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Asus VivoBook S15 review: A more lightweight, lower-cost big-screen laptop

Lastly, although you'll probably still want to hook up external speakers or headphones, the laptop's stereo speakers sound good. While they don't have a lot of punch in the low end, the S15's get loud, but stay clean and clear without distortion or sounding too tinny. 

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Check out those thin bezels!

Sarah Tew/CNET

Performance and the plug

Both the Samsung Notebook 9 and LG Gram 15 have similar configurations to the VivoBook S15 S510UA-DB71, so it's not really surprising they all perform about the same. The LG and Samsung have twice the amount of RAM, though, and they both benefit from it, but not by much. The upside is, the S15's bottom panel is easily removed and you can upgrade the memory on your own. Worth noting, too, is that Asus uses dual storage drives in all the S15 configurations, with one M.2 SSD for the OS and software and a slower hard drive for file storage. If you like to keep your stuff local and not in the cloud, the S15 is the better choice. 

None of these systems are powerhouses, and they're meant for everyday stuff like posting to Facebook while you stream music, doing some word processing and light photo editing and maybe a little casual gaming. If you do want to do anything more graphically intensive or think there's a chance you will in the future, I would again suggest stepping up to the S15 with the Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics. It's an entry-level GPU, but it's enough to boost overall performance for little investment. My only concern would be what it would do to the S15's already unimpressive battery life. 

At just more than 7 hours on our video streaming battery run-down test, the S15 is well behind the LG at nearly 10 hours and the Samsung at more than 12 hours. Under normal mixed use, you're looking at more like 5 hours before you start searching for an outlet. 

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Don't expect all-day battery life from the S15. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

It's fine. Just fine

The Asus VivoBook S15 allows you to travel with less weight and a larger screen without going over $1,000. It's otherwise a fairly average laptop for everyday use making it fine for a home office, relaxing with a movie or music or getting school work done. That is, assuming you don't need to go a long time between charging. 

Multimedia multitasking test 3.0

Dell XPS 15 (2017)
197
Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch)
427
LG Gram 15
442
Asus VivoBook S15
482
HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2017)
509

Note:

Shorter bars indicate better performance (in seconds)


Geekbench 3 (multi-core)

Dell XPS 15 (2017)
14161
LG Gram 15
8083
Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch)
8042
HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2017)
7778
Asus VivoBook S15
6053

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance


Streaming video playback battery drain test (minutes)

Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch)
736
HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2017)
594
LG Gram 15
582
Dell XPS 15 (2017)
432
Asus VivoBook S15
427

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (in minutes)


System configurations

Asus VivoBook S15 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB Intel HD Graphics 620; 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce 940MX; 256GB SSD
Dell XPS 15 (2017) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ;16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050; 512GB SSD
HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2017) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce 940MX; 512GB SSD
LG Gram 15 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620; 512GB SSD

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