It’s been quite some time since we last had an ASUS VivoBook in our hands. Its latest release, the VivoBook S14, is vastly different from its predecessors. It has a new design, new build material, and even a new chip from AMD.

So, let’s take a look at the new ASUS VivoBook S14 within the family ID of M433.

MSI Creator 17 Mini-LED

The unit of the ASUS VivoBook S14 M433 that we have for review is not the Malaysian retail unit. Its specs are slightly different and we will highlight its differences whenever applicable.

Design

First off – the lid. It’s made out of metal and it has a debossed cutout for the ASUS VivoBook branding on it. The differently-colored strip at the top of the lid is to house all the antennas for wireless connectivity like WiFi and Bluetooth.

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

The deck of the laptop is now also made out of metal – which can be seen and felt by the chamfered edges. Seriously, chamfered edges on a VivoBook? That’s unheard of.

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

Ports

The ASUS VivoBook S14 M433 does come with an abundance of port – but some of them are rather weirdly included.

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

  • Barrel jack for power
  • HDMI 1.4 port
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C
  • Combo audio jack

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

  • MicroSD card reader
  • 2x USB 2.0 ports

Truth is, I don’t know why there are so many USB 2.0 ports on this laptop. I mean, one of them is more than enough for an external mouse – which is what most people are going to use anyway.

The ASUS VivoBook S14 M433 does have WiFi-6, a.k.a. 802.11ax, a.k.a. AX-WiFi, which is very welcomed as there are more routers with WiFi-6 available in the market right now. We have also tested WiFi-6 speeds and it is fantastic – so props to ASUS to making WiFi-6 available on the VivoBook series of laptops.

Screen

This is a weird one. As the name of this laptop suggests, it is using a 14-inch IPS LCD screen, which is pretty typical of what’s available in the market right now. Bezels are rather thin and the webcam is at the top where it should be.

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

The brightness is definitely not that good. According to its specs, the ASUS VivoBook S14 M433’s display goes up to only 250 nits – and I can agree on that. I was sitting on a couch with the curtains opened and I had to crank the brightness up to 100% to see whatever is on the screen.

The colors produced are generally okay, but I immediately realized that my Chrome theme’s green hues look too yellow.

Keyboard

I love the keyboard. I immediately fell in love with this keyboard. It felt so weird and unlike anything I’ve used before – but I just love its softness and silence. The key travel distance isn’t particularly long but its softness makes it fun to type on. I barely made any noise while typing on this keyboard – and I love its silence.

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

Another thing that I like is the gradual slope between the spacebar and the trackpad. I’ve complained about this in numerous laptop reviews in the past, and this is the first time that I praising it.

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

What I don’t like about the keyboard is the extra column of buttons on the right side. These are useful keys but it takes a long time to get used to this layout. Also, the power button should be moved outside of the keyboard.

Trackpad

While I don’t see trackpad sizes as an issue, the one on the ASUS VivoBook S14 M433 is definitely a little smaller than what I was used to. Still, it’s not a big deal since the trackpad works well and it uses Windows Precision drivers.

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

The Malaysian version of the ASUS VivoBook S14 M433 also has a fingerprint scanner, contrary to the unit that we have.

The palm rejection is still bad – and just like what I said in the past, this issue needs to be fixed by Microsoft.

Performance

It’s a weird one. For us Malaysians, the new ASUS VivoBook S14 M433 comes in two different variants, while the main difference is the AMD chip used. That chip affects both CPU and GPU performance. Here are the specs for both variants.

