Tag Archives: ASUS VivoBook

The ASUS VivoBook S15 (S510U) Laptop Review

In June, ASUS revealed the 2017 ASUS ZenBook & VivoBook laptops, with the first VivoBook units arriving in August. Much of the attention was focused on the ASUS ZenBook models, but what about the VivoBooks? In this review, we will take a close look at the ASUS VivoBook S15 (S510) laptop, and see what this hidden gem offers!

 

The ASUS VivoBook S15 (S510U) Laptop

The ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) is available in a variety of configurations. The model we reviewed is the Icicle Gold-coloured S510U with a dual-core Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 4 GB of RAM and a storage configuration of a 128 GB SSD and a 1 TB hard disk drive.

Let’s take a look at the VivoBook S15’s specifications and other available configuration options :

SpecificationsASUS VivoBook S15 (S510U)Other Available Options
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 HomeMicrosoft Windows 10 Professional
Endless OS
ProcessorIntel Core i5-7200UIntel Core i7-8550U
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i7-7500U
Intel Core i3-7100U
Memory4 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
16 GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM
Display15.6" Full HD anti-glare LED display (60 Hz)
- 45% NTSC colour gamut, 178˚viewing angle
15.6" HD anti-glare LED display (60 Hz)
- 45% NTSC colour gamut
Graphics ProcessorNVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2 GB GDDR5 SDRAM)
Storage128 GB SATA3 M.2 SSD
1 TB SATA3 HDD (5400 RPM)
256 GB SATA3 M.2 SSD
512 GB SATA3 M.2 SSD
500 GB SATA3 HDD (5400 RPM)
2 TB SATA3 HDD (5400 RPM)
Card ReaderSD/SDHC Card Reader
WebcamVGA Web Camera (640 x 480)
NetworkingWiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
Bluetooth v4.1
Interfaces1 x 3.5 mm microphone + headphone port
1 x USB 3.1 Type C port
1 x USB 3.1 Type A port
2 x USB 2.0 Type A ports
1 x HDMI port
Fingerprint SensorYes, integrated into touch pad
AudioStereo 2 W speakers + microphone
ASUS SonicMaster Technology
KeyboardFull-sized backlit keyboard (1.4 mm key travel)Full-sized keyboard (1.4 mm key travel)
Battery3 cell lithium-ion polymer battery (42 WHrs)
- Fast charging capability (60% in 49 minutes)
Dimensions364.4 mm wide
243.5 mm deep
17.9 mm thick
Weight1.7 kg1.5 kg (with SSD only)
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Unboxing The ASUS VivoBook S15

The ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) comes in the form of a box and a bundled backpack. Let’s take a look at the package, and unbox the ASUS VivoBook S15!

The entirety of the ASUS VivoBook S15 package consists of :

  • One ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) laptop
  • One 65 W ASUS compact power adaptor with power cord
  • One set of ASUS VivoBook S15 user guides
  • One ASUS 15.6″ laptop backpack

Next Page > The ASUS VivoBook S15 Up Close & NanoEdge Display

 

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The ASUS VivoBook S15 Up Close

The ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) is the latest and most premium model in the ASUS VivoBook series. It is a slim and lightweight 15.6″ Windows 10 laptop in a form factor of a traditional 14″ laptop, thanks to its 7.8 mm bezel. It is also extremely thin at just 17.9 mm and weighs only 1.7 kg.

On the left side of the VivoBook S15, you will find two USB 2.0 ports and an SD/SDHC card reader. The USB 2.0 ports are quite a disappointment. For a 2017 model, we would have expected no less than USB 3.0 ports.

There are two USB 3.1 ports on the right side, flanking the HDMI port – one Type A port, and one Type C reversible port. Both are Gen 1 ports, which means they’re really USB 3.0 ports for all intents and purposes. You will also find a 3.5 mm earphone and microphone port, with power port at the far end.

You may also note by now how thin the VivoBook S15 really is. At its thickest point, it is just under 18 mm in thickness. It is much thinner than traditional 14″ laptops, putting the VivoBook S15 (Price Check) in the UltraBook category.

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ASUS NanoEdge Display

The VivoBook S15 (Price Check) boasts what ASUS calls their NanoEdge display. That’s a fancy name for a narrow bezel design already common in high-end laptops and UltraBooks, but not more affordable laptops like the VivoBook S15.

