Notebookcheck

Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA Review: The elegant subnotebook offers a lot of endurance

Sascha Mölck, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by Stanislav Kokhanyuk ), 09/12/2019

It runs, and runs and runs. Asus has equipped the VivoBook 14 with a 72-Wh battery that ensures an excellent battery life. The rest of the equipment is also right: a Core-i5 processor, 16 GB of working memory (dual-channel mode), an SSD, and a matte IPS display. A Windows operating system is not included.

The Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA is a compact 14-inch notebook that is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor. This 700-Euro (~$780) model is aimed at students in schools and universities. The prices for the regular model usually range from 800 (~$892) to 900 (~$1004) Euros. The competing devices include: the Acer Swift 3 SF314-55, the HP 14, the Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D and the Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API.

Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA (VivoBook 14 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 300-1100 MHz, Memory: 2133 MHz, dual-channel, 25.20.100.6519
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2400, dual-channel, memory soldered in, no storage slots
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1200 pixel 162 PPI, Chi Mei N140HCA-EAC, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8, 512 GB 
, M.2-2280, 512 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-LP - cAVS
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: combined audio jack, Card Reader: SD, 1 Fingerprint Reader, TPM 2.0
Networking
Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 16.5 x 323 x 208 ( = 0.65 x 12.72 x 8.19 in)
Battery
72 Wh Lithium-Ion, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 24 h
Operating System
Endless OS 3 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.32 kg ( = 46.56 oz / 2.91 pounds), Power Supply: 154 g ( = 5.43 oz / 0.34 pounds)
Price
699 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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Case & Connectivity - Asus utilizes metal

The internal components of the Asus VivoBook 14 are housed in a chic, slim metal chassis that has a matte finish. The chassis is available in two color schemes: Silver Blue and Metal Pink. Our model features the Silver Blue color scheme. The black bezels around the screen are made of plastic. We have no complaints about the build quality of the 14-inch laptop. The joints are flush with each other and the chassis is well-machined. We have nothing bad to say about the rigidity of the device.

The X403FA does not have a maintenance hatch. In order to get to the internals, you will have to remove the bottom cover. You will have to undo all the screws on the underside of the device. Subsequently, the bottom cover can be removed with the help of a plastic putty knife or a plastic guitar pick. We recommend starting at one of the edges at the front of the device.

The laptop has three USB ports (two Type-A ports, one Type-C port). Two of the ports (1x Type-A, 1x Type-C) operate at USB 3.2 Gen 1 speeds and one port operates at USB 2.0 speeds. The Type-C port can only be used for plugging in peripherals. It does not support either DisplayPort over USB-C functionality or USB-C charging. An HDMI port allows users to connect the device to an external display.

The SD card reader belongs to the slow specimens of its kind. When copying large chunks of data, a maximum transfer speed of 23.5 MB/s was achieved. The transfer of 250 JPG image files (each approximately 5 MB in size) was completed with a speed of 19.7 MB/s. We test the SD card reader with the help of a reference SD card (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II). The SD card reader does not “swallow” SD cards completely; SD cards protrude 19 mm from the SD card slot.

The Wi-Fi module comes from Intel (Wireless-AC 9560). In addition to the Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n, it also supports the fast Wireless-AC standard. The data transfer speeds that we have measured under optimal conditions (no other Wi-Fi-enabled devices in close proximity, a short distance between the notebook and the server PC) are on a good level.

Size Comparison

335 mm / 13.2 inch 234 mm / 9.21 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 1.5 kg3.31 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 208 mm / 8.19 inch 16.5 mm / 0.65 inch 1.3 kg2.91 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 221 mm / 8.7 inch 16 mm / 0.63 inch 1.5 kg3.24 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 15.9 mm / 0.626 inch 1.4 kg3.06 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 228 mm / 8.98 inch 14.9 mm / 0.587 inch 1.5 kg3.31 lbs

