Asus Vivobook S14 S1403 review – just the right amount of compromise – LaptopSpirit

Asus is expanding its Vivobook series, designed to equip an audience with multimedia needs and a tight budget. With its controlled price, its ultrabook chassis and its powerful Ryzen 5-H processor, the Asus Vivobook S14 S1403 combines several arguments to attract. It remains to be seen where sacrifices will be necessary to squeeze costs. In testing.

It’s about compromise

The Asus Vivobook S14 S1403 is the perfect representative of the mid-range laptop: elegant and sensible chassiswell built and visually solid, but surfaces mixed between metal and polycarbonate and not very optimized dimensions. In 317.1 x 222 x 19.9mm and 1.6 kg in size, the PC is positioned in the high range according to the current requirements for ultrabooks. If you’ve ever handled small PCs like Huawei’s MateBook 14 for example, this one will immediately look a bit chunky. Good point, the plastic inspires confidence and doesn’t bend too much under the fingers, logically ensuring a great longevity. Another small advantage of this material, it is not cold under the fingers.

Distributed mainly on the right side of the PC, the connection is quite smooth for everyone. One USB-A 2.0 port is on the left side, while the right side has two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports. a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, an HDMI 1.4 output, a headphone jack and a proprietary power jack. Please note that The USB-C port does not support power delivery, which is quite disappointing. Therefore, it will be necessary to go through the supplied 90W mains unit – difficult – to recharge the device.

The lid requires the use of both hands to open and rocks completely flat (at 180 degrees). It can be practical to slide it under the external screen for example.

The inner box is consistent with the outer and gives back a good feeling, not luxurious but honest. Around the screen, we notice a relatively thin frame with an embossed finish, a nice way to “show off” a hard plastic. Even though we prefer the glass frames that extend to the sides of the PC, we’re forced to salute the proportions of this one, made possible by 16:10 screen aspect ratio. This recovers a little more display height than the standard 16:9 screen, which will de facto thin the bottom edge, and improve the reading experience on documents or web pages in particular. Manufacturers are gradually expanding this type of format (with 3:2) from premium to their intermediate range, which has been validated more than once.

For its other characteristics, the Vivobook S14 S1403 screen, a Chi Mei CMN1441 definition panel Full HD+ (1920×1200px)is doing him good nice contrast (1506:1), its white point at 5959K and the peak brightness at 348 nits, on average. On the other hand, the sRGB colorimetric spectrum is not fully covered (61%) and DeltaE is at 5.4. Forget any job that requires color accuracy. Values ​​aside, the overall experience is good as long as you stay indoors and don’t have any graphic requirements.

Studying the screen is done, let’s look below and press two words about the keyboard. Well spaced (3 mm), of good size (16×16 mm) with standard distribution, the keys ensure a fast and accurate strike, with no adaptation time required. Our criticisms are mainly focused on the somewhat “plastic” feeling of typing due to a deeper stroke than what we are used to in modern ultrabooks and a rather soft switch, but this is rather the norm in this category of PC.

On the other hand, there is no quarter for the “Enter” key cut in half which causes many typos. Also, if the 3-level backlight there is merit there, it can’t be used during the day as it makes the lettering illegible and a bit faint at night. Some will be happy to know the presence of a Caps Lock indicator light.

The Vivobook also benefits from a large touchpad (13 x 7.5 cm) with the plastic surface not too far from the glass on the felt side. The glide is fast and precise and above all, it incorporates the popular Numpad, a fingertip-activated touchpad in the upper right corner. This feature is a significant plus if you regularly use alphanumeric characters. It is also an option in the series that replaces the fingerprint reader, which is positioned in the same corner in the absence of Numpad. We regret its absence, especially since Asus didn’t include facial recognition technology in its webcam, so doing Skip Windows Hello entirely. Speaking of the webcam, if the rendering is standard for the PC category, that is, average, remember the presence of a physical cache for confidentiality.

What is needed where it is needed

The Asus Vivobook S1403QA-LY067W lent to us for testing is powered by a processor AMD Ryzen 5 5600H (6 cores) along with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and 512 GB SSD storage. This is the mid-range configuration par excellence, where AMD is still leading with its Zen 3 (2021) SoCs that manage the power / autonomy balance. So we are dealing with a so-called “high performance” processor (H series) with a thermal envelope (TDP) of 45W which is quite good inside the Vivobook.

