The Asus Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) is an excellent laptop. Its OLED display is sublime, offering vibrancy and deep blacks. There’s serious power for the price too, blitzing our benchmarks and a strong selection of ports make this a well-rounded device. Though, an uninspiring design is this device’s sole flaw.
- Immense power
- Fantastic display
- Excellent battery life
- Uninspiring design
- OLED display:The Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) features an OLED panel that should offer deep blacks and fantastic contrast.
- 13th Gen Intel H-Series processor:There’s also a 14 core/20 thread Intel Core i7-13700H processor to offer serious power.
- Wide port selection:The Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) also features everything from USB-C to HDMI out, and more.
The Asus Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) occupies a bit of an odd position in the world of laptops, opting to add the power of an OLED panel to an otherwise mid-range-looking ultrabook.
The addition of an OLED panel doesn’t come cheap though, with the Vivobook S 15 OLED clocking in at £1299.99 all in, although going for the extra storage option to provide 1TB as opposed to the 512GB model I’ve got here doesn’t appear to cost extra, which is a little weird.
Nonetheless, on paper, this particular Asus laptop looks like a solid candidate – whether that leads it to become one of the best laptops money can buy though remains to be seen. Let’s take a gander.
Design and Keyboard
- Understated but sturdy chassis
- Decent port selection
- Sturdy keyboard and trackpad
Compared to similarly priced ultrabooks, the Asus Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) offers more of an understated look to it, complete with a light silver chassis that puts it well amongst the sea of less impressively-specced mid-range laptops that Asus also offers. It isn’t a bad-looking laptop per se, but I’d have arguably something a bit more eye-catching.
With this in mind though, this is a well-made laptop with a solid chassis that feels reassuringly hefty. It weighs in at 1.8kg, which is rather heavy for a 15-inch laptop, and a far cry from the 1.1kg or so of the new 15-inch MacBook Air. It may be on the heavier side, but I have no qualms about the portability of the Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023). It’s still light enough for you to sling into a bag and take with you on your travels.
Asus has bundled an excellent port selection with the Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023). They may well be all loaded on one side, but it’s nice that they’ve featured a solid selection. Most of the ports are on the right-hand side and Asus has provided a full-size HDMI out, as well as two USB-A, a headphone jack and a USB-C. On the left-hand side lies a singular USB-A. Having the bigger, legacy USB connector here is pleasant enough, although a secondary USB-C would have also been handy, given its prevalence these days.
The keyboard the Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) comes with offers a comfortable and tactile feel, although can feel mushy at times. Its layout is a little odd, offering a squished number pad, which can take a little bit of getting used to. On the plus side though, the white backlighting on offer is sharp and even, and the flecks of orange on some keys offer more of a playful side to an otherwise corporate-looking laptop.
The trackpad on offer is excellent in size and responsiveness, offering oodles of real estate for your fingers to use. The buttons don’t feel mushy, instead feeling solid. Its tracking is strong too, and movement doesn’t feel skittish.
Display and Sound
- Deep, near-perfect blacks
- Vibrant colours and excellent contrast
- Fantastic colour accuracy
The display of the Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) is a mixed bag on paper. On one hand, it’s an exciting OLED panel but, on the other, it’s only Full HD. Something doesn’t quite add up.
In actuality, as much as the panel is a 1080p one, it offers everything we’ve come to expect from an OLED with near-perfect black levels and some marvellous contrast, especially at peak brightness. When viewing the latest Grand Tour special, this became apparent, with some sublime image quality that’s only let down by its lower resolution. Then again, bundling in the display that’s in the Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023) wouldn’t leave room for more of an ‘ordinary’ Vivobook like this one.
As well as offering vibrant colours, those displayed by this OLED panel are also wonderfully accurate, with Asus covering 100% of both the mainstream sRGB colour space and the DCI-P3 space too, making the Vivobook S 15 OLED a suitable laptop for more colour-sensitive workloads such as video and photo editing.
A peak brightness figure of 360 nits though isn’t the most impressive, considering Asus’ quoted peak of 500 nits, although that’s arguably more of a problem with OLEDs in general compared to other panel types.
Its speakers are downward-firing, and in testing, provided a decent overall sound that’s a lot more robust than most other sets of laptop speakers I’ve tested. What’s also interesting here is that Asus has bundled support for Dolby Atmos if you want a touch more immersion and a dedicated smart amp for better audio quality. That’s definitely paid off here.