This is an important point to note, because the narrow 7.8 mm bezel allows ASUS to fit a large 15.6″ display into the form factor of a traditional 14″ laptop. The end result is a smaller form factor for the same large display. In fact, it has an 80% screen-to-body ratio.

The display itself uses an IPS panel, with a wide 178° viewing angle, and a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. It has an LED backlight with a decent colour gamut of 45% NTSC. All-in-all, this is a beautiful display.

Just above the display though is a web camera with an astoundingly low resolution of 640 x 480, rendering it virtually useless. We would have expected no less than a 720p webcam with 3X the resolution in this day and age.

Next Page > Keyboard, IceCool Technology, Touch Pad, Fingerprint Sensor & Speakers

 

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Full-Sized Keyboard

The ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) has a full-sized keyboard with chiclet keys. They boast a 1.4 mm key travel for more comfortable typing. Our model came with backlit keys, which may not be offered in some regions.

 

ASUS IceCool Technology

The VivoBook S15 (Price Check) has an improved cooling system, that ASUS calls their IceCool technology. It uses a smart fan, thin heat pipes, and an improved design, to keep the average palm rest temperature of the VivoBook S15 below 35°C.

Part of the new cooling design includes these cooling vents hidden behind the keyboard – the same design used in the Apple MacBook Pro. The hot air is exhausted upwards, which improves performance and makes for a more comfortable laptop experience.

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Touch Pad & Fingerprint Sensor

The ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) laptop has a large touch pad that measures 105 x 75 mm. A small fingerprint sensor is embedded into the right corner of this touch pad. This is similar to the touch sensors on smartphones, allowing for quick and secure authentication of the VivoBook S15 user.

 

Speakers

The ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) has two 2 W speakers with resonance chambers on the underside, facing the front. These speakers may lack the Harman Kardon branding of the ASUS ZenBook 3 Deluxe, but they have been tuned by the ASUS Golden Ear team for optimal audio fidelity.

While we are here, you may note the four large rubber feet, and the lack of cooling vents, on the underside. The former keep the VivoBook S15 firm on the table top, while the latter ensure that the VivoBook S15 does not overheat while you are using it on the go. The cooling vents, as you may recall, are hidden behind the keyboard.

Next Page > The ASUS VivoBook S15 Performance, Storage & Battery

 

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ASUS VivoBook S15 Performance

This ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) laptop is powered by the 7th Generation Intel Core processor, specifically the Intel Core i5-7200U. This is a low-power 15 W dual-core processor with a 3 MB L3 cache, a clock speed of 2.5 GHz and a turbo clock of 3.1 GHz.

Surprisingly for a laptop in this price range, it has a dedicated graphics processor – the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 384 stream processors. While it uses the older NVIDIA GM108 GPU,, it is still far more powerful than the Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated graphics, especially when it comes with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory.

What’s rather disappointing for a laptop of this refinement though is the 4 GB of memory it comes with. Granted, it’s fast DDR4-2400 (Hynix HMA851S6AFR6N-UH) memory, but it is still just 4 GB of memory. It should have come with 8 GB of memory.

 

ASUS VivoBook S15 Storage

ASUS offers a variety of solid state and hard disk drive storage options. You can also opt for SSD-only storage, or HDD-only storage. If you choose to use only an SSD, you can reduce the weight of the VivoBook S15 to just 1.5 kg.

Our model came with both – a small 128 GB Toshiba THNSNK128GVN8 M.2 SSD, as well as a large 1 TB Seagate ST1000LM035 hard disk drive. This combination offers fast boot-up with a large storage capacity, at a low cost.

That said, we would recommend that you try to get at least a 256 GB SSD. With Windows 10 Home installed, there is only 93 GB of space left for you to use – hardly enough to install more than a few applications and games.

The ability to install two drives cannot be understated. It is possible to configure the VivoBook S15 with a 512 GB SSD together with a 2 TB Seagate hard disk drive, giving you a total storage capacity of 2.5 TB!

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ASUS VivoBook S15 Battery

The ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) has an internal 3-cell battery with a capacity of 42 WHrs. Instead of the usual lithium-ion cylinder batteries though, it uses the newer lithium-polymer battery technology. This allows for a slimmer form factor, as well as a 3X longer lifespan.

They also implemented the new ASUS Battery Health Charging Technology to prolong its lifespan and decrease the battery expansion rate. Finally, they added fast charging capability, allowing the VivoBook S15 to recharge its battery to 60% in just 49 minutes.

