Notebookcheck

Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA (i5-8250U, SSD, HD) Laptop Review

Sascha Mölck, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Stanislav Kokhanyuk), 01/30/2018

Price-to-performance deficit. The Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA delights with a slim, light case, a thin display lid, a backlit keyboard and great battery life. The screen and the case, however, disapoint.

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The VivoBook S14 S406UA from Asus represents a slim, compact 14-inch notebook with the dimensions of a 13.3-inch device. The laptop is powered by a ULV quad-core processor. The competitors of the device include: the Acer Swift 3 SF314-52, the HP Envy 13-ad065nr, the Dell Inspiron 13 7370 and the Apple MacBook Air 13.

Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T (VivoBook S Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 300-1100 MHz, Dual-Channel, 22.20.16.4708
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3L-1866, Dual-Channel, soldered-in, no memory slots
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1366 x 768 pixel 112 PPI, BOE CQ NT140WHM-N44, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1002, 256 GB 
, 205 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC295 @ Intel Sunrise Point-LP PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combined mic/headphone jack , Card Reader: MicroSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader, TPM 2.0
Networking
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 14.8 x 328 x 226.5 ( = 0.58 x 12.91 x 8.92 in)
Battery
39 Wh, 5070 mAh Lithium-Polymer, 7.7 V
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: chiclet-style, Keyboard Light: yes, McAfee LiveSafe (trial version), MS Office 365 (trial version), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.2 kg ( = 42.33 oz / 2.65 pounds), Power Supply: 145 g ( = 5.11 oz / 0.32 pounds)
Price
899 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case & Connectivity

Asus packs the internals of the VivoBook in a case with the dimensions of a 13.3-inch device and outfits the whole thing with a 14-inch screen. Therefore, what we have here is a slim, compact notebook. The case of the VivoBook resembles very much that of the Asus ZenBook UX3410UA. Whereas the ZenBook’s case is made entirely of metal, only the back of the display lid of the VivoBook consists of this material. The chassis is made of plastic - not a very good decision. The chassis lacks both firmness and rigidity.  It can be bent or twisted with little effort. These are the kind of things that should not crop up with a device intended for mobile use.

The notebook does not offer a maintenance hatch. In order to get to the internals, you will have to remove the bottom cover. For this, you will just have to undo the screws on the underside of the device. Attention: There are additional screws underneath both rubber feet. Subsequently, the bottom cover can be removed with the help of a silicone trowel. It is not attached particularly firmly.

With the VivoBook, there are no surprises in terms of ports. The laptop comes with two USB Type-A ports (1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1) and one Type-C port (USB 3.1 Gen 1). A port for video output (MicroHDMI) is also provided. The Type-C port can only be used for data transfers. With a device like the VivoBook, battery charging should also be an option with this port. Fundamentally, here Asus should have provided a Thunderbolt 3 port - a usual feature for a 900-Euro (~$1115) notebook.

The built-in SD card reader operates with an average speed. When copying large chunks of data, a maximum transfer speed of 37.8 MB/s was achieved. The transfer of 250 JPG image files was completed with a transfer rate of 38.7 MB/s. We test the SD card reader by means of a reference SD card (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II).

The Wi-Fi module (QCA9377) comes from Qualcomm. Besides the Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n, it also supports the fast Wireless-AC standard. The data transfer rates that we have measured under the optimal conditions (no other Wi-Fi-enabled devices in close proximity, a short distance between the notebook and the server PC) are quite average, because the chip is based on 1x1 MIMO technology.

Size Comparison

Ports

Right side: SD card reader (MicroSD), headphone/microphone combined jack, USB 2.0 (Type-A)
Right side: SD card reader (MicroSD), headphone/microphone combined jack, USB 2.0 (Type-A)
Left side: DC power jack, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A), MicroHDMI, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C)
Left side: DC power jack, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A), MicroHDMI, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C)
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88 MB/s ∼100% +127%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
79.2 MB/s ∼90% +105%
Schenker Slim 14 L17
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77.2 MB/s ∼88% +99%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
  (Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
62.8 MB/s ∼71% +62%
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
38.7 MB/s ∼44%
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
32.9 MB/s ∼37% -15%
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.8 MB/s ∼30% -31%
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.1 MB/s ∼26% -40%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
89.6 MB/s ∼100% +137%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
 
