Laptops

ASUS VivoBook S15 Review: Mixing style and function

Also a lesson about love and relationships

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Finding the right laptop is tricky if you want it to tailor to your preference and personality. If you want a laptop you can show-off that can also perform, the ASUS VivoBook S15 S531FL might be the one you’re looking for.

A bit of history: the new VivoBook S15 was launched earlier at Computex 2019. ASUS paraded a colorful lineup that would certainly grab anyone’s attention: Moss Green, Punk Pink, Cobalt Blue, Transparent Silver, and Gun Metal. Luckily, I was able to try this new laptop in Cobalt Blue. Not a lot of people would be enthralled with such bold and striking colors, but I beg to differ.

Made for the bold type

Growing up, I love being at the center of attention. Whether it was because of a new toy or the latest gadget, I love it when people gather around with amazement in their eyes, just because I brought something to the table. Their awe was enough of a reward for me; as if I did something extraordinary. The high from being validated was enough to keep the people around me excited and mesmerized.

That same feeling was what I felt when I used the VivoBook S15. While I was fixated on my screen, I felt everyone’s gaze as my laptop grabbed their attention. It’s a definite head-turner.

I mean, who wouldn’t be captivated by its looks? It stands out with its sleek, metal frame in vivid Cobalt Blue. It’s also adorned by Neon Red accents (which looks orange to me) giving it a sophisticated vibe even at a glance. Moreover, a blue and red combination — in its most striking hue — is alluring to people fascinated with futuristic style.

Touch that lingers

The VivoBook S15 doesn’t just look good, but it feels upscale, too. Both the lid and body are made of fine aluminum, with the former having a textured finish. The embossed name also gives a subtle touch of class.

The body, on the other hand, was painted with a transparent silver color which glosses when there’s a substantial light shining over.

Back then, I kept on caressing the laptop as if my fingertips were running through a Burberry trench coat (or even Marc Jacobs underwear). I felt awestruck, especially with its trackpad which is fairly on point on its touch sensitivity. It’s decent compared to the previous laptop I used.

The keyboard was comfortable to type on. Most of its keys are large and evenly spaced, except for the arrow keys which are a lot smaller. Additionally, it’s light, soft and has a backlit design to let you work even in the dark.

Unfortunately, its bottom was made of plastic. To compensate, the laptop exhibits similar cuts on the base and perforations to look and feel better, especially when you hold it in your hands. The mix of aluminum and plastic offer the right amount of weight, making this combination common in most laptops nowadays. Honestly, it’s the perfect choice for frail people looking for a portable yet sturdy laptop.

Not just for show

In case you’re wondering, this laptop isn’t just for show. Even though it’s flamboyant and stylish, function is still at the core of its design language. Evident is ASUS’ ErgoLift hinge, which tilts the laptop to have an inclined position. This makes working on this laptop more comfortable on the wrists.

Productivity is one of its focus, considering all the ports available on each side. On the right, you can find the power input, a standard HDMI port, two USB 3.1 ports; one Type-A and one Type-C, an audio jack, and a microSD card reader.

On the left side, you can find two USB 2.0 ports which most people might find to be outdated since it’s already 2019. Most laptops nowadays come with USB-C ports instead. Nonetheless, I hate the dongle life and laptops carrying multiple ports are still better until every other device supports USB-C. This would pass, but I do hope that the next version would come with USB 4 ports, or at least USB 3.1.

The problem with just “looking good”

With its enormous size, it’s hard not to be drawn to the VivoBook S15. Its screen boasts a 15.6″ FHD panel bordered by thin bezels on every side, thanks to its NanoEdge design giving an almost-frameless look. Found on top is an IR HD camera, which isn’t as visible unless you put it under proper light.

I hate to rain on ASUS’ parade, but I honestly believe the display could’ve been better. The company is a braggart when it comes to their display, but let’s be real here: we don’t need something beautiful if it doesn’t provide what we need.

