Asus Zenbook Vs Vivobook (2020)

| | , ,

In this article we compared and tested the Asus ZenBook 14 versus the Asus VivoBook 14 in terms of Display Quality, Performance, Keyboard / Touchpad and Battery performance. Below you will find the Ranking of the two Laptops, including the Hardware Data. Below the Ranking we give you an in-depth analysis of each Laptop.

Winner
Asus ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop 14” Full HD NanoEdge Bezel, Intel Core i7-10510U, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, GeForce MX250, Innovative Screenpad 2.0, Windows 10 Pro, UX434FLC-XH77, Royal Blue
Best Price
ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T 14” Thin and Lightweight 2-in-1 Full HD Touchscreen Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U 3.4GHz Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Home, Fingerprint Reader
Model
ZenBook 14
VivoBook 14
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Excellent April 2020
Test Result 9.3/10 Very Good April 2020
Manufacturer
Asus
Asus
RAM
16GB
8GB
CPU
Intel Core i7-10510U
Intel Core i5-8250U
Graphics Card
GeForce MX250
Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
256GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
2.78 lbs
3.30 lbs
Pros
  • Best Performance
  • Great Display
  • Awesome Sound Quality for a Laptop
  • Good Battery
  • Lightweight
  • Fast Work Speed
Cons
  • Only the Price
  • Speakers not the best
Winner
Asus ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop 14” Full HD NanoEdge Bezel, Intel Core i7-10510U, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, GeForce MX250, Innovative Screenpad 2.0, Windows 10 Pro, UX434FLC-XH77, Royal Blue
Model
ZenBook 14
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Excellent April 2020
Manufacturer
Asus
RAM
16GB
CPU
Intel Core i7-10510U
Graphics Card
GeForce MX250
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
2.78 lbs
Pros
  • Best Performance
  • Great Display
  • Awesome Sound Quality for a Laptop
Cons
  • Only the Price
Best Price
ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB51T 14” Thin and Lightweight 2-in-1 Full HD Touchscreen Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U 3.4GHz Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Home, Fingerprint Reader
Model
VivoBook 14
Test Result
Test Result 9.3/10 Very Good April 2020
Manufacturer
Asus
RAM
8GB
CPU
Intel Core i5-8250U
Graphics Card
Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage Capacity
256GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
3.30 lbs
Pros
  • Good Battery
  • Lightweight
  • Fast Work Speed
Cons
  • Speakers not the best

Ranking First: Asus ZenBook 14

Asus ZenBook 14 review

Pros

  • Best Performance
  • Great Display
  • Awesome Sound Quality for a Laptop

Cons

  • Only the Price

I already had several Ultrabooks of the ZenBook 14 series on my desk. So far they have delivered reliably and accordingly I was curious how the model would behave with the Intel Core i5 of the 10th generation and was surprised how much it has partly improved.

For the ZenBook 14 in the cheapest version you get a Ryzen 5-3500U, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD.
The more expensive version has an Intel Core i5-10210U, 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD built in. This puts it in the upper midfield in terms of features, which we recommend to buy. At the top a Ryzen 7 3700U, 16 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD are possible.

Design

The processing is faultless. There are no annoying burrs or loose parts and even the few gaps are all even and narrow. This is exactly how it has to be. That was also what I expected, because ASUS has always delivered pretty good ZenBooks in the past.

The ZenBook is completely made of dark blue aluminium. That it looks really good. The display lid is shiny polished, so unfortunately you’ll see fingerprints very quickly. A cleaning cloth is also a good investment for this Ultrabook. The bottom is matt. You can also see fingerprints on it, but this is far less tragic.

The notebook’s top side can only be pressed in with considerable effort. I also like that very much. By the way, the ZenBook is lifted a bit by opening it. This serves for better cooling and allows a more pleasant hand position while typing.

The large touchpad is placed in the middle. More about its performance later, though. An about five millimeter wide bronze-colored strip with a fine grid sits above the keyboard. A ZenBook lettering is attached in the middle. This is the only decorative element on the front, by the way. I also like that very much. I like simple design.

The display has pleasantly narrow frames and has a screen-to-body ratio of 92%. The two side frames are a bit narrower than the top and bottom. Their width is due to the fact that the upper one contains an infrared camera, so you can also log in using face recognition. For reasons of symmetry, the lower frame is as wide as the upper one. But all in all, you’ve got a lot of display in a very small notebook.

Ports

Asus ZenBook 14 ports

ASUS stays true to its ZenBook concept and provides you with all the important connections here. You get an HDMI port here, so you can connect an external display. There is also a USB-A 3.1 Gen2 and a USB-C 3.1 Gen2 port. These three connectors are on the left side.

On the right side is the microSD card reader, a USB-A 2.0 port for a mouse and a 3.5mm jack. With this setup you can cover most of your everyday scenarios. Personally, I would have wished for a full-featured card reader. But this is whining on a high level.

