Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


Asus VivoBook S14 S433FA, hands on: Stylish and affordable, with all-day battery life

Written by Sandra Vogel, Contributor

The new £699 (inc. VAT)/$699.99 Asus VivoBook S 14 is a solidly built 14-inch Windows 10 laptop running on a 10th generation Intel Core processor. And if you're looking for something a bit more striking than usual, it's available with a green or red lid in addition to black and white. That said, I could only find it online in the UK with the same black lid I was sent for review.

The metal chassis provides good protection for the innards. I was able to bow the lid in my hands a little, but overall this is a durable device. You'll have to carry 1.4kg (3.08lbs) around in your backpack or bag, though, and this laptop will occupy a space 32.49cm wide by 21.35cm deep by 1.59cm thick (12.79in. x 8.4in. x 0.62in.). The base has 'diamond cut' edges to the upper of three sides, which even when the lid is closed adds visual interest.


The 14-inch Asus VivoBook S14 S433FA runs on 10th-generation Core i5 or i7 processors with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. Lid colours are available in white, red, green and black.

Images: Asus

In case you can't find the Enter key, it's prominently highlighted.

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

When you open the lid the eye is drawn to the Enter key, which has been given a marker-pen yellow surround. It really does look odd. The keyboard itself is comfortable to use, and individual keys are large and springy. However, there's a lot of flex -- enough for even a light-fingered typist like me to notice. This is really the only build issue of note, and it's a bit of a disappointment.


Tap the icon in the top right of the touchpad, and an embedded calculator appears.

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The trackpad has a really nice feel to it, and is responsive. Asus provides second screens in the touchpad on some of its ZenBook laptops (the ZenBook Flip 15 UX563FD and ZenBook 14 UX434FL for example), but the trickery is more muted in the VivoBook range. There's a small icon in the top right corner of the touchpad that, when tapped, brings up an embedded calculator that allows you to do some basic maths. I rather like this idea -- it's efficient, simple, and doesn't seem over-specified. If my laptop had this feature I am sure I'd use it. There is an option with no calculator and a fingerprint reader top right of the touchpad instead.

The 14-inch screen is what Asus calls 'frameless NanoEdge', although in fact there's a bit more bezel here than on some other models, and 'frameless' is a bit of a stretch. Asus doesn't give us bezel dimensions but I measured the short edge bezels at 7mm and the top edge at 11mm (plenty of room for the webcam, although it does lack a sliding privacy cover). The recess of the screen makes it look a little old-fashioned, and it's not touch sensitive. Still, it has great viewing angles, is quite bright, and the matte finish will appeal to those who don't like staring at their own reflection.

The Intel Core i5-10210U processor in the £699/$699 iteration of this laptop has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. You also get a 12-month subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal and 1TB of cloud storage. There is also a Core i7-10510U variant, and options for up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of on-board storage, but none of these are available in the UK.

There are plenty of ports and connectors on board. On the right edge are two USB 2.0 ports and a MicroSD card slot, while the left edge houses the round-pin power jack, a full-size HDMI port, a USB 3.2 port and a USB-C port as well as a 3.5mm audio jack. It's nice to see Wi-Fi 6 rounding out the connectivity choices. 

Top ZDNET Reviews

Raspberry Pi 4

Top ZDNET Reviews

Raspberry Pi 4

Raspberry Pi 400

Top ZDNET Reviews

Raspberry Pi 400

Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro

Top ZDNET Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro

reMarkable 2

Top ZDNET Reviews

reMarkable 2


SEE: Microsoft 365: A cheat sheet (free PDF)

Battery life is pretty good. I spent one four-hour session writing into a web app while streaming music about half the time and doing some web browsing, during which time the battery went from 100 percent to 55 percent. All-day battery life might be achievable with similarly undemanding workloads.

The Asus VivoBook S14 S443FA is a durable and efficient Windows 10 Pro laptop with a nifty feature in the touchpad-embedded calculator. All-day battery life is another plus point, but beware the flexy keyboard.


Buy the laptop best for you: Windows 10 or MacOS, plus 10 more things to consider

Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX563FD review: A feature-rich 15-inch convertible

Asus ZenBook 14 UX434FL review: A solid ultraportable, with added ScreenPad

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 review: Unique design, but beware the trade-offs

Best laptops with the longest battery life in 2020: Dell, Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, and more

Read more reviews