In a world of black and white and shades of grey, it’s nice to see this new line of laptops from ASUS bursting through with a range of stylish colour. If you’re looking for a all purpose, high performance to price ratio, laptop for work or entertainment, the ASUS VivoBook S15 series should be at the top of your list.
Long known for their kick-ass components and high-end gaming laptops (see our review of the ASUS ROG G752VS beast) the Taiwan-based manufacturer is a dominant player in the mid-tier laptop space as well. The VivoBook, as the name suggests, is bringing a little more life to the category, with style and performance at a surprisingly reasonable price point.
Style first, and lots of it
It really is a very good looking machine, and that goes well beyond the five colour options (we had a “firmament green” S530 model) into the thin, light design with nice thin bezels around the screen. Overall, it looks and feels high quality, again even more than we expected for the price point (approx $899). The VivoBook is a comfortable weight, just under four pounds, better than most comparable laptops, fitting nicely into your backpack or luggage. We give high marks to its solid, low profile keys, and we always love a number pad.
We also really like the way the laptops opens, again with quality firmness, and with a “ErgoLift” hinge design that slips the top under the keyboard a bit to raise the keyboard bottom so you type at a comfortable angle (3.5°). The lift serves a second role by improving cooling as well.
Excellent general-purpose performance
The ASUS VivoBook S15 has a nice quality 1920 x 1080 pixel 15.6″ LED display driven by a NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics processor. Depending on the configuration it comes with between 4GB to 16GB DDR4 ram and is powered by Intel processors, ours was an i7-8550U. Again performance was solid for everything we threw at it, with a bit of slow-down only when we pushed it with some resource heavy online gaming.
It comes with a HD cam, of course, and the touchpad also has a fingerprint sensor on it for a quick return to work after stepping away from your computer. And, always important to technophiles everywhere, the VivoBook has lots of ports for your devices.
For most laptop buyers in 2018-19, the VivoBook will handle your computing needs and then some. While it’s not suited to higher end gaming and video editing, no mid-range laptop really is, and if that’s your focus, there are higher end laptops specifically designed for you, particularly from ASUS themselves. The ASUS VivoBook gets checkmarks in all the right boxes, and it is our favourite mid-range laptop of the season.
Here’s a video from ASUS launching the VivoBook laptop series