You only have to pay attention to the width of your USB sticks on the left side if you want to use both ports at the same time. They sit quite close to each other and that can lead to space problems.

Display

With many notebooks, the brightness stops at 250 cd/m². This is fine in office environments. But if you want to work in brighter environments, you need more. And the ZenBook 14 offers you that.

The peak brightness here is 366 cd/m² and the average is 331 cd/m². The right side is darker than the middle and the left side with just over 300 cd/m². But this is not noticeable in everyday life. The display is thus brighter than the displays of the previous generations, which ended at 250 cd/m². You can see the exact illumination of the display in the next graphic.

The color space coverage is also good with this ZenBook generation. 93% sRGB color space and 72% AdobeRGB color space leave hardly anything to be desired for most users. With these values you can easily edit your pictures and videos. These values are pretty much the average compared to similar notebooks in our database.

This is a matt display. So you don’t only get crisp and sharp content, but you also have a wide viewing angle, which allows you to edit content with several people at the same time.

Performance

Asus ZenBook 14 review

The ZenBook 14 delivers what it is expected to deliver: good performance in all areas where it is supposed to deliver it. Everything is smooth and runs smoothly.
The built-in 512 GB NVMe-SSD is fixed, so you won’t have any problems in everyday life. 2.2 GB/s read and 1.1 GB/s write are good values.

The display is suitable for image editing. The Core i5 and the 16 GB RAM make sure that it doesn’t fail on the hardware side either. In our Lightroom benchmark, the ZenBook 14 rendered the 20 almost 50 MB RAW files in 1:28 minutes – an expected value.

Battery

For the battery test I set the display to 200 cd/m². That is 60% brightness. The energy profile “balanced” was already given.

In everyday work I use Office, the browser, Photoshop and Lightroom in colourful alternation. With that I managed almost six hours without a power outlet. That’s a good performance.

If you use the default brightness of 40% and leave out power guzzlers like the Adobe suite, then of course there is still a longer runtime in it. The 40% brightness is also perfectly sufficient in normal environments to see all the content on the display well. Problems can only occur in sunlight.

Heating / Noise

In everyday life, the ZenBook 14 is only rarely heard, an absolute improvement over the previous models. The fans only start up once in a while and then go silent again.

However, the fans only know one speed. So they don’t rustle in the background, but start right away. This takes getting used to, but in the end it’s no problem. I find it very pleasant that they don’t emit any high-frequency whistling in contrast to other thin notebooks. Thus, they can be easily drowned out by normal office noises.

The Ultrabook stays pleasantly cool and relatively quiet in the stress test. The fans were still drowned out by normal office noises. Nevertheless, they did a good job. The CPU’s temperatures rose to a maximum of 82° Celsius, the average was 62° Celsius. At the same time, the ZenBook 14 didn’t get more than hand-warm on the upper side and could still be used well.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Asus ZenBook 14 touchpad

The keyboard here, as in all small notebooks, is not equipped with a number pad. The keys have a very short stroke and feel a bit too spongy for my taste. Personally, I would be happy about a bit more resistance. But it can still be written properly on the keyboard. If you have to work in dark corners, you can switch on a three-level backlight.

The touchpad reacts very quickly and precisely to your input. All gestures were recognized and executed promptly in the test. It is very easy to reach and has a good size. The two bronze-coloured symbols in the upper corners are striking. Use the one on the right to add the touchpad numblock. By pressing the left symbol you change the appearance of the numblock. Depending on your preference, it can be displayed bright or matt.

Once you have turned on the Numpad, you can still use the normal touchpad gestures. In everyday life I connected a mouse and then used the touchpad as a number pad. So I had a full keyboard at my disposal.

Upgrading

To open the ZenBook 14, all you have to do is loosen seven Torx screws on the underside and then release the stuck base plate. The best way to do this is to use a card made of sturdy plastic. This will lift the base plate out of its anchorage. At least in theory.

At the rear part near the hinges of my test model the base plate was so tight that I could not open it. But since it is identical in construction to the model we tested in December, you can exchange the SSD for a larger one and change the battery if necessary.

You can’t reach the RAM. But since there are 16 GB built-in, I don’t see any need to get active here.

Sound

The two models I tested so far had a decent sound, which dropped off at higher volumes and became tinny. In contrast, the ZenBook 14 has improved once again.

At half volume, the bass, midrange and treble are in a good relationship to each other. Surprisingly, the ZenBook 14 hardly offers any resonance space, the lows are clearly pronounced. It is at least significantly more than in the previous models.

If you turn the sound up to full volume, the sound image changes only slightly. The trebles become a bit more dominant, but the overall sound remains well balanced. I really like that. You won’t need the full volume here very often, because the ZenBook 14 can get quite loud.

