2018's ASUS VivoBook S14 gets a new face that is more trendy than the previous generation.

ASUS offers a VivoBook line to provide a range of products that have a more affordable price than ZenBook while presenting high-end design and high performance. That way more users will be able to feel ASUS 'proficiency in making laptop devices.

I have been trying directly on ASUS VivoBook S14 S430UN - EB732T in my daily activities. The laptop that was first introduced at the Computex 2018 event seems to be able to fulfill all of today's computing needs, especially young people.

Curious if you have to buy it if you are looking for a powerful laptop to work with a design that is not less interesting? SPOILER: Certainly yes.

Different Beautiful Designs

The ASUS VivoBook S14 that I use is a variant of the Starry Gray-Red that combines bright red in the edges with a smoother gray color that makes it look more striking but not tacky. Plus the back has a metal brush texture that looks more premium.

This laptop is quite portable with a weight of only 1.4 kg and a thickness of only 18 mm so it's easy to put in a bag or carry anywhere. This lightweight and thin body of course will be sought by many people who want to have a practical laptop.

Although thin, the port provided is still fairly complete starting from USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port, USB-A 3.1, USB-A 2.0, HDMI, microSD and audio combo jack. That way users can connect various devices easily without the need to use a dongle.

Apart from having a beautiful design, the VivoBook S14 also has a screen that is no less captivating with a 14-inch landscape Full HD resolution coated with anti-glare that can still be seen at an angle of 178 °. Don't miss the ASUS mainstay NanoEdge design that has a thin bezel to produce 84% screen-to-body ratio.

The screen itself produces bright, sharp and detailed colors that are also comfortable in the eye when viewed continuously for a long time. There is not much I can say but ASUS continues to present a screen that is getting better than previous products and never disappoints.

Stereo speakers located below the right and left also provide clear and loud audio quality when you don't want to use headphones. This quality screen and speaker combination makes it suitable for enjoying multimedia content such as watching movies.

One of the most interesting things about this laptop is of course the new hinge design from ASUS that will make the laptop slightly raised when opened. The design called ErgoLift lifts the surface of the laptop as much as 3.5 ° so that the cooling system can work more optimally and provides a typing experience that is more comfortable like on an external keyboard.

That may be true because typing on this laptop feels very comfortable and even can be said to be the best of all ASUS VivoBook and certainly there is a top ranking of all laptops that I have tried.

For those who often read my reviews about ASUS laptops, maybe I know that I often feel the keyboard that was presented lately is less satisfying and feels a little cheap compared to competitors. This time it's all completely different from usual and I hope ASUS will leave it to another line of laptop products. 

The keyboard itself has a 1.4 mm travel key with a very precise distance between each key and backlit lights for easy typing in dark spaces. Uniquely, users can choose to prioritize the Function or Shortcut buttons so they can be adjusted to their tastes.

Under the cool keyboard there is a large touchpad so that users are more free to move the cursor. The touchpad feels very responsive and the surface of the glass is smooth making the fingers can search easily. There is also a palm-rejection feature that will not detect the palm of the hand if accidentally touched while typing.

Along with that there is an accurate and fast finger scan sensor to be used for the Windows Hello feature so that the login process becomes much safer and shorter. Only I still wonder why ASUS chose to put a finger scan sensor inside the touchpad area because it was a little annoying.

Overall I personally really like the design choices that ASUS presents on this VivoBook S14 with a combination of modern colors and the design provides something different than other mainstream laptops, but still feels familiar.

High and Smooth Performance Used

Besides having a very stylish design, ASUS VivoBook S14 S430UN - EB732T also has a performance that will make your daily computing activities comfortable. 

At its center there is an Intel Core i7-8550U 1.6 GHz speed with a turbo boost reaching 4.0 GHz, 8GB of 2400 MHz RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 graphics card. This combination is ideal because it can provide a very capable performance, without too much too.

These specifications are refined again using dual storage solutions, namely 256GB SATA3 SSD and 1TB HDD. That way users can get the best from fast operating system performance and extensive storage for personal data purposes.

While using it everyday, the VivoBook S14 runs very smooth and fast without ever feeling a lag. Thanks to good ASUS optimization, everything runs very responsive and the application opens briefly. 

This high performance can also be seen through the results of synthetic trials from several benchmark applications. Cinebench R15 shows the ability of a fast processor with the ability to achieve a value of 553 cb while in PCMark 10 which tests the entire system in daily activities synthetically get a score of 3,447.

