Asus VivoBook S14 S431F- EB511T review

Gone are the days when you had to think twice before bagging a bulky PC in your backpack. Now you have the so-called ultrabooks with the thin and lite footprint, which are meant for the typical on-the-go consumer. Speaking of Ultrabooks, the laptop that I’m writing this review, which BTW is the one being reviewed, also sports a 14-inch display. (Asus VivoBook S14 Review हिंदी में पढ़िए)

This is the Asus VivoBook S14 version – S431F- EB511T. The Taiwanese brand is known for churning out plenty of laptops one after another. VivoBook is their ultrabook lineup for the budget buyers. Ultrabook, as you know, is a term coined by Intel for laptops that are meant to be portable and powerful. Let’s find out how good an ultrabook is the new S14 VivoBook. (Please note: I won’t be repeating the model number for the ease of writing).

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But before that, here’s a quick rundown of its spec-sheet.

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F- EB511T Specs

Model Asus VivoBook S14 S431F- EB511T
Display 14″ LED FHD (1920 x 1080) panel with 16:9 aspect ratio, 86% screen-to-body ratio and 178° FoV
Processor Quad-core Intel Core 8th gen i5-8265U processor clocked at 1.6GHz, with Turbo Boost (up to 3.9GHz) and 6MB cache
Graphics Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage 512GB NVMe SSD
Memory 8GB LPDDR3 2133MHz
Ports
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • USB-C 3.1 Gen
  • USB 2.0
  • HDMI
  • Micro SD card reader
  • Audio combo jack
  • DCIN charging port
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi 5 (dual-band gigabit-class 802.11ac)
  • Bluetooth 4.2
Software Windows 10 Home (64bit)
Battery 47Wh 2-cell lithium-polymer battery backed by 45W power adapter
Dimensions 18.0 (H) x 323.3 (W) x 213.7 mm (L)
Audio
  • ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system, certified by Harman Kardon
  • Array microphone with Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition support
Keyboard and Trackpad
  • Backlit Chiclet single-color keypad
  • Precision (PTP) Technology Supports up to Four-finger Smart Gestures
Weight 1.4Kg
Biometric unlock 3D IR HD camera; Face Unlock using Windows Hello
Colors
Transparent Silver, Gun Metal, Cobalt Blue, Punk Pink, Moss Green
India Price Rs. 55,041

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F-EB511T Review: Design and Display

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F- EB511T review

Right off the bat, I applause Asus for designing a portable piece of machine with such finesse in detail. It settles without a hiccup or heft inside my backpack. It has a functional design that makes it convenient to handle with a hand. This involves raising the lid as well as carrying it around. Mind you while doing so, I occasionally felt the hinge wobble a bit, which could be a cause of concern. Nevertheless, I put my trust in the tensile strength of its aluminum alloy body.

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F- EB511T review

Unlike the Zenbook 14 (review), I had previously tested, this one clads a matte silver finish in and out. So, there are no complaints about smudges this time around. When you pop the lid, a seemingly bezel-less screen welcomes you. This is an FHD LED panel that spans over 14 inches, delivering 16:9 aspect ratio, 86% screen-to-body ratio and 178° field of view. I had a pleasing experience consuming media off this display.

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F- EB511T review

Sadly, the same can’t be said about the output from the stereo audio system, powered by Harman Kardon. Bottom speakers aren’t a brilliant placement and the volume is tinny as well. I was compelled to use 3rd-party software like VLC and DFX Audio Enhancer. But, I don’t think those make up for sub-standard hardware.

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F- EB511T review

VivoBook S14 also features the brand’s hallmark ErgoLift hinge with a 145-degree elevation. This posture provides an accessible typing angle and conceals the bottom chin beneath the keypad. Talking of typing, the experience was tactile and the keypad’s single-colored backlight was helpful during late-night “work”. The touchpad also had ample friction and satisfying click feedback.

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F- EB511T review

Right above the display, there is a 3D IR camera with Windows Hello support. It was quick as a flash at recognizing my face and unlocking the device. Such little things are always a pleasure!

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F-EB511T Review: Performance and Experience

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F- EB511T review

You don’t buy a laptop just for its portability right? After all, you expect a certain level of performance out of the price you pay. Asus VivoBook S14 loads decent specs comprising of Quad-core Intel Core 8th gen i5 processor, which ticks at a speed of 1.6GHz. This is nudged a notch, thanks to Turbo Boost technology up to 3.9GHz. The system well manages the memory of 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, coupled with 6MB cache and 512GB NVMe SSD storage.

It proved ideal for browsing, bingeing and almost every other routine activities save for gaming. Nah, don’t throw heavy games at it. This ain’t the machine for high graphics demanding tasks. That being said, I did occasionally enjoy drifting on the streets of Asphalt 9 with minor frame drops.

If you’re looking for the benchmark scores, here are the few we ran –

  • 3DMark Time Spy overall score: 384
  • 3DMark Fire Strike overall score: 915
  • PCMark 10 overall score: 3539
  • CineBench R20 CPU score: 1164

On top of this hardware, you get a 64-bit Windows 10 Home edition. The only thing that wound me up was McAfee’s intrusive notifications. Rest, all good.

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F-EB511T Review: Battery and Connectivity

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F-EB511T Review

The left flank houses a DCIN charging port, an HDMI port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1, a USB-C 3.1 Gen port and a charging indicator at the end. On the right resides the USB 2.0 socket, an audio combo jack, and a Micro SD card slot. There’s anything out of ordinary or special here. The same is true for wireless connectivity options as it comes with a dual-band Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2 standard.

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F-EB511T review

VivoBook S14 runs on a 47Wh 2-cell lithium-polymer battery that managed to eke out 4 and half hours of juice before begging for a charger. This could’ve been more considering it an on-the-go device. Luckily, the bundled 45W power adapter isn’t very chunky and it tops it up at around 60% in less than an hour.

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F-EB511T Review: Verdict

Asus VivoBook S14 S431F-EB511T Review

By now, you would’ve sensed what I’m about to say and how I reached this verdict. Yes, Asus has managed to pull off a pretty good package. I respect the design choices except for the meek speakers. The second pillar viz. performance is perfect by no means. The good thing is that it works where it matters. Its strictly a productivity machine for average workday and gamers may look elsewhere. My only gripe is with its mediocre battery life and would’ve loved to carry it without charging woes. But, if that doesn’t bother you, you may add it to the cart. It is currently available via Amazon India and Tata CLiQ.

Pros

  • Sleek and Suave design language
  • Comfortable typing experience
  • Respectable performance

Cons

  • Average battery life
  • Sub-par speakers
  • Shaky hinge

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