Of course, for office and multimedia use, for which this PC is intended, the presence of an -H processor does not really change the situation compared to a “low power” processor (U series). Only certain processing tasks that require CPU computing power, such as development, for example, will benefit from it. The rest is status quo.

In fact, creative tasks such as video editing or photo editing will take the integrated part of the graphics and let’s face it, the small Radeon Vega 8 Ryzen 5 doesn’t really measure up against the integrated chip of recent Intel processors (Iris Xe), even less than a dedicated GPU. And not the “Performance Mode” of the Asus utility that will change anything. It’s no different from our test.

In short, all that to say that the Vivobook S14 is fully functional for daily use and its raw power is on par with other ultrabooks on the market in 2022. No task daunted him except for heavy graphics or gaming tasks, but some just require a little patience.

In terms of noise and heating, Vivobook does well at 85°C measured at peak at CPU level and surfaces that are only moderately warm (plastic advantage) and away from hands. In common use, ventilation is cautious or even inactive. In performance mode, however, it can quickly reach 52 dBA with a slightly noisy breath, which is less muted than some. But then again, why would you impose it on yourself if the mode doesn’t change the result?

And it’s not the speakers that will be able to cover “also”, if necessary, or at least not in the best conditions. We are dealing here with a reproduction without heat, focused on voices and without comfort. This is standard at this level.

Finally, the autonomy works well 9 hours of office use. It is right on average for a mid-range laptop and can last a whole day by chaining work sessions, entertainment and some presentations. The black point is that you have to carry the two-part proprietary 90W charger (75×75 mm; 332g) with you, because the power supply via USB-C is not supported.

Our opinion on the Asus Vivobook S14 S1403: the reasonable ultrabook

Offered at 799 euros in the tested configuration, the Asus Vivobook S14 M1403 manages to squeeze costs without making any serious concessions. We have it there an ultrabook that looks great. Solid, well built, its case uses just the right amount of metal in strategic places so it doesn’t freak out in transport. Bring a good bag that said, because its dimensions are not the most compact. The screen opens flat, which is practical, and its 16:10 format is comfortable for office use, but its other features are passable. Similarly on the side of the keyboard, effective but could be better, while the touchpad accepts Numpad, practical. The connection is well matched, its only complaint is that charging via USB-C is not allowed.

Performances are what is expected at this price level, no more and no less. So don’t let yourself be fooled by the so-called “high performance” Ryzen -H series, it won’t completely save you against a “low power” processor, even an audience like developers who need of CPU power is able to find it. some interest. Finally, let’s highlight the autonomy of the 9-hour work maker.

One word comes to mind to sum up this Vivobook S14: reasonable. The package is compelling for a student or family home use that primarily revolves around office and multimedia tasks. As it stands, the Vivobook S14 is a great PC, but the competition has raised the bar pretty high and, frankly, there are better ones out there.

3.5 out of 5 stars

The Asus Vivobook S14 S1403 scores 3.5/5

Strong points
Well designed and well made…
16:10 screen
Autonomy not ridiculous
NumPad
To check the
…but not the thinnest and lightest
No biometric login

Compare the various available configurations of the Asus Vivobook S14 S1403

Features of Asus Vivobook S1403QA-LY067W

screen(s). 14.0″ Full HD+ 16:10 IPS (1920 x 1200, anti-glare)
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 5600H Cezanne (3.3 GHz, 6 cores)
RAM is installed 8 GB soldered + 8 GB DDR4 3200 MHz
Graphic card AMD Radeon Vega 7
Storage 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD
connectors 1 USB 2.0 + 2 USB 3.2 ports + 1 USB 3.2 Type-C Gen1, HDMI 1.4
Network Wi-Fi ax, Bluetooth 5.2
Backlit keyboard Yes
Numeric keypad NumPad on the touchpad
Windows Hello
Audio system 2 speakers
Operating system Windows 11 Home 64 bit
Autonomy revealed / Battery 8 hours / Li-ion 3 cells 50Wh
Weight / Dimensions (mm) 1.6 Kg / 317.1 x 222 x 19.9

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