Asus Laptop is a Good All-Rounder
This week DoccyDarko Reviews the ASUS VIVOBOOK Pro for RANDOM 20 TECH
The latest Vivobook Pro from Asus packs the perfect punch for content creators while allowing you to play a few games in your downtime.
Vivobooks can come in a variety of layouts choosing either Intel or AMD processors and the size of the screen. The Pro model for this review was the AMD 15inch range and had some pretty impressive specs.
15.6-inch Full HD OLED display
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor
16GB DDR4 RAM
AMD Radeon Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 (Laptop GPU),
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.0 (Dual-band) 2×2
1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 2x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, 1x DC-in, MicroSD card reader
63WHrs 3-cell Li-ion battery
Color: Quiet Blue
Using the AMD Ryzen 9 5900 (8-core/16thread) processor and a gorgeous OLED display this high-performance laptop is a perfect blend of work and play at a fairly affordable price by laptop standards.
The metallic finish is said to be a 2B-Quiet Blue colour, which after trying it in multiple lighting environments feels more like a black or grey. If there is a hint of blue, my aging eyes can’t see it. But I do like the finish, especially with the embossed Vivobook logo etching on the top and the Harmon Kardon one on the inside below the keyboard. It’s a subtle stoke of quality that doesn't go unnoticed. The design also comes in a “Cool Silver” colour which is sleek, but I prefer the Quiet Blue.
Asus managed to fit a whole lotta keyboard on the fairly small frame with great travel thanks to a keypad curve allowing your fingers to find the keys more easily and it’s even nicely backlit. The touchpad was playing with my OCD as it sits slightly to the right offset to the keyboard. But the changes to the design are worth it as the larger surface is easier to find when you are screen focused and the overall feel is seamless with its response.
The display is second to none in this resolution with the use of OLED allowing the colours to be vibrant and bright, particularly when reading text or watching video. Although being only FHD the screen pops and is super crisp on the 15.6-inch display. A 4k display would have been nice, but understandably would put the price point significantly higher making this a solid choice for the product.
The reflection on the gloss screen would be challenging in some situations, like when you are trying to stay out of a photo you are trying to take for this review, but it’s so vibrant with colour, I don’t think I could ever go back from OLED.
The built-in speakers provide that clear sound you’d expect from Harmon Kardon and while it struggles a bit a maximum volume it’s unlikely you’d ever want your laptop speakers turned up that loud without being connected to an external source.
The in-built microphone picks up audio fairly clearly on calls or recording. Using the ASUS AI Noise-cancelling technology is surprisingly good with options for various environmental situations.
Providing only a 720p Webcam was a disappointing feature. It fits seamlessly into the bezel and includes a privacy shutter with an orange dot to show when it's covered but at this stage, we really should be looking at 1080p webcams at the very least or none at all as we’ve seen on other models.
Although the webcam lacks any support for facial recognition, There is a single sign-on fingerprint reader built into the power button. It’s a neat feature but I prefer using an always reliable passcode entry.
The connectivity of the device seemed good at first look. On the left-hand side, there are two USB 2.0 ports while on the right is an audio jack micro sd slot USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, HDMI and an extra USB 3.2 Gen 1 port before you get to the power input.
Micro SD is ok, but most cameras outside of action cams take a full-sized SD which I had rather of seen here as it’s easier to use an adapter for the micro SD cards. Instead to transfer video files from your normal camera SD card you’ll need to use a USB adapter. A larger device to carry around.
The solo usb-c connector seems a tad out of touch as the world moves to this format as standard. Having 3 USB-A and only one USB-C may end up giving you connectivity issues down the track especially if you are wanting to attach external monitors or more than one external SSD. It’s important to note that charging through USB-C is only available on the Intel models.
Where the machine really stands out is its performance. The combination of the Ryzen 9 5900 and the NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 3050 graphics really puts this in a class above other laptops in the same category.
I used the Asus Vivobook Pro 15.6 with a variety of productivity applications and it performed outstandingly. From creating large image files in Photoshop to editing a 20minute video presentation in Adobe Premiere. The machine never skipped a beat.
The standard storage that this device came with was only 512gb which will get the initial installation of your applications but when you are wanting to use the machine for productivity then you’ll need something significantly bigger. Either a portable SSD drive or an upgrade would be ideal. I’ve often said that 1TB needs to become the new standard.
Battery Life is always strong in Asus laptops and this 63Wh high-capacity battery delivers plenty of portability for work on the go. The charger is also small and lightweight, so easy to pack in a bag without feeling like you are carrying around a brick with you.
Using WiFi 6 and built-in Asus technology the device seeks out not only the closest connection but also weighs up what is the best connection. It’s a very clever technology that means your speed is always at a premium.
The Asus Vivobook Pro comes in various layouts, but it’s with the AMD Ryzen processor where I think it really shines. This model could really deal with any task I threw at it and with an OLED screen at an affordable price point, it’s an ideal machine for just about anybody.