Review: Asus VivoBook S14 S433 Thin and Light Laptop with Intel Core i5-10210U 2020

Today we are taking a look at a sleek thin-n-light laptop from Asus. It's Asus VivoBook S14 and this particular model is S433. It's the latest 2020 refresh of Asus’s popular VivoBook S-series lineup. This model was announced at CES 2020 earlier in the year, but it wasn't available for purchase until last week. Asus has now made this laptop available on Amazon.


Asus has introduced their new VivoBook S-series laptops in an attempt to fuse style with performance in a reasonably priced package. I consider VivoBooks to be an affordable thin-and-light budget alternative to the more expensive & high-tier Asus ZenBooks. VivoBook S series laptop comes in three screen sizes: 13.3-inch, 14-inch and 15.6-inch. All these three models sport a Full HD screen and come in various colors. For this review, I will only look at the 14-inch model, which I think hits the sweet spot.

Build Quality

Let's talk about the build quality. Asus has really upped their game with this year's VivoBook lineup. Gone is the cheap plastic construction. Instead you are getting an all-metal chassis which gives this laptop a very sturdy construction. Asus is now using Aluminum for the entire body of the laptop including the bottom half. This is a welcome departure from last year's model which only used aluminum for the top lid, while the rest of the body was made from plastic.

VivoBook S14 now features diamond-cut edges and textured finish which definitely adds a premium feel to this laptop. The diamond-cut design isn't just for the looks, it also makes opening the lid of this laptop easy by providing a better grip for your fingers. On the top lid of VivoBook, there is a diamond cut logo which looks really cool. This laptop comes in 2 colors which Asus marketing team dubs as Indie Black and Dreamy White. I always find it funny when these marketing folks come with the most bizarre color adjectives. Why not just call it black and white?

BTW VivoBook S14 weighs only 3.2 pounds and it measures 0.6 inches in thickness. This makes it very convenient to slip this laptop in your backpack and carry it around with you, something students and working professionals will really appreciate. I think for the money you are getting a laptop with premium build quality and aesthetics.


Now let's talk about the display quality of this laptop. Asus VivoBook S14 has a 14 inch Full HD 1920 by 1080 display. Since this screen has an aspect ratio of 16:9, the pixel density comes to 157 ppi. So borrowing Apple’s marketing jargon, I would call this screen a Retina Display when viewed from about 22 inches. At this distance the average human eye will not be able to discern individual pixels. VivoBook S14 uses an LED backlit IPS panel which comes with a matte finish. The matte finish does a good job reducing annoying glares and reflections from bright light sources like an open window or harsh office lighting.

The screen is plenty bright maxing out at 245 nits of brightness. You will have no problem using this laptop in bright-lit environments be it a classroom or a conference room. This screen offers a wide viewing angle of 178 degree. That means you can clearly read texts from skewed angles and pictures and videos also look sharp. The screen produces good contrast levels and pretty decent color reproduction. Asus Vivobook is famous for its ultra-thin bezels and insane screen to body ratio.

Interestingly this year Asus decided to go with a new LCD panel manufacturer, most likely because they wanted a matte finish instead of a glossy screen. While the screen quality is excellent, the bezels are not as thin as last year's model. Now don't get me wrong, the bezels are still quite thin and the screen to body ratio measures at an impressive 85%. But last year's model had an insane 90% screen to body ratio. The good news is that Acer has managed to put an HD Web Camera at the center of the top bezel, something that was missing in last year's model. I think that this is an ideal placement for getting a pleasing video angle during web chats and video conferences.


OK, now let's talk about the CPU. Asus VivoBook S14 is powered by a 10th Generation Intel Core i5 processor. Specifically this is the Core i5-10210U CPU from Intel Comet Lake family. This is the latest Intel CPU targeting the thin and light laptop segment. But note that this is not the 10nm icelake chip which is only available on very high end premium laptops. But performance wise this chip is very close to icelake, and that's why Intel is calling both Comet Lake and Ice Lake chips as their 10th generation chip.
This is a quad core processor with 8 execution threads. The base clock frequency is 1.6 GHz and Max Turbo frequency is whopping 4.2 Ghz. Intel has accomplished this high turbo frequency by optimizing the hell out of their 14nm process node. Interestingly, the newer 10nm process node used in Icelake processors does not support this high turbo frequency. As a result, this CPU delivers snappy performance while remaining cool and operating at 15W TDP.

