Asus Vivobook S 14X review: Beautiful display, disappointing performance

Asus Vivobook S 14X

MSRP $1.00

“The Asus Vivobook S 14X has disappointing performance and battery life, offsetting the incredible 120Hz OLED display.”


  • Solid productivity performance
  • Spectacular 120Hz OLED display
  • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Conservative attractiveness


  • Inconsistent performance overall
  • Poor battery life
  • Construct quality is subpar

OLED laptops should not only becoming more common, they’re now even getting faster.

The brand new Vivobook S 14X (S5402) from Asus is the primary OLED laptop to incorporate a blistering 120Hz refresh rate. That’s pretty noteworthy, especially for a laptop in Asus’ budget to mid-range line.

I reviewed the high-end Vivobook S 14X configuration, $1,100 for a Core i7-12700H CPU and a 14.5-inch 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800) 120Hz OLED display. It’s an odd machine in that it includes a fast, 45-watt CPU with out a corresponding discrete GPU, relying as a substitute on the integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. The display is indeed spectacular, but my enthusiasm was tempered by this Vivobook’s inconsistent performance and cooling.


Asus Vivobook S 14X back angled view.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Easy lines and a minimalist aesthetic. That seems to explain so many laptops currently that I feel like I could cut and paste from one review to a different. The Vivobook S 14X suits that description as well, with just just a few exceptions. Its chassis is one solid color, with no chrome accents and only a recent, more elaborate Vivobook logo adorning the lid. Color decisions include Midnight Black (my review unit), Sand Grey, and Solar Silver.

The keyboards are color-matched, which is a pleasant look, and a vent along the left-hand side lends some aggressiveness to the design. Otherwise, the angles are pedestrian, and overall, the aesthetic is sort of conservative. Two other touches stand out on the keyboard, namely a red Esc key and white stripes along the underside of the Enter key — although frankly, those look odd and unnecessary. The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is one other simply designed 14-inch laptop, while the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 stands out with a rounded and rather more stylish look.

The 14.5-inch display is an unusual size, making the Vivobook S 14X barely larger than others.

The Vivobook S 14X is constructed entirely of aluminum aside from plastic display bezels that stand out as lower than premium. There’s some bending within the lid and flexing within the keyboard deck, making the chassis feel lower than rigid. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 is a rather more solid laptop, as is the Yoga 9i Gen 7, but in fact, each of those are significantly costlier than the Vivobook. And it’s not that the Asus feels low cost; it’s just not as solid as I prefer to see in a laptop over $1,000.

The 14.5-inch display is an unusual size, making the Vivobook S 14X barely larger than other 14-inch class laptops. Its bezels are small on the edges and on top, but the underside chin is large and that adds some size as well. For instance, it’s about half an inch wider and taller than the IdeaPad Sim 7 Carbon while being thicker at 0.70 inches versus 0.59 inches and heavier at 3.53 kilos versus 2.4 kilos. The IdeaPad is a really thin and lightweight 14-inch laptop, though, so let’s compare it to the Yoga 9i Gen 7.

In that case, the Vivobook is again about half an inch wider and taller, and the Yoga 9i Gen 7 is 0.60 inches thick and weighs 3.09 kilos. The Vivobook S 14X isn’t the smallest, lightest, or thinnest laptop in its class, besides, it doesn’t feel overly large or heavy.


Asus Vivobook S 14X left side view showing ports.

asus vivobook s 14x s5402 review right side view

The Vivobook S 14X enjoys a solid choice of modern and legacy ports. On the left-hand side is a single USB-A 2.0 port. On the right-hand side are two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The one glaring omission is an SD card reader, which might have been welcome.

Wireless connectivity is up so far with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.


Asus Vivobook S 14X front view showing display.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

To date, every laptop we’ve reviewed with the 45-watt, 14-core (6 Performance and eight Efficient), 20-thread Intel Core i7-12700H has been equipped with a discrete GPU. The Vivobook S 14X is the primary we’ve seen that relies exclusively on integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. At the identical time, every other thin-and-light 14-inch Intel Twelfth-gen laptop we’ve checked out has used the 28-watt, 12-core (4 Performance and eight Efficient), 16-thread Core i7-1260P. That makes the Vivobook an outlier on a few fronts.

