ASUS VivoBook Pro Review – Laptop Review. We’re going to check out the ASUS VivoBook Pro and see what it’s got to offer, as well as how it performs through a number of benchmarks to help you decide if it’s a laptop you should consider. Inside the box we’ve got the laptop itself, manual and warranty information, power brick and power cable. To start let’s look at the specs of the model I’ve got here.
There’s an Intel 7700HQ quad core Kabylake CPU which runs at 2.8GHz and can turbo up to 3.8Ghz. I’ve got 8GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz here, but it’s also available with 16GB. For storage there’s a 1TB Seagate 5,400RPM hard drive installed, however there is the option of getting an SSD instead. For the graphics we’ve got Nvidia’s 1050 in combination with a 15.6 inch 1080p 60Hz TN panel, and we’ll see how this performs later in the benchmarks.
For the network connectivity there’s a gigabit ethernet port, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2. The laptop has a silver brushed metallic look to it, both on the outside of the lid, and on the inside. After dealing with a bunch of black laptops lately I admit it was a nice change. The physical dimensions of the laptop are 38cm in width, 25.6cm in depth, and 1.92cm in height. The total weight of the laptop is advertised at 1,990g, and when testing mine it weighed it weighed very close to this.
When including the power brick and power cable for charging the total increases to around 2.5kg, so it’s fairly lightweight and portable for a 15 inch laptop. As mentioned the screen here is a 15.6 inch 60Hz 1080p TN matte panel. The panel looks alright front on, but once you start looking from another angle the colours shift a little and it doesn’t look as good. As long as you’re looking at it directly front on it looks fine.
I’ve also measured the colours produced by the screen using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 61% of sRGB, 44% of NTSC and 46% of AdobeRGB, so in terms of colour reproduction it doesn’t seem to be that good. While it’s certainly fine for day to day office use and occasional gaming, I don’t think I’d want to use it for content creation or design work, which is fine as that doesn’t seem to be where it’s targeted at anyway.
I’ve also performed my usual backlight bleed test on the display, which involves having the laptop show a completely black screen in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding around the edges. I then take a long exposure photo with my camera to help display any bleed, so basically this is a worst case scenario test. The results were good, as you can see there was no observable bleed at all around the edges.
The bottom looks a little darker because as mentioned the colours shift when looking up and down and it was difficult to align the camera to the screen, but there was no bleed. It’s also important to keep in mind although this will of course vary from laptop to laptop. While moving the display there was only a tiny bit of flex, it’s fairly solid as the hinge runs along most of the base.
Unfortunately you can’t open the laptop with one finger, too much of the weight seems to be placed towards the back which prevents this. Above the display is a HD camera, so it’s only capable of 720p video at 30 FPS. The camera’s still fairly grainy even with decent lighting, the microphone sounds alright, about average, but I’ll let you judge for yourself.
The keyboard is chiclet and is illuminated with white LEDs which can be adjusted between three brightness levels, no options to change the colours unfortunately. Overall I liked typing on the keyboard, and the keys had plenty of spacing between each other, which I think is why the numpad is fairly narrow for a 15 inch laptop. I’ve personally got no issues with that as I don’t really use the numpad myself, but something to be aware of if that’s important to you.
There was some flex while pushing down hard on the keyboard but this wasn’t noticeable under normal typing conditions, overall it feels fairly solid. I also found the touchpad to work pretty well, it’s got a very smooth surface and I had no problems using it. Although the whole touchpad is a flat single surface there are left and right buttons available.
Moving onto the available I/O on the left we’ve got the power input, gigabit ethernet port, a powered USB 3.0 Type-A port, HDMI port, and a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, no Thunderbolt there though. Over on the right there are a couple of status LEDs, SD card reader, combined 3.5mm headphone and mic jack, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and Kensington lock. There’s nothing at all on the front, and the same goes for the back which is just more of that silver finish. Up on the lid there’s the ASUS logo which has a mirrored finish to it.
The silver finish on both the lid and interior of the laptop did a great job at hiding fingerprints, and the ones that you do notice are fairly easy to clean. Underneath there’s some air intakes to keep everything cool, as well as some rubber feet which both help prevent the laptop from moving around on flat surfaces when in use, and also rise it up slightly to help let cool air in.
