user experience. As with everything else on this laptop, Asus allows the user to change the lighting effect to their liking.

Coming from a 14-inch machine, it took me a day or two to get used to the massive keyboard on this laptop. But once I did, it provided a very smooth and quiet typing experience. The Vivobook's larger trackpad is also quite fluid and handles all Windows gestures pretty well.

RGB lightning keyboard on Asus Vivobook S16 OLED

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The new Vivobook comes with a 1080p full HD webcam, which is good for attending meetings and making video calls. Asus has also improved the functionality of the webcam with a ton of AI features like auto framing, eye contact (helps you make eye contact even when you are looking elsewhere) and background blur.

To be honest, I thought the Auto Framing feature was going to be another one of those gimmicky features that are heavily marketed but don't really translate well into real-world usage. However, it turned out to be quite useful in everyday situations, with the camera slowly shifting as the user moves to ensure they are always in the frame.

Asus also ships the laptop with an AI noise-cancelling microphone feature, which can be customized according to the users' liking by navigating to the MyASUS application.

Performance and battery:

The variant of the Vivobook S16 OLED that I received has Intel's latest Core Ultra 7 chipset with 16GB of LPDDR5x RAM and 1TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. The new Vivobook has integrated Intel Arc graphics and an Intel AI boost NPU. There are two other variants of this laptop, the Intel Ultra Core 5 and Intel Core 9 processors.

When it comes to benchmarks, the laptop had an overall productivity score of 4755 on PCMark 10. On Geekbench 6, the S16 OLED achieved a single-core score of 1377 and a multi-core score of 9446. Meanwhile, the Asus laptop managed a graphics score of 3,637 and a CPU score of 8,647 on 3D Mark's Time Spy benchmark.

Aus Vivobook S16 Pro OLED benchmark numbers

In terms of day-to-day use, I had no problems using the laptop and it handled all my daily tasks with ease, including opening dozens of browser tabs and switching between different applications. Despite the scorching conditions outside, I was quite impressed with the heat management on this machine, as it managed to handle the thermals quite well during regular tasks.

That being said, the laptop did get quite warm while running the PCMark 10 benchmark, but it managed to maintain the thermals during other benchmark tests.

The new Vivobook comes with a 75Wh battery, which can be charged with the included 90W charger. Using the bundled charger, it took me 1.5 - 2 hours to charge the laptop from 0 to 100.

While Asus claims a battery life of around 16 hours for this device, the Vivobook lasted around 9-10 hours on a single charge in my usage, which is still pretty decent for most users. Battery life may be shorter for users who are constantly streaming movies or playing games, but even then I would wager that the laptop can still deliver around 5-6 hours of backup.

Price and verdict:

The Vivobook S16 OLED starts at 1,02,990 for the Intel Core Ultra 5 variant, while the Core Ultra 7 variant I used is priced at 1,16,990. Meanwhile, the top-end variant with the Core Ultra 9 chipset sells for 1,29,990.

For this price, the laptop offers a stunning and large 16-inch OLED screen, a light and stylish design, an RGB keyboard, a large trackpad, loud stereo speakers and great battery life. It also comes with some nifty features such as autoframe, background blur and AI noise reduction.

The lack of a dedicated fingerprint sensor is a big miss, in my opinion, as the Windows face reader isn't that intuitive to use, especially in poor lighting conditions. However, the latest Vivobook is still a very compelling package, especially for professionals who are constantly on the move and need a reliable yet lightweight laptop.

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