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The Asus Vivobook S15 S512FA-DB71 is a slim profile mainstream laptop that not only looks good but is suitable for basic tasks such as entertainment and office productivity. The display has good color and contrast for such work but isn’t good enough for anything that demands precision. All in all, it flourishes because the compact construction and low price do its heavy lifting.
- Sleek design, compact and light
- Ample amount of ports
- Great daily performance
- Runs Cool in daily use
- Affordable price
- Solid battery life
- Matte IPS screen
- Good IO
- Decent backlit keyboard
- Dull Display, a bit washed out for an IPS panel
- Lots of bloatware
- Mediocre VGA webcam
- Flimsy keyboard
There is a lot to love about the Asus VivoBook S15 S512FA-DB71 laptop. Its tapered chassis, aluminum cover, thin bezels, and striking color scheme options give it the look of a modern style-conscious laptop. For the most part, it leans on the luxurious side and fortunately with its price, it’s designed to fit just about any budget. Good sentiments carry over to its features; keyboard, trackpad, and ports. The Asus VivoBook S15 proves that innovation and great performance aren’t limited to premium laptops.
We fell in love with good performance, solid battery life and heat management. All these add up to make a remarkable laptop, certainly one of the best Asus laptops out there. I’d easily recommend it if not for the dull display and huge list of bloatware. Even so, the Asus VivoBook S15 S512FA-DB71 is still worth having unlike many other laptops in the market.
Asus Vivobook S15 S512FA-DB71 Specs
|Display||15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) non-touch matte|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8565U|
|Storage||256GB SSD (M.2 SATA) + 1TB HDD 5400RPM|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050|
|Dimensions||14.1 x 9.1 x 0.71 inches|
Design and Features
I’ve got to lay it out to you from the beginning; this Asus VivoBook is one of the nicest 15-inch laptops in the market right now. And certainly among the best mainstream Asus laptops hands down.
I’m sure at this point most of you have already named a few better premium laptops in your head. And I agree, there are quite a few devices with premium builds like the LG Gram 15, and Dell XPS 15. But for something at this price point, it’s amazing at how compact, lightweight and appealing it is.
For me, a good design is one that plays a good balance of elegance and simplicity. And I believe that’s what we have here. The Asus VivoBook S15 S512FA-DB71 has an exquisite design and thin beautifully crafted exterior. Like I said earlier, the awesome design does most of the heavy lifting to this device. The case breaks away from the silver mold we’re used to. The case is made of silver aluminum (Asus calls it Gold-Metal, but it looks like silver), that is both outside and on the hood, while the underbelly and interior of plastic.
Thankfully, is this color isn’t ideal, you can opt for another in the various unique color schemes Asus has available. There are five color options in total: star gray with yellow trim, firmament green, gunmetal, silver blue, and star gray with red trim. The green model definitely steals the show. On the whole, the design is good and the structure is strong despite its thinness. The build quality matches that of the higher end VivoBook Pro and ZenBook series.
At 14.1 x 9.1 x 0.71 inches, the Asus VivoBook S15 casts a small net for a 15.6-inch laptop. It’s significantly smaller than the Acer Aspire E 15 (15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches, 4.9 pounds). The VivoBook S15 is also lightweight at 3.97 pounds, making it a great companion for hurling around to college or to work. There are four rubber feet at the bottom which help it sit nicely on a desk. One more aspect we loved is that the screen can be picked up by a single hand and the hinges do a great job of holding it in place. The hinges also allow it to tile as far back as 150 degrees, which is enough for desk and lap use.
Asus opted for a matte IPS 1920 x 1080 native resolution option screen, but you have the option of a TN 1366 x 768 resolution panel as well. As obvious, we recommend going for this IPS option because of the better viewing angles.
The display also has a max brightness of 250 nits which is enough for indoor use but not for outdoors and bright environments. One of this laptop’s major flaws is the fact that the display offers washed-out colors. That alone strikes it off the list for professional work use and rather leaves only workloads such as daily use, multimedia content consumption, and some light games.
On the bright side, the screen is well built and doesn’t suffer from light bleeding around the edges.