Consumers are looking for the very essence of a product’s feature, hence, the display should not be lackluster. It’s not bright and vibrant enough, and it has poor color reproduction. Moreover, it has a limited viewing angle and I experienced a lot of glare contrary to its claims.

It’s just like when you buy a fleece coat and a cashmere scarf, only to be duped when you find out it was mostly acrylic or polyester and it failed to provide the primary reason for buying it: to protect you from the cold during winter. The VivoBook S15 failed to give us the bright side of its display, but it’s one thing you can compromise if you already fell in love with its look.

Don’t have high hopes

While this laptop failed me in the display department, I wouldn’t let a single moment pass by to watch my favorite sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Despite all the disappointments I encountered, I still had high hopes for its audio performance since it was tuned by Harman Kardon.

However, don’t be fooled by its branding. Even though it has the Harman Kardon signature, the VivoBook S15 provides below average audio quality befitting a non-flagship laptop like this. The speakers are also stuck in the bottom, along with the fan perforations which can result in subdued sound quality especially when it’s placed on a flat surface.

I know, both the display and audio department have failed miserably yet I still found the whole experience with the laptop enjoyable. After all, comedies have taken a bulk on my watch list which guarantees I’ll be happy whatever I watch, wherever it may be. Yet as a person who sees a glass half-full, I honestly believe the VivoBook S15 is more than enough to most users.

My nitpicking is based on my impeccable — and irrationally — high standards, born out of using premium and flagship laptops first-hand. If I didn’t have any point of comparison, I would have opted for this one already.

But since I know we all deserve better, I still encourage you to look for the best you can find; unless this is the one that fits your preference, personality, and of course, budget. If that’s the case, then by all means, go ahead and continue reading.

Sometimes, it’s more than enough

The whole affair with the VivoBook S15 is like a dating adventure. I was hooked at first glance, and I admired its look and style, and I dived right in to feel it. One by one, I see red flags, and I still hold on to the tiny things that I might discover, hoping to make the affair with this “perfect” match going on.

In an attempt to hold on longer, I clung to one of the reasons why I chose this laptop. I looked back and remembered why I enjoyed every moment I was using it. The truth is this laptop provides more than what I need.

The VivoBook S15 is powered by an 8th-Gen Intel i7-8565U processor, running an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card. It also has an 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and 1TB HDD storage.

Yes, I’m a designer and I occasionally delve into multimedia work. If we’re going to talk about how I’m going to use this laptop in my everyday life, I’d say it’s more than enough. A confidante once affirmed that with the right person, you are enough.

Truly, the VivoBook S15 packs power more than what we need. It can let us browse the internet, open multiple tabs and multitask, and run Spotify, Netflix, Google Chrome, and Adobe Photoshop all at once in the background. Do note that these apps are some of the most power-consuming apps but the VivoBook S15 can handle everything without hiccups.

I also didn’t have qualms working on my post-processing sessions on Adobe Photoshop. On some occasions, I was able to handle illustrations through Adobe Illustrator and edit photos batch-by-batch in Adobe Lightroom. For those who do video editing, this laptop can handle a bit of editing, but I would look elsewhere.

Then again, I wouldn’t push a laptop beyond its limits, especially with a task it’s not meant to handle. Such examples are heavy multimedia works, or worse, playing graphics-intensive games. Sure it can do it albeit only to a certain extent.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

I may have said a mix of praise and brutally honest complaints about this laptop, and it might have confused some of you. Frankly, the ASUS VivoBook S15 has a lot of shortcomings, especially for a laptop in 2019. Yet despite its imperfection, it still proved to be more than capable, especially for everyday users.

This laptop will surely do you wonders, increase your productivity, and let your creativity thrive. For PhP 60,995 (US$ 1206), the ASUS VivoBook S15 S531FL can be rivaled by other laptops out there, but they probably look tacky. None of them can compete with how ASUS packaged this beaut into something stylish yet functional to complement one’s lifestyle. This laptop is something worth bringing and showing-off while you do your work.

