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There's a host of programs preinstalled on the VivoBook S15's Windows 10 Home operating system. From Asus, there are apps like Hello, which offers a Dropbox-like cloud service, and ZenAnywhere, which lets you access files on your laptop from Android and iOS phones. Asus also brought a program dedicated to keyboard hot keys. The only Asus-branded apps I'd see myself using are MyAsus and Asus Install, which offer diagnostic support and let you download laptop drivers and key applications.
Unfortunately, there is plenty of bloatware on the Asus VivoBook S15, including those obnoxious games that come courtesy of Microsoft, like Candy Crush Saga, Hidden City and Minecraft. LinkedIn, Netflix and McAfee Security also make an unwelcome appearance.The Asus VivoBook S15 comes with a one-year warranty. See how the company performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.
There is a single configuration of the Asus VivoBook S15. For $699, the 15.6-inch laptop comes with an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD -- our minimum recommended setup for a mainstream laptop.
The colorful Asus VivoBook S15 is one of the most visually stunning laptops to cross our desks this year, and at $700, it's much more affordable than you might expect. Furthermore, the laptop has very good performance, speakers that output clear audio and a clever hinge that angles the keyboard toward you. The only considerable knocks against the portable 15-inch laptop are a dull display and an unfortunate amount of bloatware.
But the VivoBook S15 has some tough competition in this price range. The Lenovo Ideapad 530s is remarkably similar to the VivoBook S15. It has gorgeous looks, a borderless display and a thin-and-light footprint. It also has similar internals -- a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD -- for the same $700 price. However, like the Asus, the Lenovo's biggest shortcoming is a dull display.
Ultimately, your decision between these two laptops should come down to your personality. If you prefer a more buttoned-up look, go with the Lenovo. But if you want a laptop that stands out, the Asus VivoBook S15 is a great option.
Today, we evaluate everything from speed and battery life to display brightness, speaker volume and system heat. We then use this data to determine a system's rating, combined with other factors like design, usability and value. Below is a breakdown of all the tests we use to evaluate laptops and how we employ the results to compare similar systems before handing down our final verdict.
Price ranges for the categories may change to meet current market conditions. Laptops will be categorized based on the regular price of the configuration tested.A notebook's results on each test are compared to results from other systems in its category. The category average for any given test and category (example: battery-life test for netbooks) is calculated by taking the mean score from the prior 12 months of test results.
Geekbench, developed by Primate Labs, runs on a variety of platforms including Apple and 32-bit or 64-bit Windows machines. It tests the performance and speed of each of the processor cores of the notebook, as well as memory performance. This test returns both a single- and a multi-core score; we only use the latter.We designed the Spreadsheet Test was designed to stress the CPU. During this test, 65,000 names are matched to their corresponding addresses in Excel 2016 using the VLOOKUP function. We time how long it takes the notebook to complete this task: the shorter, the better.
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