Asus VivoBook 15 X512 evaluate: Compact and vibrant, however display and keyboard disappoint Overview

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There are a number of sub-brands within the Asus VivoBook line: the top-end Professional sequence provides discrete graphics as a key function; the S sequence has extensive enchantment and is available in a variety of colors; and the VivoBook Flip sequence does the 360-degree trick. In the meantime, the VivoBook 15 X512, reviewed right here, provides as much as an Eighth technology Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia discrete graphics, though the entry-level mannequin, at a shade over £400, has a considerably decrease spec. There are additionally 14-inch and 17-inch variants obtainable.

The VivoBook 15 X512 was launched at CES earlier this yr, and encompasses a ‘NanoEdge’ bezel, plus Asus’s reasonably nifty ErgoLift hinge.

There’s an possibility for discrete graphics, and as already famous the VivoBook X512 can deal with as much as an Eighth technology Intel Core i7 Whiskey Lake U processor. The one mannequin I may discover on sale within the UK in the meanwhile is the £429.99 (inc. VAT) model, which lacks discrete graphics and is powered by an Intel Pentium Gold 4415 processor with 4GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 1,920-by-1,080 show and no keyboard backlight.

My £499.99 evaluate pattern had barely extra upmarket specs — a Core i5-8250U processor with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 1,920-by-1,080 show and a backlit keyboard. The default OS is Home windows 10 House, however ‘Asus recommends’ Home windows 10 Professional.

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The 15.6-inch VivoBook 15 X512 is powered by a variety of Eighth-generation Intel Core processors (i3, i5, i7) with as much as 16GB of RAM and laborious drives as much as 1TB or SSDs as much as 256GB. It measures 357.2mm by 230.4mm by 19.9mm and weighs 1.7kg. It is obtainable in Clear Silver, Slate Gray, Peacock Blue and Coral Crush (a shiny orange).


Pictures: Asus

The plastic chassis within reason sturdy, though I used to be capable of flex the lid and you may in all probability need to use a sleeve to guard the laptop computer in transit. It is fairly heavy, at 1.7kg, and the footprint within reason massive too so it is not going to slot in smaller backpacks or luggage. For the report, the measurements are 357.2mm extensive by 230.4mm deep 19.9mm thick.

Should you’re on the lookout for a little bit of selection in laptop computer design, you possibly can go for a blue or purple chassis, with extra sober magnesium gray and slate gray choices additionally on supply.

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Asus’s ErgoLift hinge raises the again of the keyboard part to a snug typing angle.


Picture: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

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The ErgoLift hinge is a very nice function. As you elevate the lid, the hinge drops the underside of the display down behind the keyboard base. When the laptop computer is totally opened, the bottom of the lid rests on the desk and raises the keyboard up at a slight angle. The elevate is about 5mm — not a large quantity, however sufficient to enchantment to those that dislike a typing floor that is flat on the desk.

There’s loads of give within the keyboard, which can deter heavy-handed typists, whereas the keyboard motion may be very delicate and squidgy, with no noticeable ‘click on’. It is not problematic to make use of, however compared to larger finish keyboards it’s disappointing. The touchpad is responsive and it is good to see a Fn key choice to toggle it on and off. However it’s a disgrace there is no mild to point that the touchpad is off.

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The keyboard will flex in the event you sort with a heavy hand, and the important thing motion is spongy. The separate quantity pad on the right-hand aspect is beneficial, although.


Picture: Asus

A small quantity pad sits to the appropriate of the keyboard. Its keys are about two-thirds commonplace width and full peak, and match neatly throughout the 5 rows of standard-height keys that type the remainder of the keyboard. Whether or not this appeals to you’ll reasonably depend upon how a lot you’re employed with numbers. I discovered myself continuously hitting the ‘four’ key as an alternative of Enter, however likely I would get used to the association over time.

The display sits in a ‘NanoEdge’ bezel measuring simply 5.7mm on the brief edges. The higher bezel, which homes the webcam, is barely deeper at 8mm, whereas the decrease edge, which has to accommodate that ErgoLift mechanism, is round 18mm. The general impact is spectacular.

The display itself is disappointing. The Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) decision isn’t the issue, and neither is the matte end. The issue is that the anti-glare IPS display’s colors are washed out. I discovered studying web sites and watching video underwhelming, and pushing the display to full brightness didn’t assist. Pores and skin tones generally appeared greenish, and even the brightest colors appeared uninteresting.

Should you’re after a laptop computer for a little bit of enjoyable and media viewing, or to do shows, you would possibly need to look elsewhere.

The audio system had been additionally disappointing. Two grilles on the underside pump out sufficient sound, however the result’s a tinny and missing in bass tones. General, the VivoBook 15 X512 is not a terrific selection of laptop computer for media followers.

Each time the laptop computer did any form of work the fan kicked in. It is not notably noisy and did not disrupt my work in an in any other case quiet workplace, however it’s worrying that even opening a single video in YouTube gave the fan a motive to do some work. The underside was barely heat except the system was idling.

There’s an fascinating mixture of connections. The correct edge has a single USB three.zero port, a USB-C port, a full-size HDMI connector, a three.5mm headset jack and a MicroSD card slot. On the left edge there are two USB 2.zero ports.

Why are we’re seeing USB 2.zero right here? Absolutely USB three.1 needs to be the bottom frequent denominator by now. Additionally, the USB-C port has no Thunderbolt assist. MicroSD assist is welcome although.

Battery life from the 2-cell, 37Wh battery is affordable. I discovered common workload together with writing into a web-based app, streaming some music, and a little bit of internet shopping, with the display brightness set at round 75 p.c, depleted round 25 p.c of a full battery in two hours. On that foundation, a full battery must final the most effective a part of a working day.

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Picture: Asus

Conclusions

A number of issues elevate the Asus VivoBook 15 X512 out of the bizarre. Its separate narrow-format quantity pad will probably be a plus in the event you do loads of spreadsheet work, and the intelligent ErgoLift system pushes the keyboard up at a snug typing angle. Battery life would possibly get you thru a day’s work on a full cost, and the slim bezels are welcome.

There are disappointments elsewhere although. My evaluate unit’s display lacked vibrancy, the keyboard had a spongy really feel, and the USB 2.zero ports needs to be changed with USB three.zero.

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