I just received the Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop and reviewed it. I found lot of good things about it. In this article, I am gonna share everything about that. So, let's get started.

Technical Specs of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA

  • CPU: 1-3.6GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1 | 10th Gen | 4 Cores | 6MB Cache
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X | 3733MHz | Dual channel | Not upgradable
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD + 32GB Intel Optane Memory
  • Display: 14-inch FHD | IPS and Anti-glare panel | 267 Nits
  • Battery: 72Wh Li-ion | 4 Cell
  • Wireless connectivity: 802.11a/g/b/n/ac 2x2 Wi-Fi 6 | Bluetooth 5.0
  • Weight: 1.35 Kg (3 lbs)
  • Laptop dimensions: 32.3 x 20.8 x 1.7 cms

Where to buy?

The Build Quality

The all-aluminium build of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.

The Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop has all-aluminium build. It's pretty solid and lightweight. In addition, the design is pretty lucrative. It looks like a Notebook instead of a classic laptop.

fingerprints on the surface of the laptop.

The smooth matte finish easily attracts the fingerprints. But, you can easily clean it using micro-fiber cloth. In addition, I found no surface colour change over-the-use.

Dimensions and Weight

The dimensions of this Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA are 12.7-inch in width, 8.2-inch in depth, and 0.7-inch in height. In addition to that, I have also measured the weight using Propert's weighing scale.

  • For laptop only: 1.35 kg (3 lbs)
  • For laptop + Accessories: 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs)

Here, I have checked the laptop's weight is its charging accessories, so that, you can get an idea about the total weight you may need to carry while travelling. When compared it with other laptops under Rs 60,000 in India, I found this Asus VivoBook S14 the most lightweight.

Display

14-inch FHD IPS display of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.

The Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop has a 14-inch FHD display with 60Hz refresh rate. In addition, it delivers good viewing angles, thanks to the IPS panel. The screen contrast ratio is 930:1, which is lower than our lower recommendation (1000:1). The display is surrounded by 4.5mm side bezels to make you feel more premium and also gives you higher screen-to-body ratio.

In case of this laptop, I have no option to check for G-Sync availability because it has no NVIDIA GPU. It's not a dedicated gaming laptop. But, it can fulfil your gaming needs up to certain limit.

To check the screen colour reproduction, I have tested screen colour gamut using Spyder 5 PRO. And, here are our results of 3 tests for SRGB, AdobeRGB, and NTSC.

Screen colour gamut results of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop tested by Spyder 5 PRO.

As you can see the AdobeRGB isn't high, means, not good for content creators like photo and video editors. But, it's perfect for normal users like programmers, bloggers, watching movies, and many more.

See in the below chart where this laptop in the comparison of other laptops of price under Rs 60,000.

Screen colour gamut of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop compared with other laptops under Rs 60K price.

In the above comparison, our Asus laptop has highest SRGB result but not AdobeRGB result. In addition to that, I have also tested the brightness of this laptop in terms of display nits. And, here are my results.

Display nits of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop at different brightness levels.

So, At LaptopRadar.In, our review unit has reached almost 268 nits, which is very near to the minimum value we recommend (290-300 nits).

When compared it with other laptops under Rs 60,000 price, Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA has secured 1st position and that's pretty awesome.

Display nits of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop is compared with other laptops of price under Rs 60K.

To check the screen flex, I have intentionally moved the screen up and down using fingers. I found a little bit of flex there but, to be frank, it wasn't an issue for me. Acer has all-device of aluminium metal, which contributes more in durability and lowers the weight possibly.

In addition, the hinge runs mostly along the base, which is also responsible for minimum amount of screen flex. Unlike Acer Swift 3 SF314-57, the hinge of this laptop doesn't allow the display to rotate 180-degree right back to the keyboard.

It is to note that I failed when I have tried to open the display with one finger. That shows the uneven distribution of weight across the hinge.

Keyboard

Keyboard of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.

The keyboard of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop has is pretty sturdy and reflected a little bit of flex when I have pressed it down hard using fingers. I think the solid-nature is because of its metal island.