Ports

Right side: combined audio jack, SD card reader, USB 2.0 Type-A port
Right side: combined audio jack, SD card reader, USB 2.0 Type-A port
Left side: power socket, HDMI-out, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (one Type-A, one Type-C)
Left side: power socket, HDMI-out, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (one Type-A, one Type-C)
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77.8 MB/s ∼100% +295%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (8 - 186, n=115)
61.6 MB/s ∼79% +213%
HP 14-dk0008ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
35.2 MB/s ∼45% +79%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.7 MB/s ∼34% +36%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
19.7 MB/s ∼25%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88.2 MB/s ∼100% +275%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (17.7 - 251, n=118)
78.3 MB/s ∼89% +233%
HP 14-dk0008ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
38 MB/s ∼43% +62%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
29.5 MB/s ∼33% +26%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.5 MB/s ∼27%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
635 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
635 MBit/s ∼100%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
630 (min: 523, max: 670) MBit/s ∼99% -1%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Realtek 8821CE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
335 MBit/s ∼53% -47%
HP 14-dk0008ng
Realtek 8821CE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
271 (min: 234, max: 285) MBit/s ∼43% -57%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
638 (min: 570, max: 673) MBit/s ∼100% +1%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
629 MBit/s ∼99%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
514 MBit/s ∼81% -18%
HP 14-dk0008ng
Realtek 8821CE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
309 (min: 212, max: 410) MBit/s ∼48% -51%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Realtek 8821CE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
276 MBit/s ∼43% -56%

Windows and Linux run without problems

Our review device does not come with the Windows operating system. Instead it features a Linux-based operating system known as Endless OS 3. Endless OS resembles a mobile operating system. 

We installed Windows 10 Home for our review. The installation process went without a hitch. All the necessary drivers can be downloaded either through Windows Update or from Asus’ website.

Even though the VivoBook ships with a Linux operating system preinstalled, we installed a better-established and more well-known Linux distribution: Ubuntu 19.04. We did not encounter any problems here, either. All hardware components (including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) are recognized during the installation. The function keys (volume, display brightness, keyboard backlight) also work right out of the gate.

Input Devices - A keyboard with a backlight

The VivoBook features a backlit chiclet-style keyboard. The smooth keys have a short travel distance and a clear actuation point. In our opinion, the keys feel too mushy. During typing, the keyboard exhibits some flex. However, this does not prove to be annoying. The backlight offers two brightness levels and can be controlled with a function key. All in all, Asus delivers an alright keyboard here.

The multitouch-enabled ClickPad occupies an area of 10.5 x 6.2 cm (4.1 x 2.4 in). Therefore, there is enough space for the use of gesture controls. The smooth surface of the pad makes finger-gliding easy. The pad has a short travel distance and a clear actuation point.

Input devices
Input devices

Display - IPS, but dim

Pixel arrangement
Pixel arrangement

The matte 14-inch display of the VivoBook operates with a native resolution of 1920x1080. While the contrast ratio of 926:1 can be described as acceptable, the display brightness of 235.9 cd/m² is too low. Here, devices with a similar price tag offer values that are well above 1000:1 and 300 cd/m².

Unfortunately, at 20% brightness and below, the screen exhibits PWM flickering with a frequency of 24,510 Hz. Because the frequency is so high, even susceptible individuals should not experience headaches and/or eyestrain. 

249
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
254
cd/m²
227
cd/m²
250
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
207
cd/m²
234
cd/m²
208
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Chi Mei N140HCA-EAC
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 264 cd/m² Average: 235.9 cd/m² Minimum: 15.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 78 %
Center on Battery: 249 cd/m²
Contrast: 926:1 (Black: 0.27 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 4.3
ΔE Greyscale 2.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
61% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 38.9% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.05
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
IPS, 1920x1200, 14
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP 14-dk0008ng
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
-41%
-3%
4%
7%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
40.8 (22.8, 18)
42.4 (22.8, 19.6)
-4%
41 (21, 20)
-0%
38 (18, 20)
7%
38.8 (21.2, 17.6)
5%
Response Time Black / White *
27.2 (16.4, 10.8)
32.8 (18, 14.8)
-21%
30 (18, 12)
-10%
27 (15, 12)
1%
24.8 (14.8, 10)
9%
PWM Frequency
24510 (20)
198.4 (99)
-99%
25000 (20)
2%
Screen
4%
15%
19%
-12%
Brightness middle
250
287
15%
291
16%
269
8%
271
8%
Brightness
236
276
17%
276
17%
257
9%
257
9%
Brightness Distribution
78
86
10%
90
15%
89
14%
91
17%
Black Level *
0.27
0.25
7%
0.27
-0%
0.2
26%
0.27
-0%
Contrast
926
1148
24%
1078
16%
1345
45%
1004
8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5
5.4
-8%
3.86
23%
3.68
26%
6.8
-36%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
20.7
18.1
13%
8.26
60%
7.36
64%
14.2
31%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.3
5
-16%
4.8
-12%
4.2
2%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.4
3.1
-29%
5.33
-122%
1.69
30%
6.3
-163%
Gamma
2.05 107%
1.99 111%
2.25 98%
2.49 88%
2.49 88%
CCT
6697 97%
6769 96%
7426 88%
6406 101%
7845 83%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
38.9
41.8
7%
62
59%
38
-2%
36.9
-5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
61
64.6
6%
98
61%
59
-3%
58.3
-4%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-19% / -6%
6% / 11%
12% / 16%
-3% / -9%

