ASUS VivoBook S: I hope you like colors

ASUS has a lot on tap at Computex 2018. In addition to the ScreenPad-toting ZenBook Pro, the no-doubt-for-gamers ROG Strix SCAR II, and the so-thin-so-light ZenBook S, the Taiwanese tech giant has a few more reasonable laptops to show off. They're more general purpose portable computing machines, but don't think that means ASUS is slacking on design or tech.

ASUS VivoBook S

The VivoBook S is the stand-out of the new laptops, merely thanks to its eye-catching colorful design. But just because it comes in bright colors doesn't mean it's a slacker in the power department. You're still looking at up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor paired with a decent GPU — all the way up to an NVIDIA GeForce MX150. It also comes with a "dual storage design", offering a spinning disk hard drive up to 2TB and an SSD up to 512GB in a single device. So it's not a powerhouse of a laptop, but it's no slouch either. It also sports a slew of ports, with three USB-A ports, a single USB-C,HDMI, a microSD card slot, and a headset jack.

The VivoBook S shares a design element with the higher-end ZenBook S: ASUS's new "ErgoLift hinge", which moves the hinge for the lid forward a bit from the back, allowing the back edge of the laptop to prop up the base a few degrees for a more ergonomic typing experience plus improved ventilation. On both the 14-inch and 15.6-inch varieties you'll find a FHD 1920x1080 display with narrow "NanoEdge" bezels on the top and sides. The 15-incher will also have a 1366x768 option, in case you hate your eyes. Between the narrow bezels and the ErgoLift hinge, the VivoBook S offers a decent screen-to-body ratio of 86% for the 15-inch and 84% for the 14-inch.

You'll need that ventilation, because these new colors are hot (please forgive me). You'll have your pick of five color combos:

  • dark gray lid with a silver body and trim
  • light gold/champagne lid with silver trim
  • silver lid with bold yellow trim
  • gunmetal lid with red trim
  • bright teal lid and body with woven texture keyboard deck

This is all packed into a relatively compact chassis, weighing a hair under 4 pounds for the 15.6-inch VivoBook S, and just over 3 pounds for the 14-inch variety. Top-to-bottom, the laptop measures a respectable 0.71 inches thick.

Interested parties should keep an eye out for a July 2018 arrival. Expect the starting price to be quite low, but considering that'll be for a Core i3 processor with integrated graphics and a 15.6-inch 768p display, a few upgrades will be in order.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14

If the bold colors of the VivoBook S are turning you off, or if you'd prefer something in a more touch-friendly form factor, then ASUS has another option for you: the VivoBook Flip 14. This 14-inch laptop offers a convertible design, with a 360-degree hinge and a slim-and-light design.

The VivoBook Flip 14 will offer a range of processors, from the lowly 8th Gen Intel Core i3 all the way to a competent Core i7, backed up by up to 16GB of RAM and integrated Intel graphics. The power won't blow anybody away, but that's fine. That all feeds into a 14-inch FHD 1920x1080 touch display with support for the ASUS Pen active stylus, with slim 6.15 mm bezels on the sides and top. ASUS kept a larger bezel on the bottom, in part to house the display electronics, but also to give you something to hold onto that's not the screen when used in tablet mode.

Ports-wise you'll find a trio of USB-A ports (one USB 2.0, two USB 3.1), a single USB-C port (which infuriatingly does not support charging the laptop), an audio jack, full-size SD card reader, and a DC power port. All of this is packed into a 0.69-inch-thick, 3.3-pound aluminum body in the color choices of "Star Grey" or "Galaxy Blue"

While we don't yet have pricing info, you can expect the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 to be available starting in Q3 2018.

Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.