I can imagine what Asus was attempting to do: Provide a faster CPU for tasks that may put it to use while minimizing power and warmth by skipping a discrete GPU. The issue is that despite its IceCool thermal technology with dual fans and warmth pipes, the Core i7-12700H throttled during every benchmark with temperatures reaching as high as 97 degrees C (still lower than the chip’s 100 degrees C maximum) and CPU frequencies often dipping down below 1GHz. Consequently, the Vivobook S 14X’s performance was inconsistent and, in some cases, downright bad for the category of CPU.

For instance, it was the slowest laptop in our comparison group running Geekbench 5, with only the Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED being slower in single-core mode with its 8-core/16-thread AMD Ryzen 7 6800U. In actual fact, the Vivobook was much slower than even the Core i7-1260P laptops within the table below. I’ll also note that the Asus thermal tuning utility wasn’t terribly effective, with performance mode offering only modest increases over balanced mode but with very loud fans. I’ve reported results from each modes.

The powerful, 45-watt chip seemed wasted on the Vivobook S 14X.

In our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, the Vivobook S 14X was slower than the opposite Core i7-12700H machines and more in keeping with those running the Core i7-1260P. Its Cinebench R23 rating was faster, still behind the opposite laptops with the identical CPU but at the very least inside the same range. After which, it scored somewhat low on the PCMark 10 Complete benchmark that tests a wide range of productivity, multimedia, and inventive tasks. Only the Dell XPS 15 9520 was slower (an unusually low rating for that laptop).

Finally, I ran the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark that uses a live version of Adobe Premiere Pro. That benchmark leverages discrete GPUs, so we don’t typically test machines with integrated graphics. But I used to be interested to see how the Vivobook would perform. In a word, its performance was abysmal. It scored just 190 in balanced mode and dropped significantly to 137 in performance mode. That compares to the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 with a Core i7-1260P and Iris Xe graphics that scored 265 in balanced mode and 332 in performance mode. Laptops with discrete GPUs are inclined to rating 700 or more on this benchmark. It appeared like the Vivobook was severely throttled on this real-world test.

Overall, the 45-watt chip seemed wasted on the Vivobook S 14X. Yes, its Cinebench scores were decent, but its Handbrake scores were mediocre and its Pugetbench results were terrible. It’s a quick enough laptop for productivity workloads, however it’s not a creator’s laptop. And as we’ll see below, there was a price to pay in efficiency.

(single / multi)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
PCMark 10
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,595 / 6,692
Perf: 1,681 / 7,175
Bal: 113
Perf: 102
Bal: 1,757 / 10,339
Perf: 1,792 / 12,051
Asus ZenBook Pro 14 Duo
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,699 / 12,042
Perf: N/A
Bal: 94
Perf: 82
Bal: 1,793 / 12,045
Perf: N/A
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,470 / 9,952
Perf: 1,714 / 11,053
Bal: 100
Perf: 77
Bal: 1,509 / 11,578
Perf: 1,806 / 13,313
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
1,650 / 8,080
Perf: 1,621 / 8,544
Perf: 120
1,587 / 7,682
Perf: 1,611 / 8,078
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
1,717 / 9,231
Perf: 1,712 / 10,241
Perf: 101
1,626 / 7,210
Perf: 1,723 / 8,979
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
1,417 / 6,854
Perf: 1,404 / 7,223
Perf: 111
1,402 / 8,682
Perf: 1,409 / 8,860

The Vivobook S 14X was a fair worse performer in our gaming benchmarks. Within the 3DMark Time Spy test, it scored well below the remainder of the Iris Xe field. That translated to a poor showing in Fortnite, where it hit just six frames per second (fps) at 1200p and epic graphics. I didn’t even trouble running the sport at 1600p. Perhaps it’s a driver issue with the Core i7-12700H, however the laptop was fully updated, and it simply performed atrociously. We don’t expect great gaming from integrated graphics, but we expect higher than this.

