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ASUS VivoBook S 15 (S5507) Review: A Compelling Copilot+ Debut

The long wait is over! The first laptops featuring Copilot+ and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite processors are here, and we got our hands on the ASUS Vivobook S 15 to put it through its paces. This is an important review for two reasons: it’s the first Snapdragon X Elite device we’ve comprehensively tested, and it’s a real-world example of the Copilot+ experience.

Hardware
The ASUS Vivobook S 15 is the first ASUS laptop that comes packed with Qualcomm’s latest powerhouse, the Snapdragon X Elite processor. Under the hood, you’ll find a speedy 12-core Snapdragon X Elite (X1E78100) clocked at 3.42GHz, working in tandem with a generous 32GB of RAM and a spacious 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD for storage.

The Vivobook S 15 also features a stunning 15.6-inch 3K OLED panel with a high resolution of 2880 x 1620 pixels and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. Thin bezels frame the display, maximising screen real estate. Moving down, the laptop offers a full-sized, RGB-backlit keyboard with a dedicated number pad for added functionality. A large touchpad sits slightly off-centre, maintaining alignment with the keyboard for a comfortable typing experience.

For connectivity, the Vivobook S 15 boasts a healthy selection of ports. On the left edge, you’ll find two USB4 Type-C ports, a full-sized HDMI 2.1 port, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The right edge features two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, for maximum connectivity.

Design
The ASUS Vivobook S 15 strikes a balance between affordability and aesthetics. Encased in magnesium alloy, it feels sturdy while remaining pleasantly cool to the touch. The sleek profile, measuring just 0.63 inches at its thickest point, makes it a breeze to slip into a bag. For those who prioritise a number pad, the Vivobook S 15 comes with a Num Pad, where the essential number keys are still present for quick data entry.

Another factor that makes the Vivobook S 15 awesome, is its weight. Clocking in at a mere 1.42kgs, this 15.6-inch laptop is a dream for travellers. One-handed portability is a reality, making it a fantastic companion for those on the go.

Copilot+
One of the major draws of Copilot+ PCs is their exclusive feature set. These features leverage the on-device processing power of Qualcomm’s new Hexagon NPU to deliver innovative experiences. Here’s a breakdown of some highlights:

  • Real-time caption translation: Break down language barriers on the fly with live caption translation, perfect for video calls or multilingual content.
  • Enhanced Windows Studio Effects: Take your video conferencing game to the next level with Copilot+ optimised Windows Studio Effects.
  • Co-creation in Paint: Take your creativity to a whole new level with collaborative features in Paint, experiencing a more interactive artistic experience.
  • Image generation in Photos: Imagine describing your dream vacation photo and having it come to life within seconds! Photos leverages the NPU to generate images based on your prompts, though some restrictions might apply.

However, it’s important to note a slight delay for the flagship Copilot+ feature – Recall. Security concerns have caused a postponement, with Windows Recall currently available only as a “Preview” feature through the Windows Insider program. This means general users will have to wait until it’s deemed fully secure and ready for wider release.

Despite the delay, the on-device processing power of the NPU is evident in features such as image generation, which delivers results in under 10 seconds. Copilot+ offers a glimpse into the future of AI-powered computing, and with ongoing development, it has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with our laptops.

AI Creativity Tools
The Vivobook S 15 showcases two outstanding Copilot+ features: image generation in Photos and Cocreator in Paint. Both leverage AI to create visuals based on user input. Cocreator in Paint functions as a digital art assistant. It analyses your basic sketch and uses AI to bring it to life, fleshing out your creative vision. Photos, on the other hand, take a text prompt and generate a complete image based on your description. If you’re someone who regularly needs creative inspiration or enjoys experimenting with artistic concepts, these tools might be valuable assets.

It’s important to note that the photo generation in Photos prioritises a unique, artistic style over photorealism. This is likely a deliberate choice to avoid the spread of misleadingly realistic AI-generated images. For users seeking more hyper-realistic imagery, existing online generators might be a better fit. Ultimately, these Copilot+ features represent exciting first steps in AI-powered creativity. As the technology matures, they have the potential to become even more powerful and user-friendly.

Standout Copilot+ Features
While all the Copilot+ features have their merits, the enhanced Windows Studio Effects truly steal the show. These AI-powered effects elevate your video conferencing experience, offering three key benefits:

  • Flawless Skin Filter: Say goodbye to bad camera days! This filter smoothes and enhances your complexion, similar to popular social media filters.
  • Virtual Portrait Light: No more battling dim lighting. This mode uses AI to brighten your face, ensuring you’re always well-lit during video calls.
  • Realistic Background Blur: Distracting backgrounds are a thing of the past. The advanced blur effect creates a professional and polished look.

