Asus recently launched a refreshed series of its popular VivoBook laptop called the Asus VivoBook 14 and VivoBook 15. Of the two, the 14-inch version is touted as the world’s smallest, most colorful 14-inch Ultrabook for budget buyers. This is a rather odd and difficult title to stake a claim, but it is what it is. The new laptops focus on compactness and basic-mid-range performance to hit the under $500 price point.
However, rather than simply dropping good components into a basic chassis, which would have been the easy way to achieve this pricing goal, the F415EA-AS31 comes with a colorful exterior and boasts a modern design, with slim borders around the display. All the features point towards affordable, fun little laptops, and it looks like it can deliver on that promise.
Asus VivoBook 14 Specs
- CPU: Intel Core i3-1115G4
- GPU: Intel UHD
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 128GB SSD
- Display: 14.0-inch, 1920 x 1080
- Size: 12.81 x 8.5 x 0.78 inches
- Weight: 3.3 pounds
Design & Features
The Asus VivoBook 14 features a sleek design with a plastic chassis that’s “Slate Grey”, though this one stands out from the preceding Asus VivoBook that had a dull black chassis. The gray look continues into the deck, with a decent-sized keyboard that features ErgoSense backlighting and a touchpad with a fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello. It’s not common to see a backlit keyboard at this price range, but with Asus, you can expect lots of extras, the price notwithstanding.
One thing you’ll notice is, with its gray chassis, the Asus F415EA-AS31 doesn’t look like a budget laptop, and despite its plastic build and relative lightness – just 3.09 lbs and 0.78 inches thick, it’s lighter than the Acer Aspire 5 and HP 15 (3.8 pounds and 4.4 pounds, respectively) – it feels well put together in its overall design and construction.
On the inside, the VivoBook 14 gets a backlit chiclet keyboard that’s fitted to the rest of the laptop just like you’d find on Asus’s premium models. The large trackpad sits flush on the wrist without being too obtrusive, and it even has the already-mentioned fingerprint scanner for locking up your system.
As with all recent Asus notebooks, the VivoBook 14 features the signature ErgoLift Hinge that angles the keyboard so that it’s raised a bit for more comfortable typing when seated on a desk, and the 180-degree hinge allows for seamless screen sharing with colleagues. ErgoLift is a feature carried over from some Asus ROG gaming laptops and does a good job of increasing ergonomics on the go. It’s nice to see that the company opted to implement it into its budget-level laptops.
Port selection is excellent for a budget laptop, and you’ll conveniently dock most of your devices. The left side has a single USB 2.0 port plus a status indicator light. The right side has the rest of the ports: a proprietary power jack, two USB 3.2, a USB 3.2 Type-C, HDMI 1.4, and a 3.5mm Combo Audio jack. Wireless connectivity comes via Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
The VivoBook 14’s 14.0-inch, 1920 x 1080 NanoEdge display has thin bezels on either side, with a bit more at the top to accommodate the webcam with a manual privacy shutter. But beyond the fairly widescreen look, the display’s dim color profile (250 nits rated) and unwieldy viewing angles make it an underwhelming device for consuming online video.
It’s not very bright, typical of budget systems, but the Acer Aspire 5 looks a bit brighter at 259 nits; still, both models are below the industry average of 268 nits. The viewing angles, too, are very tight, so you’ll have to look at the laptop at an exact angle – about 100 degrees – to see the display without shadows.
This affects dark colors, especially black and gray, and if you attempt to use it in dark mode, the issue is hard to ignore within most apps. Whichever way we try to shake it up, the Asus F415EA-AS31 isn’t simply meant for your cinemas and movies. While you can stream your YouTube movies and watch some Netflix episodes, it still lacks the cinematic experience of the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED or other top-tier 4K laptops out there.
- 【Incredible performance】: Equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor and Intel Iris Xᵉ...
- 【Fast charging battery】: ASUS fast-charge technology can recharge the battery up to...
- 【Extra toughness and durability】: This laptop stays cool in all situations thanks to...
The Asus VivoBook 14 features a 12th generation Intel Core i3-111G4 CPU, 4GB RAM, and 128GB SSD, alongside Intel UHD graphics. A basic feature set, but it will allow you to sift through dozens of Google Chrome tabs, shuffle through your cloud-based files and stream online videos with ease.
In that regard, it stands out as a decent laptop for college tasks including typing away essays, and can be used at the office as well for basic productivity tasks. The intel UHD graphics, on the other hand, can only play casual games at low settings, anything more will hit a snag.
It seems you can do a lot with the VivoBook 14, but most of these budget laptops initially feel this way. The Intel Core i3-111G4 is a mid-range mobile CPU based on the Tiger Lake architecture and has 2 performance cores and 4 efficient cores. Its clock rate ranges from 3.0 to 4.1GHz and it scores 1312 on single-core and 2609 on multi-core Geekbench 5.4 CPU benchmark tests. That’s well below the industry average of 2,986 but much more acceptable for a budget laptop.
Most budget laptops can last well over eight hours on a single charge of the battery, but the VivoBook 14 struggles to hit this mark. It lasts only 6 hours and 39 minutes through continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. While it beats out the Acer Aspire 5 (6:13) and the HP 15 (4:58), it’s still below the industry average of other budget laptops (6:41).
With the newer CPUs, battery life for laptops has greatly improved, we’ve seen even gaming laptops last over 8 hours on a single charge, something that was never possible a few years before. Again, as more manufacturers jump into Intel’s project Athena which requires laptops must deliver 9 hours of real-world battery life, using your laptop away from a power source for long hours will be finally achievable.
Asus VivoBook 14 Review – Verdict
On a workday, if I was caught up on a day that I needed an inexpensive laptop to perform a few quick deeds, the Asus VivoBook 14 would most certainly carry me through. It has enough power to run basic tasks, and enough battery life to complete a college essay or office report away from a power source. But as this Asus VivoBook 15 review showed, performance is impressive, provided you keep your expectations at reasonable levels.
And, it offers plenty of ports, so if the VivoBook 14 is the only choice you have within reach, an external monitor, a set of speakers, and a mouse will help with some of its quirks. But if you can swing it, at least consider spending a few hundred more on the Core i5-1235U version of the Asus VivoBook 14 (F1404ZA-AS51 model) for a little more power in the processor.
Asus VivoBook 14
The Asus VivoBook 14 F415EA-AS31 hits the sweet spot, for the most part, offering a beautiful design and solid performance at a very reasonable price. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a compact Ultrabook with fast and ample storage at an irresistible price.
ASUS VivoBook 14 Slim Laptop Computer, 14" IPS FHD Display, Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor, 4GB DDR4, 128GB PCIe SSD, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 11 Home in S Mode, Slate Grey, F415EA-AS31
$256.00 in stock
6 used from $189.05
- Compact, modern design
- Large, fast SSD
- Comfortable keyboard
- Very good value for money
- Battery life could be better
- No SD card slot, only microSD
Last update on 2024-02-28 at 12:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API