Time Spy
(1080p/1200p Epic)
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,251
Perf: 1,253
Bal: 6
Perf: 7
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,899
Perf: 1,886
Bal: 17 fps
Perf: 16 fps
MSI Summit E14 Flip
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,740
Perf: 1,959
Bal: 15 fps
Perf: 19 fps
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,658
Perf: 1,979
Bal: 12 fps
Perf: N/A
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,746
Perf: 1,919
Bal: 15 fps
Perf: 20 fps
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(AMD Radeon)
Bal: 2,110
Perf: 2,213
Bal: 19 fps
Perf: 19 fps

Display and audio

Asus Vivobook S 14X front view showing display.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Vivobook S 14X’s hallmark feature is its 14.5-inch 16:10 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800) OLED display running at a refresh rate of 120Hz. Asus also touts the panel’s incredibly fast 0.2ms response time. Put those two together and you might have a display that’s buttery smooth in running Windows 11, with no cursor ghosting, clear text scrolling, and windows that fly across the display. It’s a noticeable difference over standard 60Hz displays, and if the Vivobook were able to gaming, it might make for a pleasing experience there as well. In fact, the colours were brilliant and plentiful as at all times with OLED displays, and the blacks were inky and deep.

In keeping with my colorimeter, this is an outstanding panel to seek out in an $1,100 laptop. Its colours were wide at 100% of sRGB, 99% of Adobe RGB, and 99% of DCI-P3, they usually were accurate at a DeltaE of 1.07 (1.0 or less is indistinguishable to the human eye). Its contrast ratio was incredibly high, as is typical of OLED displays, and it was brilliant at 403 nits. It competed well against our very strong group of comparison machines in all metrics.

It’s a spectacular display that may please productivity staff, media consumers because of the VESA DisplayHDR True Black 600 high dynamic range (HDR) support, and creators who can live with the laptop’s performance.

Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is healthier)
Asus Vivobook S 14X
403 27,930:1 100% 99% 1.07
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
386 1,900:1 100% 81% 0.78
MSI Summit E14 Flip
516 1,320:1 100% 89% 1.10
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
406 28,380:1 100% 95% 0.87
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro
369 1,340:1 100% 80% 1.65
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
397 27,590:1 100% 96% 0.88

Two downward-firing speakers on the front bottom of the chassis provide the sound, backed up by Harman Kardon tuning and DTS Audio Processing. I discovered the sound clear and brilliant, with nice highs and mids but minimal bass. The amount was just loud enough to be usable, and I could see myself watching some Netflix without pulling out a pair of headphones.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

The Vivobook S 14X's keyboard.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

As mentioned above, the keyboard is color-matched with the chassis and presents a pleasant appearance. The red Esc key and white stripes on the Enter key are distracting, but I suppose I’d get used to it. The keycaps are large and barely sculpted, and the important thing spacing is generous. The switches are light and bouncy, with a pleasant snap and a precise response. My only grievance is that the bottoming motion is somewhat abrupt, which could get uncomfortable over exceptionally long typing sessions. It’s a great but not great keyboard.

The touchpad is sufficiently sized, although there’s room on the palm rest for a bigger version. It was smooth and responsive, with Microsoft Precision touchpad drivers providing full support for Windows 11’s complement of multitouch gestures. An optional NumberPad 2.0 LED touchpad provides a virtual numeric keypad, which is obtainable on the Solar Silver model only. The display was not touch-enabled, which is at all times a disappointment.

Asus Vivobook S 14X webcam view.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The webcam is 720p, so it hasn’t kept up with the move to Full HD on many other laptops. It does feature the Asus 3D Noise Reduction technology, which I discovered to be effective in making a transparent image. It’s a wonderful webcam, but a better resolution would have made it simpler for today’s hybrid staff. The webcam also includes a physical slider that covers the lens for some extra privacy.