88 MB/s ∼98% +133%
Schenker Slim 14 L17
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
85.7 MB/s ∼96% +127%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
  (Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
81.88 MB/s ∼91% +117%
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
38.49 MB/s ∼43% +2%
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
37.8 MB/s ∼42%
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
30.5 MB/s ∼34% -19%
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.8 MB/s ∼31% -26%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Broadcom 802.11ac
686 MBit/s ∼100% +105%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
635 MBit/s ∼93% +90%
Schenker Slim 14 L17
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
592 MBit/s ∼86% +77%
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
552 MBit/s ∼80% +65%
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
520 MBit/s ∼76% +55%
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
335 MBit/s ∼49%
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
323 MBit/s ∼47% -4%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
276 MBit/s ∼40% -18%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Broadcom 802.11ac
692 MBit/s ∼100% +115%
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
688 MBit/s ∼99% +114%
Schenker Slim 14 L17
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
518 MBit/s ∼75% +61%
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
504 MBit/s ∼73% +57%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
480 MBit/s ∼69% +49%
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
469 MBit/s ∼68% +46%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
340 MBit/s ∼49% +6%
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
322 MBit/s ∼47%

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Input Devices

Asus has equipped the VivoBook with a backlit chiclet-style keyboard. The smooth keys have a short travel distance and a clear actuation point. However, they are too mushy for our taste. During typing, the keyboard exhibits some flex - particularly in the middle. All in all, here Asus delivers an “okay” keyboard that is fit for regular typing sessions. However, it is not a top-of-the-line model, by any means.

The multi-touch-enabled ClickPad takes up an area of some 10.5 x 7.3 cm (4.1 x 2.9 in). Therefore, there is enough space for the use of gesture controls. The smooth surface of the pad makes finger gliding easy. The ClickPad has a short travel distance and a clear actuation point. The fingerprint reader is located in the right upper corner of the ClickPad.

Input devices
Input devices

Display

Pixel arrangement
Pixel arrangement

The matte 14-inch display of the VivoBook operates with a native resolution of 1366x768. The brightness (208.1 cd/m2) and the contrast ratio (538:1) are too low. Here, devices with a similar price tag offer values that are well above 300 cd/m2 and 1000:1.

Unfortunately, at 90% brightness and below, the screen exhibits PWM flickering with a frequency of 200 Hz. Due to a relatively low frequency, susceptible individuals may experience headaches and eyestrain. 

230
cd/m²
217
cd/m²
226
cd/m²
204
cd/m²
215
cd/m²
207
cd/m²
186
cd/m²
198
cd/m²
190
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 230 cd/m² Average: 208.1 cd/m² Minimum: 12 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 215 cd/m²
Contrast: 538:1 (Black: 0.4 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 9.37 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 10.52 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
58% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.45
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
TN LED, 1366x768, 14
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
TN LED, 1440x900, 13.3
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
-71%
-39%
1654%
-54%
9586%
-21%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
42 (22, 20)
33 (14, 19)
21%
43 (24, 19)
-2%
28 (14, 14)
33%
46 (21, 25)
-10%
52.4 (30.4, 22)
-25%
42 (21, 21)
-0%
Response Time Black / White *
13 (7, 6)
34 (15, 19)
-162%
28 (15, 13)
-115%
22.4 (12.4, 10)
-72%
33 (17, 16)
-154%
28.4 (18.4, 10)
-118%
31 (16, 15)
-138%
PWM Frequency
200 (90)
200 (20)
0%
10200 (100)
5000%
201 (90)
1%
58000
28900%
352 (90)
76%
Screen
61%
23%
39%
41%
29%
Brightness middle
215
376
75%
281
31%
290
35%
301
40%
274
27%
Brightness
208
355
71%
259
25%
270
30%
291
40%
253
22%
Brightness Distribution
81
87
7%
81
0%
78
-4%
87
7%
85
5%
Black Level *
0.4
0.32
20%
0.45
-13%
0.32
20%
0.33
17%
0.31
22%
Contrast
538
1175
118%
624
16%
906
68%
912
70%
884
64%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9.37
3.2
66%
4.19
55%
4.8
49%
5.39
42%
5.74
39%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
15.84
7.1
55%
10.64
33%
11.2
29%
8.56
46%
8.26
48%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
10.52
4.4
58%
2.55
76%
2.8
73%
5.93
44%
4.61
56%
Gamma
2.45 90%
2.12 104%
2.24 98%
2.19 100%
2.6 85%
2.14 103%
CCT
11214 58%
7440 87%
6555 99%
6382 102%
6358 102%
7281 89%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37
63.78
72%
39
5%
54.9
48%
56
51%
39
5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58
98.98
71%
61
5%
83.5
44%
86
48%
61
5%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-5% / 39%
-8% / 9%
847% / 412%
-7% / 19%
9586% / 9586%
4% / 18%