Even though I noticed a lot of flaws, I still chose to see the good in it. I have learned that if you want to make a thing last, you have to choose it. Just like in love, you have to choose it every single day. Sure, there’ll be drawbacks and a lot of disappointments along the way, but some can be glossed over, understood and accepted. We’ll always have unreasonable demands, but we only need to take a step back and see the reason why we choose this thing (or someone) in the first place. Sometimes, they are enough.

Deals

ASUS laptops are discounted on Shopee 8.8 sale

ProArt StudioBooks and ExpertBooks join the sale

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Perhaps you might be looking to upgrade your laptop as you continue working or learning from home. ASUS is participating in Shopee 8.8 sale. During the sale, you can score commercial laptops with up to PhP 2,000 off their retail price.

ASUS laptops participating in the sale include their ExpertBook lineup. Business-grade desktops will also go on sale. As for the sale, ASUS will offer a pre-hype sale which is happening from July 23 to August 7. The main sale event will happen on August 8 from 12 am until midnight.

Here is the complete lineup of laptops on sale:

Laptops

Model Sale Price Retail Price
ProArt StudioBook 17 H700GV (Intel Core i7-9750H) PhP 137,995 PhP 139,995
ExpertBook B9450FA (Intel Core i5-10210) PhP 117,995 PhP 119,995
ExpertBook B9450FA (Intel Core i7-10510) PhP 147,995 PhP 149,995
Expertbook P1440 (14-inch, Intel Core i3-8130U, 4GB / 1TB HDD ) PhP 38,995 PhP 39,995
Expertbook P3540 (15.6-inch, Intel Core i3-8145U, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 41,995 PhP 42,995
Expertbook P5440FF (Intel Core i5-8265U, 8GB / 512GB HDD ) PhP 71,995 PhP 72,995

Desktops

Model Sale Price Retail Price Freebies
SFF D540SA (Intel Core i3-8100, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 35,995 PhP 36,995 Mouse and keyboard
D340MC(Intel Core i5-8400, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 40,995 PhP 41,995 Mouse and keyboard
D340MC (Intel Core i7-8700, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 52,995 PhP 53,995 Mouse and keyboard
D540SA (Intel Core i7-8700, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 52,995 PhP 53,995 Mouse and keyboard

Availing these laptops is as easy as heading over to ASUS Philippines’ official Shopee store. For more information about ASUS’ latest promos, visit their official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page.

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Laptops

Honor’s first gaming laptop pops up in leaks

The Hunter is coming

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While everyone is pushing for gaming smartphones, Honor has hinted at a different direction. In particular, Honor has previously teased an entry into the gaming laptop segment. Though the tease is substantial, the company maintained its silence on the matter. Now, Honor’s first gaming laptop pops up in leaks online.

Unbeknownst to Honor’s smartphone-focused consumers, the brand already has an existing gaming-centric lineup called Hunter. Currently, the lineup consists only a gaming router revealed earlier this year. According to @RODENT950, a Slashleaks contributor, the upcoming gaming laptop will expand this lineup.

In another leak, a Weibo user has posted teaser images of the laptop. Besides a repeating logo, the image notably contains a couple of hints at its design language: sapphire and supercars. According to the image, the laptop will have “sapphire cutting” and “sapphire shining.” In the technology world, “sapphire” historically pertained to sapphire screens. However, the laptop’s usage of the term will likely mean something else entirely. Could it pertain to the angular design or the finish of the chassis?

On the other hand, the supercar theming is more apparent. The laptop will explicitly get inspiration for its air vent from a supercar’s exhaust. The laptop’s monitor will also look like a supercar’s bonnet or hood.

If you’re in the market for a gaming laptop, Honor is definitely building its lineup for a launch soon. Two separate sources are certainly more substantial than the drip of information we’ve gotten about the lineup so far.

SEE ALSO: Honor 30 Lite, Honor X10 Max with Dimensity 800 now official

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Features

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i: Finding the work-life balance

Work smart, play hard

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Anyone living in this age is quickly frustrated by sluggish experiences — be it through their devices, internet connection, or relationships. For most people, it’s easy to find work-life balance when everything just works; a feat you can achieve when you have the right resources.