Another unexpected gem is the Vivobook S 15’s ability to consistently wake from sleep instantly upon opening the lid. Unlike many Windows laptops that hibernate after inactivity, requiring a longer wake-up time, the Vivobook wakes instantaneously – similar to the seamless experience on Macs. This small detail significantly improves user experience and workflow. Every time you open the lid, you’re greeted by a ready-to-go system, eliminating frustrating wait times. It’s a small feature with a big impact.

Snapdragon X Elite Performance
The question on everyone’s mind: does the Snapdragon X Elite deliver on its promises? The answer is a resounding yes! This processor proves to be a powerhouse, handling a variety of tasks with impressive efficiency. Whether you’re a web browser with a legion of open tabs, a multitasking master juggling multiple applications, or a creative professional working on video and audio editing, the Snapdragon X Elite tackles it all with ease. It can even handle some light gaming without breaking a sweat.

It’s important to note that the ASUS Vivobook S 15 features the “entry-level” X Elite configuration, the 3.4GHz X1E78100 with 12 cores and 12 threads. While there are two higher-tier options (X1E80100 and X1E84100) that boast slightly better performance on specific cores, the real-world difference for everyday use is minimal. The biggest distinction might be noticeable in GPU performance, relevant primarily for gamers.

For most users, the X1E78100 in the Vivobook S 15 provides a smooth and responsive experience. Based on our testing of the ASUS Vivobook S 15, the X Elite proves itself a worthy competitor, going toe-to-toe with the Apple M3 in a significant portion of our benchmarks.

Even more impressive, the X Elite outperforms high-end Intel Core i7 and Core i9 chips found in some laptops. This is a significant win for Qualcomm, demonstrating the muscle of their latest silicon. These results suggest the Snapdragon X Elite is a force to be reckoned with in the mid-range laptop market.

Battery Life
Battery life is a crucial factor for many laptop users. The Vivobook S 15 boasts a generous 70Wh battery cell, larger than most Copilot+ PCs. The good news? It delivers on that promise. While the PCMark 10 Applications battery test yielded a result of 14 hours and 23 minutes, it’s important to remember that benchmarks aren’t always the ultimate measure of real-world performance. In everyday use, the Vivobook S 15 truly shines. Whether you’re tackling a full workday of web browsing, emails, and office tasks, or stretching into the next day, you can rest assured this laptop won’t leave you scrambling for a power outlet.

One interesting detail: by default, the laptop switches to a custom “power efficiency” profile when unplugged. This profile prioritises battery life by underclocking the CPU to around 1GHz, perfectly suitable for light tasks like web browsing or document editing. However, for more demanding applications, you might want to switch to the “balanced” power profile for optimal performance.

Keyboard, Trackpad, and Webcam
The Vivobook S 15 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to input devices. The keyboard comes with a Number Pad. You also get RGB Backlight. This is a surprising but welcome addition for a non-gaming laptop, as the keyboard boasts a fully customisable 1-zone RGB backlight. There’s also Microsoft Dynamic Lighting Integration, which lets you personalise your lighting experience using Microsoft’s built-in Dynamic Lighting feature within the Windows Settings app.

Complementing the fantastic keyboard, the Vivobook S 15 features a spacious and responsive trackpad. Using precision drivers, it delivers the same smooth gestures and scrolling found on high-end laptops. Clicking produces a satisfyingly subtle sound, further enhancing the user experience.

The Vivobook S 15 sports a 1080p webcam situated in the centre of the top bezel. While picture and video quality are acceptable in well-lit conditions, sharpness suffers in low-light environments. However, the inclusion of a physical privacy shutter is a welcome security feature. Thankfully, Copilot+ elevates the webcam experience through new, advanced Windows Studio Effects. These effects leverage the built-in neural processing unit (NPU) to ensure smooth performance across all your applications.

Verdict
The ASUS VivoBook S 15 serves as an impressive introduction to the world of Copilot+ PCs. It stands out as a well-rounded device that will undoubtedly please a wide range of users at the AED 5499 price point. The innovative Snapdragon X Elite processor, combined with a stunning display, long-lasting battery, and a sleek design, makes it a compelling option for users who value performance, portability, and affordability.

If you’re considering a Copilot+ PC, the ASUS VivoBook S 15 is worth a closer look.

Price: AED 5499

ASUS VivoBook S 15 (S5507) AED 5499
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

For most users, the X1E78100 in the Vivobook S 15 provides a smooth and responsive experience. Based on our testing of the ASUS Vivobook S 15, the X Elite proves itself a worthy competitor, going toe-to-toe with the Apple M3 in a significant portion of our benchmarks.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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