* ... smaller is better

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 200 Hz ≤ 90 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 200 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 90 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 200 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8773 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The color reproduction fails to impress as well. Straight out of the box, the screen exhibits a DeltaE-2000 color deviation of 9.37. The DeltaE less than 3 is the optimal value. Moreover, the display suffers from a blue cast.

CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation

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
13 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7 ms rise
↘ 6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
42 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 20 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. » 54 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Asus has equipped the VivoBook with a TN panel with poor viewing angles. Consequently, the display is not legible from every angle. Outdoors, the device can only be used when the sun does not shine too brightly.

The VivoBook outdoors (photo taken under a completely overcast sky).
The VivoBook outdoors (photo taken under a completely overcast sky).

Performance

With the VivoBook S14, Asus has a slim 14-inch office notebook in its product range. It offers more than enough performance for such usage scenarios as office work and Internet browsing. Our review device can be had for 900 Euros ($1115). Other color and hardware configurations are also available.

Review Conditions

In the Windows system settings, only the “balanced” power plan is available to the user. The two other power plans, known as “high performance” and “power saver”, are not provided and therefore cannot be activated, even retroactively. There are no options in the laptop’s UEFI menu to influence the energy management. Therefore, all of our benchmarks and tests have been conducted using the “balanced” power plan.

Processor

The VivoBook is equipped with an Intel Core i5-8250U (Kaby Lake Refresh) quad-core processor, which is a ULV model. The processor comes with a base clock of 1.6 GHz. By means of Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology, the clock rate can be increased up to 3.4 GHz.

How well Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology works depends on the implementation. In our single-core Cinebench benchmarks, the CPU operates at full power. In the multi-core benchmarks, the clock rate fluctuates between 2.6 GHz and 3.4 GHz. However, this is only the case when the laptop is plugged in. When running on battery power, Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology is not used. Here the CPU runs at 1.8 GHz in the multi-core benchmarks and at 1.4 GHz in the single-core benchmarks. In the GeekBench benchmarks, Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology is used to the full, when plugged in. When running on battery power, the clock speed fluctuates between 800 to 900 MHz and 2.8 to 3.4 GHz.

We check if the Turbo boost can be used continually by running the Cinebench R15 multi-core benchmark in a continuous loop for 30 minutes. After the first benchmark run, the results decline significantly. After that, they do not remain on a consistent level. Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology is used, but not with a constant speed.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

The results of the CPU benchmarks are on the normal level for this kind of processor.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5501
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
18814
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6085
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
143 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
606 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
49.76 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker Slim 14 L17
Intel Core i5-8250U
145 Points ∼68% +1%
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼68% +1%
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U
143 Points ∼67%
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
Intel Core i7-7500U
142 Points ∼67% -1%
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
Intel Core i5-7200U
128 Points ∼60% -10%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel Core i5-7200U
125 Points ∼59% -13%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Intel Core i5-5350U
116 Points ∼54% -19%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
93 Points ∼44% -35%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U
606 Points ∼19%
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
Intel Core i5-8250U
565 Points ∼18% -7%
Schenker Slim 14 L17
Intel Core i5-8250U
533 Points ∼17% -12%
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
Intel Core i7-7500U
368 Points ∼12% -39%
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
Intel Core i5-7200U
327 Points ∼11% -46%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel Core i5-7200U
314 Points ∼10% -48%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Intel Core i5-5350U
277 Points ∼9% -54%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
238 Points ∼8% -61%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U
5501 Points ∼51%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel Core i5-7200U
4943 Points ∼46% -10%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U
18814 Points ∼38%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel Core i5-7200U
10906 Points ∼22% -42%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U
12793 Points ∼41%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U
3412 Points ∼73%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U
12394 Points ∼45%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U
4029 Points ∼70%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U
13030 Points ∼36%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U
4122 Points ∼65%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel Core i5-8250U (Edge 41)
238.13 Points ∼0%
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
Intel Core i7-7500U (Edge 38.14393.0.0)
206.6 Points ∼0% -13%
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
Intel Core i5-7200U
127.69 Points ∼0% -46%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
98.845 Points ∼0% -58%

