After much contemplating, surveys and reviews, I have finally decided to get the 15.6-inch screen ASUS Vivobook S.
It comes with the i7 eigth generation processor, with 1TB of 5400 RPM hard disk and 128GB of SSD storage space. The upgrade to this combo storage is due to the constant reminder by friends that SSD would cause faster performances when used for the computer system, a fact I will reveal when I make a review of this laptop sometime later.
In terms of battery life, ASUS claims the VivoBook S can stay awake for up to 8-hours, but I’m actually more concerned about the long term battery life after a couple of years. My former laptop could still do four to five hours, so that in a way is a benchmark.
Anyway, the main reason I choose the Vivobook S for a replacement of my ASUS TP300 L was for four main reasons below.
1) SSD HARDISK
Thanks to feedback from friends, I wanted a laptop that used an SSD hardisk, enabling faster booting time. I also didn’t want to sacrifice storage space to keep files easily on board. The ASUS VivoBook S came with both options, with the SSD hardisk coming at 128GB, just enough for the system files. I’ve decided to use the 1TB 5400RPM Hardisk, also available on the VivoBook S to store games, which I tend to buy, but don’t play.
One of the key reasons a laptop needs to have is being portable, and that links a lot to the weight of the laptop. The VivoBook S isn’t exactly the ideal weight for a laptop to me, being 1.7kg with battery. However, the price was right and most laptops weighing less than 1.5kg were either under powered (having a processor of Intel i3 and below), or were just ridiculously expensive like the ZenBook 3, which cost a whopping RM8K. I didn’t want to sacrifice power for size, and hence why I opted for the VivoBook which, as I said is slightly lighter than my previous ASUS TP300LD, but also more powerful, coming with an i7 eight generation processor.
3) FINGERPRINT SCANNER
If you asked me a few years back, I would say having a fingerprint scanner on a laptop was not needed, largely because I felt that this was just an added accessory to increase the price of the laptop. This time around, I felt it was a cool thing to have because it enabled me to log onto my machine without needing to type a password. My change of opinion had a lot to do with smartphones nowadays which already had incorporated such bio-metric additions.
4) NANOEDGE DISPLAY
For a 15.6-inch screen laptop, the VivoBook S is quite small, having a dimension of 361.4 x 243.5 x 17.9 mm (WxDxH). While it is comparatively bigger than my older laptop, the TP300LD which came at 326 x 232 x 22 mm (WxDxH), the bigger screen enables better view of what I am doing, while the display is 80% of the total surface area. I used to dislike 15.6-inch computers simply because they were huge and bulky, but the ASUS VivoBook was not that at all. On top of that, the NanoEdge display meant that there was thin bezels at the size of the screen, which was according to todays trends.
THE COMPETITION OF THE ASUS VIVOBOOK S S510
For the sake of comparison, here’s a few laptops which I did consider as well. Before you read on, note that all the laptops come with Windows 10 and have all the standard accessories a laptop should have like USB ports, HDMI ports, SD card reader etc.
That said, without wasting time, here’s the laptops which made the final list according to brand.
1) HP LAPTOPS: HP ENVY 13-ad103TU & HP Pavilion 14-bf106TX
Spotting an i5 eight generation processor, 256GB of SSD storage and 8GB of LPDDR RAM with a 13.3-inch FHD display, the HP ENVY 13-ad103TU looked really nice and slim. Problem was, it had integrated graphics, no fingerprint scanner, and when opening the laptop, the cover also doubles as a hinge to support the laptop. It was also highly priced at RM4,099 on Lazada when specs are considered. Another option was the HP Pavilion 14-bf106TX, but the laptop didn’t come with SSD hardisk, and was rejected in the finalizing process.
2) LENOVO LAPTOPS: Ideapad 520S
The Lenovo Ideapad 520S came with an i5 7th generation processor, 4GB RAM, a 1TB SATA HDD + 128GB SSD, NVIDIA 940MX 2GB Graphic card, a fingerprint scanner, and a 14-inch IPS monitor. It cost RM3,699 and had three colours. It was by far the closest challenger to the ASUS VivoBook S which I eventually bought, but was slightly more expensive when you upgraded it to the i7 processor, making it come at RM4,199 on Lazada as compared to the VivoBook which was RM4,099. It also had less USB ports compared to the VivoBook S, despite having the same weight; 1.7kg.
3) ACER LAPTOPS: Swift 5 SF514-51-530G
Acer has always been known for providing value for money, but they also have quite a harsh history when it comes to battery life, monitor laptop hinges and optical drives. I believe nonetheless these issues have been addressed in the Acer Swift 5. The Swift 5 is quite a looker despite its plastic cover. The body is metal which is really nice, and it is powered by an i5 7th generation processor with a 14-inch FHD display with 8GB RAM and 512 SSD. It weighs an amazing 1.3kg, but the price, which is at RM4,499 on Lazada was a huge drawback. A cheaper variant only had 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD, and was priced at RM3,499 on Lazada, but it’s integrated graphics option meant it wasn’t good for gaming and probably heavy video editing.
XIAOMI LAPTOPS: Xiaomi Notebook Air 13.3-inch
The Xiaomi Notebook Air was actually the laptop I wanted to buy. It cost around RM3,800 on Lazada, but came with an i7 7th-gen processor, a whopping 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and a NVIDIA MX150 graphic card, with an FHD 13.3-inch Gorilla Glass monitor which also has thin bezels. Topping it off was the weight, which came at 1.3KG. Reviews online gave the Xiaomi Notebook Air 4.5/5 stars, so it’s highly rated. The problem with this laptop is that it isn’t officially available in Malaysia which makes the warranty worthless, and the Windows provided was also in Chinese, which can be a problem. Also, I couldn’t touch and feel the Xiaomi Notebook Air 13.3-inch myself, so that’s also a deal breaker considering I like touching or knowing how the laptop feels in my hands before I actually buy it. The reason I didn’t get the Notebook Air was also applied to DELL, in which none were even considered.
Eventually, the ASUS VivoBook S was the only choice I felt was true to my cause of buying a new laptop. It was a definite upgrade from the i5 4th-gen processor I used to have in the ASUS TP300LD, and it had also lightweight and not too huge due to the NanoEdge display. Priced much lower if you get it on Lazada, the laptop does come in a lot of versions to fit anyone’s budget.
I’ll come up with a Good vs Bad review soon, but for now, I am happy with my choice although I do wish I could had gone for a more expensive laptop if my budget wasn’t restricted.