Asus VivoBook S15 (S510UN) Laptop Review

Just like with its smartphone lineup, Asus has a lot going on with its laptop range as well. There are as many as four series, Zenbook, Eeebook, Vivobook and the Republic of Gamers (RoG). While Eeebook caters to the budget buyers, the VivoBook is aimed at the Premium buyers. Asus pushed the VivoBook S15 (S510UN) in the Indian market late last year.
VivoBook S15 is available in two variants based on the Core i5 and Core i7 processors. With the VivoBook S15, Asus is trying to capture the Everyday power user.
The VivoBook S15 is a slim multimedia notebook covered completely in aluminium. At a thickness of 17.9 mm (~0.65 in) and a weight of 1.7 kg, it aims to compete directly against high-end racers such as Apple’s Macbook 15 and Dell’s XPS 15. Our test unit came equipped with an Intel i7-8550U with four native cores together with a GeForce MX150 graphics solution by Nvidia, as well as 16 GB of RAM and a Hybrid storage solution consisting of a 1-TB HDD coupled with a 128-GB SSD.
ASUS VivoBook S15 (S510UN) Specification:
Processor Intel  Core i7 – 8550U
Graphics adapter Nvidia GeForce MX150 – 2048 MB, Core: 1469 MHz, GDDR5, 388.00, Optimus
Memory 16384 MB , DDR4 2400MHz Dual Channel
Display 15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, IPS LED, glossy: No
Mainboard Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Connections 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Type C, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: headphones
Networking Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size height x width x depth (in mm): 17.9 x 361.4 x 243.5
Battery 42 Wh, 3 cell polymer
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera Primary Camera: 720p
Additional features Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes
Storage Seagate ST1000LM035 – 1 TB, Toshiba THNSNK – 128 GB
Weight 1.7 kg
The one thing Asus knows the best is to design some of the best looking products. The similar philosophy is being applied with the VivoBook S15. The case is made out of aluminium, at least the bottom part is. We aren’t sure if Asus is using some type of alloy or high quality plastic for the lid assembly. Our unit came in Gold colour and looked good with the brushed metal pattern. At the centre, you get the ‘Asus’ logo with a mirror finish.
Some might find the design a bit dull and the edges of the bottom chassis a little sharp. However, considering the price range in which the VivoBook S15 competes, the result is impressive. 
At a weight of about 1.7 kg and a case thickness of 17.9 mm, the VivoBook S15 is one of the thinner and lighter laptops we’ve seen in the market. To give you a perspective, the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (1.8 kg). This is after the VivoBook S15 being 17.9 mm thin and the MacBook being 15.5 mm thin. The hinge is the one area on the design part we hope Asus will improve in the further, while adjusting the display the base lifts up. Similarly you just cant lift the display with just one hand, which isn’t the case with any MacBook model or Dell’s XPS lineup.
For the limited time we had this notebook, we didn’t see any visible signs of wear.
On the left side, the VivoBook S15 offers two USB 2.0 connections, and a full sized card reader with an above average data transfer rates. On the right side, we can find the charging port, a USB 3.0 slot, HDMI slot and a USB Type C port, which is a Generation 1port and cannot be used for charging this notebook. We feel like Asus skimmed on some ports, instead of giving two USB 2.0 they should’ve added a thunderbolt or another Type C port.
The Asus VivoBook S15 comes with the Windows 10 Home out of the box. We would recommend you to upgrade the Windows to the Pro version, which has additional functionalities and performs better over time. Windows Hello comes a part of the OS and is integrated with the fingerprint sensor placed on the corner of the touchpad.
Like we have seen with all the laptops and smartphones by Asus, the VivoBook S15 also brings a bunch of pre-loaded applications such as Asus ZenLink, Asus GiftBox, Splendid Utility, ASUS Battery Health Charging, Asus Install, Asus Live Update, MyAsus Service Centre and much more. While some of these are important and helpful, some you may not use ever.
Keyboard & Touchpad
In terms of the looks, you might find the keyboard similar to that of the MacBook. The keys are arranged in chiclet style and have a satisfying feel. The travel distance is mere 1.4 mm which is good considering the size of the keyboard. The pressure point and resistance are well adjusted and typing on the keyboard is a breeze.
Coming to the Touchpad, Asus has equipped the VivoBook S15 with an ample-sized touchpad of 2.8 x 4.2 inch. We didn’t see any scratches, which suggests this is probably a pad with a glass surface. The haptic experience can be called excellent. Multitouch gestures work pretty well. This touchpad also houses a fingerprint reader which is located on the right side corner. The fingerprint reader works well with a average delay of 0.4 seconds.
The 15.6-inch display has an FHD resolution of 1920×1080 pixels with a density of of 141 pixels per inch. The images are crisp for the most part but you’d feel a little difference since people now a days are used to the crisp images from the smartphones. has stressed on the fact that the device has a ‘NanoEdge’ display. NanoEdge display here means the display has fewer bezels on the sides as compared to those conventional laptops. By doing this Asus has managed to pack in a 15.6 inch display in a 14 inch frame.
The display is bright enough. The colours come out great. There’s an app called Splendid using which you can tweak the display settings of the laptop. Since it’s a non-reflective display so viewing angles take a hit, the picture will pop until you are in front of the display. As the display frequency is quite high, users won’t notice any sort of flickering. We would like to add this, since the refresh rates are low, serious gamers won’t be delighted with this display.