Not only good general performance, the VivoBook S14 can also be taken to play games quite comfortably. NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card as the successor to the 900MX series has the ability to power graphics for heavier multimedia needs.

In the trial using the 3DMark application, this one laptop was able to achieve a score of 9,922 with a range of 50 FPS on the Sky Diver and a score of 4,498 with a range of 18-25 FPS on Night Raid. The benchmark results show that the VivoBook S14 S430UN is capable of running modern games quite well.

Of course the value is only a number, therefore I immediately tried to play some popular games that needed a non-light performance.

The first game was Grand Theft Auto V which was released in 2015 for PC. Even so this one game was released a few years ago, but still requires quite high specifications, especially on the processor side because there are many calculations that must be processed in open-world games.

As a result I can play GTA V quite smoothly in native 1080p resolution and Medium graphics. I can get FPS around 30-40 in almost all scenes while for more empty areas it can reach 50 FPS more.

Furthermore, the game Rise of the Tomb Raider, which was also released in 2015. This game has very charming graphics with detailed textures that require high enough specifications to be played comfortably.

I still use the same graphics settings, namely 1080p native resolution and Medium graphics quality. The game runs in the range of 25-30 FPS in open areas such as Geothermal Valley which is known to be quite heavy while in scenes with not too many objects can get FPS reaching the 40s. This number is still classified as playable and is quite playable.

The ability of the VivoBook S14 S430UN to run the two games shows that this ASUS laptop is indeed capable of playing games that have heavy graphics so there is no need to question the ability of popular eSport game titles like DOTA 2 or CS: GO.

The internal temperature of the VivoBook S14 detected during game play is quite high because it can be more than 80 ° C but fortunately it never reaches or exceeds 90 ° C as long as I try.

The keyboard surface especially the right half feels warm while the bottom feels hot enough so it's better to use a table when you want to play games. The fan also sounds pretty fast when full load even though it is still not disturbing. Uniquely hot air is released through the bottom ventilation hole of the screen instead of behind the body.

With its specifications, the temperature is still fairly reasonable and estimated. It's just very unfortunate because the VivoBook S14 can be a more perfect laptop if ASUS is able to provide a better cooling solution.

One other advantage of this laptop is the webcam that can take pictures quite clearly compared to laptops in general. Webcam is usually a part that is often overlooked so often has a quality that is even worse than a smartphone's front camera a few years ago.

Fortunately this webcam from the VivoBook S14 is very feasible to use video calls via Skype or other video communications so it's not a problem for business use.

Not bad battery power

As a laptop that is very portable and thin, of course battery life will be very important and become one of the main attractions. The ASUS VivoBook S14 itself is equipped with a 42Wh 3-cell Lithium battery as the main power source when used on a mobile basis.

In everyday life, I use a VivoBook S14 with a 100% screen brightness to work while listening to Spotify. Every now and then I also stream Youtube videos or just ordinary browsing with a large number of tabs.

With such use, this laptop can last for 3 hours 48 minutes until the remaining 20%   battery is in the power mode one level above Balance. Lift is still far below the ultrabook class which can last around 8 hours but is still above the average of most laptops in general.

Similarly, when the battery endurance test uses PCMark 8 Work Accelerated mode, this laptop is able to survive in the range of 3 hours 32 minutes with 100% screen brightness.

Fortunately this VivoBook S14 has fast charge technology that can charge up to 60% in 49 minutes. When charging while using the laptop, the battery is filled fast enough because from 20% to 60% only requires that I wait 37 minutes.

Conclusion 

The ASUS VivoBook S14 S430UN is undoubtedly the best VivoBook I've ever tried so far. Not only has a beautiful design that is cool to use, but also has high performance to accompany it.

This laptop can be regarded as an almost perfect VivoBook for 2018. Indeed there are some things that still need to be improved like a better cooling solution, but overall there is nothing that makes me disappointed at all.

ASUS VivoBook S14 S430UN - The EB732T that I use offers specifications that are ideal for users in general with some additional features that make them not outdated in the years to come.

Suitable as a multimedia device with a stunning screen and loud speaker, suitable for young workers with very smooth performance for office applications, and is suitable for students who want to take it to campus and can still be taken to play games.

Hopefully ASUS in the future will take a reference from the VivoBook S14 when producing the next generation VivoBook or maybe even other mainstream laptops in the future.