Now that the line between our work and personal lives are blurry, our yearning to maintain a good work-life balance amplifies. However, most people forget how investing in a well-performing machine can help you fast-track your goals in achieving your desired lifestyle.

For instance, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i is a capable laptop built to help you find the balance between life and work.

The value of working smart

Gone are the days where our worth is measured by the hours we clock in. Living in this age ushered the importance of efficiency, prompting people to work smarter to free up hours for meaningful things that make them happy.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i teaches us the same ethos — the value of working smart. This machine will let you expect a hiccup-free experience so you can multitask, be productive, perform creative tasks, and even play games to unwind.

Lenovo’s smarter technology promise ensures that people can prepare for the challenges ahead, seeing how technology has become extremely important to meeting people’s basic needs, and keeping the world going even during a crisis.

The IdeaPad Slim 5i is a testament to that, as it adds to Lenovo’s innovative technologies across its vast portfolio of devices that position the company as the most prolific end-to-end global technology organization.

It is thanks to this laptop’s internals, which is powered by up to the latest 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and runs on NVIDIA’s GeForce MX350 GPU and Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics. It also sports an 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage, and up to 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage on some units.

Moreover, it’s equipped with WiFi-6 connectivity, ensuring a strong connection for all your online activities. Even with multiple gadgets at home, trust that the IdeaPad Slim 5i won’t give up on your connection — even when everyone else does.

Feature-packed for its price

Some features that make our lives easier are considered a luxury, especially for non-flagship and non-premium laptops. Yet the IdeaPad Slim 5i was able to pack certain features to ensure a seamless experience.

First, you can have peace of mind when it comes to your safety and security since it’s equipped with Lenovo’s distinct Privacy Shutter.

Design-wise, it’s paint-coated with fabric-like finish in colors such as platinum grey, graphite grey, or light teal; colors that won’t steal the spotlight away from you.

Also, it’s soft and comfortable to touch, and it’s designed to be opened with just one hand, flexing its sturdy hinges and durable build.

Moreover, it hosts several ports — a USB-C port, two USB 3.1 ports, a DisplayPort, an SD card reader, and an audio jack — for better connection.

Work, play, rest, repeat

When the going gets tough, you can always opt to take a break. The IdeaPad Slim 5i isn’t just a productivity powerhouse, it can be a portable entertainment hub, too!

With a Dolby Audio-tuned front-facing speakers situated beside the keyboard, and partnered by an FHD display with 90% Active Area ratio, it’s set to be a perfect leisure companion. Stream your favorite tunes or binge-watch your favorite shows, wherever you want it.

Furthermore, it lets you work or play uninterrupted for 12 hours with its 57Wh battery. If you need additional juice, you can use its Rapid Charge which gives an extra 3-hour usage within 15 minutes of charging.

As the routine gets mundane, take time to rest so you and your laptop can cool down. Taking a step away and changing your scenery can help improve your well-being. Treat your body just like how you would take care of your gizmos.

Striking a balance between life and work

Surely, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i is a great tool to help you strike a proper work-life balance. After all, it’s a no-frills laptop focused on getting the job done, so you can do the things you’ve always wanted to do in life. Moreover, it’s a feature-packed laptop with value for money.

The IdeaPad Slim 5i retails for PhP 49,995 (Intel Core i5) and PhP 59,995 (Intel Core i7) and is available in authorized stores like Silicon Valley, PC Express, Villman, Complink, Gigahertz, Octagon, and Abenson.

Lenovo is currently running a promo that offers freebies worth PhP 20,475 when you purchase the IdeaPad Slim 5i. You’ll get premium gifts such as a 65W Type-C travel adapter, a Lenovo B210 backpack, a Herschel Little America backpack, and a free Microsoft Office with a lifetime license. For more information, visit Lenovo’s Summer Sale Promo 2020.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch, Intel, and Lenovo Philippines.

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