During aggressive typing, It was remained pretty solid. What I don't like is a silver keys with dark grey coloured font. The background of keys and fonts should reflect enough contrast for easier visibility during typing.

Backlit on the keyboard of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.

The keys have 2-level white zonal backlit on the keyboard. And the backlit is enough bright to illuminate the secondary functions also properly. Keep in mind, the same price laptop Mi Notebook 14 Horizon comes without a backlit keyboard.

When it comes to typing experience, it was really good for me. The keys were giving consistent tactile feedback and were travelling 1.4mm distance down. The distance we recommend for tactile feedback is 1.5mm. But, this keyboard is pretty fine.

However, the keys are a little bit noisy but you will find them considerably silent when compared to the dedicated mechanical keyboards.

Furthermore, like many other 13-14 inches laptops, the Power button is placed next to Delete key. But, it won't create problem during typing since you've to long-press it to execute the function assigned to it.

In addition, the 4 arrow keys are too small in size and also badly placed. You will often press the wrong key.

If I compare it with Mi Notebook 14 Horizon (review) or Asus VivoBook 15 M513, then this laptop has a lot better keyboard. But, it's not better than Acer Swift 3 SF314-57 laptop.

Touchpad

4.1-inch precision-enabled touchpad of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.

The touchpad of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop is 4.1-inch wide. It's smooth, responsive, and accurate. In addition, it's Windows recognized precision unit.

It has no separate buttons since it clicks down anywhere. Unlike Mi Notebook 14's awkward touchpad, this one doesn't get bend down when pressed. However, for gaming, it's not a good. You have to buy a dedicated gaming mouse.

RAM

The Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop comes with 8GB of 3733MHz LPDDR4X Dual Channel RAM. That is quite awesome. But, to be honest, I was shocked to know that Asus hasn't allowed you to upgrade the RAM.

In addition to that, below I have compared it with the RAM of other laptops of Rs 60,000.

  • Mi Notebook 14 Horizon: 8GB DDR4 | 2666MHz | Single Channel | No upgrade option (read full review)
  • Acer Swift 3 SF314-57: 8GB DDR4 | 2400MHz | Dual channel | Upgradable up to 32GB (read review)
  • Dell Inspiron 3593: 8GB DDR4 | 2666MHz | Single channel | Upgradable to 16GB (review)
  • Lenovo Ideapad S340 81VV008TIN: 8GB DDR4 | 2666MHz | Dual channel | Not upgradable
  • Acer Aspire 5 A514-52G: 8GB DDR4 | 2400MHz | Dual channel | Expandable to 12GB
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S145: 8GB DDR4 | 2400MHz | Single channel | Upgradable to 12GB
  • HP 14s DR1009TU: 8GB DDR4 | 2666MHz | Dual channel | Upgradable to 16GB
  • Dell Inspiron 14 3493: 8GB DDR4 | 2666MHz | Single channel | Not upgradable
  • Acer Aspire 3 A315-23: 8GB DDR4 | 2666MHz | Single channel | Upgradable to 12GB

CPU and GPU Performance

The Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU from Ice Lake family and Intel UHD GPU is powering the laptop's performance. In addition, it got 512GB of PCIe-based SSD storage. So that, you will be able to open and edit large files smoothly. In addition to that, Asus has also provided 32GB of Intel Optane memory which is way faster than SSD.

CPU and GPU Benchmarks

To check the performance CPU, I have conducted the Cinebench tests. Cinebench score represents the CPU's performance.

Cinebench R20 scores of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop during different modes of stress test.

During the stress test with and without a cooling pad, the Cinebench single and multi core scores were 419 and 1412, respectively. But, with 0.15v CPU undervolting, the multi core score has raised to 1441, which is pretty awesome.

It tells that the cooling pad is completely useless in performance increment whereas the CPU undervolting is doing a great job in the same.

In addition to that, see in the below where this Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA is, when compared to other laptops of price nearly Rs 60,000.

Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA Cinebench R20 single core score comparison with other laptops under Rs 60K price.

So, my review unit is at 4th position CB single core score comparison, which is pretty impressive. It has really something like good internals and thermal management which have brought this awesome results.

Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA Cinebench R20 multi core score comparison with other laptops of same price.