For all these technologies though, the 3-cell battery is short on battery life. This is an unfortunate consequence of such slim designs. In our battery life tests running YouTube videos on the VivoBook S15 with the display brightness set to 40%, it lasted just over 4.5 hours. In our real world usage tests, we were able to work on it for about 5.5 hours before the battery capacity dropped to 10%.

Next Page > Our Verdict & Award, Pros & Cons, Lowest Prices

 

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Our Verdict On The ASUS VivoBook S15

When we first saw the 2017 ASUS ZenBook & VivoBook laptops, we will admit that we were more interested in the high-end ZenBook models. The VivoBooks seemed, at first glance, to be simple, budget-oriented versions of their ZenBook cousins. That could not be further from the truth.

The ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) laptop is an impressive example of computer hardware engineering in its own right. Remember, this is the most affordable model in the 2017 ASUS ZenBook & VivoBook range. Yet, ASUS managed to fit a 15.6″ Full HD IPS display into a 14″ form factor that is only 18 mm thick, and weighs just 1.7 kg.

To achieve this, ASUS used all the tricks in the book – reducing the bezel, using a lithium-polymer battery in a metal unibody chassis, and throwing away the VGA port. Somehow, they could do all this while creating enough space for a hard disk drive to be installed, in addition to a M.2 SSD.

Yes, the ASUS VivoBook S15 can be configured with both an SSD and a HDD. It is actually possible to equip it with a 512 GB SSD and a 2 TB hard disk drive for a total storage capacity of 2.5 TB!

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Our ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) came with just 4 GB of RAM. That may be sufficient for office use, but does not do it justice. The first upgrade we would recommend would be to add another 4 GB of DDR4 memory. In some regions, ASUS will allow you to configure the VivoBook S15 with up to 16 GB of DDR4-2133 memory.

You will love the Full HD IPS display with its 178˚ wide viewing angle, and the full-sized keyboard with 1.4 mm key travel. If you have the option of selecting the backlit option, you should go for it – it will make typing in dim light so much easier!

You may not appreciate it at first, but once you start using it, you will love the fast fingerprint sensor. We are all used to such sensors in our smartphones, and transitioning to it on our computers is easy. You will wonder why not all laptops come with a fast fingerprint sensor.

Did we mention how thin and light the VivoBook S15 is? It’s really thin and light, despite the size of its display. And what you will realise after some time – how cool it runs. Even if you put it through the paces, you will never get your palms and laps burned.

Pros Cons
• 15.6″ Full HD IPS display with 178˚ viewing angle • VGA webcam only
• Smaller form factor that is 18 mm thin, and only weighs 1.7 kg • Two of the USB ports are still USB 2.0
• Comes with both an SSD and a HDD • Relatively small battery capacity
• Has an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory • Ships with just 4 GB of memory
• Cool-running, thanks to improved cooling solution
• Lithium-polymer battery with 3X longer lifespan and fast-charging capability
• Has a fast fingerprint sensor for quick Windows Hello login
• Full-sized backlit keyboard with 1.4 mm key travel

There are some things we did not quite like though. We cannot understand why ASUS would use a VGA webcam in an age when even cheap smartphones have front cameras that record video in 1080p! We also cannot understand the decision to keep two of the USB ports stuck in year 2000. After all, the USB 3.1 standard is backward-compatible with older USB standards…

These anachronisms aside, the ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) is a great laptop for those who want a powerful laptop with a large display and storage capacity without feeling like they just lugged a desktop PC. It even has an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU built-in for games and hardware acceleration of 3D graphics rendering and photo editing software.

For its combination of a large brilliant display, discrete graphics and dual drive storage options, in a thin and light form factor, we think the ASUS VivoBook S15 (Price Check) deserves no less than our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Congratulations, ASUS!

 

The ASUS VivoBook S15 Lowest Prices

Here are the lowest prices for the following ASUS VivoBook S15 models :

  • ASUS VivoBook S15 with Intel Core i7-7500U, 32 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, 2 TB HDD, Full HD display : $1210
  • ASUS VivoBook S15 with Intel Core i7-7500U, 32 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, Full HD display : $1115
  • ASUS VivoBook S15 with Intel Core i7-7500U, 16 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, Full HD display : $965
  • ASUS VivoBook S15 with Intel Core i7-7500U, 12 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, Full HD display : $945
  • ASUS VivoBook S15 with Intel Core i7-7500U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, Full HD display : $849
  • ASUS VivoBook S15 with Intel Core i7-7500U, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, Full HD display : $789

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