The ASUS Vivobook S510UN is one of the Powerful mid ranger Laptops by ASUS in a comparatively thin & light form factor that is geared towards Productivity but it can also do some lightweight gaming. It comes with the new Quadcore 8th Gen Intel Kaby Lake-R CPUs & Nvidia’s new MX150 GPU. We spent some time with the S510 & we think we have done enough testing to give our full review of the device. Many of you guys were interested in the device so, this is our full review for the ASUS Vivobook S510 aka ASUS Vivobook S15.
ASUS Vivobook S15 Specifications
Dimensions: 361.4 x 243.5 x 17.9 mm (WxDxH)
Display: 15.6 inch, 60Hz, 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD Display
Processor: Intel’s 14nm Kaby Lake-R Core i7-8550U (15W TDP, Boost upto 4.0 GHz, 8MB L3 Cache)
RAM: 16GB 1866 MHz DDR3 Memory
GPU: NVIDIA MX 150 (384 CUDA Cores)
VRAM: 2GB GDDR5
Storage: 128GB SATA3 SSD (Toshiba THNSNK128GVN8) + 1TB 5400 RPM HDD (2.5 inch Seagate ST100LM035)
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac , 2×2
Bluetooth: Bluetooth v4.1
Ports: 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x Type-C USB3.1 Gen1, 1x 3.5mm Audio combo Jack, 1x HDMI
Audio: Dual Down Facing Stereo Speakers
Webcam: 480P VGA Webcam
Battery: 42Whrs, 3 Cells
Weight: 1.7 Kilograms
Design & Build Quality
The Vivobook S15 has quite an elegant design. It’s not as good as a Zenbook UX430 but, it still kinda has some attractive looks to it. Right now it’s available in Gold color only but, it looks good. The Bezels are kinda minimal & ASUS calls it their Nano-edge Display. That also adds a better look for when the device is in use.
So, let’s dig a little deep now. The Vivobook S15 comes in a Plastic construction with Alluminium on the top. The Build Quality is solid with very minimal flex in the Keyboard area & on the Top. The Keyboard is one of those Chiclet style ones with decent key strokes & decent key travel. However, if you’re used to that extra number pad on the right in older ASUS laptops, it is not present in this device. The Trackpad uses a Glass Surface & there is also a Fingerprint Scanner that makes it possible to log in with Windows Hello biometrically.
The Hinge is also very well tuned & but, it isn’t one hand openable if that matters to you. There is some flex to the Screen but, considering the price, this is not unexpected. Overall, I’d say it’s a great build quality for the money. This is a mid end device so, I wasn’t expecting a good build at all so, good job ASUS.
There are also a decent selection of ports to work with. On the left we have Two USB Type-A Ports & a full size SD Card slot. These USB Ports are basically USB 2.0 ports. The Indicator LEDs are also located on the left.
On the right we have one USB 3.0 port, one HDMI port, one USB 3.1 Type C Port & the 3.5mm Headphone Jack. The USB C port is not Thunderbolt 3. The Charging port is also located on the right but, there is no Ethernet Port if you’re looking for that.
There are two speakers located at the Bottom-front of the device & there are around 10 screws to get inside the device. If you want, you can upgrade the RAM, HDD & the SSD.
The Vivobook S15 is rocking a 15.6 inch 1080P IPS panel with a Refresh Rate of 60 Hz. The Display has that warmer color tome again that ASUS has been shipping with most of their newer laptops. It’s one of those 45% NTSC IPS panels so, in terms of color accuracy, it’s not a great Display for Content Creation but, it’s made for Productivity & Lightweight Gaming and for those purposes, it’s actually a nice Display.
If I have to complain about something, it would be the Brightness. ASUS didn’t mention any Nits rating on their website but, I feel the Brightness is probably around 250 nits, give or take a little bit. So, for me it’s a little less specially if I’m using the laptop outside in Daytime. But, ASUS has included an Anti-glare Matt Finish on the Display so, reflections are not a huge issue unlike some Ultrabooks out there. The Slim Bezels & 80% Screen-to-body Ratio does make the device look good so, that’s another good side of the Display.
I also found the Display to be quite nice for media consumption. That warmer color tone might not be the most color accurate thing, but Photos & Videos sometime actually look better with that tone & maybe that’s why ASUS is shipping their laptops with it. On a laptop build on these purposes, it actually does a nice job. But, it’s not the most desired thing for High-end Professional laptops like the Zenbook Pro UX550 that is also made by ASUS. But, for the Vivobook S15, I have no complains on that.
The Vivobook S15 is rocking the latest 8th Gen Intel Core CPUs inside. Our review unit is rocking an i7-8550U but, it is also available with the i5-8250U as a cheaper option. These new 8th Gen Kaby Lake-R U-series CPUs have been bumped up to 4 Cores compared to the older 7th Gen U-series CPUs that used to have only 2 cores. Oh & all cores are Hyper Threaded if you’re curious.
