Asus VivoBook S13 – at last an excellent well priced, well featured light laptop with 13.3" screen but there’s a big catch!

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Pleasantly surprised setting up a new Asus VivoBook S13. It seemed to have all the basics done well and was a pleasure to use. A 500GB SSD – at last what should be the baseline for hard drives in 2019. I can forgo a touch screen for the very good FHD screen. The small size 13″ screen in an 11.6″ body, light weight and 4mm bezel a joy to someone who has been a laptop afficionado since the early 1990s. In USD I calculate the cost to be $890.

To my client I recommended my usual go to – an HP ProBook 430 – in this case a G6 but heavier, bigger and no FHD screen at a comparable price. Nice try HP but compared to the Asus offering you are running behind.

At last Asus have made the every person laptop for 2019 for those who want the leader – a Dell XPS but can’t afford it. I even embrace the no camera decision with the bezel less screen – leave it out – use your phone or tablet instead. I am genuinely excited by this simple laptop.

The Asus VivoBooks should be flying out the door at Best Buy to all those who want a great product for a great price but… all the great things ruined what I would call an Asus brain freeze.

Yes the brilliant non techs at Asus have ruined all the great work by the tech design and engineering teams to provide this device in my country (New Zealand) currently only in Rose Gold!

How to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!

Would love to hear others opinion who have checked out this Asus and their thought on what seems to me a crazy decision to sell such a great product in “exciting” colours and restrict the more desirable simple colours.

For a manufacturer clearly influenced by design at Apple the point of difference using colour absolutely grates. Maybe all the silver ones have gone to the USA. Lucky USA if that is the case.

The colour choice in the other screen size models is even more bizzare. It’s a long road to the perfect value laptop, so near and yet so far unless you are colour blind or Rose Gold is your thing.

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2 responses to “Asus VivoBook S13 – at last an excellent well priced, well featured light laptop with 13.3" screen but there’s a big catch!”

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    Daishi

    While I would be the first to agree that Dell’s prices are borderline comical, especially for those of us Living Outside The US once their 30-50% LOTUS tax has been applied, it’s also not really fair to say that the VivoBook is a cheaper XPS 13. While it’s certainly true that you can do everything on one that you can on the other there are also several sacrifices involved in choosing the Asus.


    For example:

    Plastic construction vs aluminium and carbon fibre.

    250nit display with 60%srgb vs 400nit and 90%.

    USB 2.0 and gen1 type C ports vs multiple Thunderbolt 3s.

    Sata III ssd vs 4x faster NVMe

    18mm thick vs 12mm


    Obviously it’s completely reasonable to question how important any or all of these things are to you and to conclude that they don’t matter at all, but they are also important to mention when making a a direct comparison between the two machines.

  2. Avatar

    letsmakeitbetter

    Thanks Daishi

    Yes of course the details you give are bang on and the Dell XPS 13 has more desirable features for more money.

    It is the combination of Dell XPS 13 like size (OK it's thicker) and a good tech setup (especially the 512GB SATA SSD offering) for a reasonable amount of money that makes the Asus special.

    Looking at the Dell website in New Zealand for a new XPS regardless of price I can get a maximum of the 256GB SSD. I say this is madness in May 2019.

    When you see the price differentials currently on 256 - 512 - 1000GB which are no longer huge it seems insanity on the part of manufacturers not to provide the option of reasonably priced laptops to have 512-1000GB SSDs in their SATA or NVMe offering.

    Mindful of SSD recomendation of no more than 75% full drive.

    The cynic in me says the manufacturers are deliberately lining up for new laptop sales in 1-2 years when 256GB is as laughable as 128GB for lots of users is now.

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