Asus VivoBook S15
it Great value all-round laptop for everyday tasks. Not for photo editors II.
“If there was ever a laptop that represents who you are,” says Asus, “it’s the youthful and vivacious VivoBook”. Flattery will get you nowhere, Asus. Here’s the truth: the VivoBook S15 has been around a while and is a bit bulkier than you might consider ideal, but does a competent job for not very much money. Not a catchy slogan, but the truth.
This is a 15in model, the biggest class of laptop you’ll want to consider if you actually plan to carry it around, but at 1.68kg (3Vlb) and about twice as thick as a phone, it’s really very manageable. The plastic case, which feels sturdy and could pass for aluminium at a glance, comes in a choice of dark silver, an unusual blue-green (pictured), or grey with either yellow or red trim.
With a hinge design that tilts up the rear of the keyboard for comfort and cooling, it looks smart, and the size provides room for a full keyboard layout with a number pad. It may not have the quality action of pricier laptops, but we found typing quiet and accurate, and the precision touchpad reliably operated the cursor and Windows gestures.
Our S530FA unit came with an Intel i3-8130U processor and a 256GB SSD, but at the time of writing you’ll hnd it on sale with a faster i5-8265U. Even the i3 proved perfectly adequate for everyday Windows 10 tasks in our tests, helped by the SSD.
There’s an alternative conhguration with a 1TB mechanical hard drive, but unless you really need all that space inside your laptop, the solid-state option is the one to go for. The quad-core i5 should be noticeably faster than the dual core i3 chip, and although we weren’t able to test it, we’d be surprised if it suffered any speed throttling.
The battery is quick to top up from the conveniently small mains adapter supplied - Asus claims you can charge it to 60 per cent in 49 minutes. In our video playback test it lasted a very practical nine hours, There are three standard USB ports, and although only one is USB 3.0 (the others being too slow for external storage) there’s a USB-C too, which can also serve as a monitor output in addition to the HDMI socket. A microSD card reader provides a way to add storage if necessary.
This would add up to a good deal at the official price of $700, and it’s currently selling for $100 less. Before you rush out and buy one, however, we have to mention the screen. At this size, its full HD resolution isn’t ultra-sharp, but merely adequate, as are brightness and contrast. Colour, unfortunately, is the weakest link, covering only 60 per cent of sRGB - the lowest we’ve seen for a while - with accuracy that can only be described as slapdash. You’d want to plug in a much better monitor for photo editing, but for office tasks, web browsing and even watching TV, it’s not going to be a serious problem.
1.6GHz Intel i5-8265U quad-core processor
15.6in 1920x1080-pixel screen
2x USB 2.0 ports, USB 3.0 port, USB-C port
MicroSD card reader
Windows 10 Home
One-year warrantyPrice: $750
Despite the hawed screen, this is a good-looking and practical laptop at an excellent price.
ASUS VivoBook S15 S530FA-EJ111T 15.6