Hey friends, Andrew here – hope you’re well.
This is the ASUS Vivobook S 15 OLED, which, based on its specifications, is a great laptop: it has an Intel i9 13900H processor, Intel’s A350M mobile GPU, Harmon Kardon speakers, and a truly impressive 2.8K 120Hz OLED display.
I’ve been using it for a few weeks and will share my hands-on experience shortly, but as you can see, the BAPE collaboration is what makes this laptop unique.
It’s one of the first streetwear crossover laptops I’ve seen, a surprising collaboration between ASUS and the iconic streetwear brand BAPE (Bathing Ape).
Before we begin, I’d like to thank ASUS and BAPE for sending me this limited-edition laptop to test, but as always opinions are my own.
BAPE is a streetwear brand that originated in Japan in the 1990s and has since gained a sort of global cult following.
It’s one of those 90s streetwear brands that became part of pop culture, and this laptop commemorates BAPE’s 30th anniversary.
In terms of design, this laptop is decked out, or should I say dripped with BAPE branding.
From the decals and wallpaper to the reflective BAPE camo patterns on the laptop body.
The metallic lid is the main visual highlight: it’s photo-light etched with the iconic BAPE camo patterns and has this kind of stainless steel reward plaque look and feel.
But, man, I have to show you the amazing packaging that it all came in.
It doesn’t just come with the laptop out of the box; it’s a full-fledged gift box, complete with a BAPE-inspired mouse, carry bag, and stickers. The laptop bag is surprisingly well-made, and don’t forget the iconic figurine, Baby Milo – yes, that’s its name!
I believe its streetwear design will be polarizing; you either love it or you don’t.
But there is a market for it because, in true streetwear fashion, this is a limited edition run, and I wouldn’t be surprised if aftermarket prices rise. But, hey, that’s all part of the hypebeast culture – pure supply and demand.
Intel Evo i9 Processor
There’s no denying it’s a beast of a laptop in terms of design. I can see the design appealing to students and streetwear fans.
But this isn’t just a fashion piece; it’s still a laptop, so let’s take a look inside.
As I previously stated, I’ve been using this laptop for a few weeks and it’s quite impressive considering it’s a reskinned ASUS Vivobook S 15 OLED.
It makes use of Intel’s i9-13900H mobile CPU, which is based on Intel’s impressive Alder Lake architecture. With this CPU, this Vivobook is currently the fastest 45W CPU laptop.
On Geekbench 5, it scored 13,198 on the multi-core test, which is only surpassed by Intel’s Raptor Lake-HX and HK-based models.
What’s more impressive is that this CPU outperforms Apple’s M2 in the MacBook Air. In the Multicore tests, I saw a 60% improvement over Air’s M2 chip, which is not to be overlooked!
With 16GB of LPDDR5 memory and a 1TB NVME M.2 SSD capable of read/write speeds of over 2600MB/s, this laptop easily handled my creative workflow.
That’s nearly twice the speed of my M2 MacBook Air’s read and write speeds of 1,600 and 1,400 megabytes per second, which is due to the laptop’s use of a single NAND flash drive.
I’ve used Blender, Premiere Pro, and Lightroom regularly with no problems, and saving these large raw files to the local drive was noticeably faster than on my MacBook Air.
When I first opened it, I was taken aback by the OLED display. It’s an incredible display.
It’s a 15.6-inch OLED panel with 2.8K resolution, a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, and 100% DCI-P3 color coverage.
And after running calibration in the Windows Display settings and the EIZO monitor test, it’s safe to say the display is truly the standout here and ideal for content consumption.
I’m not sure if the photo does this display justice, but in person, I see great clarity, vibrancy, and, of course, very deep blacks for an OLED panel.
The in-built Harmon Kardon speakers – well, to be technically correct, they’re built-in speakers CERTIFIED by Harmon Kardon – add to the enjoyment of content consumption. Brands receive that certification after passing their Harmon Kardon audio tests.
While watching hours of Netflix and YouTube content, the stereo audio from the dual speakers, which are also Dolby Atmos capable, is above average.
The speakers are loud enough to watch a full movie without the need for external speakers, though the low end was lacking, which is to be expected from small integrated laptop speakers.
If you’re on the go with this laptop, the display and speakers are adequate for a truly immersive viewing experience.
With its excellent display and speakers, it is suitable for casual gaming, but don’t expect full-fledged gaming. I tried Fortnite and CS:GO, and the frame rate hovers around 100, making the games playable.
That was with a 1080P resolution and most settings set to medium to high, and the games still looked great.
However, due to the lack of a dedicated cooling system and the performance of the Intel Arc A350M GPU, expect it to struggle with more graphically intensive games such as Metro Exodus, Forza Horizon 5, and don’t even get us started on Cyberpunk 2077.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The keyboard is quite nice; ASUS refers to it as the ErgoSense keyboard, and it has a decent 1.4mm of travel with clicky feedback.
The trackpad is extremely spacious, with plenty of room for your fingers to scroll. Zooms, scrolling, and three-finger gestures from Windows 11 work perfectly here.
However, I would have preferred a glass-based trackpad rather than a plastic-based trackpad to match the premium feel of the keyboard.
Battery, Webcam & Ports
The Vivobook has a 75 Watt-hour battery and I get a solid 7-8 hours of use from a single charge and more like 12-14 hours with more general use like web browsing, making it ideal for on-the-go usage.
There’s also a 720P webcam with a physical privacy shutter, a Thunderbolt 4 port, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, a 3.5mm jack, and HDMI 1.4, so there’s enough connectivity for a docked setup or on-the-go. It’s essentially a package geared toward entry-level to mid-level creatives.
With those specifications and the exclusive BAPE branding, you can probably guess how much this laptop costs.
When I first heard about this laptop, I honestly expected it to be more expensive than it is.
It costs $1,300, which is a good deal considering the Intel i9 13900H outperforms the similarly priced MacBook Air M2 and includes a fun collaboration for those who enjoy it.
The BAPE brand is not for everyone. Some people dislike streetwear, and others dislike the exterior design of a laptop. Many people simply want to prioritize performance, and for those people, the Vivobook S 15 OLED is an excellent mid-range, mid-priced laptop to consider.
And if BAPE is your thing and the specs meet your needs, the Vivobook S 15 BAPE edition is made for you. This thing is streetwear dream material.
If you’re interested, I’ll post a video review of my MacBook Air here, and as always, thanks for reading!