Asus Vivobook S doesn’t compromise slimness, even as performance demands grow - Hindustan Times
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Asus Vivobook S doesn’t compromise slimness, even as performance demands grow

May 21, 2024 12:05 PM IST

The Vivobook S series, in the 15-inch and 16-inch OLED screen options, get the spectrum of Intel Core Ultra chips at different price points

Since we ushered in the year, Asus has been absolutely on point with their laptop portfolio refresh. The premium Zenbook 14 OLED underlined Asus’ intention to make this display technology the standard. A little later, the Zenbook 13 OLED signified the continued importance of an ultra-slim, powerful laptop. Then came the logical progression, of the Zenbook Duo, complete with two OLED screens and a very usable implementation. It is now time for the more affordable price points to see newer chips, performance and of course, led by Asus’ intent with the Lumina OLED display tech. The Vivobook S that we’re detailing here, is part of a wider choice of processors across Intel and AMD’s latest silicon.

The Vivobook S series, in the 15-inch and 16-inch OLED screen options, get the spectrum of Intel Core Ultra chips at different price points(HT Photo)
The Vivobook S series, in the 15-inch and 16-inch OLED screen options, get the spectrum of Intel Core Ultra chips at different price points(HT Photo)

The Vivobook S series, in the 15-inch and 16-inch OLED screen options, gets the spectrum of Intel Core Ultra chips at different price points, all with neural processing units (NPU) for AI use as those on-device cases develop. The one that I’m testing here is the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H, paired with 16GB RAM. The range is priced between 102,990 to 129,990, with the specification we are assessing here sitting somewhere mid-range, priced at 116,990.

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The performance, to say the least, is rather impressive. A contributing factor is Asus cutting down on preloaded apps to a certain extent, which doesn’t go about unnecessarily drawing on system resources. It is a fast 1TB M.2 SSD storage, and those nippy read and write speeds are why your apps will open in a jiffy and switching between apps for multitasking will be quite breezy.

You’ll notice in the built-in MyAsus management app, Asus gives you an option to allocate additional memory for Intel’s integrated graphics solution called the iGPU, the idea being to be able to draw more performance for tasks including casual gaming, creative workflows including image editing and video encoding. You can choose between 1GB and 8GB from the memory that the system has. This however will not be a solution for you in case graphically intensive video game titles are what you’re looking at – that’s not what the Vivobook S is ideally meant for.

For an ultra-slim laptop that can manage heating as well as the Vivobook S does, it translates into good battery life as well. In our tests as a primary work machine, the battery runs close to 13 hours on a single charge – that is, if care is taken to close unused apps and keep the screen brightness at around 30%. The mileage will vary according to the apps and multitasking, but you’re likely to be sitting within use cases wherein leaving the USB-C charging adapter (it’s quite compact, mind you) at home may very well be an option.

The Vivobook S is a very nicely designed slim laptop, and its generational advantage is best identified by the dedicated Copilot key. A few laptops have begun to integrate it. Then there’s the option to change the colours for the keyboard backlighting. It is difficult to ignore the design element near the back of the lid, with a rather nice-looking cut-out your only real hint at a hinge that’s been architecturally reworked – it is smaller than most other laptops, a reason why the Vivobook S remains 15.9mm thick.

Saving the best for last, which is the OLED screen. This is an extension of Asus’ push for OLED as the display tech across its laptop lines. These screens are bright and rich, blacks look naturally deep as they should, and there’s the addition of blue light reduction. Much like Asus’ premium laptop we saw earlier this year, this also gets the OLED burn-in prevention algorithms – OLED screens, when displaying static images for a sustained period, can result in some level of pixel degradation in that region. Asus’ method alters the current passing through degraded pixels if that happens, and before that, regularly refreshes all pixels on the display to ensure such a scenario doesn’t happen in the first place. Quite how well all this holds up over the years, time shall unveil.

The Vivobook S, across its display size options, is a very good example of premium features and experience trickling down to more affordable laptops. We’re moving in that direction with the Vivobook S, the OLED display being a highlight. There is perceptible attention to detail with the design and in making the laptop as slim as it is, and the value enhancers such as AI overlays for the webcam performance and Harman Kardon tuned speakers. There’s very little that’s not premium in the Vivobook S, which means you’re getting value for the money you spend.

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