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.

Laptops

Huawei MateBook D 15, MateBook 13, MatePad Pro arrives in Singapore

All for mobile productivity

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If you’ve been looking to shake-up your work-from-home setup, Huawei has some new devices coming for your consideration. These are the MateBook D15, MateBook 13, and the flagship tablet MatePad Pro.

These new devices will work handily with whatever Huawei phone or other Huawei gadget you already have in tow.

MateBook D 15

The MateBook D 15 is a fantastic 15-inch laptop. It’s perfect for both work and learning. It’s equipped with the AMD Ryzen 3500U processor. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a processor that’s often been compared to the Intel Core i5 8250u. What that means is that this laptop is more than capable of handling everything you do on a browser along with the usual Microsoft office suite. It also has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

It’s also home to features like a hybrid power and fingeprint scanner button, a now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t recessed webcam, and the nifty Huawei Share that lets you quickly share files and control your Huawei or Honor phone straight from the laptop.

MateBook 13

Albeit smaller, the MateBook 13 actually packs more power. It’s powered by a 10th gen Intel Core processor with a 16GB dual channel RAM and 512GB of internal storage. Huawei says you can expect fast reading and writing speeds, image and video editing tasks, as well as entertainment experiences.

It comes with 3:2 high-quality 2K display and side bezels measuring only 4.4mm for more content with vivid details, speed and accuracy. A 2K HUAWEI FullView Display with Multi-touch is also available as an option.

MatePad Pro

The MatePad Pro, Huawei says, is their more affordable answer to the iPad Pro. Not only is it a fantastic multimedia device, it also comes with a pen. This premium-looking slate is geared towards creatives looking to express themselves and create things both for work and play.

Inside it’s powered by the flagship chip Kirin 990 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It also has a 7250mAh battery with support for wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.

Price and availability

All three devices will be available in all Huawei Concept stores, selected consumer electronic stores and official online stores with Lazada and Shopee starting June 8, 2020. Pricing are as follows:

  • MateBook D 15 — SG$ 998
  • MateBook 13 — SG$ 1,598
  • MatePad Pro — SG$ 898

Pre-orders for these devices will be available from May 30 to 7 June 7, 2020 with exclusive bundle deals, while stocks last.

  • MateBook D 15 — Huawei Wireless Bluetooth Mouse, Huawei Laptop Sleeve Bag, Huawei Freebuds 3
  • MateBook 13 — Huawei Wireless Bluetooth Mouse, Huawei Laptop Sleeve Bag, Huawei Back-up (1TB storage, Huawei Freebuds 3
  • MatePad Pro — Huawei Smart Magnetic Keyboard, Huawei M-Pencil, 1-year 50GB Huawei Mobile Cloud Storage, WPC Office Premium Membership, 3-month Huawei Video Subscription

SEE ALSO: Reasons why the Huawei Matebook D 15 is an easy buy

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Computers

LG Singapore launches Lazada store, offers discounts

Up to 25% savings can be had on purchases

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Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more and more tech brands are relying on online stores to reach their customers. LG Singapore is the latest brand to go online with the opening of its flagship Lazada store. To mark the opening, it is discounting its appliances and devices for a limited time.

There’s a wide range of appliances on offer with LG’s Lazada store. Customers who buy LG appliances from May 23 to May 31 can get savings of up to 25% and a further 3% discount with a minimum purchase of SG$ 499.

Those who work from home will find a great range of LG TV and monitors on offer at the online store. They can also purchase the latest LG Gram through Lazada should they need a trusty laptop for their work.

Those who wanted to step up their facial self-care routine will also appreciate LG store’s selection of Pra.L appliances. For a limited time, LG will give away two complimentary brush heads with every purchase of Pra.L Dual Cleanser.

Other appliances offered on the Lazada store include LG refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and more. There’s something for everyone on the online store, so be sure to check it out here.

Youtube support channel

LG has also put up a Youtube support channel to help customers in troubleshooting their appliances. Their Youtube channel features handy tutorials on common troubleshooting problems. Since most customer service centers are still closed or are operating in a limited capacity in most areas, the channel is a great alternative for those who need help with their LG devices.

With LG opening its online store on Lazada and putting up a support channel on Youtube, customers don’t have to go to a physical store just to buy or have their appliances repaired. This is not just convenient for many, but also necessary as Singapore still restricts many non-essential shops from opening.

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Deals

LG GX Gallery OLED TV now available in Singapore

Comes with a free soundbar for pre-orders until June 7

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Last March, LG unveiled new OLED TVs packed with the latest and the greatest features. Among them is the GX Gallery, a lineup of big OLED TVs that offer high-end features for an unparalleled and immersive viewing experience. Now, the award-winning OLED TV lineup from LG is available to purchase in Singapore.

LG’s GX Gallery is now available to purchase at all authorized retailers nationwide. To entice customers, LG is throwing in a freebie for every pre-order of the 55-inch or 65-inch TV model until June 7. Customers will receive an SL8 soundbar worth SG$ 1,099 for every purchase of 55-inch GX OLED TV. Meanwhile, those who opt for the 65-inch GX OLED TV will receive the SL9 soundbar worth SG$ 1,599. Customers will also get an SG$ 200 grocery voucher on every purchase regardless of the model.

LG is also offering complimentary delivery and free installation for every purchase from June 1 to July 31, 2020. As such, there’s no better time than today to purchase the latest GX Gallery TVs from LG.

The LG GX Gallery features high-resolution OLED displays for a truly cinematic experience. At the heart of each GX TVs is the Alpha 9 Gen 3 processor that boosts the image and sound quality on these TVs. It also has the ThinQ AI and Google Assistant built-in so anyone can just utter commands to the TV without picking up the remote control.

These new high-end TVs from LG are available on all authorized retailers across Singapore. For more information, visit LG Singapore’s website.

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