Review
Now Reading
ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review – MacBook-Level Efficiency
Gold Pokdeward
0
Review

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review – MacBook-Level Efficiency

by May 24, 2024
Overview
Warranty

2 years

Price

RM 4,999 (as tested)

Positives

+ Modern looks
+ Well-cooled CPU
+ 16GB RAM good for most work
+ Good speaker quality
+ Solid touchpad
+ Excellent battery life
+ Expansive I/O
+ RGB!

Negatives

- Webcam's privacy shutter is difficult to slide
- Bright-colored keycaps doesn't work well with keyboard lighting

Pokde Scoreboard
Pokde Rating
Appearance
8.5
Efficiency
9.0
Features
8.5
Materials
8.5
Performance
8.5
Portability
8.5
User Experience
8.5
Value
8.5
Bottom Line

The ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) is, well, excellent. There aren't many occasions when I have so little to complain about with a laptop.

8.6
Pokde Rating
You have rated this
What's your reaction?
Me Gusta
0%
WOW
0%
Potato
0%
Sad Reacc
0%
Angery
0%

The ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED is now back with a brand-new look, with new hardware to match. We’ve previously tested the Zenbook 14 OLED which positively surprised us, with its well-balanced set of hardware and a battery life worthy of “all-day” designation, so how would the new Vivobook laptop stacks up? Let’s find out.

Click here to purchase the ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) via Shopee

Unboxing

Outside the box you’re greeted with a brand new wordmark for the Vivobook S naming, and the company is proud to showcase its sustainability efforts with the numbers printed on the box. Inside, you’re greeted by the same ASUS laptop packaging with a lift-open design revealing the laptop right away.

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review - MacBook-Level Efficiency 30

Box contents

Here’s what you’ll be getting in the box:

  • Power cable (UK, Type G)
  • USB-C PD power adapter (90W)
  • User guide
  • Quick start guide
  • MyASUS leaflet
  • RGB setup guide
  • The ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) laptop

Walkaround

The Vivobook S 14 OLED we have here comes with the Mist Blue color option – there’s also the Neutral Black option if you prefer that. ASUS certainly took a different design route this time around, going with the minimalist style all over the chassis, a big contrast over the previous generation which featured a highlighted Enter key for a “younger” look. Inside, you get an OLED panel – a commonplace in ultrathin laptops today – with FHD+ resolution. The webcam array above features IR sensor for Windows Hello as well.

With the Mist Blue option you’ll be getting the keyboard featuring gray-blue colors, and below it comes a huge touchpad that I find it pleasant to use in general. Under the laptop, there’s two rows of intake channels to let a pair of fans (located on either side) to keep the Core Ultra CPU cool. Below the intake is a pair of downward firing speakers that the company says is tuned by harman/kardon. Oh, there’s the Copilot key in case you missed it.

Mechanically speaking, the new Vivobook does share some of the chassis characteristics as the new Zenbook: the taller rubber leg props the laptop up by a few millimeters to allow better airflow, and the display hinge supports opening 180° flat. The dual-fan setup meant the entire rear of the laptop is now exhausts only (the center part is mainly for looks) with a rounder look.

In terms of I/O, the Vivobook gets an extra USB-A on the right, plus the microSD card slot – interestingly, the location of the ports are mostly flipped from the Zenbook. With four data connections (2x USB + 2x TB4), this is a very solid array of ports available for those who may connect quite a few peripherals.

Specifications

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406M-AQD228WS)

Note: Full specifications are available on the manufacturer’s website.

CPU Intel Core Ultra 7 155H (6P+8E+2LPE – 16 cores, 22 threads)
Intel Evo Edition certification
RAM 16GB LPDDR5X-7467 (soldered)
GPU Integrated: Intel Arc Graphics (8 Xe Cores)
NPU Intel AI Boost NPU
Storage Western Digital SN740 512GB (SDDPNQD-512G-1102 – PCIe 4.0, M.2 2280)
Display 14″ FHD 16:10 OLED
1920×1200@60Hz, 0.2ms response time
100% DCI-P3, 10-bit (1.07B colors)
400 nits max brightness / 600 nits peak HDR brightness
Glossy non-touch panel
VESA DisplayHDR True Black 600 Certification
TÜV Rheinland Certified
SGS Eye Care Display
Speakers Downward-firing stereo speakers tuned by harman/kardon
Dolby Atmos Support
Webcam 1080p IR camera
Windows Hello support
Physcial webcam shutter
I/O
Left:
1x HDMI 2.1
2x Thunderbolt 4 (DisplayPort Alt Mode, 90W USB-C Power Delivery support)
1x microSD card slot
1x 3.5mm combo jack
Right:
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps) Type-A
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 (Intel AX211)
Battery 75Wh 4-cell Li-ion
Power Supply 90W, USB-C Power Delivery
Operating System Windows 11 Home
Dimensions 310.5 x 221.9 x 13.9~15.9 mm
Weight 1.30kg

Click here to purchase the ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) via Shopee

Performance

*All benchmark runs performed on Standard power profile unless otherwise stated.

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review - MacBook-Level Efficiency 42

The SSD powering this Vivobook is the WD SN740 SSD that puts out a pretty respectable performance as far as PCIe 4.0 SSDs go. For any typical tasks, performance like this is not going to hold you back by any means.