  ASUS VivoBook S14 M433
Model Name M433I-AEB004TS M433I-AEB005TS
M433I-AEB006TS
M433I-AEB007TS
M433I-AEB008TS
Operating System Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Home
Design Color Indie Black Gaia Green, Indie Black, Dreamy White
Screen 14-inch IPS Panel FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9
250nits Anti-glare display
14-inch IPS Panel FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9
250nits Anti-glare display
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Processor 3.6GHz (8C/8T) AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor 2.4GHz (6C/6T)
Integrated GPU AMD Radeon Graphics (7 cores @ 1600MHz) AMD Radeon Graphics (6 cores @ 1500MHz)
RAM 8GB DDR4 soldered
(No extra memory slot)
8GB DDR4 soldered
(No extra memory slot)
Storage 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0  SSD 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0  SSD
Wireless Wi-Fi 6(Gig+)(802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.0 (Dual band) 2*2
Wi-Fi 6(Gig+)(802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.0 (Dual band) 2*2
Battery 50WHrs 50WHrs
Dimension (WxHxD) 32.40 x 21.30 x 1.59 ~ 1.59 cm 32.40 x 21.30 x 1.59 ~ 1.59 cm
Weight 1.40 kg 1.40 kg
Included in the Box Backpack Backpack
Warranty 2 Years Global Warranty
(1st year with Perfect Warranty)
2 Years Global Warranty
(1st year with Perfect Warranty)
Price RM3,199 RM2,899

We have the higher-end version here, which sports the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U CPU. And to go off on a tangent a little, the previous generation AMD Ryzen 5 3500U has a Vega 8 graphics with a larger chunk of reserved RAM as VRAM, but the Ryzen 7 4700U has more power.

It’s a rather weird situation – but either way, I can a playable experience on Overwatch at its lowest graphical settings while locked to 1080p resolution, the GPU and its VRAM are pegged at its maximum at all times.

But magnificently enough, we don’t feel any heat when playing Overwatch. HWiNFO was telling us that the CPU is at 84°C, while the GPU is at 69°C. The laptop felt slightly warm and the fan did ramp up, but it’s not obnoxiously noisy.

Playing Hard Rain on Left 4 Dead 2 at the highest possible settings is struggling to maintain 60fps, but still, a very playable experience.

And if you want to see benchmarks, here they are. We’re unable to run 3DMark Time Spy or Fire Strike, by the way.

Maintenance and lack of upgradability

To open the laptop, we need to unscrew a few Torx screws at the backplate. Once opened… we can see that the entire laptop system is rather simple.

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

The cooling system is simple. A single heatpipe running from the CPU towards the heatsink, and a fan cools it down. That’s it. This can only mean that the Ryzen 7 4700U is very power-efficient.

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

While the laptop is easy to clean out the dust. There’s no way to upgrade the RAM since it’s soldered, and only the M.2 SSD is swappable. According to the Malaysian spec sheet of the ASUS VivoBook S14 M433, the Malaysian variant has two M.2 SSD slots.

Battery life

Inside the ASUS VivoBook S14 M433 is a 50Wh battery. While it might seem relatively small, I still get about 6 hours in my usual workload. It’s pretty good, actually.

Charging time

It takes about 135 minutes to charge from 15% to 100% while idling. Not too bad considering that many laptops take about 2 hours to charge.

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433 batter charging benchmark

Should you buy the ASUS VivoBook S14 M433?

Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture. This new ASUS VivoBook S14 M433 is a beautiful laptop with really solid build quality, yet offers a rather powerful AMD chip inside. Both the CPU and GPU performance is great – just that the VRAM is just insufficient. All in all, I really like the new ASUS VivoBook S14 M433.

So yes – I highly recommend this laptop.

Plot twist – which variant should you buy?

Then, the main question needs to change from “should you buy” to “which one should you buy” because there are two variants of the ASUS VivoBook S14 M433. Essentially, it boils down to this main difference:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 4700U @ RM3,199 (the one we have)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U @ RM2,899

ASUS VivoBook S14 M433

It’s kinda difficult to say for sure just how much the performance differs between the two AMD chips. However, from what we can see, the ASUS VivoBook S14 M433 is aimed towards university students or for those who just want a simple laptop for web-browsing, watching videos, do some Microsoft Office work, and maybe lightweight Photoshop. For that use case, the user experience shouldn’t differ much between both variants.

For me personally, I’ll choose the cheaper variant. And with that lower-powered AMD Ryzen 5 4500U chip, I can potentially get longer battery life too.

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