* ... smaller is better

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
27.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 10.8 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 56 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22.8 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 49 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.8 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 24510 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 24510 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 24510 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9418 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Straight out of the box, the color reproduction is alright. However, with a DeltaE 2000 color deviation of 5, it misses the mark (DeltaE less than 3). The display does not suffer from a bluish cast. By means of calibration, the color reproduction can be somewhat improved. After calibration, the DeltaE drops to 4.3 and the grayscale also looks more balanced. The display is not able to cover either the AdobeRGB color space or the sRGB color space. It can cover only 38.9% of AdobeRGB and 61% of sRGB.

By means of our color profile, the color reproduction can be improved. However before downloading it, you should make sure that your laptop has the same display model (manufacturer + model number) as our review device, because otherwise our color profile can result in worse color reproduction. Displays from different manufacturers can often be found within notebooks from the same model range. 

CalMAN - Color accuracy
CalMAN - Color accuracy
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Color accuracy (after calibration)
CalMAN - Color accuracy (after calibration)
CalMAN - Grayscale (after calibration)
CalMAN - Grayscale (after calibration)
CalMAN - Saturation (after calibration)
CalMAN - Saturation (after calibration)

Asus has equipped the VivoBook with an IPS panel with good viewing angles. Consequently, the display is legible from every position. The brightness of the display is only sufficient for use indoors. Outside, using the device is hard. Here, the notebook can only be used in the shade or on cloudy days.

The VivoBook outdoors (shot under a completely overcast sky).
The VivoBook outdoors (shot under a completely overcast sky).

Performance - Enough for office and internet

With the VivoBook 14, Asus has a 14-inch office notebook in its product range. It offers enough performance for such usage scenarios as office work and internet browsing. At the time of writing, our review device retails for 800 (~$892) to 900 Euros (~$1004). Students can purchase this notebook for 700 Euros (~$780). Other hardware configurations are also available.

Processor

The VivoBook comes with the Intel Core i5-8265U. It is a quad-core ULV CPU with a 15-watt TDP. The processor has a base clock rate of 1.6 GHz. Thanks to Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, the clock rate can be boosted up to 3.7 GHz for all four cores, up to 3.8 GHz for two cores and up to 3.9 GHz for one core.

In the multi-core section of the Cinebench R15 benchmark, the CPU can run at high speeds (3.1 to 3.5 GHz) only for a short time. After that, the clock rate sinks to 2.7 to 2.8 GHz. In the single-core benchmarks, the CPU operates at 3.4 GHz to 3.9 GHz. That is the case only when the device is plugged in. When the laptop is running on battery power, the clock speeds in the multi-core benchmarks fluctuate between 1.8 and 2.2 GHz and in the single-core benchmarks between 1.4 and 1.8 GHz.

When the VivoBook is running on battery power, it cannot provide a lot of CPU performance. It can only score 60 points in the single-core section of Cinebench R15 and 308 points in the multi-core section.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
HWInfo
HWInfo
Intel XTU
Intel XTU

We check if the Turbo boost can be utilized over an extended period of time by running the Cinebench R15 multi-core benchmark in a continuous loop for 30 minutes. The results fall after the first benchmark run and then stay consistently on a level between 530 and 540 points. The Turbo Boost is utilized. However, after the first benchmark run the clock rate sinks and fluctuates between 2.5 and 2.6 GHz.

