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Striking Colours, Striking Performance: ASUS Vivobook S Hands-On Review

Announced alongside ASUS’s Zenbook Pro and Zenbook S releases in an event in Taipei during Computex 2018, the Vivobook line is the brand’s mid-tier laptop line targeted at students.

With quad-core processors, shrunken bezels and a wide variety of vivid colours, the new Vivobook family promises to be a very bold back-to-school statement. It comes in Firmament Green, Star Grey, Silver Blue, Gun Metal, and Icicle Gold. While the version in Firmament Green is the same colour throughout, the other colours come as a bright trim on the sides of a metal-grey finished laptop. It also comes in 13, 14, and 15-inch screen sizes to fit the needs of different users.

Stand out from the crowd: the wide selection of bold colour variants of the ASUS Vivobook S. Image: ASUS

ASUS’s ErgoLift hinge appears on many of its new models, which the brand believes gives the device a comfortable tilt for typing and productivity. ErgoLift shifts the lid hinge up slightly, essentially utilising the bottom portion of the lid to prop up the base of the laptop.

However, the ErgoLift feature might not appeal to those who prefer to type on a flat surface (such as myself), or when caught in tight situations. Lengthy lap-bound usage might be uncomfortable with the lip of the lid digging into your thighs; small lecture-theatre ‘tables’ also eliminate any slant the feature might provide.

The new line of Vivobooks comes in three different sizes. The larger 15.6-inch Vivobook S15 weighs only 1.8kg (3.96lb), while the 14-inch Vivobook S14 tips the scales at 1.4kg (3.09lb). They’re thin enough not to get in the way of your daily commute, measuring only 18mm at their thinnest point. The smallest 13-inch Vivobook S13 weighs in at 1.2kg and is 17.9mm thick.

Sharp and stylish: the ASUS Vivobook S in Star Grey. Image: Ian Ling

On board, the I/O is ample, with a single USB 3.1 Type-C port, and three Type-A ports. There’s also a full-sized HDMI connection so you’ll never fret about adaptors for your weekly presentations, but the laptop only has a microSD card slot, which somewhat limits its usefulness if you use dedicated recording devices like cameras or voice recorders.

The keyboard performs well above average, with a tactile experience any student with a three-thousand-word count would appreciate. There’s also a fingerprint sensor for seamless logins through Windows Hello. The touchpad is roomy, for a Windows laptop.

While many other manufacturers hide lower-performing specifications under colourful exteriors, the ASUS Vivobook S13, S14 and S15 are sure to leave a strong impression both inside and out.

All Vivobook S models are configurable up to the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Coffee Lake processors and 16GB RAM, with NVIDIA GeForce MX150 discrete graphics. With these specifications, the Vivobook S comfortably supports moderate gaming and some graphics-intensive creative applications.

A dual-storage system allows for up to a 512GB SSD and 2TB HDD that ensures your endless projects and assignments always have somewhere to go.

The Vivobook S stands out as an excellent option for students or intermediate users looking for a perfect blend of bold design and performance that keeps up with the workload. Local pricing and availability has yet to be announced.

Ian Ling
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

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