ASUS ExpertBook B9

A few months ago, we reviewed the VivoBook S15 S533FA – and we said that for its price, it’s actually a very good laptop that offers well-balanced performance because of its Intel + NVIDIA combo.

Now, the VivoBook S15 has been updated with the new Intel 11th Gen chipset and changed its codename to S533EA, and while they look the same – there are quite a few differences here and there.

Acer Nitro 5

But, we gotta clarify that the VivoBook S15 S533EA that we have here is… definitely not the official Malaysian retail unit – and the most obvious reason is the lack of stickers on the laptop. It’s using the Core i7-1165G7 with 16GB RAM and also 1TB SSD.

The similarities

Okay, let’s start with the similarities – as a refresher. The design – it’s exactly the same. It still comes with the new VivoBook chassis that I like which has a metal deck. It’s really solid and a major step-up from last year’s VivoBook.

ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA

Then, the color options. This time, we have the VivoBook S15 S533FA in Gaia Green, and personally – I love this color the first time I saw it and it’s my absolute favorite. It’s definitely love at first sight for me.

ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA

The keyboard is the same as well – feels great to type on with good travel distance and great tactility and it also has a physical number pad, albeit a little weirdly shaped.

ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA

The trackpad is the same as well, as well as the fingerprint scanner. The trackpad works well, just like before – and no complaints here as well.

ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA

The screen is also the same. The colors and brightness are pretty decent, and again – no complaints here.

ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA

The differences

As for what’s new, obviously – the new Core i7-1165G7 that’s equipped in the VivoBook S15 S533EA. It’s powerful AF and since this chipset is operating at 28W max, I can finally play games like GTA V at above 30fps consistently. Wow, this is amazing.

ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA

And obviously just the ZenBook Flip S UX371, I can also edit simple videos on this laptop. Just that this laptop can get things like warp stabilizer done faster because it’s operating at 28W instead of the 15W on the ZenBook Flip S UX371.

By the way, if you want to know what’s the difference if the Intel Core i7-1165G7 is operating at 15W or 28W – click at the top right corner there because we did an in-depth test to find out.

Okay, back to what’s new with this laptop – the motherboard. Actually, not the motherboard itself but the components on it. You see, the previous generation of this laptop has an Intel + NVIDIA combo in it – but this new generation doesn’t have an NVIDIA GPU in it, but they’re using the same motherboard… so…….. there are a few empty BGA pads on the motherboard, unutilized.

ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA

But that’s not the only thing that’s changed. ASUS also yeeted out the second M.2 SSD slot and replaced but with some other components. While I do feel that it’s weird, I think I know what they did.

ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA

Let’s now take a look at the ports. They’re pretty much the same. On the right side we have some indicator LEDs, a microSD card slot, double USB 2.0 ports.

On the right side, there’s a barrel power jack, a full-sized HDMI port, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, and also an audio jack. By looking at where the Thunderbolt 4 port is at, I think ASUS had to remove the M.2 SSD for the Thunderbolt 4 port.

And I think it’s a good trade! Because Thunderbolt 4 offers magnificently fast speeds and we can also use any USB PD chargers we have to charge the laptop. Which means, we can use either the included power brick, or a USB-PD power bank, or the new, small GaN chargers that can output 65W. Thank you ASUS!

ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA
Charging using a USB-PD power bank!

Now speaking of that, the battery in this VivoBook S15 S533EA is the same as before – 50Wh only, and it can last for around 6 hours in Silent power profile.

Should you buy the ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA?

If you’re looking for a laptop right now, then yes – I suggest you wait for this laptop and buy this instead. It’s powerful and puts up a good fight against AMD’s mobile chips.

For us here in Malaysia, the ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA will be available in this spec configuration:

  • Intel Core i7-1165G7
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD

It’ll be priced at RM3,399, which I think is actually a reasonable price hike over the VivoBook S15 S533FL in terms of performance, but seriously – Tiger Lake needs to have 16GB RAM to maximize its performance.

Yet with the removal of the second M.2 SSD, it lacks upgradability and that might be an issue for a small group of users. Nonetheless, the ASUS VivoBook S15 S533EA is still a fantastic laptop.

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