In passmark CPU benchmark this CPU scored 6927 points in multi-threaded workloads and 2388 points in single threaded workloads. If we compare this performance with the top 10 commonly used laptop CPUs, Core i5-10210U is sitting in the middle. But notice that most of the CPUs ranked above it have an ‘H’ in their model names. This ‘H’ denotes the high-performance power hungry nature of these CPUs. So unlike Core i5-10210U which runs cool and gives long battery life, these processors eat up battery very quickly. So for a thin and light budget laptop, Asus has picked the right CPU in my opinion. You will have no trouble running any kind of applications on this laptop be it chrome browser, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook or video and photo-editing softwares.


OK, now let's talk about the GPU. Asus VivoBook S14 is using integrated Intel UHD 620 Graphics. This is a pretty capable GPU and it produces 37 frames per second on the Dirt 3 benchmark. That is above the playability threshold of 30 frames per second. You will be able to do casual gaming on this laptop without any issues. It also supports hardware acceleration of all popular codecs like h264, AVC and vp9. This means smooth 4K video playback on YouTube and Netflix with no dropped frames. But remember this is an integrated GPU. Dont expect Nvidia & AMD discrete GPU class performance. If you plan to do hardcore gaming, you are probably better off buying a gaming laptop. I have reviewed plenty of awesome gaming laptops on this channel. I will throw a link in the description if you want to checkout those reviews


Next up RAM and SSD. Asus VivoBook S14 comes with 8 gig of DDR4 system memory. Unfortunately the RAM is not user upgradeable because Asus has soldered this RAM to the motherboard and there are no user accessible DIMM slots. This is definitely a bummer for folks interested in expanding system RAM. Last year's Vivobook had one user expandable DIMM slot. I honestly don't understand why Asus got rid of it, maybe they are copying Apple and being douchebags.

Ok, now let's talk about SSD storage. This laptop comes with a generous 512 gig of fast PCIe NVMe SSD storage. 512 gig of storage should be sufficient for most folks, but if you want to increase storage your only option is to replace this existing drive with a bigger PCIe NVMe SSD. Unfortunately there is no extra M.2 or SATA3 slot for adding a 2nd drive. If you are interested in replacing the existing PCIe NVMe SSD with a bigger one, I will drop links to compatible 1TB and 2TB PCIe NVMe SSDs that will work with this laptop below. Of course you can always add an external USB 3.0 drive for extra storage. These are usually cheap and are a good option for storing large files. I will put links to some fast and affordable external USB drives which will work with this laptop in the video description below.

👉 Buy 1TB M.2 SSD
👉 Buy 2TB M.2 SSD


OK, now let's talk about the battery life. Asus VivoBook S14 comes with a 3-cell 50 Wh battery which is about 20% larger in capacity than last year's model. This large battery life coupled with a  power efficient 10th gen intel CPU delivers an impressive all day battery life. I was able to get about 10 hours of battery life doing web surfing with WiFi turned on and about 8 hours of battery life during continuous HD video playback. During long extended use, the laptop did not experience any overheating which tells me that Asus has done a good job with heat management.

The bottom plate of the laptop houses a ventilation grill and a secondary grill resides under the hinge. A small fan inside the chassis sucks air from the bottom of the laptop and dissipates heat through the hinge grill. The fan is really quiet, you will seldom hear it even when spinning at full throttle. BTW, Asus includes a 65W charger with this laptop which supports fast charging. You can charge the battery from 0 to 60% in 50 minutes. I think students and working professionals will find this laptop a perfect work-horse for all their computing needs.

Keyboard and Trackpad

OK now let's talk about the keyboard and trackpad. Asus VivoBook S14 has an island-style keyboard which is backlit enabled. I like the fact that Asus has managed to put large size keys in this keyboard by eliminating the numeric keypad. The larger keycaps definitely provide a better typing experience than your average laptop in this price point. This is an ergonomically designed keyboard with sturdy one-piece construction. The key travel distance is 1.4mm and they offer good tactile feedback.

As I mentioned before, Asus VivoBook S14 comes in two colors. I found the keyboard on the indie black model much easier to read due to better contrast. The backlighting is also more effective in this darker keyboard. One quirky feature that Asus has added is a yellow colored Enter key which is present in both light and dark keyboards. This yellow Enter key stands out especially in the Indie Black keyboard. According to Asus this color contrast serves as an entry point into the modern world. I don't know what the hell is that supposed to mean. But in the era of IMs and DMs and social media require hitting 'Enter' key to submit, this is a new marketing gimmick from Asus. I honestly don't care about the yellow inter key. Some folks may find it annoying while others may find it cute.

