Today, we invite you to discover the ASUS Vivobook S14 (S412) review, of which we discuss both the advantages and the disadvantages before giving you our final opinion at the end of the article. The ultrabook niche is particularly lucrative and there is no shortage of arguments to convince consumers. Good performance, light and robust body, good autonomy, modular configs (and therefore prices)… There is something for everyone! Should we choose this Vivobook or is it better to turn to competitors like Huawei’s Matebooks? Well here are some answers!
Table of Contents
- 1 Features of the Asus Vivobook S14
- 2 Asus Vivobook S412 Review: our complete test
- 3 Conclusion of the Asus vivobook s14 s412 Review
Features of the Asus Vivobook S14
|Dimensions: 32.2 x 32.2 x 1.99 cm|
|Weight: approx. 1.5 kg|
|Screen size: 14 inch|
|Processor: AMD R5-3500U (8 GB RAM)|
|Graphics card: Intel HD 620|
|Storage: 256 GB SSD|
|Connections: USB 2.0, USB 3.1, USB-C, HDMI port, microSD reader|
|Maximum autonomy: 7 hours|
The ultraportable Vivobook s14 is available in different levels of ranges, playing on the processor (Intel i3, i5, i7, AMD R5, R7), RAM (8 or 16 GB), SSD storage (128, 256, or 512 Go), and even the addition of a Screenpad at the trackpad level. Therefore, the choice depends on what you plan to achieve with the computer and at what intensity, but for office automation, the config presented is quite appropriate.
In our eyes, the Vivobook S412 is quite the road. Its performance is comparable to a Huawei Matebook D 14, which means that the price-performance ratio is interesting. In addition to its innovation on the Numpad (perfect for bypassing the format’s limitations), the machine highlights a great comfort of use, both for the trackpad and the keyboard. However, improvements remain possible to bring it up to the competition level, especially about the panel and autonomy.
Asus Vivobook S412 Review: our complete test
It is now time to discover, criterion by criterion, on which points the ultraportable is illustrated, and on which it reveals some weaknesses.
A robust and versatile design
The Vivobook 14 is unveiled in a durable plastic frame that is easy to maintain, taking little dust and other fingerprints. We are reassured about its durability! However, this does not look like much: Asus has chosen sobriety, so the device will not shine with its aesthetics.
We find the usual connection with USB 2.0 and USB-C and an HDMI port, and a microSD card reader. You also have a headphone/mic jack. We can express a little regret about the lack of a Thunderbolt 3 port, but we will be happy with it for the price.
Finally, we should mention the thermal performance, which is rather well controlled. The few video games you will potentially indulge in will certainly heat the machine, but the chassis at the keyboard level remains preserved. Ventilation, on the other hand, knows how to remain silent.
A decent screen, but a dated panel
At first glance, this is good news: the fragile edges of the screen give it 85% coverage, a ratio that is rarely seen at this level of the range, and which comes close to the Zenbooks of the same brand, otherwise more expensive. Therefore, it is an excellent surprise at this level, and we can only appreciate the generosity of the display.
However, the IPS panel suffers from the comparison with the competition. The brightness is correct, especially since the matt panel does not reflect light. On the other hand, the shoe pinches in colorimetry, whose calibrations are disappointing about the greens and reds. While most users will be delighted with it for watching movies/streaming, etc., however, please do not plan to use it for artistic work or photo editing.
The keyboard and the trackpad: two great successes
This is already a point on which Asus insisted on previous editions of the Vivobook S14: enhancing the comfort of use and the user experience. And this, of course, goes through the two means of interaction with the beast: the keyboard and the trackpad.
Let’s start with that first. The keys offer good travel, although a little more feedback (rebound) from the keys would have been useful. Its Ergolift design means that it is slightly raised towards the screen, allowing better hands and wrist arrangement. A pleasant bonus: the keyboard is backlit, for great ease of use even in dim light.
On the trackpad, the responsiveness is excellent. The contact with the surface is soft and pleasant, while the movement is done without latency. But where Asus hits even harder is certainly with the Numpad. This integrates the numeric keypad directly into the trackpad, making it possible to bypass the 14-inch ultrabook format. Basically, the numbers are not visible, but by activating the Numpad, the LEDs’ system reveals them.
The config is quite respectable for the price and perfectly meets the expectations we have of an ultrabook at this level of the range. Thanks to the 256 GB SSD, the computer offers instant boot (1-2 seconds), so you can get to work quickly. Depending on the use, however, we recommend that you directly upgrade the SSD to 512 GB. In the same state of mind, the AMD R5-3500U processor and the 8 GB of RAM are perfectly suited to office automation such as Excel, Word, and even the use of a little more intensive calculation software.
The Intel HD Graphics 620 chip will certainly not achieve feats, but an occasional video game enthusiast will be able to find what he is looking for. It is quite possible to play Fornite or Rocket League as long as you play on the graphics settings. Likewise, 2D games will not put too much strain on the GPU: Stardew Valley, Don’t Starve and Rimworld are yours! However, note that depending on the number of elements on the screen, you may experience slowdowns (especially for the last title).
Related Article: ASUS Rog Strix G531 review
On autonomy, this ultrabook can do better
One of the strengths of ultraportables is certainly to offer significant autonomy: we think, for example, of the Matebook 14, whose maximum autonomy is 8:30. Here, you will have to settle for less, namely 7 hours at most … and we are talking about simple office automation!
Indeed, as soon as you switch to mixed-use (office automation, browsing, streaming, etc.), the autonomy drops to 5h / 6h, which is not exceptional. If you’re going to be working outdoors for the day, it’s best to take the charger with you just in case.
Conclusion of the Asus vivobook s14 s412 Review
This ultrabook is certainly not without flaws: this is the case of autonomy, below the average of ultraportables, or the colorimetry of the screen, not very relevant on the primary colors. However, this is not likely to mar the machine’s success on its good performance or solid design. The most interesting certainly lies in the manufacturer’s innovations, which can be seen at the Numpad level and the thin edges of the screen, two new features that we take full advantage of. Definitely a relevant choice for a good value for money!