Conclusion

You are on the road a lot and need a persistent notebook with a lot of power? Then take a closer look at the ZenBook 14. As for the hardware, there is no need to upgrade for the foreseeable future. The SSD is fixed and so you get a really smooth running Ultrabook. At just over 2.2 lbs, the notebook is also light enough to be taken everywhere.

The display is just fun and, especially compared to the previous models, very bright. This means that even in bright environments you won’t have any problems seeing your content. I also like the improved fan management. Where the predecessors still start relatively often, this model is very quiet and in most cases you won’t hear it.

And thanks to the good sound, even film and series sessions are no problem.

In the test I couldn’t find anything that really speaks against the ZenBook 14. Only small things were noticed, but that’s really grumbling on a high level.

Ranking Second: Asus VivoBook 14

Asus VivoBook 14 review

Pros

  • Good Battery
  • Lightweight
  • Fast Work Speed

Cons

  • Speakers not the best

Much of what you find in the mid-range notebook VivoBook 14 (F412FA) was reserved for premium devices with four-digit price tags until recently. For example, you can only see narrow edges around the matt, viewing angle-independent Full HD screen, which is why the display appears optically larger.

In addition, the base of the thin case turns out more compact than in older 14-inch devices; the notebook therefore fits into cases designed for 13.3-inch notebooks.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The backlit keyboard gives precise feedback to the fingers while typing. However, the layout requires training: the enter key is only single-line and the cursor keys have also been squeezed into one line. The F keys are assigned special functions ex works; with the key combination Fn-Esc you can permanently switch to the classic F functions, which in turn are needed for common combinations like Alt-F4.

The touchpad recognizes gestures with up to four fingers and accommodates a fingerprint reader in its rear right corner, which allows comfortable biometric login via Windows Hello. However, the part of the sensor area occupied by the fingerprint reader cannot be used to control the mouse pointer – annoying.

Hardware

Asus VivoBook 14 keyboard touchpad

Both the USB C and the A socket on the left side of the notebook can handle transfer rates of up to 10 GBit/s (aka SuperSpeedPlus aka USB 3.1 Gen 2). The USB A socket on the right, on the other hand, only speaks old USB 2.0, and the MicroSD card reader next to it is also slow to connect – this slows down fast memory cards.

Asus restricts the USB-C socket to data transfers and doesn’t plan to output DisplayPort signals or charge the battery via it – thus, USB-C docking is unnecessary.

In the reviewed model, only the Intel GPU UHD 620 integrated in the processor takes care of the graphics output. In the test model, the good Nvidia GeForce MX230 graphics chip is also soldered to the motherboard.

The two USB sockets shown speak USB with 10 GBit/s. However, the USB C socket is only suitable for such data transfers; external monitors and the power supply unit must be connected via separate sockets.
Because Realtek’s Wi-Fi 5 module runs in a full PCIe slot and is not – as it has become common in other notebooks lately – a slimmed-down CNVi card, the notebook can be upgraded to the faster Wi-Fi 6 by swapping the WLAN module.

Fortunately, the plan was not thwarted by other stumbling blocks such as a firmware blockade: So-called BIOS white lists with permissible components are unfortunately commonplace in business notebooks of large brands.

They are allegedly not intended as malicious upgrade blocks, but rather to ensure that the mobile computer will operate in accordance with the regulations in force in all countries where it is intended for sale.

Since there is a risk of forfeiting the manufacturer’s warranty with any kind of modification, it is better to postpone tinkering until the second half of the notebook’s life. With Wi-Fi 6, it is advisable to wait a little longer: the new WLAN technology can only show its full strengths anyway, if all other clients in the same wireless network besides the access point also radio according to this standard.

Noise / Heating

Asus VivoBook 14 review

The VivoBook 14’s fan remains inaudibly quiet under low computing load and turns up to just 0.7 sone under sustained load. The battery lasts up to nine hours and is fully charged again in less than two hours. Weight and case thickness are typical for this class; noticeably thinner and lighter are only noticeably more expensive premium notebooks.

Conclusion

Quiet fan, matte screen, illuminated keyboard, SSD – all this can already be found in notebooks under $1000 nowadays, but not in the quality, which the Asus VivoBook delivers. The Asus VivoBook 14 is such a representative, which also won’t give you any trouble in the future if you want to upgrade the WLAN module.

However, Asus doesn’t provide for modern USB-C docking, apart from that the VivoBook is a pleasant companion, which brings the Asus VivoBook 14 on the second rank vs the ZenBook 14, but has the way better price. So if you are on a budget, you should choose this Laptop instead of the Zenbook 14 in our opinion.


Are you interestet in more hot tech deals? Subscribe to our Email-list and we let you know when the best deals come up.

Leave a Comment