System Performance

Asus has put together a powerful quad-core processor with a fast SSD and dual-channel-enabled RAM. This combination creates a responsive system, which offers more than enough performance for such usage scenarios as office work and internet browsing. The very good results in the PCMark benchmarks confirm this. An increase in overall performance is not possible. Asus has already exhausted all the possibilities.

PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3937 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4871 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5106 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Schenker Slim 14 L17
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
4006 Points ∼66% +2%
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
3965 Points ∼65% +1%
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1002
3937 Points ∼65%
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3902 Points ∼64% -1%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 SD8SN8U-128G-1006
3760 Points ∼62% -4%
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3636 Points ∼60% -8%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
HD Graphics 6000, 5350U, Apple SSD SM0128G
3396 Points ∼56% -14%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
HD Graphics 610, 4415U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW128HEGR
2657 Points ∼44% -33%

Storage Devices

A SATA III SSD in the M.2-2280 form factor serves as the system drive. The SSD comes from SanDisk and has a total capacity of 256 GB. Right out of the box, only 205 GB is available to the user. The rest of the storage space is occupied by the Windows installation files and the Recovery Partition. The transfer rates are good.

SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1002
Sequential Read: 480.1 MB/s
Sequential Write: 440.3 MB/s
512K Read: 277.5 MB/s
512K Write: 300.6 MB/s
4K Read: 28.18 MB/s
4K Write: 52.56 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 273.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 192.4 MB/s
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1002
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Apple SSD SM0128G
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW128HEGR
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
16%
76%
-3%
73%
30%
Write 4k QD32
192.4
249.3
30%
251
30%
160.3
-17%
273.7
42%
124.8
-35%
Read 4k QD32
273.4
351
28%
290.1
6%
172.8
-37%
300.9
10%
320.9
17%
Write 4k
52.56
56.45
7%
108.3
106%
65.83
25%
27.17
-48%
79.02
50%
Read 4k
28.18
27.53
-2%
31.6
12%
20.79
-26%
16.29
-42%
28.11
0%
Write 512
300.6
419.7
40%
564.4
88%
298.2
-1%
715.3
138%
138.5
-54%
Read 512
277.5
328
18%
800.4
188%
351
26%
898.8
224%
482.2
74%
Write Seq
440.3
461.7
5%
605.6
38%
458.3
4%
730.8
66%
792.2
80%
Read Seq
480.1
494.5
3%
1137
137%
476.8
-1%
1390
190%
991.2
106%

Graphics Card

Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 is responsible for image rendering. The GPU supports DirectX 12 and operates with a core clock of 300 to 1100 MHz. The results in the 3DMark benchmarks are on the normal level for this kind of GPU. It benefits from the dual-channel-enabled RAM. As a result of this, the graphics chip can be better utilized, which leads to an increase in performance.

3DMark 11 Performance
1953 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8909 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1086 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1743 Points ∼100%
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1729 Points ∼99% -1%
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
1666 Points ∼96% -4%
Schenker Slim 14 L17
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1666 Points ∼96% -4%
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1509 Points ∼87% -13%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Intel HD Graphics 6000, Intel Core i5-5350U
1487 (min: 1466, max: 1553) Points ∼85% -15%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1474 Points ∼85% -15%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
Intel HD Graphics 610, Intel Pentium Gold 4415U
804 Points ∼46% -54%

Gaming Performance

The GPU-CPU combination of the laptop can run some games smoothly. This applies, above all, to the titles that have low system requirements. However, even such titles can only achieve playable frame rates with the low graphics settings and at low resolutions. The dual-channel-enabled RAM makes itself known while gaming: The frame rates of the VivoBook are higher than those of comparable devices whose RAM runs in single-channel mode. 

