Well, well, well. What do we have here? A 14-inch VivoBook. It looks like the successor of the S14 S432 but interestingly – it lacks the ScreenPad 2.0 support. Have ASUS made it exclusive to the ZenBook series? Are they trying to keep the price down? We don’t know. What we know, however, is that the new notebook comes with a new look, new processors, and a 1080p IPS display.
While the processors of choice here are mere refreshes of the Whiskey Lake family, we found out that in some laptops, they offer better optimization, thus improving the battery life of the device. You will see shortly, whether this is true for this unit as well. First, let’s take a look at the beautiful new look, coming in four different lid colors, aimed to suit (almost) every taste.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-vivobook-s14-s433/
ASUS VivoBook S14 S433 - Specs
What’s in the box?
This notebook comes with a 45W power adapter (and 65W for the MX250 version). Interestingly, it is incredibly compact with a size, similar to that of an iPad charger.
Design and construction
So what are the colors you can get this laptop dressed in? Well, according to the manufacturer they are called Indie Black, Gaia Green, Resolute Red, and Dreamy White. Quite the marketing they have there. Apart from the fancy names, the colors give character to the machine. We were able to get our hands on the White version, and man, does it look great. As far as measurements go, the new laptop remains at the same weight of 1.40 kg, but the profile is greatly reduced from 18mm down to 15.9mm. Structurally, the VivoBook S14 S433 feels pretty though and it is prone to flexes in the chassis.
Sadly, you won’t be able to open the lid using only one hand. However, ASUS was able to cram an HD camera in the top bezel, while the side ones are pretty thin – giving this notebook a fresh look in 2020. Interestingly, this unit no longer features the “ErgoLift” hinge mechanism, where the lid lifts the backside of the bottom plate. We are not sure what is the thought process behind this decision, especially when the new device has a significantly thinner profile.
Next, there is the base. There we see a pretty decent keyboard deck with large keycaps, decent travel, and clicky feedback. Overall – a great unit for typing. Additionally, it features a backlight, as well as a yellow design hint on the Enter key. Unfortunately for some people, the “Arrows” are half-sized. Also, there is a very minimal keyboard flex, when you press hard on the keys.
As with most 14-inchers out there, this laptop lacks a NumberPad section. However, ASUS has a neat little way of going around this issue, by integrating a capacitive solution inside of the touchpad. It activates by holding your finger on the top right corner of the touchpad for a second. The trackpad, itself, works great – multi-finger gestures are supported, while the gliding experience is fine. One thing we found a little weird, was that when you are gliding around with your finger, and especially when you press harder, you will certainly feel the cutouts for the backlight. It’s not a big deal, but it can certainly be annoying for some users.
Lastly, the bottom panel houses the speakers, as well as a ventilation grill. The hot air, on the other side, is exhausted from in between the lid and the base, basically towards the display.
On the left side of the device, you can see the barrel-style power plug, an HDMI connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) port, as well as a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1) port only for data transfer, and an Audio Jack. Then, on the right, there are two USB Type-A 2.0 ports (which seem a bit dated in 2020), and a MicroSD card reader.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
This device’s bottom plate is fixed in place by 9 Torx-head screws. Remove them and you would be able to pop the panel with a plastic pry tool.
Let’s take a look at the cooling. It has pretty much the same design as the older VivoBook S14 S432 – a thin but yet long heat pipe, and a reasonably big heat sink to dissipate the heat.
In terms of upgradability, there is nothing much to say – all of the memory is soldered to the motherboard, and the only storage option is an M.2 PCIe x2 drive.
At least, the battery is decent for a device with this size – a 50Wh unit.
ASUS VivoBook S14 S433 features a Full HD IPS screen, model number BOE NV140FHM-N49 (BOE07E7). Its diagonal is 14″ (35.56 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 157 ppi, their pitch – 0.161 x 0.161 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 56 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
It has comfortable viewing angles. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 308 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 289 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 11%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6700K (average) – slightly colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 63% Brightness (White level = 139 cd/m2, Black level = 0.115 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1200:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows ASUS VivoBook S14 S433’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers only 52% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of ASUS VivoBook S14 S433 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 32 ms. The panel is not one of the fastest on the market.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
ASUS VivoBook S14 S433’s display is not PW-modulated, whatsoever. This makes it comfortable for use for extended periods of time.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
ASUS VivoBook S14 S433’s display has an IPS panel with a Full HD resolution, good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and a non-flickering backlight. Its only disadvantage, in our view, is the modest color coverage of 52% of sRGB.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for ASUS VivoBook S14 S433 configurations with 14.0″ BOE NV140FHM-N49 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
ASUS VivoBook S14 S433’s speakers are tuned by Harman/Kardon and the sound coming from them has a decent quality. Its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations, as well.
