Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Review – Affordable AMD powered Workhorse Tested

The Asus VivoBook range is intended from its inception as affordable workhorses that represent excellent value while maintaining a good balance of performance and specifications. In that regard, their new VIvoBook S14  M433 upholds the ideals of the brand and takes it up by several notches with the inclusion of the efficient and powerful AMD Ryzen 4000 series mobile processor.

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Review front

Our test unit which shipped from Asus HQ differs slightly  from units that you will purchase in Malaysia .

VivoBook S14 M433 units in Malaysia will get a 3-pin UK style charger, a sheet of stickers, will have a fingerprint reader in the touchpad but will only have 8GB RAM that is soldered-in making it non-upgradable in terms of RAM.

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Review
Our test unit of the VivoBook S14 M433 has a non-local charger but Malaysia units will get the standard UK-style 3-pin charger.

Our test unit had 16GB RAM, no sticker sheet and a flat 2-prong style charger as well as no fingerprint reader. That aside, our unit has the same Ryzen 7 4700U CPU and specifications.

Asus S14 M433 Build and Design


Asus has upgraded the concept of what a mid range laptop ought to look like as their latest generation S14 M433 incorporates an almost all-metal chassis that was once the exclusive province of pricier laptops. The design has been classed up by quite a bit from its older predecessors in build quality especially in the reduction of the use of plastics in the chassis and top lid and inclusion of more metal in the design. 

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Review top lid

The top lid of the S14 M433 consists of metal with a brushed matte finish along with most of the chassis that looks pleasantly premium though they’ve opted to use current-gen aluminium alloy rather than ultra-light magnesium-lithium alloy like that seen on the ultra-premium ExpertBook B9 (B9450).

This contributes somewhat to its rather hefty 1.4kg carry weight but that’s not an issue with a laptop in this price range. It’s not all made of metal though as the bezels framing the display and the underside remain polycarbonate as a concession to cost and weight.

Oddly enough, the VivoBook S14 M433 this time around ditches their signature ErgoLift hinge design that cants the notebook at the right angle and instead goes for a conventional hinge mechanism.

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Review underside
The two rear rubber feet are raised slightly higher than the front to offer an elevated angle for a better typing experience.

They have a quartet of rubberised feet, with the two rear ones raised higher than the front two to elevate the angle of the keyboard and base for ventilation and a smoother typing experience. It’s not the most elegant solution but it does the job.

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Review left side
The left side has a port for the power jack, a full sized HDMI 1.4 port, a USB  3.2 Gen 1 Type A port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port and a combo audio jack. The right side hosts a microSD card reader, a pair of conventional USB 2.0 ports and a microSD card reader.

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Review right side

This setup offers plenty of ports to tackle a host of additional accessories like a mouse, an external hard disk and more if you’re so inclined. These ports are primarily for transferring data from paired phones or other devices and they aren’t capable of charging other kit which is irksome but not a major issue.

Asus Vivobook S14 M433 keyboard

Of note here is that they’ve included chamfering around the keyboard frame while integrating a backlit keyboard that oddly enough adds in a vertical array of shortcuts to the right edge along with an Enter key trimmed in neon green.

The trackpad itself is otherwise standard though Asus says that our local Malaysian units will integrate a fingerprint reader in its upper right corner unlike our test unit.

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Review touchpad
The VIvoBook S14 M433 for Malaysia will have an integrated fingerprint reader in the touchpad but our test units lack the reader which does not affect performance.

The 14-inch NanoEdge display itself is a 1080P panel framed with slim side and top matte black plastic bezels that look somewhat plain, seeing our recent experiences with the ultra premium ExpertBook B9 (B9450) but it’s acceptable seeing the fact that the S14 is almost one third the price of the more premium B9 and is intended for a purely different market.

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Review webcam
As far as build quality and design goes, the VivoBook S14 scores on materials and finish though it oddly enough uses an older design template especially in the lack of an Ergolift hinge. In any case this doesn’t significantly affect functionality.

Asus VivoBook S14 (M433) Specifications and Performance

The VivoBook S14 (M433) for the Malaysia market comes in two slightly different variants. Our higher-end test unit had an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 3.6GHz processor with AMD Radeon integrated graphics and an Indie Black finish.

A cheaper version is available using an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 2.4GHz processor for RM300 less and which comes in more colours. Processor and paint job aside, both VivoBook S14 versions are externally identical and have otherwise similar hardware under the hood.