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 65.734.429.28.8fps

Emissions & Energy Management

System Noise

When idle, the fan often stands still, which leads to silent operation. However, it starts to spin even under light loads. For example, opening a website causes the fan to spin for a short while. Under these conditions, the fan operates with a low speed. Under light loads, the fan noise needs to be tolerated only for a short time; over a prolonged period, the fan noise can become annoying. Under medium and full loads, the fan spins harder. During the stress test, we measured a sound pressure level of 40.4 dB(A).

Noise Level

Idle
30.2 / 30.2 / 31.3 dB(A)
Load
40.1 / 40.4 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: 30.2 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2042.740.338.741.342.72539.43836.237.839.4313031.531.230.7304030.132.932.631.530.15031.332.531.428.631.3633131.932.231.1318027.531.430.330.427.510027.333.431.73227.312525.625.72525.825.616025.927.426.226.125.920024.226.325.524.924.225023.424.924.124.223.431522.724.824.32322.740022.223.923.121.822.250020.923.523.121.220.963019.923.422.620.319.980019.925.525.919.519.9100019.826.426.418.619.8125019.126.126.717.919.1160018.825.825.917.418.8200019.12727.21719.1250020.129.63016.720.131502031.131.516.420400017.730.730.916.317.7500017.532.13216.117.5630017.126.927.41617.1800016.923.924.315.916.91000016.922.422.61616.91250016.82019.51616.81600016.81918.716.116.8SPL31.440.240.430.231.4N1.63.43.41.41.6median 19.9median 25.8median 25.9median 17.9median 19.9Delta2.52.11.93.72.5hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseAsus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T

Temperature

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

In our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark running for at least one hour), the VivoBook performs differently, when it is plugged in and when it is running on battery power. When plugged in, the CPU throttles from an initial 2.2 GHz down to around 1000 MHz (800 to 1300 MHz). The graphics chip starts the test with 950 MHz and then throttles down in the subsequent benchmark run. When running on battery power, the processor runs at 400 to 800 MHz. The core clock of the GPU fluctuates between 300 MHz and 1.1 GHz.

The notebook does not get excessively hot. During the stress test, the 40-degree (104 °F) Celsius mark is exceeded only at one measurement point.

Max. Load
 42.2 °C
108 F
39 °C
102 F
25 °C
77 F
 
 37 °C
99 F
33.8 °C
93 F
24.9 °C
77 F
 
 27.4 °C
81 F
27.8 °C
82 F
24.7 °C
76 F
 
Maximum: 42.2 °C = 108 F
Average: 31.3 °C = 88 F
25.2 °C
77 F
30.2 °C
86 F
39.4 °C
103 F
24.7 °C
76 F
29.3 °C
85 F
34 °C
93 F
24.5 °C
76 F
26.3 °C
79 F
27.8 °C
82 F
Maximum: 39.4 °C = 103 F
Average: 29 °C = 84 F
Power Supply (max.)  45 °C = 113 F | Room Temperature 23.5 °C = 74 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 31.3 °C / 88 F, compared to the average of 29.4 °C / 85 F for the devices in the class Office.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 42.2 °C / 108 F, compared to the average of 33.9 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39.4 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 36.4 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.9 °C / 79 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 27.8 °C / 82 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.3 °C / 82.9 F (+0.5 °C / 0.9 F).
Heat distribution of the topside (under load)
Heat distribution of the topside (under load)
Heat distribution of the bottom side (under load)
Heat distribution of the bottom side (under load)
Heat distribution of the topside (at idle)
Heat distribution of the topside (at idle)
Heat distribution of the bottom side (at idle)
Heat distribution of the bottom side (at idle)

Speakers

The stereo speakers of the VivoBook are located on the underside of the device. They produce a pleasant, surprisingly voluminous sound, which we did not expect to hear, however, the maximum volume could have been somewhat higher.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs204341.343254337.8433133.430.733.44031.431.531.4503328.6336335.231.135.28034.830.434.810036.13236.11253725.83716037.726.137.720039.124.939.125041.624.241.631546.82346.840048.221.848.250051.521.251.56305320.35380057.719.557.7100052.818.652.812505417.954160054.917.454.9200054.41754.4250047.516.747.5315049.116.449.1400051.216.351.2500049.516.149.5630050.11650.1800053.815.953.81000052.11652.11250052.31652.31600057.616.157.6SPL64.830.264.8N19.31.419.3median 51.2median 17.9median 51.2Delta43.7435.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAsus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023TApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (57.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.5% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 12% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 85% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 14% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 82% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked!)

