ASUS ZenBook Pro or VivoBook Pro Laptop Comparison. We’re going to compare the ZenBook Pro and VivoBook Pro laptops from ASUS against each other to help you decide which you should buy. The ZenBook is generally considered to be a more premium laptop and thereby more expensive product, so it will be interesting to see how the cheaper VivoBook compares considering the form factors and specs are pretty similar.
Starting with the specs, both of the laptops, at least in the configurations I’ve got here, have a quad core 7700HQ CPU, and an Nvidia 1050 graphics card. As for the differences, the VivoBook has 8GB of memory while the ZenBook has 16GB of memory. The VivoBook I’ve got here also only has a hard drive, no SSD, however it looks like it’s usually included with an SSD when buying. Both laptops have a brushed metal lid with the ASUS logo, although the logo lights up on the Zenbook.
The interior of the Zenbook is matte and easily shows fingerprints, while the Vivobook is the same brushed metal as its lid and does a great job of hiding fingerprints. The Vivobook is also slightly wider, deeper, and thicker than the Zenbook, however despite this they weigh almost the same. In terms of IO on the left both have the power input and a HDMI port, however the Vivobook has an ethernet port which the Zenbook is missing entirely, you’ll need to use a dongle for ethernet connectivity.
The Zenbook also has two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports with thunderbolt, while the Vivobook has one such port without thunderbolt, however the Vivobook also has a USB 3.0 Type-A port instead of a second USB type-c. On the right both have a single 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack, while the Zenbook has a MicroSD card reader and the Vivobook has a full size SD card reader. Both also have two USB type-A slots, however the Zenbook’s are USB 3.1 Gen 1 while the Vivobooks are only USB 2.0. The speakers of both laptops also sound great, however I think the ZenBook has a slight edge here.
The Vivobook has two speakers on the bottom towards the sides, while the Zenbook has two on the bottom towards the front, but also two more speakers on either sides of the keyboard. The webcam on the ZenBook is unfortunately garbage, it’s only 480p while the webcam on the VivoBook is a little better and is 720p. Screen quality is quite different between the two laptops. Both laptops have a 15.6 inch 1080p 60Hz display, and that’s where the similarities end.
The Vivobook has a TN panel, and unless you’re looking at it directly front on you’ll notice colour shift. The Zenbook in comparison is an IPS panel and you can view it accurately from almost any angle. The Zenbook’s screen is also glossy, so it will show up reflections in the background while the Vivobook’s has a matte finish to it. While testing with the Spyder 5 Pro, the Vivobook was only able to reproduce 61% of SRGB colours, while the Zenbook managed 96%, it’s just a much nicer display all round on the Zenbook. The Zenbook also has a touchscreen while the Vivobook does not.
The Zenbook definitely had less screen flex, the whole thing was almost completely solid, it seems to be thicker metal than the Vivobook. I’d rate both keyboards and touchpads pretty similar in terms of actually using them, both are backlit with white LEDs and the lighting can be adjusted between 3 levels. The Vivobook has a narrow numpad while the Zenbook leaves it out entirely, and I’d say both had a similar amount of keyboard flex.
The Zenbook has a fingerprint reader embedded into the touchpad while the Vivobook doesn’t have one at all. The touchpads felt the same, were almost the same size, and both have left and right buttons, if I had to pick I’d say the Zenbooks was slightly better. As for battery the Zenbook’s is larger, it’s got a 73 watt hour 8 cell battery, while the Vivobook has a smaller 47 watt hour 3 cell battery. While doing the same test and watching YouTube videos with the screen on half brightness, the Zenbook lasted for 4 hours and 2 minutes while the Vivibook lasted for 3 hours and 18 minutes, so not really all that much difference considering how different the sizes of battery are.
