Let’s start the week with the test of the Asus VivoBook X403FA / S403FA, a 14-inch ultrabook installed in a chic metal case that performs all common tasks and provides an impressive battery life of 14 hours. On the other hand, its range and its aggressive tariff positioning force to compose with a dark screen and a basic connection.
Here are the technical characteristics of the tested model:
|Slab||14 “Full HD IPS NanoEdge (1920×1080, anti-glare / matte)|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-8265U Whiskey Lake (1.6GHz, 4 cores, TDP 15W)|
|Installed RAM (max)||16 GB (soldered) LPDDR3 2133 MHz|
|Storage space||PCIe 512 GB NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Graphic card||Intel UHD 620 integrated into the processor|
|Audio system||2 speakers (2W) Harman Kardon|
|webcam||Yes, 720p HD with microphone|
|Network||Wi-Fi ac (2×2)|
|Card reader||Yes, SD|
|Video output (s)||HDMI|
|Entries exits)||Headphone / Mic Combo|
|USB||1 USB 2.0 1 USB 3.1 1 USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen1)|
|Operating system||Endless OS 3 64 Bit|
|Drums||Li-Polymer 4 cells 72Whr|
|Autonomy announced||24 hours|
|Dimensions (mm)||323 x 208 x 16.5|
|Weight||1.32 Kg (with battery)|
|Other||Backlit chiclet keyboard, Precision multi-touch touchpad|
Chassis / Aesthetics
The Asus VivoBook X403FA / S403FA is housed in a slim, sleek metal frame with a matte Silver Blue finish, an original light blue. The black frame around the screen is plastic but the tester did not complain about the build quality. The pieces are perfectly assembled and the finishes neat. Nothing to blame for the rigidity of the frame either.
The PC has two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (1x Type-A, 1x Type-C) and a USB 2.0 port. The USB-C port can only be used to connect devices. It does not support DisplayPort functionality or load. An HDMI output allows users to connect the device to an external display and a full-size (slow) SD card reader also responds.
Like all ultrabooks on the market, the VivoBook X403 does not have a maintenance hatch. To access the components, you will need to remove the plate under the hood, a tricky maneuver that has no apparent trap. All the screws are visible and the plate is detached without resistance once raised with a small thin plastic tool (pick type). The tester still recommends starting with one of the edges at the front of the unit. Inside, the RAM is untouchable because soldered to the motherboard (in dual-channel on this model, a good point).
Keyboard / Touchpad
The VivoBook features a backlit chiclet keyboard (spaced keys). The smooth keys have a short stroke and a free operating point. When typing, the base has some flexibility but the tester did not find it detrimental. The backlight offers two levels of brightness and can be controlled with a function key. All in all, Asus delivers here a correct keyboard.
The multitouch touchpad occupies an area of 10.5 x 6.2 cm. As a result, you have enough space to use gesture commands. The smooth surface facilitates the sliding of the fingers and the integrated mouse buttons are effective.
The screen installed aboard the VivoBook X403 / S403 is installed on a full HD definition IPS panel (1920 x 1080 px). Its viewing angles are wide and its contrast ratio acceptable (926: 1) but the brightness is too low (235.9 cd / m²) to hope for outdoor use. Asus also uses dynamic brightness (PWM) but the frequency is high and therefore should not cause ocular gene.
Built around a 9-generation Quad Core i5 (Whiskey Lake) with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB NVMe SSD, the model is test-proof and well-suited for everyday tasks. office and multimedia needs of users. Inside the tested X403, the processor is well operated with a stable Turbo value at 2.6 Ghz. On the other hand, this is not the case when the PC is used on battery with a frequency of 1.8 Ghz on average. In mobility, it will be necessary to limit oneself to the current tasks under penalty of meeting some latencies (not really impacting in reality). Moreover, the generous RAM is set in dual channel to provide all the necessary fluidity in multitasking and the SSD is fast.
There is no dedicated graphics card onboard the VivoBook S403 / X403. The Intel UHD 620 chip integrated into the processor is responsible for all image processing. It benefits directly from the RAM Dual Channel and is easily loaded with common tasks with some casual games (old, low-medium details).
Temperatures / Noise
The Asus VivoBook 14 does not make much noise. When inactive, the fan often remains stationary, resulting in quiet operation. Under load, the fan starts to run, but never at awkward levels. Subject to extreme tasks, the tester measured a noise level of 35.2 dB. Unfortunately, the tester has detected a bit of “coil whine” on his model under test. Opposite, temperatures are never a problem regardless of the work done.
Asus has integrated into its VivoBook S403 a very large battery of 72Whr and sale up to 24 hours of video playback. A total that did not reach the tester who found 19:30. In current use with active Wifi and “balanced” performance profile, count about 13 hours of autonomy. This is very consistent for its category and this is the biggest highlight of the ultrabook.