Now let's talk about the trackpad. It's a large trackpad with a builtin fingerprint sensor on the top right hand corner. The trackpad is clicky and supports swipes, gestures, taps, and palm rejection. The built-in fingerprint sensor works with Windows “Hello” for passwordless login. Note that last year’s Asus VivoBook S14 came with a secondary ScreenPad which was integrated within the trackpad. That's gone now. Asus got rid of it to keep the price of Vivobook down. You will have to spend more money and buy an Asus Zenbook if you want the secondary screenPad


Let's talk about on-board speakers. Asus VivoBook S14 comes with Harman Kardon certified sound system. It has two bottom firing stereo speakers which deliver pretty decent sound, especially when the laptop is placed on a hard surface like a wooden table. I would have preferred front firing speakers, but these are not bad for watching youtube videos. If you want to enjoy kickass music or watch your favorite action movie, I would recommend picking a good quality bluetooth headphone. VivoBook S14 supports the latest bluetooth 5.0 standard which gives maximum range and best wireless audio quality. BTW this laptop has a universal audio jack which also supports mic input. So any old-school earbud with a builtin microphone can be used for skype or zoom video conference calling.


Ok now let's talk about the port selection. I have said this before and I will say it again. I cannot stand thin and light laptops that don't offer basic ports and expect their customers to walk around with dongles. Fortunately Asus VivoBook S14 comes with a wide selection of ports. You get 2 old-school USB 2.0 ports. There is also a USB 3.1 gen1 Type-A port for quick data transfer. These are great for connecting fast USB external drives for expanding disk storage. You also get a USB 3.1 gen1 type-C port. In addition there is a headphone-out & audio-in combo jack and an HDMI port for connecting this laptop to an external monitor. This laptop supports fast WiFi 6.0 standard which can reach data transfer speeds of over a gigabit per second assuming you have a compatible router. So overall, Asus has done a good job with providing comprehensive set of ports for all use cases


OK, so what do I think of this laptop? I think that for the money, this is a really nice 2-in-1 laptop. I love the all-metal construction and premium build quality on this laptop. The textured metal chassis with diamond-cut edges make this laptop look really cool. I also appreciate the performance and battery life on this laptop thanks to the 10th generation intel CPUs. While RAM and SSD upgrade sucks, you can attach an external USB 3.0 hard-drive or SSD to expand storage. Overall I think this is a worthy upgrade to the Asus Vivobook S series lineup for 2020.

Purchase Links

Asus VivoBook S14 S433 with Intel 10th gen Core i5-10210U (Latest 2020 models)

👉 Buy "Dreamy White" color
👉 Buy "Indie Black" color

Buy Asus VivoBook S15 S532 with Intel 10th gen Core i5-10210U

👉 Buy "Moss Green-Metal" color
👉 Buy "Punk Pink-Metal" color
👉 Buy "Transparent Silver-Metal" color

Buy Asus Vivobook S14 S412 with Intel 8th gen CPUs

👉 Buy with Core i7-8565U
👉 Buy with Core I5-8265U
👉 Buy with Core i3-8145U

Buy Asus VivoBook S15 with Intel 8th gen CPUs

👉 Buy with Core i7-8565U (Silver)
👉 Buy with Core i5-8265U (Silver)
👉 Buy with Core i5-8265U (Gold)
👉 Buy with Core i5-8265U (Gun Metal)
👉 Buy with Core i5-8265U (Silver)
👉 Buy with Core i5-8250U (Silver Blue)
👉 Buy with Core i5-8250U (Icicle Gold)

Link for Canada residents

👉 Buy Asus VivoBook S14 & S15

SSD & HDD Upgrades

👉 Buy 2TB M.2 SSD
👉 Buy 1TB M.2 SSD

Buy Gaming Laptops reviewed by Techno Panda:

👉 Buy MSI GF63
👉 Buy HP Pavilion Gaming 15
👉 Buy Lenovo Ideapad L340
👉 Buy Asus TUF FX505DT
👉 Buy Acer Helios 300
👉 Buy Acer Predator Triton 500

Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases