Asus Vivobook S412 notebook PC, complete with a clever numeric keypad - The360 Technology

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  • Monday, December 23, 2019

    Asus Vivobook S412 notebook PC, complete with a clever numeric keypad

    Asus Vivobook S412 notebook PC, complete with a clever numeric keypad

    While we should not expect gargantuan performance of this PC, it is not the finest nor the lightest. For its price, however, it contains some good surprises that make it convenient to use and attaching while performing correctly the type of tasks for which it is designed.

    Your budget is too limited for an ultra-portable tinsel and you can not sacrifice performance just to flaunt a PC that is held to two fingers. Asus offers as an alternative solution an in-between with this Vivobook that does not sacrifice performance or user experience on the altar of design, although the latter is rather successful. Let's explore the Asus Vivobook S412.

    There will be no whaou effect if you cross this notebook Asus Vivobook S412 on the shelf. Its appearance is quite classic and its matte screen does not help to flatter the eye, although it is a benefit to use. It comes with its 2.30m charging cable, enough even if a few more centimeters would not have been a problem. The wired entry-level mouse will be used for troubleshooting but was not necessary. On the other hand it is interesting to find a kit of installation of the hard disk.

    Immediately this prompts to return the device. While we expect to find a hatch, it is not so. Stung by curiosity a consultation of the online manual would have the power to tell us more but no mention of this possibility is mentioned. Finally it's an online video that will confirm that you can open the PC just by removing the screws and gently unclipping the back cover. There are 10 screws, one hidden under a round sticker in the middle. You can see the location of the fan and speakers.

    Inside, as suggested by the presence of the installation kit there is a slot for a disk 2.5 inches... empty. Still a pleasant surprise because the SSD 512 GB M2 format is indeed placed right next to the fan, and covered with a protective adhesive aluminum. So we can change the SSD to M2 format and add another SSD or a hard drive. We also note that the battery is accessible. The more handymen can try to repair themselves in case of failure out of warranty and this will reduce the bill in the event of a visit to the repairer.

    Let's go back outside. In addition to the ventilation under the PC there is a grille at the back. Once the PC is open, it disappears on the other side of the hinge to end up just under the screen. The hinge mechanism also serves to lift the back of the PC to create a tilt that frees the airflow for ventilation and directs the keyboard to a better grip position.

    The keys of the keyboard are slightly rounded and well spaced thanks to the absence of numeric keypad, it will be seen later that it hides under the touchpad, itself big enough to be practical when one does not have a mouse available .

    On the left side of the device are the input for the AC charger, a standard HDMI output, two USB-A type jacks and a USB-C jack, both in 3.0. Finally there is also a jack-type audio output that also serves as input for a microphone.

    It is a pity that the USB 3.0 type A has not been differentiated, for example with the blue color as it is sometimes, because on the other side we find a third USB plug but 2.0 format. Favored for hardware such as mice that do not require significant transfer speeds. A slot for a Kensington lock is also present as well as a Micro-SD card reader.

    When starting the PC we feel immediately that the power of this model is at the rendezvous. The use of Windows is extremely fluid and the almost instant start even turns off completely. No need for multiple tests to see that the PC in this version, Intel Core i5 8265U, 8 GB of RAM, Intel UHD 620 GPU, can run most software, even beefy, without much problem.

    Only the breakdown that starts a little noisy shows that the processor is heavily solicited, it happened during the installation of multiple simultaneous Windows updates only, the web streaming has not triggered excessive ventilation. The user will make sure to uninstall the default installed commercial antivirus that generates anxiety alerts to try to subscribe to a paid license. Windows Defender, free and integrated by default to Windows 10, immediately takes over.

    The use of the keyboard is not unpleasant and, good surprise, it is backlit. One key adjusts the light intensity on three levels. Intensity a little feeble but powerful enough in the dark. We could blame the same thing on the screen. If its matte finish makes the use pleasant in a classic environment where glare is absent, the brightness of the screen is insufficient for work in full sun, even at its maximum.

    The other good surprise comes from the numeric keyboard integrated in the touchpad. A simple tap on the icon at the top right of the keypad triggers it. By pressing lightly we use the numbers and it is not necessary to disable it for use in "mouse mode", the click also works.

    Audio side the two speakers do not work miracles in terms of power and quality. If this is enough for one-time use or serial viewing, audiophiles will be disappointed and will have to turn to the use of a headset or an external speaker.

    The autonomy test is not extraordinary either, but not catastrophic either. Streaming Netflix episodes with the Edge browser at maximum brightness with the sound at one-third of its power (which is pretty low for this model) has allowed to play 7 episodes for a total duration of a little less of 6H.

    Which competitors?

    It is difficult to compare the Vivobook S14 in itself to other models because it is declined with multiple configurations. If it is powerful enough and is less than 800 euros, other models even cheaper could hold your attention, those equipped with processors AMD Ryzen 5-3500U and 256 GB of storage in SSD pass below the bar of 600 euros and retain all the qualities described.

    If conversely we have the opportunity to exceed this budget, we will opt for a machine such as the Dell XPS 13 or HP Envy PC that passes under the 1,000 euros at some sellers. Their design is thinner and more adapted to mobility, with a screen one level above.

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