After all the high-powered gaming beasts and slick business-oriented machines we've seen the past few weeks, it's definitely a refreshing change of pace to test out a simple and straightforward laptop that gets the job done within a manageable price point.
Today, we have with us the delightful Gaia Green version of the ASUS VivoBook S15
As stylish as ever
One of the hallmarks of the VivoBook range is its effortless street-inspired style. This year's Vivobook features diamond cut edges on its aluminium alloy body, as well as neon-yellow accents on the enter key, giving the otherwise nondescript keyboard a pop of colour.
Our Gaia Green unit definitely comes with a heavy dose of gaya (heh), with a gorgeous matte finish contrasting heavily against its glossy embossed name. If you're more into low-key aesthetics, the Dreamy White and Indie Black versions might be more up your alley, while Resolute Red is a definite standout for those who want to be able to see their laptop from a mile away.
To further express your personality, ASUS has also included a sticker pack for you to adorn the lid - though I'd recommend using your own stickers, else you'd be the same as everyone else who bought the same laptop, eh?
Opening it up, you'll see the 15.6" slim-bezelled NanoEdge FHD IPS display measuring in at only 5.6mm with a webcam perched on top. The laptop itself is also slim and light for portability, weighing in at just 1.8kg with 16.1mm of thickness - perfect for sliding into a backpack or carrying under your arm.
One thing to note is the absence of the ErgoLift hinge seen on its predecessor - it's not a huge deal, but if you're used to it you'll definitely miss its presence.
Built for workers on the go
As far as we know, this year's Vivobook only comes with 1 standard configuration, which features an Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, integrated Intel UHD Graphics, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of M.2 SSD storage, and Intel Optane memory.
The result is snappy performance with no delays when opening programs or windows, and although it definitely isn't built for heavy duty work (not at this price point!) the specs are more than sufficient for the average office worker looking to maximise productivity on the go.
This is further assisted by Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 compatibility for seamless connectivity, as well as impressive battery life. The 50Wh battery lasted 10.5 hours on Battery Eater's reader test, and lasted us more than 8 hours of general use on 50% brightness and 100% volume.
It's definitely a huge plus to be able to work away from the wall socket for so long, but even if you need a quick battery top up, the power block is pretty small and light. It also charges up pretty quickly, taking you from 1-60% in under 50 minutes.
Full-sized keyboard and lots of ports
Considering the target market for this laptop, it's no surprise then that ASUS has included a desktop-sized keyboard and numberpad into the VivoBook, instead of the virtual ASUS NumberPad seen on other models.
While it's definitely a huge plus to be able to input numbers into your spreadsheets with tactile feedback, I would have loved for there to be some space between the main keyboard and the numberpad itself - in its current layout, the gaps are all perfectly uniform, which does lead to some input errors if your hand is not properly placed on the first go.
Otherwise, typing is enjoyable on the keyboard, with disc-shaped indentations allowing your fingers to land comfortably and a decent key travel distance for comfort. There are 3 levels of backlighting, all of which are adequate depending on the brightness of your environment, but of course la there's no RGB to be found here :P
Also, this also means that the speakers are bottom-firing instead of facing upwards towards you. Audio quality is pretty average but does the job.
In terms of ports, the VivoBook has pretty much everything you'll need, with 2 USB 2.0 ports and a Micro-SD card reader on the right, along with an audio jack, USB 3.2 and USB-C ports on the left. There's also a HDMI port for you to hook up the VivoBook to a screen during presentations, and while there isn't an Ethernet port, high-speed Wi-Fi 6 connectivity has got you covered.
Buy or no buy?
At RM3,199, the ASUS VivoBook S15 ticks all the boxes for general productivity and is bundled into a gorgeous package to boot. Its size and weight are also great for a 15" laptop, and the battery life is extremely impressive.
If you're looking for a solid office laptop with a kick of style, the ASUS VivoBook S15 is definitely worth considering.
For more information, you can check out the official product page here.