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Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø538 (531.69-621.96)
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U: Ø583 (578.22-612.26)
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8 Intel Core i3-8145U, Intel Core i3-8145U: Ø349 (347.66-361.38)
HP 14-dk0008ng AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U: Ø447 (422.06-536.95)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U: Ø640 (634.34-662.55)
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø540 (522.94-666.01)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø548 (543.22-613.69)
CPU clock rates during the CB15 loop
CPU clock rates during the CB15 loop
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6038
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20546
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5751
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
622 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
51.84 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
152 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U
155 Points ∼71% +2%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (111 - 164, n=26)
154 Points ∼71% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
152 Points ∼70% 0%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U
152 Points ∼70%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U
150 Points ∼69% -1%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
146 Points ∼67% -4%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
139 Points ∼64% -9%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
127 Points ∼58% -16%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (20 - 185, n=269)
115 Points ∼53% -24%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
675 (min: 643.4, max: 674.64) Points ∼15% +9%
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U
666 Points ∼15% +7%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U
622 Points ∼14%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
615 (min: 576.4, max: 616.38) Points ∼14% -1%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
600 (min: 548.41, max: 619.74) Points ∼14% -4%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (457 - 750, n=28)
598 Points ∼14% -4%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
537 Points ∼12% -14%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U
361 Points ∼8% -42%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (32 - 721, n=279)
335 Points ∼8% -46%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U
6209 Points ∼57% +3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
6102 Points ∼56% +1%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (5841 - 6209, n=7)
6054 Points ∼56% 0%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U
6038 Points ∼56%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U
5953 Points ∼55% -1%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
4776 Points ∼44% -21%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
4045 Points ∼37% -33%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (322 - 6760, n=460)
3139 Points ∼29% -48%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U
20546 Points ∼31%
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U
19959 Points ∼31% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
19418 Points ∼30% -5%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (16318 - 20546, n=7)
18607 Points ∼28% -9%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
18041 Points ∼28% -12%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U
13074 Points ∼20% -36%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
12881 Points ∼20% -37%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (661 - 20773, n=442)
7032 Points ∼11% -66%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
401 Points ∼78% +1%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U
399 Points ∼78%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (325 - 403, n=8)
388 Points ∼75% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
366 Points ∼71% -8%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
357 Points ∼69% -11%
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U
325 Points ∼63% -19%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (107 - 412, n=11)
300 Points ∼58% -25%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
285 Points ∼55% -29%
CPU (Multi Core)
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
1506 Points ∼22% +12%
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U
1412 Points ∼20% +5%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
1367 Points ∼20% +1%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
1363 Points ∼20% +1%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U
1350 Points ∼20%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (1103 - 1486, n=8)
1344 Points ∼19% 0%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
1047 Points ∼15% -22%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (151 - 1389, n=11)
934 Points ∼14% -31%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U
14138 Points ∼17% +1%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U
14015 Points ∼17%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (12198 - 14138, n=5)
13491 Points ∼17% -4%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
10238 Points ∼13% -27%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U
7420 Points ∼9% -47%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1018 - 14015, n=76)
6159 Points ∼8% -56%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U
3736 Points ∼77%
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U
3674 Points ∼75% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (3470 - 3842, n=5)
3666 Points ∼75% -2%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U
3360 Points ∼69% -10%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
3003 Points ∼62% -20%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (592 - 4051, n=76)
2568 Points ∼53% -31%
Geekbench 4.4
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
15404 Points ∼27% +3%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
15404 Points ∼27% +3%
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U
15387 Points ∼27% +3%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U
14927 Points ∼26%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (12390 - 16249, n=12)
14122 Points ∼25% -5%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
10997 Points ∼19% -26%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
10356 Points ∼18% -31%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2593 - 15584, n=29)
10041 Points ∼17% -33%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
8907 Points ∼15% -40%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U
7859 Points ∼14% -47%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
4747 Points ∼75% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U
4747 Points ∼75% +6%
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U
