Asus VivoBook 14x review: a laptop that relies on its versatility

Construction

asus vivobook 14x s1403Q M1403Q

A very classic design.

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The VivoBook 14x in our test has an all-plastic silver gray chassis, but it also comes in midnight blue. A simple “Asus VivoBook” inscription is present on the cover, the rest of the design is very basic.

Opening the screen reveals the keyboard in the same color as the chassis. The matte screen is surrounded by a grainy black plastic with poor quality reproduction.
If the keyboard is backlit, we know that the gray keys don’t blend well with it. During the day, if the backlight is activated, the keys become unreadable due to lack of contrast; a problem that disappears on the midnight blue version, which has black keys.

asus vivobook 14x s1403Q M1403Q

The gray keys are not very legible in strong light.

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The sensations of typing on the keyboard are correct, although the mechanism of the keys is heard quite quickly.

asus vivobook 14x s1403Q M1403Q

The NumPad on the touchpad is screen printed directly on the touch surface.

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The touchpad provides a good glide that takes into account the movements of Windows. Note that the VivoBook 14x has the simplest version of NumPad, with a numeric keypad screen that is activated by pressing for a second in the upper right corner.

Note that the VivoBook 14x does not have a fingerprint reader, a very handy system for quickly unlocking a Windows session.

Almost full box on the connection side. There are thus three USB-A ports, of which one in USB2.0 and two in USB3.2 (5 Gb/s). A USB-C port is present but does not support charging. Finally, an HDMI 1.4 port and a mini-jack connector complete the 4 USB ports. The only thing missing is a memory card reader to complete this connection.

asus vivobook 14x

Full connectivity, but not the latest generation.

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Wireless connectivity is provided by a Mediatek MT7921 chip, which offers wifi 6 at 2400 Mb/s and Bluetooth 5.2. The webcam located above the screen has a 720p sensor with a particularly blurry and noisy reproduction in the dark. A physical sliding cover hides the sensor for more privacy. However, this webcam is incompatible with Windows Hello.



In the shadow.


Good lighting conditions.

The cooling system consists of two heat pipes that transfer the calories released by the Ryzen 5 5600H to two radiators located in the left corner of the chassis. A single fan directs the heat from the two radiators.
After our traditional coding test, the thermal camera reveals a hot spot of 41°C on the keys of the keyboard and almost 45°C on the piano. On the other hand, the noise pollution is relatively limited (36.7 dB measured). During use, the fan remains off as long as the laptop is not in use. It only triggers during Windows updates or during use. A Performance mode allows you to increase the ventilation for more power, but the noise pollution disappears.

asus vivobook 14x

Asus VivoBook 14x heats up under heavy load.

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Access to the components requires removing 10 Phillips screws and freeing the hull. The VivoBook 14x turns out to be upgradeable. It is possible to replace the RAM, the SSD, the wifi card and the battery. 8 GB RAM is soldered and an 8 GB module is installed. It will therefore be possible to switch to 24 GB by replacing the latter with an additional 16 GB. Despite this good scalability, Asus advertises a repair index of only 6.3/10 for this VivoBook 14x.

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The arrangement of the components is surprising.

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Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Performance

VivoBook 14x is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor with 6 hyperthreaded cores running at 3.3 GHz and up to 4.2 GHz with a thermal envelope of 45 W. This processor is regularly used in laptops game entry level. Asus accompanied it with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

asus vivobook 14x performance AMD 5 5600H

Processor performance index (the bigger the better).

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The VivoBook 14x thus achieves a performance index of 105, placing it between the MSI Modern 15 and its Core i7-1255U (95) and the ZenBook 14 Oled with a Core i7-1260P. The Huawei MateBook 16 equipped with the same processor achieves a performance index of 110 thanks to a larger and better cooled chassis.

Thus, during our twenty-minute coding, the Ryzen 5 5600H runs at an average of 3.43 GHz in a 35-watt envelope. The cooling system (set to normal mode in MyAsus) is therefore a bit limited for Ryzen 5 to express itself fully. However, it is possible to switch to Performance mode to overcome this problem.

The VivoBook 14x does not have a dedicated graphics card. It is therefore the Vega 7 graphics part integrated in the processor that takes care of the task. If you really want to play, you’ll have to limit yourself to games that are a bit outdated or that don’t use a lot of graphical resources.

512 GB SSD from Micron reaches 2.24 GB/si read and 1.15 GB/si write. We’re far from the best SSDs, but it’s still more than enough for Windows, which boots quickly and is perfectly responsive.

Editor's rating: 3 out of 5

Screen

Asus has therefore abandoned Oled and equipped this VivoBook 14x with a 14-inch IPS panel. Small news, we are entitled to a panel in 16/10 format, displaying 1920 x 1200 px at 60 Hz. Apart from this small gain in height, the integration does not enjoy special care and the percentage of screen occupancy reaches a ceiling of 83%.

asus vivobook 14x display IPS screen

Note the physical cache for the webcam.

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Under our probe, the panel selected by Asus lacks accuracy. Delta E reaches 5.3, well above the threshold of 3 below which the eye no longer perceives colorimetric drifts. The color temperature is 6227 K, slightly below the video standard (6500 K), which gives a somewhat warm reproduction. Contrast, on the other hand, is quite good for an IPS panel (1560:1 measured). We are certainly far from the infinite contrast of an Oled panel, but it is always good to take. Finally, the maximum brightness of 327 cd/m² allows you to take full advantage of the screen indoors, but not outdoors, despite the panel’s low reflectance (18.7% of reflected light).

We provide you with a colorimetric profile that reduces delta E to 3.7 while maintaining the other properties; only the brightness drops to 290 cd/m².



Editor's rating: 3 out of 5

Sound

The two speakers in the VivoBook 14x are located under the chassis. A location that changes the sound reproduction depending on the surface on which the laptop rests. The hands also cover the sound when you write.

When listening, the volume is not very loud. It is possible to carry on a conversation even with the volume pushed to the maximum. The reproduction is characteristic of a laptop, with a soundstage centered on the midrange and lacking bass to that extent.

asus vivobook 14x speakers

Close-up of the right speaker.

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The headphone output has good characteristics. Distortion is low, dynamic range is high and crosstalk is limited. Only real fault, the output level is particularly low and requires you to push the volume to enjoy it; headphones with high impedance must therefore be avoided.

Asus Vivobook 14x Average PCs tested
Output level 80mVRMS 156mVRMS
Distortion+noise 0.008% 0.015%
Dynamic range 93dB 100dB
Crossword puzzle -56dB -64dB
Editor's rating: 3 out of 5

Mobility / Autonomy

The Asus VivoBook 14x measures 32 x 21 cm and is 1.99 cm thick. It therefore takes up little space, but is particularly thick; without any real reason to, as it does not embed any non-standard component. Its weight of 1.6 kg places it 400 g above the LG Gram 16, which nevertheless has a 16-inch screen and an 80 Wh battery (compared to 50 Wh for this VivoBook 14x). The 90 W charger weighs 333 g and is therefore close to the 2 kg bar for the whole thing. Asus could also have offered a more compact USB-C charger and thus dispensed with a proprietary connector.

asus vivobook 14x charger

Asus supplies a 90 W charger with a proprietary plug.

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In terms of battery life, the Asus VivoBook 14x performs well. It lasted 7 hours and 28 minutes in video playback with the screen set to 200 cd/m² (70% of its maximum brightness) under our usual protocol (Netflix video playback, 50% volume and Bluetooth off). A correct autonomy, especially if we take into account the capacity of the battery of 50 Wh.

asus vivobook 14x battery life

The Asus VivoBook 14x offers very good battery life.

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