So, in the CB multi core score comparison, our review unit has reached 6th position, which is not common.

In addition, I have also checked Geekbench 5 benchmark performance.

Geekbench 5 single and multi core scores of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.

In a test by Geekbench 5, the Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop has achieved 1207 score on single core and 3942 score on multi core. See where it's when compared with other laptops under Rs 60,000.

Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA Geekbench 5 single core compared with other laptops under Rs 60K price.

So, our dear Asus laptop is at the 1st position when it comes to Geekbench 5 Single core comparison. Despite same processor, Mi Notebook 14 Horizon (review), Asus VivoBook 15 M513., and Acer Aspire 3 A315-23 have shown poor performance.

Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA Geekbench 5 multi core score comparison with other laptops under Rs 60K price.

Again, the same position has achieved. The Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA has impressed me.

Now, what does this scores tell?

It tells the performance of the laptop. The higher the score, the higher the performance. Here, you have to consider the multi-core score. Take a note that, Geekbench doesn’t put an excessive load on the CPU like Cinebench R20. And, Geekbench considers mainly productivity tasks like emailing, browsing, multitasking, and etc, to evaluate the hardware.

And, these ways cannot give you an idea about the cooling solution. Because tiny tasks don’t make much stress on the CPU. Hence, If the laptop has a higher Geekbench multi-core score means its capability for productivity is much better. But, at the same time, information about thermal throttling and the cooling solution will remain unanswered by this tool.

Average CPU and GPU Clock Speeds

The Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA has Intel Core i5-1035G1 which has a base speed of 1.0GHz and can be overclocked to 3.6GHz.

The average CPU and GPU clock speeds were measured by performing the stress test using AIDA64 tool. The average of 3 runs is in the below image.

Average CPU and GPU clock speeds of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop during various stress test modes.

During stress test at auto fan and with cooling pad, the CPU clock speed was 2685MHz. And, during stress test with 0.15v CPU undervolting, the CPU clock speed has raised to 2979MHz, which is pretty outstanding. It gives you an idea that cooling pad is completely useless to buy for this laptop for performance increment.

Furthermore, as Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA is not a gaming laptop, I don't have to check it for TDP as it isn't required here. I would have done it if this was a gaming laptop.

Video Editing Performance

In this test, I have exported the 16 minutes and 13 seconds long video in YouTube 4K H.264 preset using Adobe Premier CC. And I have repeated the same test 4 times further to show you the average result.

Video export benchmarks of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.

So, during my test of video export in 4K preset, the Acer laptop has ended up in on average 16 minutes and 13 seconds. That’s too much.

Video export benchmark of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop is compared with other laptops under Rs 60K price.

I'm a little bit disappointed because of performance during video export. Till now, I have criticised the Mi Notebook, but I think I've to praise it in this section. Also, it's worth to mention that Acer laptop wasn't all-time smooth during video editing.

Thermal Performance

I've performed the thermal performance test using AIDA64 tool to check whether a cooling pad is useful in temperature reduction or not.

Average CPU temperatures data during various modes of stress test of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.

So, as you can see that the use of cooling pad has no single effect on the CPU temperature reduction. But, the CPU undervolting is found effective. It has reduced the temperature by 5 degrees Celsius.

Furthermore, in the following chart, I have compared the temperatures of laptops measured during stress test at an auto fan.

CPU temperature of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop is compared with other laptops under Rs 60K price.

As you can see, the Asus VivoBook has well maintained the CPU temperature. It's a good job done by efficient internals and cooling system.

In addition, I have also checked for laptop's exterior temperature.

  • At idle: Keyboard and palm rest were cool.
  • During stress test at auto fan: Palm rest was cool and Keyboard was at mid 45 degrees C. The exterior above the function keys was hot.
  • With the use of cooling pad: Not different results to just above test.

Noise Emitted by Fans

Asus Vivobook S14 S403JA fans noise during different modes of stress test.

At idle, the fan was completely silent. But, during stress test at auto fan, the noise level was increased like boom - 48.5dB.

In addition, also find Asus's position in terms of fan noise emission when compared to laptops of price under Rs 60,000.

Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA fan noise during stress test at auto fan compared with other laptops of same price.

You can see in the above chart that Acer Swift 3 SF314-57 comes with the most silent fan whereas Dell Inspiron 14 3493 has the most noisy fan when I ran the stress test at auto fan.

Camera and Microphone

The 720p camera of this laptop is found pretty average in terms of quality. I have tested it outdoor and it has performed well. In addition, the microphone has also captured nearly clean voice outdoor. Overall, I have rated the camera 5/10 and microphone 6/10. It's to note that the camera doesn't support Windows Hello unlock here.

Here is the position of this Asus device when compared with other laptops of Rs 60,000 price.

Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop camera quality compared with other laptops under Rs 60K price.
Microphone quality of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop compared with other laptops of same price.

Speakers

The 2 down-firing speakers are placed underneath the laptop front-side. They sound below-average. When I have tested the sound level while YouTube videos were on, the Digitech has shown 74dB of reading. In addition to that, the speakers also feel a bit tiny.

Speaker of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA is compared with other laptops under Rs 60K price.

As you can in the above image, Asus's speakers deserve much improvement in terms of loudness.

Fingerprint Sensor

Fingerprint sensor integrated on the touchpad of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.

The fingerprint reader is placed on the top-right corner of the touchpad. It's of square shape and supports Windows Hello unlock. It allows you to log in to the device and other supported services very fast and secure.

However, I never like such kind of placement for fingerprint. Acer Swift 3 SF314-57 has also a fingerprint sensor and it's well-placed like you will never feel annoying.

Ports

Ports on the left side of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.
Ports on the left side of this laptop.

On the left side, there are the following ports from left to right.

  • 1 x Power input
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Type-A Gen-1
  • 1 x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 3, Also support for Power/Display)
USB Type-C port's availability comparison with other laptops of same price.

You can see that there two laptops, Acer Swift 3 SF314-57 and Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA, that have thunderbolt-3 port.

Ports on the right side of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.
Ports on the right side of laptop.

On the right side, there are the following ports from left to right.

  • 1 x 3.5mm Audio/combo jack
  • 1 x USB Type 2.0
  • 1 x Full-Size SD card reader

On the back, there are only air exhausts. And, on the back cover, there is no air intake vents. However, having air intake vents don't always contribute to the temperature reduction or performance increment.

Battery

The Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop has 72Wh battery.

It has lasted for 159 minutes during the continuous stress test and for 696 minutes while watching YouTube videos at 50% of screen brightness, keyboard backlightings off, and background apps disabled.

Battery life of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop.
Battery capacity of Asus VivoBook S14 S403Ja compared with other laptops.
Battery life of Asus VivoBook S14 S403Ja laptop during stress test compared with other laptops under Rs 60K price.
Battery life of Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop during YouTube watching compared with other laptops.

Storage

Let me tell you that this Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA has a 512GB of PCIe-based SSD storage. I have measured its speed and performance using CrystalDiskMark. CrystalDiskMark is a tool most popular for the measurement of storage's performance.

Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA storage speed test using CrystalDiskMark.

You can see that it's too fast at reading and writing. The reading speed is almost 1983MB/sec and writing speed is almost 1826MB/sec.

Furthermore, neither this laptop is capable of gaming nor, it has at least NVIDIA’s MX series GPU. So, I have skipped testing the gaming benchmarks.

Final Conclusion

The Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop is all-aluminium build and has pretty lucrative design. It reflects a modern look. The display is quite good when it comes to brightness but not ranking when it comes to colour reproduction. It's good for office-level jobs but not content creators like photo and video editors. The keyboard is pretty tactile and also has no flex because of metal flex. The touchpad is smooth, responsive, and accurate and also supports Windows precision drivers. The camera is average in quality and the microphone is above-average compared to other laptops under Rs 60K price. In addition, the Asus VivoBook S14 S403JA laptop has thunderbolt-3 port and a fingerprint sensor, which is rare in the laptop of Rs 60,000 price. In addition, the speakers are bit below-average loud but okay to enjoy movies and YouTube videos. When it comes to battery life, it's pretty long. Overall, the most recommended laptop for office work and students.

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