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 review top

Both of the VivoBook S14 (M433) variants for Malaysia have a 14-inch IPS LCD Full HD (1,920 x 1080) display, 8GB of soldered DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD. Both variants are also reliant on AMD integrated graphics. 

Other mod-cons include a pair of Harman Kardon tuned stereo speakers as well as WiFi 6 (802.11ax) connectivity and Bluetooth 5.0 support. Both variants come with a similar 3-cell 50WHr Li-Po battery. Where the cheaper version edges out is that it comes in four different colours rather than just one for our higher end version.

These specifications are summed up as:

Specifications
Price RM2,899 (Ryzen 5 4500U variant), RM3,199 (Ryzen 7 4700U variant)
DIsplay 14-inch TFT LCD, 1920 x 1080 pixels
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 4700U
Graphics AMD Radeon Graphics
OS Windows 10 Home
Memory 8GB DDR4 RAM/ 512GB PCIe 3.0 x 4 NVMe SSD
Battery 50WHr 3-cell Li-Po battery W/ fast charging (60% in 49 minutes, quoted)
Size/Weight 324.9 x 213.5 x 15.9 mm / 1.4kg

Bearing in mind that our test unit has more RAM, it will perform slightly better than the retail versions. In terms of synthetic benchmarks, our notebook got the following results. Oddly enough, we were unable to run Night Raid and Time Spy in our benchmarks on account of some unexplained glitch that prevents the benchmarks from running consistently.

Retail units in Malaysia should have slightly lower scores than what is displayed here on account of having 8GB RAM.

CInebench R20 2,491 points
Unigine Superposition 720 Low settings 5,615 points
Unigine Superposition 1080P Medium settings 1,992 points
Unigine Superposition 1080P High Settings 1,337 points
PCMark Extended Test 2,985 points

Under more practical conditions, we managed to run Saints Row: The Third at 1080P settings as well as Metro 2033 with very playable frame rates and at high settings  Malaysia units should run these comfortably on medium settings without keeling over.

vivobook s14 m433 cinebench

Other more mundane tasks like web browsing with a dozen open tabs in Chrome, running Open Office processing basic spreadsheets and crunching text documents and the like were handled without any major issues. The underside of the notebook ran a bit warmer than we’d like though especially after an hour or two of gaming but it’s still usable for short stretches on your lap if needed.

Asus Vivobook S14 m433 saints row

The display itself is typical of many other IPS LCD panels with good viewing angles and vibrant hues indoors but has middling to poor clarity under direct sunlight while the provided downward-firing Harman Kardon speakers offered pretty good quality clarity with a decent amount of bass.

In terms of battery life, the provided 50Whr 3-cell Li-Po battery has fair if unexceptional endurance. On normal work settings with brightness set to average and a balanced setting with a workload that involved word processing, web browsing and some light photo editing, it managed close to 7 hours of work. Charging it from the bundled charger from 20% to full takes about an hour and 20 minutes which is a reasonable pace.

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 front

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Verdict

The Asus VivoBook S14 (M433) offers an excellent price to performance ratio, helped in large part with the inclusion of AMD’s efficient AMD Ryzen 4000 series CPU that has enough pixel punching grunt to tackle basic computing and gaming as well as simple creator work like photo editing and the like. This is an ideal choice for students and users looking for an affordable notebook for general computing.

Asus vivobook S14 M433 side angle

This notebook is great as a first-choice for students and those on a tight budget looking for a solid performer. If you’re really counting pennies, you can opt for the slightly cheaper variant with the Ryzen 5 processor but you might as well save up the RM300 and invest in the higher end variant with the Ryzen 7 that can tackle more tasks in a smoother fashion.

What we liked Good variety of ports, slick design, good performance to price ratio, comfortable keyboard
What we didn’t non-upgradable RAM, lacks Ergolift hinge
We say The Asus VivoBook S14 (M433) offers an excellent price to performance ratio, helped in part bythe inclusion of AMD’s efficient AMD Ryzen 4000 series CPU that has enough pixel punching grunt to tackle basic computing and gaming. This is an ideal choice for students and users looking for an affordable notebook for general computing.

Review unit courtesy of Asus Malaysia. Available for purchase at their official page here

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Verdict
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Design
  • Portability
  • Battery Life
3.6

Asus VivoBook S14 M433 Review

The Asus VivoBook S14 (M433) offers an excellent price to performance ratio, helped in part bythe inclusion of AMD’s efficient AMD Ryzen 4000 series CPU that has enough pixel punching grunt to tackle basic computing and gaming. This is an ideal choice for students and users looking for an affordable notebook for general computing.

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