Price and style often go hand in hand when shopping for a new laptop. In general, the more money you’re willing to plop down for a machine, the better it’s going to look and feel. As Asus highlights with its latest Ultrabook, however, that doesn’t always have to be the case.
The Asus VivoBook S is an affordable machine that looks way more appealing than its price point would suggest. It features a modest 15.6-inch matte display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 driven by either an Intel Core i5-7200U or Core i7-7500U processor, Intel HD graphics and 8GB (or up to 32GB) of RAM.
Local storage is handled by a 128GB M.2 SATA solid state drive and a 1TB 5,400 RPM hard drive although again, for a bit more coin, you can upgrade to a pair of 1TB SSDs (there’s also an SD card reader for easy expansion / file transfers).
Windows 10 comes standard, as does the 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 wireless connectivity and 42WHr, 3-cell li-ion battery. You also get a full complement of I/O ports including USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI and a combination audio jack.
What sets the system apart from most budget laptops is the beautiful brushed aluminum chassis and slim measurements. The VivoBook S measures 14.2 inches wide and 0.7 inches thick with a bezel of just 0.3 inches which Asus says affords an 80 percent screen-to-body ratio.
Pricing starts at just $699 (Core i5, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive) although I’d highly recommend springing for a model with a solid state drive (starting at $799). Systems are available as of writing from several retailers including B&H and Newegg as well as directly from Asus.