Finally, Windows 11 Hello passwordless login is provided by a fingerprint reader embedded within the recessed power button. It was fast and reliable during my testing.

Battery life

Asus Vivobook S 14X rear angle view showing hinge and ports.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

There are 70 watt-hours of battery packed away contained in the Vivobook S 14X, which powers each a high-res OLED display and a quick 45-watt CPU. I wasn’t expecting miracles, but what I got was still disappointing.

The laptop lasted just 6.3 hours in our web browsing test that runs through some popular and complicated web sites, which is a few hours lower than we prefer to see. It also made it to only 8.25 hours on our video test that loops a neighborhood Full HD Avengers trailer, which is again several hours short. And within the PCMark 1o Applications test, which is the most effective indication of productivity battery life, the Vivobook S 14X made it to only seven hours.

Across the board, the scores were lower than our comparison group, a few of which also had power-hungry OLED displays. The Dell XPS 15, for instance, had each the identical CPU and a bigger 15.6-inch OLED panel. Even though it had just 23% more battery capability at 86 watt-hours, it lasted 50% longer in our web browsing test, 53% longer in our video test, and 60% longer within the PCMark 10 Applications test. The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 also lasted considerably longer with its own 14-inch OLED display.

The Vivobook S 14X is unlikely to make it through a full day of sunshine productivity tasks, and for those who push the CPU, you’ll be plugging in by noon. That’s not great, even for a laptop with an OLED panel.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Core i7-12700H)
6 hours, 20 minutes 8 hours, 18 minutes 7 hours, 1 minute
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
9 hours, 38 minutes 12 hours, 40 minutes 11 hours, 14 minutes
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
10 hours, 10 minutes 16 hours, 12 minutes 10 hours, 33 minutes
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
9 hours, 10 minutes 12 hours, 45 minutes 8 hours, 32 minutes
 Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
8 hours, 4 minutes 13 hours, 13 minutes N/A
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
(Ryzen 7 5800U)
10 hours, 6 minutes 11 hours, 12 minutes 9 hours, 22 minutes

Price and configurations

There might be two configurations of the Vivobook S 14X when it ships in July 2022. My review unit might be a Costco exclusive priced at $1,100 with a Core i7-12700H, 12GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), and the 14-inch WQXGA+ OLED display. The opposite model will cost $900 with a Core i5-12500H, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and the OLED display.

Our take

The Asus Vivobook S 14X is a difficult laptop to rate. Its performance is inconsistent and customarily slower than it must be given the fast CPU, and its battery life is poor. Its construct quality can also be a bit less rigid than I like. Nevertheless it’s only $1,100 with a competitive configuration and a spectacular 120Hz OLED display that’s higher than those on rather more expensive laptops.

Ultimately, the performance and battery life hold me back from recommending the Vivobook S 14X. You would possibly should spend extra money, but there are higher 14-inch laptops available today.

Are there any alternatives?

We haven’t reviewed it yet, however the HP Pavilion Plus 14 looks like a solid alternative. It’s $1,190 for a more robust configuration with the identical CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 2.8K OLED display. You’ll be able to spend somewhat more and get a discrete GPU, albeit the entry-level Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050.

When you’re willing to spend extra money, Lenovo’s Yoga 9i Gen 7 is an important option. It has a surprising design, performs similarly, has higher battery life, and enjoys a stunning OLED display. It’s also a convertible 2-in-1, so it has some additional flexibility.

Finally, you can barely drop down in display size to the brand new Apple MacBook Air M2. Even though it’s $1,200 with less RAM at 8GB and storage at 256GB, it can be significantly faster and with significantly better battery life. And its display must be greater than ok.

How long will it last?

Although I dinged the Vivobook S 14X for being somewhat less rigid than I like, it should still last for years so long as it’s taken care of. The one-year warranty is industry standard.

Must you buy it?

No. There are higher 14-inch laptop options available with more consistent performance and higher battery life, and it’s a shame because that 120Hz OLED display is awesome.

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