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ASUS VivoBook S15 Review and Buyer’s Guide

ASUS VivoBook S15 Buyers Guide



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ASUS VivoBook laptops are a line of mid-level devices that will be universal assistants for both entertainment and work, while they look bright and modern. Today we will get acquainted with the updated model from this series – VivoBook S15.

ASUS VivoBook S15 Design

ASUS VivoBook S15 S531FA looks strictly and restrained, at least in the gray color of the case, which came to us for review. Not to say that the laptop is compact and light by today’s standards. In this case, one of the features of the model is the presence of bright color options for the case. If you don’t surprise anyone with a dark gray and silver color, then the red, green and blue versions of the display lid stand out against the background of familiar laptops.

The display cover, the work area, and the sides are made of metal, and only the bottom cover is made of plastic. It is good that the metal surfaces are matte and silver, because of this, fingerprints are not so visible on them.

VivoBook S15 is perfectly assembled and feels monolithic. The decision to make the bottom plastic cover looks strange, but in practice it doesn’t bear any harm to the rigidity of the case.

In order to get to the internal components of the laptop, you must unscrew 10 screws around the perimeter of the bottom cover. After that, we get access to almost all components – the battery, hard drive, SSD, RAM slot and cooling system.

The design of the laptop is made correctly and does not cause questions about reliability. Who does not need a hard drive, can replace it with a 2.5-inch SSD. Access to the cooling system is easy. The hinges of the display unit are made of metal and screwed to the same metal working part. We have a version without a discrete video card on the review, so we see a pinout for its installation. For cooling, one heat-conducting tube is used, which is logical.

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All connectors are located on the sides. On the left, there are two USB 2.0 ports. On the right, there is a slot for a microSD memory card, an audio jack, a USB Type-C port, USB 3.0, HDMI and a port for connecting a charger. Bad that the laptop does not charge via the USB Type-C port.

ASUS VivoBook S15 Review and Buyers GuideTo open the laptop there is a small recess in the lower part, which allows you to comfortably open it even with one hand. The display hinge is moderately tight. One of the design features is that when opened, the display unit lifts the base. This design has been used more than once in other ASUS laptops. And if you are afraid that the display cover is scratched, then do not worry, the manufacturer provided for this and made two small rubberized influx at the ends of the cover. By the way, thanks to this design, the operation of the cooling system is simplified. The opening angle of the screen is standard and it is enough for comfortable use.

If you think that the thin frames of the display unit have a negative effect on rigidity, then you are mistaken. In practice, it is minimally prone to bending. There is no fingerprint scanner, but it is possible to log in using the face recognition system (Windows Hello). I liked the sound of the Harman / Kardon speakers, but it’s not the best among laptops. Yes, there is volume, even a little audible low frequency, but I would like more volume and power. Looking at the company logo you expect more. At the same time, it still sounds much better than budget laptops and there is no desire to turn it off. Sound artifacts can be heard only at the maximum value, and if you reduce it by just a couple of divisions, they immediately disappear.

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ASUS VivoBook S15 Keyboard and touchpad

ASUS VivoBook S15 Review and Buyers GuideThe keyboard is slightly recessed inside the operation panel to protect the screen. Full-sized silver keys have a small but clear move. There is no deflection of the keyboard substrate, which improves convenience when typing large amounts of text. An additional digital unit is a bit cut off in size, but it’s good that it is there at all, as many manufacturers have already abandoned it. The keyboard has three gradations of brightness, but the backlight is not made in the best way because it is very noticeable how the keys are highlighted under the buttons. At the same time, I very rarely turned on the backlight, since the white keys are well illuminated by the screen.

The touchpad is large and tactilely enjoyable. The finger easily glides over its surface, and the built-in keys are pressed clearly and not loudly.

ASUS VivoBook S15 Screen

ASUS VivoBook S15 Review and Buyers GuideThe VivoBook S15 S531FA is equipped with a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display. It is worth noting that 88% of the panel takes up the screen, this is a good indicator, as for a laptop.

The maximum screen brightness is 217 cd/m2, and the minimum 12 cd / m2. Contrast – 1 to 693. Calibration of the display is far from the reference. The color gamut does not coincide with the sRGB triangle at all, the gamma is also not a reference, but the temperature is close to the recommended one.

At the same time, subjectively, I liked the screen, but when working on the street I want a greater supply of brightness. The color reproduction is dominated by cold shades, although you quickly get used to them, and no longer notice it. I would also like the display to have more saturated colors.

ASUS VivoBook S15 Hardware

ASUS VivoBook S15 S531FA is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8565U processor, an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics card, 16 GB of RAM, and two 1 TB PCIe SSDs and 1 TB hard drive. But do not forget that of the possible configurations there is an option with an Intel Core i5-8265U processor and less capacious SSD drives, which will significantly reduce the price without losing much in performance.

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For daily tasks, the power of the Intel Core i7-8565U is abundant. At the moment, I don’t understand the moment with the presence of a discrete video card, but without it, there’s really nothing to load a sufficiently efficient processor (except for a benchmark). If there was a video card, then it would be advisable to those who are engaged in processing photos or amateur video, because not even a top video card significantly reduces processing time.

Built-in drives show albeit not record-breaking, but rather high-performance indicators. For games, this laptop is not suitable, as the graphics are integrated, although the old toys will start, still, this is not the main purpose of the model.

ASUS VivoBook S15 Battery Performance

ASUS VivoBook S15 Review and Buyers GuideThe battery has a power of 42 W and consists of three cells. A 45 W complete charger can charge the battery by 60% in 49 minutes, which is a good result for a laptop.

In the PCMark 8 Home Accelerated (Battery life) test at maximum brightness, the running time was 2 hours 11 minutes. In the PCMark 8 Work Accelerated (Battery life) test, it worked for 2 hours 46 minutes at maximum brightness. When browsing and watching videos, autonomy is greatly increased and you can expect 4 hours if you reduce the brightness of the display.

ASUS VivoBook S15 Conclusion

ASUS VivoBook S15 S531FA is a universal laptop that is well suited for both business and home use. The model attracts with high-quality performance, high performance, a comfortable keyboard, and touchpad, as well as the ability to upgrade. But I would also like it to have a better calibrated display

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