I know it’s a cliche to say that budget devices have “never looked this good” but in the case of Asus’ new VivoBook S14 (S431/S432) and S15 (S531/S532), it may be hard to find a more apt description. Because hot damn these look like solid ultra-portable laptops.
The VivoBooks are Asus’ more affordable devices that still come with a couple of premium touches. And these new ones are definitely the most attractive ones — to me, at least — that they’ve launched so far. One of the most notable ones has to be the displays…both of them.
Yup, the new VivoBook S14 and S15 both feature the company’s signature ScreenPad 2.0, a trackpad-cum-secondary-display that debuted on the high-end ZenBook Pro.
This new ScreenPad comes with upgrades like a larger 5.65″ size and a new ScreenPad UI. It will still allow you to launch apps, use it as a secondary display and a trackpad all at the same time. Despite being so tiny, it still pushes a Full HD resolution (2160×1080) so it’s kind of like having a smartphone’s display integrated into your laptop.
The main display has also received the NanoEdge treatment so both the 14” and 15.6” Full HD panels have a whopping 88% screen-to-body ratio. To complement the new screen, Asus has also imported their ErgoLift hinge into the VivoBooks for what they deem is a more pleasant typing experience. These VivoBooks are also the first in the series to feature infrared cameras for Windows Hello facial unlocking, and also support WiFi 6 802.11ax.
Alongside these external updates, Asus also beefed up the VivoBooks’ internals. Now the pack up to Intel Core i7-8565U processors, up to 16GB of RAM (2,133MHz for S14, 2,400MHz for S15), 1TB of PCIe SSD storage (you can also add up to a 2TB HDD on the S15), and even the option to configure it with a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX250 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM.
Ports on the VivoBooks include a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, two USB 2.0 Type-A, a HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack. Both VivoBooks feature 42Wh batteries with fast-charging (60% in 49 minutes), and weigh in at 1.4kg and 1.8kg respectively for the S14 and S15.