If you want the best i3 laptop and the best laptop for less than $500 then this is certainly a device to consider. It outperforms other laptops in terms of specs, and it even has a fast-charging feature!
ASUS includes a fast charging feature that makes up for the battery life of this laptop. ASUS laptops are one of the most popular options available on the market. They offer a wide range of features like long battery life, speedy processors, and powerful graphics for an affordable price.
- Full-Size Backlit Keyboard
- 8 GB of RAM (Upgradeable to 20 GB)
- Also Available With An Intel Core i5
- Not Available With An Intel Core i7
- TN Panel Doesn’t Provide Good Viewing Angles
|Windows 10 Home in S mode
|10th Gen Intel
2 cores, 4 threads
Up to 3.4GHz
|128GB M.2 SATA SSD
88% screen-to-body ratio
Two USB-A 2.0
microSD card reader
|14.06 x 9.06 x 0.78 inches
(357mm x 230mm x 20mm)
|3.5 pounds (1.6kg)
Design and Build
The Asus VivoBook 15 was built to make you look like you have more money than you do. Its slate-gray chassis doesn’t look like a budget laptop, and despite its plastic build and relative lightness — a mere 3.7-pounds, lighter than the Acer Aspire 5 and HP 15 (3.8 pounds and 4.4 pounds, respectively) — it all feels cohesive in its overall design and construction.
The VivoBook 15 features a keyboard that is built into the laptop, just like premium models. It is flush with the trackpad right on the wrist rest and even has a fingerprint scanner for better security. The Asus managed to fit a number pad into their keyboard without making it difficult to use. There is plenty of room for typing comfortably with your wrist resting on the area.
One of the best features of the VivoBook 15’s keyboard is its ErgoLift hinge. It adjusts the keyboard so that it is angled up and closer to your body when you are sitting in a chair. Many of Asus’ ROG gaming laptops have a feature to increase the ergonomics in the laptop while you’re on the go. It’s great that Asus has brought this feature to its lower-tier laptops as well.
Having a lot of ports is perfect if you want to use plenty of external devices on your laptop. The left side has two traditional USB 2.0 Type-A ports, as well as a light for visual information about the status of your device.
The right side of the laptop has all the important connections, including a proprietary power port, a USB 3.1 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.0 port for tethering through your laptop, and a combination headphone and microphone jack.
There are two USB Type-C ports on this computer, one of which could be used for connecting to an external monitor with an adapter or hub. You can also buy a MicroSD card for more storage space, but I would have preferred having a standard SD slot to work with my DSLR on the go.
The VivoBook 15’s 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is simply put a big laptop that offers an unusual and underwhelming viewing experience for videos because of how dim the colors are and how bad viewing angles are. It makes older shows, including TV series like Baywatch and movies like the recent remake of Emma, look faded.
This is because they were originally filmed in color. While the VivoBook 15 scored 65 percent on the sRGB gamut, it’s behind other laptops that cost less, including the Acer Aspire 5 which scored 63 percent, and the HP 15 which scored 67 percent. But it’s ahead of the average of 85 percent.
The display on the VivoBook 15 appears in a jumbled order. I can’t watch videos without recognizing them, and after editing RAW photos in Adobe Lightroom, I feel more confident about them only when connected to something with better color reproduction. The viewing angle of the VivoBook 15 laptop is a bit odd. To be able to see the display without a sheen, it must be at about 100 degrees.
If you are using a dark mode within most apps, it’s hard to ignore the sheen that can be seen on a laptop. I found the laptop difficult to use with Windows 10 night mode because of this sheen issue.
The VivoBook 15 only has a max brightness of 205 nits. It is not very bright, even though it uses a screen with in-plane switching (IPS) technology. The Acer Aspire 7 and HP 15 laptops are brighter. However, these models are below the industry average of 268 nits.
On the Asus VivoBook 15, there are two speakers that face down. The sound quality is not as good with headphones as it would be without them. There is a strong melody in Midnight’s Deep Blue, while the vocals sounded as if they were coming from a distance. House or synthwave music sounds hollow, and sometimes it’s hard to hear vocals even when listening to podcasts.
Pairing the laptop with external speakers is helpful for listening to any dialogue, but you may want to be careful when doing so.
The VivoBook 15 is designed with a 720p built-in webcam. I found the quality surprisingly comparable to what I had just ten years ago when I was putting in a new webcam. As for an external webcam, though, I would recommend getting one to pair with the laptop.
Unfortunately, even on budget laptops, the camera is an afterthought. There are so many students and professionals who could benefit from the presence of a higher-quality video.
Keyboard and Touchpad
A lot of people have found the VivoBook 15 keyboard to be sort of polarizing. In all honesty, however, I appreciate that the chiclet keys are comfortable to type on and there is ample backlighting to get work done with the lights down low. The Number Pad can be easily turned on and off with a key called Number Lock.
I found myself frustrated after about an hour. I became annoyed by the distance between the keys, which I knew would make it difficult for me to type. I had fun configuring the laptop when the backlight went out. I also found the placement of a few keys, Page Up and Page Down, farther apart than where I naturally wanted to rest my fingers. Make sure you’re plugged in if you plan to be productive on this laptop.
While the VivoBook 15’s trackpad is usable, it is not a very well-designed system. It uses too many swipes and the size doesn’t work well in comparison to other laptops.
The VivoBook’s Intel Core-i3 processor and 8GB of RAM perform well, despite their mediocre benchmarks. I was able to work through dozens of Google Chrome tabs and sift through my cloud-based library in Adobe Lightroom without the fans sounding like they were ready for takeoff.
I checked the Intel UHD graphics to see if they could successfully run a game that is over 10 years old. I tried it with Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the laptop ran between 18-25 frames-per-second on low settings in snowy mountains.
There are lots of options for a budget laptop, but the VivoBook 15 is still a powerful device. The device scored 2,399 on Geekbench 5, a testing suite that measures everyday computer tasks like browsing the internet and rendering augmented reality effects. That’s below the Acer Aspire 5 which scored 2,744, and even further down the graph from the average of 2,983.
We performed a video compression test. The VivoBook 15 required 28 minutes and 33 seconds to compress 4K video to 1080p resolution. The Acer Aspire 5 and HP 15 have much better performance. They can transcode quickly, at 21:55 and 25:53, respectively. Comparatively, the VivoBook 15 was faster than other budget laptops.
VivoBook 15 laptop struggled with battery life. It lasted five hours and 20 minutes using an attached Wi-Fi connection at 150 degrees of brightness. Windows 10’s battery-saving mode needs to be configured carefully. I had low brightness and the least aggressive setting in Windows 10’s battery-saving mode, but I noticed only slightly better numbers than the lab tests.
The laptop used up 45 percent of the battery in three hours. It quickly reached 50 percent after an hour-and-a-half of use, and then burned through 15 percent of the battery in about an hour. The VivoBook 15 only lasted six hours. It was clear from the numbers that I couldn’t spare an additional hour by futzing with the power-saving settings.
The Asus VivoBook 15 is a laptop that a lot of people might be able to use in their lives. It has enough power to run older games at low-quality settings so, it’s a good companion for nostalgia. It has enough battery life to function to the point of keeping a laptop from overheating at a Denny’s. Its performance does not impress, which does not make it a laptop worth an upgrade for most people.
If you need a portable laptop for work, the VivoBook 15 is a great choice because it has plenty of ports that may come in handy!