While playing the Witcher 3 on medium settings capped at 30 FPS, the Vivobook lasted for an hour and 8 minutes, while the Zenbook lasted for an hour and 4 minutes, so it was interesting that the Zenbook lasted slightly less despite the bigger battery, however I did notice that the frame rate was bouncing between 30 – 35 FPS so it was likely rendering a few more frames and doing more work, despite it being capped to 30 by Nvidia’s battery boost, that’s the only thing I can think of to explain the difference. While testing both laptops with an ambient room temperature of 24 degrees celsius, I found that the Zenbook ran slightly cooler.
At idle the Zenbook isn’t just slightly cooler, but also quieter at 36 decibels, compared to 37 decibels from the Vivobook, granted both are so low you’ll hardly hear them anyway. Both laptops also sat at around 29 degrees celsius in the middle of the keyboard, while the Vivobook was a little cooler around the palm rest areas. The Zenbook also ran cooler under full load for the CPU, however the graphics cards reached the same average temperature of 79 degrees celsius on both laptops.
With both the CPU and GPU maxed out, the Vivobook did experience about 5% of a throttle on the CPU as it got so hot it had to dial itself down, however the Zenbook was able to keep cooler and run under full load with no problems, granted it doesn’t seem to be performing as good, as we’ll see in the benchmarks. The keyboard area on the Zenbook got up to about 43 degrees celsius in the center, while the Vivobook was a bit warmer at 48c, however the wrist rest areas of the Zenbook were again slightly warmer by a few degrees.
The fans on the Vivobook were also quite a bit louder, reaching 53 decibels in comparison to the quieter 47 decibels from the Zenbook. I think the Zenbook is better using its metal body to exhaust heat which is why overall the body is a little warmer than the Vivobook’s, as we saw in the wrist rest areas, and this kind of makes sense as there are no fan intakes on the bottom of the Zenbook, while there are on the Vivobook and yet its CPU still runs warmer. Interestingly despite both laptops having the same CPU and graphics specs and the Zenbook running cooler, I found that the Vivobook slightly outperformed the Zenbook in all graphical tests.
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 while these may not accurately represent all scenarios, they are at least comparable between each other. We can see that the average frame rate is a little higher on the VivoBook, however the 1% lows are where it’s really winning as these are quite a bit higher than the ZenBooks in many cases. It’s similar in the witcher 3, the VivoBook is again winning in terms of both average FPS and 1% lows, except at ultra settings where it appears the Zenbook pulled ahead in the 1% lows Shadow of war was very close at the higher setting levels, however the Vivobook was still slightly ahead in almost all cases, with that difference being more pronounced at the lower setting levels. It’s not just in the gaming tests where this is being seen, I’ve also run some Unigine benchmarks including heaven, valley, and superposition, and again we can see that the Vivobook is slightly ahead in all instances. It’s the same with 3DMark’s Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks, the Zenbook is just slightly behind every time.
From what I can tell it looks like the GPU on the Zenbook is throttling itself as it hits the 79c maximum much quicker, it drops down from 1,709MHz to 1,506MHz within a few minutes, while the Vivobook takes much longer to warm up to the same temperature before it’s an issue and runs at 1,683MHz Comparing the hard drive speeds here isn’t really fair, as mentioned the Vivobook I have here only has a hard drive and no SSD, so it performs much slower compared to the SSD in the Zenbook.
The Vivobook is available with SSD, and I suggest getting it as mechanical disks only are torture, and with that I’d assume disk performance would then be fairly similar, unless you upgrade the Zenbook to PCIe based storage, which the Vivobook does not appear to support. Now perhaps the most important difference, the price.
In Australia the Vivobook pro retails for $1699 AUD while the Zenbook pro retails for $2,899 AUD. That’s $1,330 USD vs $2,250 USD with taxes included for my international viewers, so quite a large difference. While the Zenbook is definitely more premium in almost every way, with the exception of the worse camera and slightly lower graphical performance, I think the Vivobook is offering better value out of the two.
Sure almost all of its features aren’t as nice as the Zenbook, but a $1,200 AUD price difference is quite a lot, so it comes down to what your budget is and if you want the extra nice to have features. So which of these two ASUS laptops would you guys pick? The Zenbook pro or Vivobook pro?
Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, and leave a share this post if you found the information useful.