Energy Consumption

There are no abnormalities in terms of energy consumption to report. When idle, we have measured a maximum power draw of 7.6 watts. During the stress test, the power draw rose to 44 watts. After a minute or so, the power consumption fell to 33 watts, because the CPU and the GPU were throttled down. The nominal power draw of the AC adapter amounts to 45 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.49 / 0.46 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.7 / 5.6 / 7.6 Watt
Load midlight 37.4 / 33 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

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 turned off and the display brightness set to some 150 cd/m².  The VivoBook achieves a battery runtime of 7 hours and 56 minutes.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 41)
7h 56min
Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Acer Swift 3 (i5-7200U, HD 620)
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 48 Wh
653 min ∼25% +37%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
5350U, HD Graphics 6000, 54 Wh
638 min ∼24% +34%
HP Envy 13-ad065nr
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 53.6 Wh
570 min ∼22% +20%
Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 39 Wh
476 min ∼18%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s-14IKB
4415U, HD Graphics 610, 30 Wh
460 min ∼17% -3%
Asus Zenbook UX3410UA
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 48 Wh
443 min ∼17% -7%
Dell Inspiron 13 7370
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 38 Wh
345 min ∼13% -28%
Schenker Slim 14 L17
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 44 Wh
304 min ∼12% -36%

Pros

+ matte screen
+ chic, slim case
+ Solid State Drive
+ good battery life
+ back-lit keyboard

Cons

- display with poor brightness, contrast and viewing angles
- chassis exhibits a lot of flex

Verdict

The Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T, provided courtesy of: notebooksbilliger.de
The Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T, provided courtesy of: notebooksbilliger.de

With the VivoBook S14, Asus has an office notebook in its product range that comes with a 14-inch display, but has the dimensions of a 13.3-inch notebook. Therefore, the device looks quite slim and compact. The case proves to be the weak spot of the device: The plastic chassis exhibits a lot of flex and can easily be bent and twisted - an inacceptable flaw for a device that is expressly intended for mobile use.

The laptop is powered by a ULV quad-core processor, which offers more than enough performance for such usage scenarios as office work and Internet browsing. Whether or not a quad-core processor is really needed in a device like the VivoBook, every user must decide for themselves. However, for many users, a significantly cheaper VivoBook model, which comes with an Intel Core i3-7100U, should provide enough power.

The VivoBook S14 S406UA has only a few flaws, but these prove to be grave - for a device with such a price tag.

The screen represents the weak point of the device. Here, Asus opted for an HD panel with poor brightness, contrast and viewing angles. This display is inappropriate for a 900-Euro (~$1115) notebook. A bright, high contrast IPS screen is a must for a device with such a price tag.

The other flaw lies with the ports. Here, Asus should have implemented a Thunderbolt 3 port instead of a USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-C port, which would have increased the attractiveness of the device. Moreover, such a port can be expected in a device with this price tag.

A fast SSD makes for a very responsive system. The keyboard has left an “okay” impression and is suitable for regular typing. A positive: It comes with a backlight. The battery life is also very good. Those who can overlook the above-mentioned flaws will get a compact laptop suitable for typing and surfing the web, which will still cost quite a lot of money.

Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA-BV023T - 01/23/2018 v6
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
74 / 98 → 76%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
42 / 80 → 53%
Weight
73 / 20-67 → 100%
Battery
90%
Display
75%
Games Performance
60 / 68 → 88%
Application Performance
89 / 92 → 96%
Temperature
93%
Noise
89%
Audio
59%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
74%
82%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus VivoBook S14 S406UA (i5-8250U, SSD, HD) Laptop Review
Sascha Mölck, 2018-01-30 (Update: 2018-02- 2)