The Base Clock is set to 1.8 GHz but, when needed the CPU can use 4GHz on the Boost Clock to pull the load off. The L3 Cache has also been increased to 8 Gigabytes. Now, I know many of you guys want to see, how well the 8th Gen i7-8550U did compared to it’s predecessors in Benchmarks. So, I’m leaving a Geekbench comparison chart below for reference.
Coming to Real-life Performance, I had no issues with day to day usage for productivity. The system felt snappy & responsive. If you want to Edit Videos though, I have edited both 1080P & 4K footages on this device. You can do it but, it is a 15W CPU so, while in rending, a Laptop with a 45W CPU will finish rendering the Video much faster compared to these 15W CPUs. If you’re working with 60 FPS or higher Frame Rate footages, this time difference will become more noticeable cause, generally a 1080P 60 FPS video takes more time to render compared to a 4K 30 FPS video of the same length.
I have compared the render times of the Vivobook S15 with the 15W i7-8550U with my ROG G501VW with the 45W i7-6700HQ and as expected, these were the results.
There is also a dedicated GPU which is the MX 150 from NVIDIA. Now, the previous gen MX 130 was one of the super low performance GPUs that NVIDIA was currently making but, things have changed a lot for the MX150. It has around 384 CUDA cores which alongside the other specifications, are very similar to the GT 1030. So, the MX 150 is kinda like the unofficial GT 1030 Laptop for non-gamers.
The Performance is better than I expected. The MX 150 is around 30-35% Faster than the GTX 940MX & it’s even around 5-7% Faster than the GTX 950M. Though it’s not as good as a 960M but, if you want you can do some light weight gaming on it while maintaining respectable frame rates.
So, overall it’s good for lightweight gaming. But, the 15W CPU thing is still true here. So, if you really want bang on Gaming in your Laptop, go for a 45W CPU & maybe something like a 1050Ti at least. But, if you want to do some regular Gaming on the Vivobook S15, you can.
Lastly, let’s talk about the Battery life. ASUS claims around 8 Hours of Battery Life. That may be true in some particular use case scenarios but, in my case I was getting around 6 hours with with regular kind of stuff like Web Browsing, Taking Notes, Watching Videos etc. If you’re doing something like Video Editing or Gaming, the Battery life will be shorter. However, this laptop comes with Fast Charging & it can juice up upto 60% in around 49 minutes.
The Audio Output
There are two down-firing Speakers on the bottom-front of the device. They get reasonably loud but, not like super loud or something. The clarity is ok, it sounds good. The Bass is however kinda minimal on these two. Now, as it’s a Bottom firing speaker system, if you’re using the Laptop on a Table, that will give you a better sound experience compared to using it on your Lap.
Now, if you want to Play Games on it, I won’t suggest to use the speakers for that. It’ll be better if you use headphones for gaming. However when you’re on Headphones, ASUS do have an IcePower tuned custom Audio Wizard for different scenarios.
So, the Speakers are not as good as like something on the ROG GL553 but, they are better than many of the Ultrabook & 2-in-1 Laptop speakers that, I’ve heard recently. The Audio Output via. Headphones are quite good.
The model we were testing was the completely specd out version with the i7-8550U, MX 150 GPU with 2GB VRAM, 16GB DD4 RAM, 128GB SATA 3 SSD & 1TB of HDD storage. However the base variant costs around 59990 INR with the i5-8250U, MX 150 GPU with 2GB VRAM, 8GB DDR4 RAM & 1TB of HDD storage. Our fully speced out variant costs around 79990 INR.
So at that price point, is this thing worth the money ? Let’s have a look at the Pros & Cons of the device real quick.
- The new 8th Gen Quadcore U-series CPU gives a nice performance bump over the last gen 7th Gen Dual Core CPUs in Multicore stuff.
- The MX 150 GPU is much better compared to the 940MX which many of the competitors are offering at similar prices.
- The Fingerprint Scanner is a nice edition in terms of security.
- The Build Quality is really nice for the Price.
- The Battery Life is also very good in this Laptop.
- The Brightness of the Display is lower than preferred.
- Content Creation can be done but, it’s not the ideal machine for that purpose.
- The 480P Webcam is unusable for Video Calls most of the time.
- The USB Type-C Port does not have support for Thunderbolt 3.
So, if you want a Laptop mainly for Regular Productivity Stuff & Lightweight Gaming, This is a really nice option. There are other laptops available that have very similar specifications but, come at a higher price point. I think ASUS has priced these devices really well specially the base i5-8250U variant. So, if you feel that, the Vivobook S15 is completing your checklist, you can definitely consider this one.
One thing to keep in mind is that, don’t buy this Laptop to play AAA titles at 1080P Max Graphics settings. For that, look for those gaming laptops that come with 45W CPUs & better GPUs. The Vivobook S15 can handle games like that but, you need to drop your graphics settings a bit to get better Frame Rates.
Ok, so that wraps up our review for the ASUS Vivobook S15 (S510) with the new Intel 8th Gen Kaby Lake-R CPUs. If you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments section below. If you want to pick Vivobook S15 up I’m leaving the links below.