Asus VivoBook S15 review: Beauty beyond the edge

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By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation

Lighter and thinner than ever, the new Asus Ultrabook guarantees top performance on the go

Popular Taiwanese computer maker Asus sets out to make life easier for the busy executive with the launch of the VivoBook S15 (S510UQ), a powerful notebook computer with a sleek and slim body.

Boasting an aluminium alloy lid with brushed hairline finish and a 15.6-inch display with 1920×1080 pixel resolution, the VivoBook’s sleek chassis is only 17.9mm thick, thanks to a “Nano-Edge” design that has an ultra-narrow 7.8mm bezel and allows for maximised display and 80-per cent screentobody ratio.

As part of the improved design, the keyboard is now placed in a shallow depression, which not only looks great, but also subtly improves typing comfort. Adding to its beauty is the base panel.

Instead of using black plastic, the base is colour-matched to the other parts of the notebook and has the same luxurious sandblasted metallic finish. The VivoBook S15 weighs just 1.7 kg and if you upgrade it with a superfast SSD drive, that can drop to 1.5kg making it highly portable.

In line with the Ultrabook design, the VivoBook S15 uses a 3cell, 42W Lithium Ion battery that has up to eight hours of life. The power button is neatly integrated as part of the keyboard, giving the entire keyboard area a neat appearance. The VivoBook S15 is powered by latest 7th generation 15watts Intel Core i77500U processor and is equipped with 4 gigabytes of DDR4 2,133 MHz DRAM for working memory. It comes with one terabyte hard drive, which can be upgraded with a fast M.2 STA3 SSD drive.

It uses a Nvidia GeForce GT940MX graphic engine to render beautiful graphics that make most of its Full HD display.

The VivoBook has fast wireless connectivity, using 2×2 dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection. During the test, I connected it to a Linksys EA8500 router and could immediately access both the Internet and file sharing with other computers in my home network. The VivoBook S15 has comprehensive ports and connectors including a full-sized HDMI port on the right side for easily connecting to most TVs and projectors.

Moreover, it has a USB 3.1 Gen 1 TypeC port on the right side for expansion with fast data transfer, plus a USB 3.1 TypeA (full size) on the right side and two USB 2.0 Type A ports on the left. The SD card reader is on the left too and is great for viewing photos storing on the card from your digital camera for example.

You can also use your premium headphones with the VivoBook by connecting them to a 3.5mm audio jack on the right side. Biometric security is assured by the fingerprint scanner mounted on the top right corner of the touchpad.

The scanner works with Windows 10’s “Hello” security login feature, allowing you to quickly and conveniently log in and unlock the notebook. And its touchpad is large and smooth to touch. It supports Window 10’s precision touchpad and multigesture input with up to 4-finger gestures, making it easy to switch applications or screens.

For example, you can use three fingers to swipe down to show the desktop of the Windows or tap with two fingers to activate a right click. During the test I found that applications ran fast and smoothly under Windows 10 on the VivoBook. Business applications like my favourite LibreOffice ran smoothly and video clips played without any hiccups.

And the VivoBook’s backlit keyboard is comfortable to type on with a Chiclet-style key design that features wide, well-separated keys. Even the character markings are backlit for convenient typing in dark environments.

The VivoBook S15 has an impressive display with 700:1 contrast ratio that is great for viewing HD clips and high-resolution photos. The video display is enhanced with Asus Tru2Life Video technology that analyses every pixel in every video frame to increase contrast and sharpness and ensure smooth playback. The display also allows you to switch between four user-friendly modes – Eye care, Normal, Vivid mode and Manual. For example, in the Eye care mode, the blue light emission is reduced by 30 per cent.

In manual mode, you are allowed to adjust colour temperature manually, which is useful for professional photographers. The VivoBook S15 also sounds good with two sidefiring speakers that are powered by Asus SonicMaster audio technology. You can also use ASUS AudioWizard software that offers five intuitive presets – Music, Movie, Recording, Gaming and Speed – to suit your usage at that moment.

Apart from having long battery life, the VivoBook S15’s battery also uses rapid charge technology that allows it to be recharged from 0 to 60 per cent of the capacity in just 49 minutes.

The Asus VivoBook S15 has a suggested retail price of Bt25,990.

Asus VivoBook S15 KEY SPECS

– OS: Windows 10
– CPU: 7th-generation Intel Core i77500U
– Display: 15.6-inch (16:9) LED backlit Full HD 1920×1080) with ultra in (16:9) LED backlit Full HD 1920×1080)
– Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2 GB video memory
– Memory: 4GB DDR 2133MHz
– Storage: 1 TB HDD
– Connectivity: 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 4.2
– Camera: VGA Webcam
– Interface: 1 x USB3.1 Gen1 TypeC, 1 x USB3.1, 2 x USB2.0, 1 x Audio combo jack, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1xCard Reader (SD/SDHC/ SDXC/MMC) PushPush type
– Audio: Dual-speakers stereo audio with surround-sound effects, ASUS SonicMaster
– Security: Optional touchpadmounted fingerprint reader
– Battery: 42Whrs Lithiumpolymer, 8 hour battery life
– Dimensions: 361.4 x 243.5 x 17.9mm Weight: 1.7kg (1.5kg for SSD model)

The Nation
Republished with permission from The Nation
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