All of the drivers and utilities for this device can be downloaded from here: https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ASUS-VivoBook-S14-S433FA/HelpDesk_Download/
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
Up to the moment of writing this review, the VivoBook S14 S433 can be found with a Core i5-10210U or a Core i7-10510U – both quad-core processors, part of probably the last 14nm family of Intel – the Comet Lake.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
GPU-wise you can go either with the integrated graphics solution – the UHD Graphics, or with the GeForce MX250 (2GB GDDR5). Although we don’t have information on TGP of the MX250, we are pretty confident, ASUS went for the 10W version.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||46 fps||29 fps||– fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||79 fps||37 fps||– fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i5-10210U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|ASUS VivoBook S14 S433||2.63 GHz (B+64%) @ 59°C||2.27 GHz (B+42%) @ 66°C||2.33 GHz (B+46%) @ 75°C|
|Lenovo ThinkPad E15||2.47 GHz (B+54%) @ 76°C||2.50 GHz (B+56%) @ 91°C||1.97 GHz (B+23%) @ 79°C|
|HP Probook 450 G7||2.54 GHz (B+59%) @ 59°C||2.12 GHz (B+33%) @ 67°C||1.81 GHz (B+13%) @ 72°C|
|HP Probook 440 G7||2.68 GHz (B+68%) @ 59°C||2.68 GHz (B+68%) @ 67°C||2.20 GHz (B+38%) @ 72°C|
|Lenovo ThinkBook 15-IML||3.08 GHz (B+93%) @ 73°C||3.00 GHz (B+88%) @ 82°C||2.55 GHz (B+59%) @ 80°C|
|Lenovo ThinkPad L13||3.04 GHz (B+90%) @ 97°C||2.10 GHz (B+31%) @ 97°C||2.12 GHz (B+33%) @ 79°C|
|ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481||3.26 GHz (B+104%) @ 94°C||2.77 GHz (B+73%) @ 98°C||2.06 GHz (B+29%) @ 71°C|
|Dell Vostro 5590||3.50 GHz (B+119%) @ 94°C||2.68 GHz (B+68%) @ 97°C||2.36 GHz (B+48%) @ 79°C|
Despite the relatively low frequency at the beginning of the test, we monitored very low temperatures on this processor. Certainly, the cooling of this device is capable enough. Especially, when you look at the end results.
Comfort during full load
Under load, we notice a clearly audible but not too loud noise coming from the fan. As of temperature – it was a little bit on the warm side, although not too hot, whatsoever.
It is good to see when the manufacturers actually take their time and design a new chassis for their notebooks. Definitely, the ASUS VivoBook S14 S433 is a fresh little piece of machinery, which will provide a snappy experience and a lot of fun moments. One of the big pros of the device is the thin and light body, which can be configured with one of four color choices. We found the White unit particularly sleek.
Battery life is good here. We got 10 hours of Web browsing and more than 12 hours of video playback from the 50Wh unit. Certainly, it will handle a full workday or a full movie marathon, without the need to plug it to the wall.
ASUS VivoBook S14 S433’s display has an IPS panel (BOE NV140FHM-N49) with a Full HD resolution, good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and a non-flickering backlight. Its only disadvantage, in our view, is the modest color coverage of 52% of sRGB.
Speaking of disadvantages, we are not really sure why ASUS decided to ditch the ScreenPad 2.0. Indeed, the new notebook features a NumberPad, embedded into the touchpad, which is a good touch, but this is nowhere near the features and versatility provided by the ScreenPad, itself.
Thankfully, not including the ErgoLift hinge, didn’t result in poor cooling performance. The laptop will stay cool on the inside even if you throw a high load at it.
Sadly, there are a couple of features that are missing from this laptop, thus preventing us from giving it an Editor’s choice award. The first one is upgradable memory – all of the RAM chips are soldered to the motherboard and you can get the laptop with a maximum of 16GB. Make your choices carefully before purchase. Additionally, you won’t be able to put a 2.5″ storage drive, but on the bright side, there is an M.2 slot, which supports NVMe drives.
Next – the port selection. We’re not going to talk about what it has, but more of what it doesn’t have – an RJ-45 connector, a DisplayPort output from the Type-C port and Thunderbolt support. Not only that, but there is a majority of USB Type-A 2.0 ports over 3.1 ones, which is very unreasonable in 2020.
Honestly, with things staying that way, you would probably want to stick with the older VivoBook S14 S432, instead of this one. Or even – go for the Dell Vostro 5490 as it provides memory and 2.5″ storage options, as well as a more diverse I/O.
- Stylish customizable design
- Nice performance/efficiency ratio
- Good battery life
- Good contrast ratio and comfortable viewing angles (BOE NV140FHM-N49)
- Doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness (BOE NV140FHM-N49)
- MicroSD card reader on board
- Poor upgradability
- Lacks Thunderbolt connection
- Covers only 54% of sRGB (BOE NV140FHM-N49)
- Seems like a downgrade from last year
- Modest I/O
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-vivobook-s14-s433/