Asus Vivobook 14 OLED review: a visual treat on a budget

Here is our full review of the Asus Vivobook 14 OLED which starts at Rs 54,990

Taiwanese electronics giant ASUS is one of the most established entities in the PC business. And, while the company’s portfolio is replete with flashy notebooks and high-end gaming laptops, the brand’s Vivobook lineup has always grabbed my attention as it gives end users the best bang for their buck. Case in point, the ASUS Vivobook OLED, which is a 14-inch laptop that starts at Rs 54,990 in India. The hardware spec sheet on the laptop is impressive enough to warrant a further inspection and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs. In this review let’s figure out if the device can become your daily work companion.

The lowdown

The Vivobook 14 OLED is a compact machine and the device easily slid into my bag. What’s more, the bundled travel adapter doesn’t take up a ton of space either and as such, the unit scores big on portability. As far as the construction goes, the laptop employs a unibody polycarbonate chassis with a matte finish. While the laptop feels sturdy for the most part, there is a bit of flex in the middle of the keyboard deck. Also, the unit’s hinge is not the sturdiest and correspondingly, the screen sways slightly when using the device on the go. Be that as it may, the Vivobook 14 OLED is superbly lightweight and the laptop tips the scales at just 1.6KG and touts a thickness of under two centimetres, which is great. 

As far as the ports go, the laptop offers a USB Type-A 2.0 port, two USB Type-A 3.2 standard connectors, a single USB Type-C slot, an HDMI 1.4 port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There is no ethernet port available although you do get WiFi 6 capabilities for wireless network usage. Suffice it to say, for the price, the Vivobook 14 offers a reasonable amount of connectivity options.

As for the display, the laptop ships with a 14-inch OLED panel that refreshes at 90Hz. Usually, sub Rs 60,000 laptops are equipped with LCD screens which – to put it mildly – offer a serviceable viewing experience, at best. The Vivobook 14’s OLED panel, on the contrary, offers rich contrast, gets adequately bright at 600 nits and is superbly vibrant too. On top of that, the unit offers a 2.8K resolution for better clarity and the display refreshes seamlessly at 90Hz, thereby paving the way for buttery smooth animations and UI transitions. That’s not all as the laptop can relay HDR content and is Pantone-validated too, making it a godsend for digital creators. 

Talking about typing experience, the keyboard on the Vivobook 14 OLED is a standard six-row chiclet style setup with shallow key travel. I wrote this review on the laptop and didn’t need a lot of time adjusting to the key placement and the tactile response. As far as budget keyboards go, the Vivobook 14 OLED has one which is focused on utility. The backlighting on the keys can be adjusted by three levels and are legible enough for low-light use. The trackpad is spacious and responsive but the mouse buttons don’t feel too robust. In fact, the toggles feel a tad too hard and the trackpad doesn’t do justice to gesture-based inputs either. 

The Vivobook 14 OLED isn’t geared towards spec-heads. My variant ships with Intel’s 12th-gen Core i5-1235U SoC, however, the laptop also offers a more affordable Core i3 SKU. Understandably, the laptop’s U series chip cannot hold a candle to the processing capabilities offered by bulkier, budget gaming devices that retail at the same price point. In fact, the integrated IrisXe integrated graphics do not leave much scope for GPU-intensive tasks like 3D rendering or AAA gaming. In fact, the device barely managed to overturn 60-65fps in CS: GO. Having said that, the laptop can hold its own for routine office work, which is further substantiated by the unit’s benchmark figures. To wit, in Cinebench R23, the device scored 7,144 points in the multi-core test run and net 6,566 and 5,121 points in Geekbench 5 and PCMark 10 benchmark. 

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For basic tasks like web browsing, Speedometer 2.0 churned out a decent score of 227 points and during my time with the device, I could easily switch between a dozen Chrome tabs without running into any instances of lag as well. Lastly, the device ships with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD which, by the way, averages speedy sequential read/write speeds of 3,029MB/s and 1,661MB/s respectively. Rest assured, the Vivobook 14 OLED is a solid daily driver, although you might want to look elsewhere if your workflow requires a more powerful GPU. 

I have to say that the Pro series Vivobook and Zenbook devices have really spoilt me for audio quality on a laptop. Unfortunately, the regular Vivobook 14 OLED fails to match the same standards. The volume felt a bit lower even for budget standards and there was an unmistakable lack of depth to the audio. The fingerprint sensor is a bit iffy too and the unit takes its own sweet time to authenticate a user’s credentials. There’s also a webcam up top for video calling purposes which only supports HD output. 

The battery life on the Vivobook 14 OLED is not too great either. As a matter of fact, it borders on unsatisfactory for all intents and purposes when compared to some of the ultrabooks in the same price bracket. To wit, the company claims the device can last up to eight hours but I could barely get four hours with the machine off a single charge. That’s quite surprising, as the unit’s 50Whr cell seems capacious enough, albeit struggles to keep the lights on for a full day. You can, however, juice up the device in under two hours with the charging brick provided with the box.

Final verdict

The Vivobook 14 OLED’s marketability lies in its splendid display capabilities along with its portable form factor. As a daily driver for office work, while also acting as a media consumption aid, the laptop makes for a good buy. Of course, there are areas of improvement for things like sound quality or battery life, but for the average user, the Vivobook 14 OLED is an enticing option. 

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros:

  • Portable and lightweight design
  • Vibrant 90Hz OLED panel
  • Good keyboard
  • Decent performance

Cons:

  • Battery life could be better
  • Average speakers