- Powerful CPU-based performance
- Arc A350M provides a welcome boost for graphical work
- SSD read speeds are good, but slow on writes.
As much as I may have said in the introduction that the Asus Vivobook S OLED 15 (2023) is more of a mid-range laptop with an OLED screen attached, its performance may well prove otherwise. Okay, Asus has bundled in an Intel Arc A350M GPU to give it a helping hand for more intense workloads, but it’s on the front of the CPU where the Vivobook S OLED 15 (2023) really impresses.
With this laptop, Asus has bundled in an Intel Core i7-13700H, which features 14 cores and 20 threads. This is quite frankly a ridiculous amount and made the Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) a real powerhouse both in the benchmarks and in real-world testing. It revealed high scores that kept pace with the similarly specced Acer Swift Go 14 and, like the Acer, topped many thin-and-light models due to the H-series chip onboard. This was also apparent in a 3D Mark Time Spy run, reinforcing this laptop’s capability for more intense workloads.
In day-to-day use, the Vivobook S 15 OLED impressed with its productivity performance, with some especially nippy performance when opening a shedload of Chrome tabs for work and play alike. What’s more, it was pretty quiet throughout. Even under load, the fans never spooled up to wear I felt like I was getting a gale-force wind on my jeans. Rather, the Vivobook S 15 OLED remained comfortable to use for laptop working, and it didn’t get too warm either.
What the Asus has over its key Acer competitor is the addition of an Arc A350M means you could conceivably run games some low-demand games on the Vivobook S OLED 15 (2023) as well as dabble in very light creative work, although that isn’t what this laptop is designed for. The addition of a 120Hz refresh rate on the display may also suggest that you could game on this OLED Vivobook, but it’s more to simply offer smoother motion in more general tasks than for outright gaming performance.
The addition of a 512GB SSD here is handy for offering some decent capacity for storing stuff on, and it’s also a reasonably quick SSD, too, with read speeds of 4317 MB/s, although its writes at just over 1800MB/s were a little disappointing. On the plus side, the Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) comes with 16GB of 4800MHz DDR5 RAM to offer some snappy performance and enough headroom for more intensive workloads.
- Lasted for 11 hours and 11 minutes in our battery test
- Capable of lasting for 1-2 working days
The good times keep on rolling for the Asus Vivobook S OLED 15 (2023), especially with its solid battery life for a laptop that’s this powerful. Acer rates it to last for 10 hours on a single charge, and in dialling down the brightness to 150 nits and running the benchmark test, I found the S 15 OLED to exceed Asus’ target.
In the benchmark, the Vivobook S 15 OLED lasted for 11 hours and 11 minutes which means it’s capable of lasting for between one and two working days on a single charge. I only had to reach for the lead after I’d finished work for the day, and that was only to top up the existing charge, as opposed to charging it from virtually dead, which is excellent.
Should you buy it?
You want some serious power
If you want a powerful laptop compared to its rivals, the Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) certainly delivers.
You want an awe-inspiring design
If it’s an eye-catching chassis you’re after in an ultrabook, you may want to look elsewhere than the Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023).
If it’s an ultrabook with some serious power and a marvellous OLED panel you’re after, the Asus Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) is an excellent choice. Its performance is particularly impressive, with it beating some significantly more expensive ultrabooks, like the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro and Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED (2023). What’s more, that OLED display, in spite of its meagre resolution, was fantastic in offering deep blacks, marvellous contrast and sublime image quality.
The design may be a little uninspiring by comparison to other laptops at this price and a little higher, but what’s here is functional, including a comfortable and tactile keyboard and trackpad, and decent port selection. Despite this, it does look better than its closest match, the Acer Swift Go 14, while also offering a dedicated graphics option to boot. Its battery life is also fantastic. The Vivobook S 15 OLED (2023) may not offer cutting-edge design, but it sure is a reliable and powerful one.
How we test
Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life.
These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real-world checks, such as how well it runs popular apps.
We used as our main laptop for at least a week.
Tested the performance via both benchmark tests and real-world use.
We tested the screen with a colorimeter and real-world use.
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In our experience, an Asus laptop with an OLED is absolutely worth it. The technology offers far more luxurious colour and contrast, and it’s coming to more affordable laptops. But, you can save some money be opting for a more traditional IPS panel.
Whether it’s for the Vivobook or the Zenbook range, the “S” represents a slimmer design than models that do not sport the “S” label.