Next up is CPU tests. The Intel Core Ultra 7 155H that powers this laptop has a total of 6 P-Cores, 8 E-Cores, and an additional 2 Low Power E-Cores, totaling 16 cores and 22 threads – that should give you a rough idea of just how much grunt is packed into this Meteor Lake chip to power through CPU-intensive tasks. Comparing against other ultrathin laptops we’ve tested recently, and the Vivobook S 14 OLED leads ahead.

If you’re willing to give the laptop as much power as it needs, there is plenty more on tap to be unlocked by switching to Performance and even Full Speed fan profile. The former sets a 45W sustained TDP, while the latter gives full 55W to the CPU to crunch through heavy workloads. In Cinebench 2024 for example, we see the score bumped to 900 points in multi-core workload, making an additional 16% improvement over default.

Here comes graphics tests: the Arc Graphics of the Core Ultra chip has plenty of performance on tap as far as onboard GPUs go, as evidenced by our benchmark results above. Team Red’s Ryzen 7 7840U in the Acer Swift Edge 16 is only half of its performance – this should give you a good idea of its performance level. Light gaming? Certainly not an issue for the Arc.

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review - MacBook-Level Efficiency 47

Moving on to Novabench, we can see the only loss for the Vivobook S 14 OLED in this 6-laptop matchup, albeit it’s a small one. The Acer Swift Edge 16 edged it out in overall scores thanks to higher memory and GPU scores (a contrast of what the earlier tests represent), though the Vivobook has the highest CPU score of them all.

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review - MacBook-Level Efficiency 48

PCMark tests seems to indicate an interesting quirk of the Intel processors in general. Here, we can see both AMD-powered machines get a substantial lead on Productivity scores, but the Vivobook has maintained its lead despite trailing behind in this category.

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review - MacBook-Level Efficiency 49

Qualcomm, you’ve got competition. We’ve had laptops that last well into 10 hours before, but for the most part it’s usually an exception, not a rule. However, Intel’s Core Ultra processors have confirmed that this is the new status quo: the Vivobook S 14 OLED has clocked a staggering 16 hours 33 minutes on a single charge, the longest we’ve ever recorded from a Windows laptop.

This makes it almost, if not straight up competitive to some of the Apple Silicon MacBooks – you might even get past the 1,000-minute mark (that’s 16h 40m if you’re wondering) given that we’ve tested this on Standard mode with 50% brightness, which is plenty bright for indoor environments.

The Good

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review - MacBook-Level Efficiency 50

I think the biggest selling point of the Vivobook S 14 OLED is easily going to be its power efficiency and the battery life – you simply couldn’t find anything that lasts this long in the previous generation without getting significant compromises in hardware. If you need the performance, the Core Ultra chip is ready to answer too, capable of pulling 45W TDP if you’re willing to turn it up to 11.

The good stuffs don’t stop here: despite pulling upwards of 55W for several seconds, the cooling system is capable of containing the heat, with the chip hovering at 90°C once it stabilizes at the 45W sustained power. ASUS even adds an additional power mode called “Full Speed” that unlocks all 55W of CPU power – I guess they took the idea from the Zenbook Pro 14 OLED and applied it to this laptop. Be advised though, the fans will be very loud.

Another plus in the thermal management is on the subject of keeping humans cool – or rather, not getting burned. Even on the most extreme scenarios, the palm rest is largely isolated from the heat generated from the top half of the laptop, and I didn’t feel the heat getting to my fingers at any point despite the laptop generating significant amounts of it.

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review - MacBook-Level Efficiency 51

All of us at Pokde.NET have a good bit of gamer in ourselves, so to find RGB in a laptop that isn’t designed for gaming is a positive surprise. Of course, Microsoft enabling the new Dynamic Lighting feature in Windows 11 certainly helps laptop OEMs to implement this easier (though ASUS is certainly very experienced when it comes to adding RGB everywhere), and there’s always the white backlighting if you just need the good ol’ classic, right?

Finally, I’d like to commend the engineers from ASUS for the speakers and touchpad – for the price you’re paying for this laptop, the quality is a lot better than you’d imagine. I wouldn’t say they’re on the MacBook levels of nice, but these laptops can easily cost double of what this Vivobook will cost. They certainly don’t have two times the quality level of speakers and touchpads, do they?

The Bad

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review - MacBook-Level Efficiency 52

To find the shortcomings of this laptop, I really had to look for it – there just isn’t much to complain about on this Vivobook, but there’s two minor ones I’d like to point out. The first one relates to the webcam – not the webcam itself, but rather, the physical webcam shutter. The shutter is difficult to push due to lots of friction – you most likely will require more than one finger to move it.

Additionally, and this is specific to this color of the laptop: given its light-colored keycaps, the default blue-purple hue of lighting may end up difficult to read unless you turn the keyboard backlighting off. Reddish hues work better, but having dark-colored keycaps would make the RGB really shine.

Verdict

ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) Review - MacBook-Level Efficiency 53

At RM4,999, the ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED has a lot going for it: great CPU performance, amazing efficiency, a solid set of components, and some creature comforts sprinkled all over it. There hasn’t been many occasions I have so little to pick on a product, much less something as complex as a laptop – but I can confidently say this laptop is one of them.

rog-ryujin-ii-360-review-gold-pokdeward

Click here to purchase the ASUS Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) via Shopee

Thanks to ASUS Malaysia for providing us with the Vivobook S 14 OLED (S5406) laptop for this review. 

About The Author
Low Boon Shen
Is technology powered by a series of tubes?