Asus VivoBook S14 S433IA-EB181T review: a versatile laptop at a reasonable price

The VivoBook S14 S433IA-EB181T is a 14-inch laptop PC with an elegant and solid aluminum chassis (32.4 x 21.3 x 1.59 cm), more or less eye-catching depending on the color chosen . The one we tested is black, but there are fir green, white or red versions (which tend more towards pink). If we can not comment on these variants, the black coating has an annoying tendency to retain fingerprints.
Five small plastic feet located under the computer prevent it from slipping and slightly elevate it to allow air to circulate through the ventilation system.

Watch out for fingerprints; the cover should be cleaned regularly.

The connection of this PC is well provided. There is a USB-A 3.2 port, a USB-C 3.2 port, an HDMI and a mini-jack on the left side. To the right, there are two USB-A 2.0 ports and a micro SD card reader. This is appreciable at a time when we tend to see the disappearance of USB-A ports on many laptops. But why use 2.0 ports which are more limited? An inconsistency that goes hand in hand with the presence of the micro SD port. A real SD port would have been more practical for photographers and videographers, especially since an adapter allows you to insert a micro SD card, the reverse is obviously not possible.
Charging is done via a proprietary connection and the USB-C socket unfortunately cannot be used for this purpose. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are present for fast and efficient connection to networks. The definition of the webcam located above the screen is limited to HD, which is a little weak to display an acceptable rendering, in a meeting for example. On this model, the camera does not allow the use of Windows Hello for a quick computer unlock; there is also no fingerprint sensor, and that’s a shame.

The connection of this laptop is well supplied.

The connection of this laptop is well supplied.

The keyboard has a row of additional keys on the far right, shortcuts that may be useful for some, but which cause many typing errors because of the reflexes built into classic keyboards. We have often clicked on the wrong button while aiming to “Backspace”, but it is probably a matter of habit. The feedback of the keys is also a little weak and can seem rather soft; on the other hand, this allows the keyboard to function in remarkable silence.
The backlighting of the keyboard is a good thing in itself, it’s a shame that it is so unsuccessful on this model, the light leaking more from the keys than it illuminates the letters. The Enter key is coated in a neon yellow which makes it easy to identify, but which may not appeal to everyone.

The keyboard and its Enter key wearing a safety vest.

The keyboard and its Enter key wearing a safety vest.

The originality of the VivoBook lies in its touchpad: with a long click in the upper right corner, a luminous touchpad is displayed directly on the touchpad, a very practical tip for those who need to handle a lot of numbers. Once the touchpad is activated, you can continue to use the touchpad to direct the mouse pointer without problem.

The digital NumPad can be useful.

The digital NumPad can be useful.

Access to the components is relatively easy, just remove the 9 torx screws placed under the PC and unclip the base. The M.2 SSD is removable and there is a free slot for a second M.2 SSD, but beware, the screw is oddly not provided and it is never delivered with the SSDs; you will have to find one on your own. You can also remove the battery to be able to change it, which is quite rare these days. However, the RAM is soldered to the motherboard and you cannot increase its capacity. Note that the Wi-Fi module can be replaced.

PC components are easily accessible.

PC components are easily accessible.

The components also cause only a slight rise in temperature. We noted barely 38 ° C at the ventilation outlet, and a maximum of 34.8 ° C on the keyboard in the middle of Diablo III. These contained temperatures allow the cooling system to be rarely used and to offer marble silence. Only 33.6 dB were measured in use gaming and 34.1 dB in 4K video encoding.

The S14 heats very little.

The S14 heats very little.

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