ASUS – VivoBook 15 15.6 laptop – intel core i5 review

ASUS – VivoBook 15 15.6 laptop – intel core i5 review
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The VivoBook 15 is configured for everyday productivity and entertainment, making it a fine choice for work-from-home office and school stuff like word processing, spreadsheets, web apps and simple graphics tasks. The Intel integrated graphics chip can handle some basic casual gaming, but you’ll be disappointed if you want more than that. Get more in ASUS – VivoBook 15 15.6 laptop – intel core i5 review.

Pros & Cons – ASUS – VivoBook 15 15.6 laptop – intel core i5

PROS

  • Great value for feature set
  • Snappy performance for the price
  • Stylish, slim design with multiple color options
  • Long battery life
  • Strong port selection and useful extras (fingerprint reader, microSD slot)

CONS

  • One component configuration only

Specifications – ASUS – VivoBook 15 15.6 laptop – intel core i5

CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.6GHz)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB DDR4 (2,400 MHz)
Screen: 15.6-inch, HD (1920×1080)
Storage: 512GB solid-state drive
Ports: 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.1, 1x USB-C, 1 x 3.5mm audio, 1x micro-SD, 1 x HDMI
Connectivity: WiFi 6 (802.11ax),  Bluetooth 5.0
Camera: 1920×1080 webcam with microphone
Weight: 3.97 pounds (1.8kg)
Size: 14.1 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches (35.7x23x1.8cm)

ASUS – VivoBook 15 15.6 laptop – intel core i5 review

Design

It comes in just a hair lighter than our top choice for best laptops under $500, the Acer Aspire 5 (3.8 pounds, 14.3 x 9.9 x 0.7-inches), and it’s even lighter than the HP 15 Laptop (4.4 pounds, 14.8 x 9.7 x 0.9-inches). Thanks to its thinner and narrower dimensions, it will fit in a slightly more compact laptop bag as well. At 3.7 pounds, 14.1 x 9.2 x 0.8-inches, the VivoBook 15 isn’t going to be challenging premium thin and light laptops, but it compares favorably to other 15-inch laptops in this price range.

Build

The textured Slate Grey finish paired with the silver metallic sheen of the Asus logo centered on the lid makes for a nice contrast. While picking up the VivoBook 15 (2020) gives away the plastic construction both due to feel and the plain black plastic bottom, the illusion is intact when it is sitting on a desk.

Display

The 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 resolution display that comes with the Asus VivoBook 15 is a pleasure to look at and a pleasure to work with: there are pleasantly thin bezels around the edges, while the display itself is bright, vivid and sharp. The 16:9 aspect ratio isn’t our most favourite – that’s the 16:10 one, by the way – but it is of course perfect for those widescreen movies and shows.

Our colorimeter backed up my experiences with the VivoBook 15’s display, which displays only 65% of the sRGB color gamut. This actually comes in slightly ahead of the Acer Aspire 5 (63%) and just behind the HP 15 Laptop (67%), but is well behind the category average of 85%. 

Brightness is a serious weakness of the Asus VivoBook 15, which is capable of only 205 nits in our testing. That compares poorly to the Acer Aspire 5 (258 nits) and even the HP 15 Laptop (222 nits), which were also below the category average of 268 nits.  

Ports

The left side of the laptop is somewhat sparse with just two traditional USB Type-A ports, both USB 2.0, but things get a lot more interesting on the other side.

If you haven’t converted to an all USB Type-C life, then the bounty of ports on the VivoBook 15 is going to be a welcome sight as this laptop offers a solid array of options.

The right side of the Asus VivoBook 15 (2020) features a power jack, another USB Type-A port (USB 3.1), an HDMI 2.0 port, a USB Type-C port, a combo headphone/mic jack and finally a microSD card slot.

Keyboard

The keyboard itself feels firm and responsive for speedy typing, and the size of the screen means that there’s room for a proper numeric keypad, and a comfortably large set of navigation (arrow) keys as well.

Touch pad

Turning to the touchpad, the 4.1 x 2.9-inch surface is large enough for basic navigation and Windows 10 gestures. The panel was to be responsive and accurate.

Audio

The dual bottom-firing speakers on the VivoBook 15 manage to stay clear throughout their range, but simply aren’t capable of high volume and can’t produce any meaningful bass.

Camera for web call

Asus VivoBook 15 is an excellent reminder to pick up an external webcam, particularly considering the frequent use of video conferencing and video chat apps these days.

A glimpse at the live image on the display might fool you depending on the lighting, but take a selfie with the 720p camera even in bright light and you’ll immediately see an abundance of noise and a complete lack of detail. 

Battery life

Depending on your use case, the battery life result for the VivoBook 15 might be the nail in its coffin as it lasted only 5 hours and 20 minutes during our test, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. This was good enough to beat the HP 15 Laptop (4:57), but it’s well below the 6:55 of the Acer Aspire 5 and the average across all budget laptops (6:39). 

ASUS – VivoBook 15 15.6 laptop – intel core i5 Performance review

The Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor paired with 8GB of RAM doesn’t sound impressive, but the laptop loaded up two dozen Google Chrome tabs, including two YouTube videos running at 1080p and a pair of Twitch streams without a stutter as I jumped between all of them. Obviously, you aren’t picking up the VivoBook 15 for gaming, but when it comes to simultaneously handling an array of web tasks and apps, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Our Handbrake video transcoding test, which requires the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution, was similarly difficult for the VivoBook 15. The laptop finished with a time of 28 minutes and 33 seconds. This was quite a bit longer than the Acer Aspire 5’s 21:55-finish and the 25:53 time of the HP 15 Laptop. With that said, it handily beats the budget laptop category average of 39 minutes and 20 seconds, so if you need to do some video conversion in a pinch, things could be much worse.

However, performance benchmarks were less than glowing for the Asus VivoBook 15. The notebook got a score of 2,399 on the Geekbench 5 test overall performance, well below the 2,744 of the Acer Aspire 5 and even further behind the category average of 2,983.

The VivoBook 15’s 128GB SSD isn’t doing it any favors taking  29 seconds to duplicate 4.97GB of mixed-media. This is good for a transfer rate of 177 megabytes per second. And while it was well ahead of the HP 15 Laptop (57 Mbps), it was considerably slower than the Acer Aspire 5 (369.4 Mbps) and nearly a third the speed of the category average (452 Mbps). 

Editor’s recommendation