4630 Points ∼73% +3%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (4151 - 4830, n=12)
4541 Points ∼72% +1%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U
4483 Points ∼71%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U
4118 Points ∼65% -8%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
3941 Points ∼62% -12%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1529 - 5280, n=29)
3825 Points ∼60% -15%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
3709 Points ∼59% -17%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
3445 Points ∼54% -23%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Subnotebook
  (743 - 30250, n=153)
1998 ms * ∼3% -64%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
1443.2 ms * ∼2% -18%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U (Edge 44)
1405.2 ms * ∼2% -15%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U (Edge 42)
1313.6 ms * ∼2% -8%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U (Edge: 44.17763.1.0)
1285.1 ms * ∼2% -5%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U (Edge 44)
1220 ms * ∼2%
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U (Edge 44)
1201 ms * ∼2% +2%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (851 - 1245, n=17)
1172 ms * ∼2% +4%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U (Edge: 44.18362.1.0)
1139.5 ms * ∼2% +7%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL
Intel Core i5-8265U (Edge: 44.18362.1.0)
33485 Points ∼64% +8%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U (Edge 44)
30968 Points ∼59%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (12842 - 34055, n=17)
30894 Points ∼59% 0%
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U (Edge 44)
30859 Points ∼59% 0%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U (Edge 42)
29392 Points ∼56% -5%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U (Edge: 44.17763.1.0)
27500 Points ∼52% -11%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3963 - 41871, n=145)
25200 Points ∼48% -19%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U (Edge 44)
23657 Points ∼45% -24%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
21539 Points ∼41% -30%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Asus VivoBook 14 X412FJ-EB023T
Intel Core i5-8265U (Edge 44)
235.5 Points ∼67% +8%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (208 - 244, n=10)
230 Points ∼65% +5%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Core i5-8265U (Edge 44)
218.82 Points ∼62%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U (Edge 42)
215.86 Points ∼61% -1%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (34.8 - 277, n=129)
187 Points ∼53% -15%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U (Edge 44)
177.03 Points ∼50% -19%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
118.2 Points ∼34% -46%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The 14-inch notebook offers a good level of performance, which is confirmed by the good results in the PCMark benchmarks. With the included hardware, the system feels very responsive. We did not encounter any problems during our review. The laptop offers more than enough computing power for such usage scenarios as office work and internet browsing. Positive: The soldered-in RAM runs in dual-channel mode.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3515 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3639 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4805 points
Help
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3501 Points ∼29% +15%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
Vega 8, 2500U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
3269 Points ∼27% +7%
HP 14-dk0008ng
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
3082 Points ∼26% +1%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
3050 Points ∼25%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2620 - 3210, n=21)
2977 Points ∼25% -2%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (534 - 3704, n=85)
2418 Points ∼20% -21%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
UHD Graphics 620, 8145U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
2392 Points ∼20% -22%
Productivity
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (5636 - 6556, n=21)
6180 Points ∼64% +5%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5952 Points ∼61% +1%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5898 Points ∼61%
HP 14-dk0008ng
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
5459 Points ∼56% -7%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
Vega 8, 2500U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
5425 Points ∼56% -8%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
UHD Graphics 620, 8145U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
5274 Points ∼54% -11%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1014 - 7281, n=85)
5201 Points ∼54% -12%
Essentials
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (7278 - 8689, n=21)
7902 Points ∼72% +4%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
7595 Points ∼69%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7312 Points ∼66% -4%
HP 14-dk0008ng
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
7050 Points ∼64% -7%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
UHD Graphics 620, 8145U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
6911 Points ∼63% -9%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
Vega 8, 2500U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
6756 Points ∼61% -11%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2062 - 9402, n=85)
6731 Points ∼61% -11%
Score
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3829 Points ∼49% +4%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3573 - 3985, n=21)
3767 Points ∼49% +2%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
3692 Points ∼48%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
Vega 8, 2500U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
3534 Points ∼46% -4%
HP 14-dk0008ng
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
3522 Points ∼45% -5%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
UHD Graphics 620, 8145U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
3179 Points ∼41% -14%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (743 - 4344, n=88)
3114 Points ∼40% -16%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3993 Points ∼66% +14%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
3515 Points ∼58%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3150 - 4244, n=19)
3503 Points ∼57% 0%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
Vega 8, 2500U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
3420 Points ∼56% -3%
HP 14-dk0008ng
Vega 10, 3700U, Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
3325 Points ∼55% -5%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
UHD Graphics 620, 8145U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
3281 Points ∼54% -7%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1027 - 4211, n=238)
3029 Points ∼50% -14%