The speakers are found on the bottom towards the sides near the front, and I thought they sounded pretty good for laptop speakers, there was a bit of bass and they sounded clear even at higher volumes. Powering the laptop is a 47 Watt hour 3 cell battery, and with a full charge and doing basic tasks such as browsing the Internet and watching YouTube with the screen on around half brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for 3 hours and 18 minutes. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 1 hour and 8 minutes.
Compared to other larger and heavier 15 inch laptops that I’ve tested the VivoBook did extremely well in the gaming result, likely thanks to the lower powered 1050 graphics. During normal use with an ambient room temperature of 24 degrees celsius, the CPU idled at 44 degrees celsius while the GPU idled at 43 degrees celsius, and here are the external temperatures of the laptop where you’ll actually be putting your hands.
With the CPU and GPU maxed out for half an hour with the same room temperature, the CPU reached a maximum of 95 degrees celsius, while the GPU peaked at 79c. The CPU got fairly hot, and was throttling by around 5%, however this stopped if the GPU load was removed, it only happened with both fully utilized. We can see that the keyboard area has warmed up quite a bit more, mostly towards the middle and it was noticeable while typing, but not too bad. I also found the laptop fairly quiet when not gaming, at idle it sat around the 37 decibel mark and I could barely hear it, this is what it sounded like. While maxing out both the CPU and GPU it went up to 53 decibels, which I’ve found pretty typical for most laptops, and here’s what that sounded like.
Finally let’s take a look at some benchmarks, we’ll first cover some real world gaming benchmarks followed by tests with various benchmarking tools. While I’m aware that the 1050 isn’t meant to be a serious gaming graphics card, I wanted to test some of my usual suite of games against it to see how it held up, also I don’t personally have many low demanding titles, I didn’t bother with the most resource intensive titles though. All tests were run at the 1080p resolution with all Windows and Nvidia updates to date installed.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was tested with the latest 1.0 version. I’ve used the new replay feature to perform this testing, so the results between each test should be more accurate as I can now consistently perform the same test run, however with that said the performance of the game will vary quite a lot depending on what’s going on in the game, so take these results with a grain of salt.
The game actually ran alright at minimum settings, but it’s not an ideal experience for an FPS game.. Again The Witcher 3 ran fairly well at the lowest settings, just able to average 60 FPS. Ultra settings in comparison felt very stuttery, as illustrated by the 1% low frame rate. Shadow of war was similar, in that the higher settings were around the 30 FPS mark, however at low or below the laptop was able to average above 60 FPS.
Although these are fairly intensive games, the 1050 didn’t do too bad when using lower settings. If you’re looking at a laptop purely for gaming though you’ll probably want to run with higher settings, I generally recommend a 1060 as I’ve found that a great sweet spot for 1080p 60 FPS gaming, otherwise a 1050Ti would probably be the minimum I’d personally consider for gaming.
Of course it depends on the games that you’ll be playing and how demanding they are, you can definitely still have a great experience with less demanding games on the 1050. Now onto the benchmarking tools, while a useful indicator note that these results are less practical compared to the real world gaming results previously shown. We’ll start with the Unigine benchmarks, this is how the laptop performed in Heaven benchmark with the tessellation set to extreme, and anti-aliasing set to x8, here’s how Valley benchmark performed with anti-aliasing on x8 at various graphics settings, and finally these are the 1080p results from their newest Superposition benchmark.
For the final graphics benchmarks I ran Fire Strike and Time spy from 3DMark and got scores of 5,435 and 1,825 respectively, so similar to other laptops I’ve tested with the same specs. In Crystal Disk Mark the 1TB 5,400 RPM SATA3 hard drive performed around 115 MB/s in sequential reads and 90 MB/s in sequential writes, so it was pretty painful to use as the primary drive. Installing and opening programs and just copying data around was noticeably slower, at least for someone whose been using an SSDs for years now.
You can get the VivoBook with an SSD, so I’d definitely taking recommend that option, seriously don’t do this to yourself it’s not worth any amount of money saved. With these exact specs at the time of recording the laptop can be picked up in Australia for around $1,699 AUD. That’s about $1,330 USD for my international friends, with tax included. So what did you guys think of the VivoBook Pro from ASUS? Overall I thought it was a nice little laptop, it feels pretty solid, has decent battery life and is light weight making it great for travelling with. The 1050 graphics make gaming even with more resource intensive titles possible, although with low settings. Just make sure you get it with an SSD rather than hard drive.
Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, or simply leave a share if it useful.