Overall, we found this display quite good for daily usage.
The VivoBook S15 is available in a wide range of configuration. The VivoBook S15 can either be equipped with the current Intel i5-8250U or the i7-8550U, which are two native ULV quad-core processors with a TDP of 15 W, as well as with either 8 or 16 GB of memory. The i7-8550U variant comes with 16 GB of RAM, with Intel HD 620 integrated graphics. For power users there is a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 with 2 GB of GDDR5 graphics storage. In terms of storage, Asus has gone with a Hybrid model by adding a 128 SSD and a 1 TB HDD. There’s only a single M.2 slot, so you can swap out the 128 GB SSD with a bigger PCIE based SSD.
Asus is using the latest eighth generation of Intel processors in the VivoBook S15 S510UN. The base clock rate of the i7-8550U is fixed at 1.8 GHz. The TDP of the VivoBook S15 S510UN is set to 15 watts by default. In turbo mode, the clock rate increases to 4 GHz and, for 28 seconds, performance is boosted to 44 watts. At 4 GHz there’s immense heat generated and we feel Asus has done an acceptable job with the cooling system.
A look at the Cinebench R15 Single test shows that the device performs as expected from a i7-8550U. We were hoping for a better result in the Single core test, as some i7-8550U models scored a little more than the average scores.
We were blown away with the Multi core Cinebench R15 results. To our surprise VivoBook S15 scored a whooping 667 points, which is the highest we’ve gotten out of the i7-8550U. VivoBook S15 has clearly beaten the Dell Xps 13 which is about twice in cost. From these Multi Core tests its clear that VivoBook S15 can handle its temperatures and cooling quite well even for a long period of time. 
System Performance
Asus VivoBook S15 offers a satisfying system performance for everyday working, image-processing, video-processing and even a little gaming due to the dedicated GPU. Compared to other i7-8550U models, VivoBook S15 is at par with slightly more expensive models available in the market. The VivoBook S15 scored 5038 points on the PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2 and 4800 on Home Score Accelerated v2.
The VivoBook S15 comes with a Hybrid storage. On SSD front is uses a 128 GB Toshiba THNSNK with Write speed in the Range of 340-370 Mb/s, which is half of what Toshiba THNSNK is capable of. We wish Asus would have gone with the Samsung P961 SSD which has insane read and write speeds. Coming to the HDD, VivoBook uses Seagate ST1000LM035 – 1 TB HDD which is similar to the BarraCuda Range of HDD’s.
Here are the CrystalDiskMark 5.2 benchmark scores :
SSD Results
HDD Results
The integrated graphics chip Intel UHD Graphics 620 is supported by Nvidia GeForce MX150 with 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. The MX150, successor of the GeForce 930M and GeForce 940M, and the mobile version of the Desktop GeForce GT 100, performs about 2.5 times better than the Intel UHD Graphics 620 in our 3DMark 11 benchmark. 
Being a mobile chip, Mx150 doesn’t stand a chance when compared with the GTX 1050.
Adding an external GPU would have been possible if Asus had given a Thunderbolt port 
Gaming Performance
Most games can easily be displayed in 1366×768 pixels with medium details. As soon as you turn up the resolution, the frames drops to below 20 fps for some games.
In our tests VivoBook S15 managed to play GTA V, Dota 2, Overwatch, FIFA 18, F1 2017 at mid to high graphic settings without breaking a sweat. We ran into issues while playing Final Fantasy XV, Assassin´s Creed Origins, as frames dropped to as low as 20 fps even in the medium settings.
Low : 1024×768, Medium : 1366×768, High : 1920×1080, Ultra : 1920×1080 (Full settings)
The sound via the on board speakers is great. Like many other notebooks you might find a lack in bass. To correct that Asus is using SonicMaster audio technology that filters noise and deliver clear audio with deeper bass.
We totally recommend this notebook for light gaming and more graphics intensive tasks like video/ image editing.
Battery Runtime
VivoBook S15’s lithium polymer battery takes care of the laptop for over 6 hours on regular use. Heavy users might be able to stretch it to 3 hours which is still very good. People looking to Binge watch series would definitely love this product as it would last them over 8 hours.
The cherry on top is that VivoBook S15 supports Fast-Charging and is able to charge 60% battery in under 1 hour.
Overall we are very impressed with the VivoBook S15. The design is reminiscent of the iconic design by Apple. The quality made aluminium case feels sturdy, but the hinge needs work. The case would hold prolonged use very well. There are plenty of connectivity options, but we would have liked a Type C Thunderbolt port thrown in too. The keyboard and touchpad were very decent. Typing felt comfortably nice and quiet, and the touchpad’s superb gliding properties were accompanied by the fast and reliable fingerprint-reader. The display is decently bright and rich in contrast, which makes it perfect for creation and consumption.

The class leading Design & Internals, with the aggressive price makes VivoBook S15 a clear winner.

With the VivoBook S15 Asus has done what OnePlus is doing with its smartphones, bringing Flagship design and Performance at unbeatable price. The closest competitor to the VivoBook S15 are the Acer Nitro 5 and Dell XPS 13 which are priced almost twice as this one.
Asus did many things right in the VivoBook S15 and it totally receives a recommendation from us.
Build & Design
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