The Asus VivoBook S15 has a healthy selection of ports including a Type-C port, but we would have loved to also see a Thunderbolt 3 port. The left side of the laptop houses two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card slot and LED indicators for charging and battery status. Meanwhile, the right side is home to a DC jack, a USB 3.1 port, an HDMI port for external video connections, a USB Type-C port and a headphone/mic combo jack.
Other than having one of the best specifications list in the mainstream laptop scene, the Asus VivoBook S15’s performance is phenomenal. This super-portable laptop flaunts an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U Whiskey lake processor that is an upgrade of the older i7-8550U. The processor has a base clock speed of 4.1 GHz and a Turbo clock speed of 4.6GHz.
That means it has enough power to handle all day-to-day tasks with ease. Ideally, it makes it possible to post on Facebook while streaming music, while doing some Word processing and light photo editing. If you’re into gaming, it can handle some select triple-A titles and other light games.
Memory and Storage
Thanks to the 8GB memory available, the VivoBook S15 is capable of multitasking. It swiftly handles 20 Google Chrome tabs while playing three 1080p YouTube videos and two full-HD Twitch streams. With its 16GB DDR4 memory, six-cores and 12 threads, it is very capable of handling office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet work, web browsing, and videoconferencing.
The 256GB solid-state drive and 1TB mechanical hard drive storage are a welcome sight. The 256GB SSD brings in fast boot times, blazing loading of applications and software and retrieval of data. Meanwhile, considering the 256GB SSD isn’t overly generous, to begin with, the mechanical hard drive acts as good backup storage for large disposable files such as videos, music and downloadable games.
From the onset, the Asus VivoBook S15 was not sold as a gaming laptop because it isn’t. There is no dedicated graphics card, only an integrated UHD 620 graphics that comes with the Core i7-8565U processor. However, according to notebookcheck, the UHD 620 Graphics can reach the performance of a dedicated GeForce 920M graphics card. That means it can ace some light games such as League of Legends, Farming Simulator 19. Other games are playable but at a high expense of playable framerates.
|League of Legends (2019)||Total War: Three Kingdoms||Dirt Rally 2.0 (2019)||Far Cry New Dawn (2019)|
|Low (1280×720)||74.9 fps||29.4 fps||24 fps||13 fps|
|Med (1920×1080)||70 fps||7.9 fps|
|High (1920×1080)||67.4 fps|
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Asus VivoBook S15 keyboard is great and offers a pleasant user experience. The keyboard is premium looking with white backlighting that’s great for typing in dimly lit environments. Also, the keyboard layout is exactly the same as found on earlier generations of Apple MacBook Air. Each key requires a 1.4mm key travel meaning typing is a comfortable experience even for prolonged hours.
However, not everything is good. We frowned upon the fact that there is no number pad. I’m genuinely used to 15-inch laptops that have full-sized keyboards with numberpads. Nonetheless, typing on this keyboard is easy and comfortable as the keys are well spaced and generously sized.
Moving on, the 4.1 x 2.8-inch touchpad is spacious and responds well to gestures. It should not be any problem scrolling through the web pages and swiping between open windows. Thankfully, there is a fingerprint reader on the top right corner of the touchpad for faster, safer logins.
The battery life on the VivoBook S15 is good but not great. With a battery capacity of 42 Wh, the laptop achieves a battery life of 8.15 hours. The S15 outlasts the Ideapad 530s which brags of 7 hours 40 minutes but it falls short against the Aspire E 15’s 9 hours 25 minutes.. The category average for mainstream laptops is 7 hours 29 minutes which means the S15 beats it by an hour.
The Asus VivoBook S15 S512FA-DB71 makes a solid case in proving its validity. It stands out for its impressive size, looks and features for an affordable price tag. This 15.6-inch notebook casts a compact footprint, weighs around 3.7 pounds, offers a backlit keyboard, IPS screen, good set or ports, fast wireless and modern components for around $700-$800. The downsides are a dull display, a bundle of bloatware and mediocre webcam, but hopefully many will be able to look past these. Overall, considering what the Asus VivoBook S15 S512FA-DB71 is offering, it is a solid laptop worth recommending. It receives our Editor’s Choice award for the best mainstream budget laptop.