Storage Devices

Asus uses an NVMe SSD from Intel. The SSD comes in the M.2-2280 form-factor and has a capacity of 512 GB. The transfer rates are alright, but they are not industry-leading. NVMe SSDs achieve faster transfer rates than SATA-III models, because they are connected via PCI Express.

Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
Sequential Read: 1596 MB/s
Sequential Write: 967.9 MB/s
512K Read: 1099 MB/s
512K Write: 960.7 MB/s
4K Read: 64.09 MB/s
4K Write: 179.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 339.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 465.1 MB/s
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ
HP 14-dk0008ng
Samsung PM871b MZNLN128HAHQ
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Average Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
 
Average of class Subnotebook
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-50%
-31%
-49%
37%
-6%
-21%
Write 4K
130.8
72.31
-45%
96.83
-26%
90.6
-31%
144.3
10%
117 (93.1 - 138, n=10)
-11%
92.8 (3.23 - 191, n=94)
-29%
Read 4K
55.09
30.77
-44%
36.99
-33%
33.17
-40%
44.88
-19%
52 (44.3 - 57, n=10)
-6%
31.7 (5.37 - 61.3, n=94)
-42%
Write Seq
962.4
468.1
-51%
463.1
-52%
483
-50%
1940
102%
966 (875 - 986, n=10)
0%
751 (48.9 - 1994, n=94)
-22%
Read Seq
1634
517.6
-68%
794.2
-51%
511.4
-69%
2175
33%
1474 (1318 - 1634, n=10)
-10%
1035 (142 - 2760, n=94)
-37%
Write 4K Q32T1
343.5
214.2
-38%
291.7
-15%
170.7
-50%
272.2
-21%
333 (220 - 477, n=10)
-3%
290 (3.6 - 868, n=94)
-16%
Read 4K Q32T1
339.7
241.1
-29%
352
4%
235
-31%
360.3
6%
318 (212 - 343, n=10)
-6%
318 (17.4 - 1580, n=94)
-6%
Write Seq Q32T1
984.2
482
-51%
468.1
-52%
496.5
-50%
1945.6
98%
975 (949 - 987, n=10)
-1%
891 (16.7 - 2992, n=94)
-9%
Read Seq Q32T1
1858
536.5
-71%
1489
-20%
533.8
-71%
3505.7
89%
1701 (1416 - 1858, n=10)
-8%
1723 (113 - 3562, n=94)
-7%

Graphics Card

The Intel UHD Graphics 620 is responsible for image-rendering. It supports DirectX 12 and has a maximum core clock of 1100 MHz. The results in the 3DMark benchmarks are on the normal level for this kind of GPU. Because the RAM runs in dual-channel mode the graphics unit can be better utilized, which is why it performs better than models that are paired with single-channel RAM.

Thanks to the built-in hardware decoder, the processor is not taxed when streaming video. This is why streaming services can be used without any problems.

GPU-Z
GPU-Z
DXVAChecker
DXVAChecker
3DMark 11 Performance
2064 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
66223 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
9034 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1164 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
463 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
4056 Points ∼100% +120%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
3968 Points ∼98% +115%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
3565 Points ∼88% +93%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1845 Points ∼45%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 2006, n=165)
1716 Points ∼42% -7%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i3-8145U
1415 Points ∼35% -23%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (230 - 4905, n=359)
1266 Points ∼31% -31%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
779 Points ∼100% +93%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (85 - 1130, n=35)
489 Points ∼63% +21%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
404 Points ∼52%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (299 - 431, n=29)
356 Points ∼46% -12%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
2581 Points ∼100% +101%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
2568 Points ∼99% +100%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
2381 Points ∼92% +86%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1281 Points ∼50%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1401, n=134)
1127 Points ∼44% -12%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (222 - 3726, n=239)
1041 Points ∼40% -19%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i3-8145U
838 Points ∼32% -35%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
18581 Points ∼100% +80%
HP 14-dk0008ng
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
18378 Points ∼99% +78%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
17661 Points ∼95% +71%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
10335 Points ∼56%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 11436, n=152)
9153 Points ∼49% -11%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1484 - 22615, n=267)
7584 Points ∼41% -27%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i3-8145U
7152 Points ∼38% -31%

Gaming Performance

The CPU-GPU combination of the X403FA can run some games smoothly. This applies, above all, to titles that have low system requirements. Even such titles as Dota 2 Reborn, BioShock Infinite, and Team Fortress 2 can only achieve playable frame rates on low settings and at low resolutions. Thanks to the dual-channel-enabled RAM the frame rates of the VivoBook are higher than those of comparable devices with single-channel memory. Nevertheless, modern AAA titles such as Rage 2 are still not playable on any settings.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 69.338.332.115.3fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 7147.421.519.2fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 27.318.516.7fps
Total War: Three Kingdoms (2019) 33.284.93.3fps

Emissions & Energy - Long-lasting and quiet

System Noise

The laptop does not produce too much noise. When idle, the fan often stands still, which leads to silent operation. Under load, the fan starts to spin up, but it never becomes overly loud. During the stress test, we measured a sound pressure level of 35.2 dB(A).

