Asus Vivobook S 15 Copilot+ PC Review: Promising Battery Life

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Snapdragon X: The AI-Fueled Challenger to Intel and AMD? A Look at the Asus Vivobook S 15 with Qualcomm’s Latest CPU

The arrival of Microsoft’s Copilot+ PC, a revolutionary device powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and running on Windows Copilot, has understandably garnered plenty of attention. However, nestled within this buzz, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X CPU quietly launched, promising to disrupt the longstanding reign of Intel and AMD processors in the laptop market.

Qualcomm has boldly asserted that the Snapdragon X delivers double the performance of competing CPUs while consuming one-third the power – a claim that has captivated the industry. However, with the rapid advancement of competing CPUs, is this boast still valid? Furthermore, Microsoft’s Copilot+ feature (offering users a more seamless AI-driven experience) has, for now, been exclusively certified for use with Snapdragon X CPUs. This means that those seeking the full potential of Copilot+ are currently bound to the Qualcomm chip.

But before delving into the Snapdragon X itself, we must first explore the laptop it calls home: the Asus Vivobook S 15. This machine, dating back to 2017, has traditionally been associated with Intel processors. While Intel-powered Vivobooks remain available, the model we review here, the S5507Q, features the Snapdragon X Elite X1E7810 processor.

This silver laptop boasts a spacious 15.6-inch (non-touch) display with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,620 pixels. It delivers ample brightness without sacrificing comfort, complementing the screen with a robust Harman Kardon sound system. Beyond the Snapdragon X Elite CPU, the unit is equipped with 16 GB of RAM and a 1-terabyte solid-state drive, standard features for a contemporary laptop. Its roomy and responsive keyboard even squeezes in a compact numeric keypad to the right.

A unique addition is the inclusion of color LED backlighting for the keyboard, a rare treat outside the realm of gaming laptops. The single-zone lighting effects can be customized using the pre-installed MyAsus app, which also controls various functions like fan speed and audio effects. However, the silver keycaps significantly hinder the visibility of the backlighting, making it difficult to distinguish the letters and symbols. Regardless of whether the backlighting was on or off, readability proved to be a challenge.

It’s important to note that the Vivobook S 15 does not feature Asus’ new Ceraluminum shell, opting for an all-metal chassis instead. Additionally, it lacks the ScreenPad feature (transforming the touchpad into a small display), present in other Vivobook offerings.

The port selection is generous for a 15.6-inch laptop, offering two USB-C ports supporting USB4, two USB-A 3.2 ports, a full-size HDMI port, and a microSD card reader. All ports are conveniently located on the side of the device. Weighing in at 3 pounds with a thickness of 20 millimeters, the Vivobook strikes a decent balance for its size.

Snapdragon X: Power and Efficiency in the Realm of AI

Now, let’s delve into the heart of this machine: the Snapdragon X Elite X1E7810. Qualcomm’s ambitious promises surrounding the Snapdragon X claim double the performance compared to competitors at one-third the power consumption. These bold statements require rigorous examination, especially considering the ongoing advancements of Intel and AMD CPUs.

The Snapdragon X leverages ARM architecture, a different approach compared to the x86 architecture employed by Intel and AMD. Traditionally, ARM processors have excelled in mobile devices due to their power efficiency, but they have struggled to match the raw performance of their x86 counterparts in desktop and laptop scenarios.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X aims to bridge this gap by incorporating custom cores designed for high-performance tasks, coupled with improved power management for increased efficiency. While initial benchmarks suggest promising performance, the true measure of the Snapdragon X’s capability lies in its real-world application.

Microsoft’s Copilot+ relies heavily on AI processing, utilizing a combination of cloud-based AI and on-device AI for various features like natural language processing, image recognition, and predictive text. The Snapdragon X with its dedicated AI processing unit (NPU) plays a pivotal role in delivering a smooth and responsive Copilot+ experience.

However, current Windows Copilot functionality is primarily delivered through the cloud, which means local processing power is not the sole determinant of performance. While the Snapdragon X may offer a more efficient experience for on-device AI tasks, the cloud infrastructure plays a significant role in shaping the overall Copilot+ performance.

Windows Copilot: A Glimpse into the Future of Computing

Microsoft’s Windows Copilot represents a significant step towards a more AI-powered computing experience. It aims to reimagine the way users interact with their devices, introducing features like:

  • Natural Language Interaction: Users can interact with their laptops using natural language, similar to how they would talk to a digital assistant.

  • Contextual Awareness: Windows Copilot leverages the user’s context, such as their location, schedule, and recent activity, to provide personalized suggestions and recommendations.

  • Enhanced Productivity: Copilot streamlines tasks by automating repetitive actions, summarizing information, and providing timely assistance.

Windows Copilot is still in its early stages of development. While currently limited to copilot-enabled PCs, Microsoft’s vision is to expand the platform to encompass diverse devices and scenarios.

The Future of Laptop CPUs: A Tale of Two Architectures

The arrival of Snapdragon X presents a compelling challenge to the dominance of Intel and AMD in the laptop market. By leveraging the power of ARM architecture, Qualcomm aims to offer competitive performance with superior power efficiency. The Snapdragon X coupled with Microsoft’s Copilot+ could reshape the entire landscape of computing, ushering in a new era of AI-driven experiences.

However, the future of laptop CPUs is not a simple binary choice between x86 and ARM. While ARM architecture holds immense promise for power efficiency and AI processing, x86 still reigns supreme in terms of raw performance for demanding tasks like game development and high-end video editing.

The key might lie in a hybrid approach that leverages the strengths of both architectures. Intel and AMD have already begun exploring ARM integration with their offerings, suggesting a potential convergence in the future.

As the AI revolution continues to unfold, the battle for dominance in the laptop CPU market will become increasingly complex and fascinating to observe. The Snapdragon X represents a bold entry into the fray, and its impact on the future of computing remains to be seen.

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Sarah Mitchell
Sarah Mitchell
Sarah Mitchell is a versatile journalist with expertise in various fields including science, business, design, and politics. Her comprehensive approach and ability to connect diverse topics make her articles insightful and thought-provoking.