Unfortunately, there are some abnormal noises that come from the device, which can be heard in quiet environments. However, in day-to-day operation, this is not noticeable. After you put the device in stand-by mode or turn it off, you can hear coil whine for a few second. Once you plug in the device, the coil whine immediately disappears.  

Noise Level

Idle
28.8 / 28.8 / 29.2 dB(A)
Load
35.2 / 35.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.8 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2028.732.227.527.8252823.625.925.2312727.625.327.14024.725.626.227.35029.128.621.929.36323.12422.324.58026.422.621.927.410024.524.922.825.712522.9222222.216022.422.221.423.320022.32220.521.525021.521.623.22231521.720.520.92240021.919.919.222.450022.419.819.521.463020.818.918.520.880020.91818.120.7100022.218.217.821.912502317.817.222.4160024.316.916.524.7200024.816.616.424.525002516.215.624.8315024.715.515.324.2400023.815.415.123.2500023.815.415.122.9630021.415.215.220.6800018.715.41517.71000016.91514.815.81250016.414.714.7151600016.214.614.614.8SPL35.229.128.834.8N2.21.21.22.1median 22.3median 17.8median 17.2median 22Delta1.22.62.81.3hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseAsus VivoBook 14 X403FA

Temperature

The VivoBook during the stress test.
The VivoBook during the stress test.

The VivoBook completes our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark running continuously for at least one hour) with similar results, both when plugged in and when running on battery power. For a few minutes, the processor operates at 2.5 to 2.6 GHz when plugged in and 1.8 to 2.2 GHz when running on battery power. Subsequently, the clock speeds sink to 1.1 to 1.2 GHz, and later to 900 to 1000 MHz and then stay consistently at that level. The GPU starts the stress test at 900 to 950 MHz and then throttles downs to 750 MHz. The stress test is an extreme case scenario, which is very unlikely to occur in real life. We use it to test system stability under full load.

The notebook does not become very hot. During the stress test, the 40 °C (104 °F) mark is never exceeded. In everyday use, the temperatures are always more than acceptable.

Max. Load
 38.9 °C
102 F
37.5 °C
100 F
36.2 °C
97 F
 
 37.4 °C
99 F
38 °C
100 F
32.2 °C
90 F
 
 29.4 °C
85 F
28.8 °C
84 F
28.2 °C
83 F
 
Maximum: 38.9 °C = 102 F
Average: 34.1 °C = 93 F
38.3 °C
101 F
39 °C
102 F
34.3 °C
94 F
33.5 °C
92 F
36.1 °C
97 F
34.3 °C
94 F
28.3 °C
83 F
30.2 °C
86 F
29.9 °C
86 F
Maximum: 39 °C = 102 F
Average: 33.8 °C = 93 F
Power Supply (max.)  50.4 °C = 123 F | Room Temperature 21.1 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 34.1 °C / 93 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38.9 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 40.1 °C / 104 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.3 °C / 76 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 29.4 °C / 84.9 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.6 °C / 83.5 F (-0.8 °C / -1.4 F).
Heat distribution during the stress test (top)
Heat distribution during the stress test (top)
Heat distribution during the stress test (bottom)
Heat distribution during the stress test (bottom)

Speakers

The stereo speakers are located on the underside of the device. They sound acceptable but produce very little bass. Moreover, the speakers are not very loud. For a better listening experience, we recommend using external speakers or headphones.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2027.5272525.923.93125.329.44026.227.65021.929.76322.325.18021.923.910022.824.81252226.316021.435.520020.540.625023.243.931520.950.240019.254.550019.559.163018.560.880018.160.2100017.858.9125017.258.6160016.557.5200016.457.8250015.655.6315015.354.2400015.157.1500015.154.9630015.251.280001552.41000014.8491250014.746.91600014.649.7SPL28.868.9N1.224.4median 17.2median 54.2Delta2.87.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAsus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (68.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 57% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 38% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 55% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Consumption

There are no abnormalities in terms of energy consumption to report. When idle, we measured a maximum power consumption of 5.2 watts - a very good result. During the stress test (Prime95 and FurMark running continuously for at least one hour), the energy consumption peaked at 46 watts and then fell down to 31 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.22 / 0.72 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.7 / 4.6 / 5.2 Watt
Load midlight 35.9 / 46 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

In marketing materials, Asus focuses on the 72-Wh battery and claims up to 24 hours of battery life. A closer look at the specifications sheet tells us that this applies only to video playback. However, we were unable to confirm this claim. The 14-inch notebook achieved a battery runtime of 19 h 34 m in our video test. We conduct this test by running the short film titled Big Buck Bunny (H.264; 1920x1080) in a continuous loop. The “balanced” power plan is selected, the communications modules are disabled and the display brightness is set to 150 cd/m².

Our practically oriented Wi-Fi test simulates loads that are consistent with surfing the web. The “balanced” power plan is selected, the energy-saving functions are turned off and the display brightness is set to 150 cd/m². The VivoBook achieves a battery runtime of 12 h 41 m. We got a similar result (13 h 26 m) with Ubuntu 19.04.

The maximum battery runtime that we measured amounted to 36 hours. This is the result that we got in Battery Eater’s Reader’s test. During this test, the communications modules are disabled and the screen brightness is set to minimum.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
35h 41min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Firefox 69, Ubuntu 19.04)
13h 26min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 44)
12h 41min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
19h 34min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 33min
Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
8265U, UHD Graphics 620, 72 Wh (Firefox 69, Ubuntu 19.04)
806 min ∼31%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
8265U, UHD Graphics 620, 72 Wh (Edge 44)
761 min ∼29% -6%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
8145U, UHD Graphics 620, 50.7 Wh (Edge 42)
614 min ∼23% -24%
Huawei MateBook D 14 W00D-53010GXL
2500U, Vega 8, 57.4 Wh
542 min ∼21% -33%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (206 - 806, n=212)
471 min ∼18% -42%
Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14API
3700U, Vega 10, 48 Wh (Edge: 44.17763.1.0)
467 min ∼18% -42%
HP 14-dk0008ng
3700U, Vega 10, 41.04 Wh (Edge 44)
432 min ∼16% -46%

Pros

+ slim, elegant metal case
+ IPS display
+ NVMe SSD
+ keyboard illumination
+ very good battery life
+ hardly warms up
+ quiet operation

Cons

- dark display
- low color-space coverage
- in battery operation CPU Turbo is hardly or not at all used
- no DisplayPort via USB-C
- no USB-C power delivery
- occasional coil whine or noises from the insides can be heard

Verdict

The Asus Vivobook 14 X403FA-EB198, provided courtesy of: campuspoint
The Asus Vivobook 14 X403FA-EB198, provided courtesy of: campuspoint

The Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA has a chic, slim metal chassis. It is powered by a Whiskey Lake-based CPU, which offers enough performance for office work and Internet browsing. The device does not get hot and makes very little noise. Unfortunately, in certain situations you can hear abnormal sounds emanating from the device.

The Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA is a well-rounded, long-lasting 14-inch notebook that has a few flaws.

The main feature of the notebook is the 72-Wh battery, which ensures excellent battery runtimes. The battery should last an entire day for most users. However, this has its own drawbacks: The CPU runs at very low frequencies when on battery power. Those who need a lot of performance will have to carry around the charger.

An NVMe SSD creates a very responsive system. The SSD can be replaced. However, for this you will have to open up the case. The keyboard has left a good impression and is good enough for day-to-day use. Positive: The keyboard features a backlight.

The matte IPS screen has good viewing angles and acceptable color reproduction. The contrast ratio and the brightness in particular are too low for a device with such a price tag. The color accuracy is not something to write home about, either. Minus: The laptop does not support charging over USB-C. This feature should be included in any modern device that is designed for mobility. 

The Windows operating system is not included in the purchase. However, you can get a Windows 10 license from the second-hand market relatively cheaply. Users who are interested in Linux but do not want to use Endless OS can install a more popular distribution. Ubuntu 19.04 installed and ran without any serious problems on our review device.

Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA - 09/10/2019 v7
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
89 / 98 → 91%
Keyboard
78%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
46 / 75 → 61%
Weight
71 / 20-75 → 93%
Battery
90%
Display
81%
Games Performance
52 / 78 → 66%
Application Performance
78 / 85 → 92%
Temperature
93%
Noise
91%
Audio
59 / 91 → 64%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
74%
84%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA Review: The elegant subnotebook offers a lot of endurance
Sascha Mölck, 2019-09-12 (Update: 2019-09-14)