With a wide range of features, the Asus Vivobook 15 OLED is a promising option for students and young professionals. Is it worth the money?
When it comes to laptops, the premium segment tends to get all of the attention. Because it is designed to cater to professionals, entrepreneurs, and creators. It’s easy to overlook the fact that most people in my generation (Gen Z) require a more basic and affordable device for their daily needs. It is better suited for college assignments and possibly their first internship. True, midrange notebooks don’t always get the credit or attention they deserve. But Asus’ new Vivobook series is set to change that.
The brand’s new Vivobook 14 and 15 series laptops offer the same performance as a midrange laptop, but with some extra features like an OLED panel and Pantone Validation that are typically found only in higher-priced options. But how do the new Vivobooks perform in everyday use? I used the new Vivobook 15 for work and play for about a week, and this is my review.
What’s great about the Asus Vivobook 15 OLED?
The Asus Vivobook 15 OLED lacks the durability of some of the more expensive Zenbook series laptops. However, in terms of looks, this is a fairly well-designed machine for its class. You get a new matte-finish dark grey colorway that looks good when clean but is prone to picking up smudges and fingerprints. The new Asus Vivobook branding on the lid is nice. Also the black and white racing stripes carry over to the ‘Enter’ button on the keyboard when you open the machine.
When adjusted, the 180-degree screen wobbles slightly on its hinge, and the bezels aren’t the thinnest. These flaws aren’t deal breakers, but they serve as reminders that this isn’t the best laptop construction Asus has to offer.
I’ve previously used Asus OLED panels on the company’s laptops, but they were all more expensive Zenbook models. Despite its lower price, the panel on this Vivobook feels fantastic. The colors are really vibrant, and the viewing angles are excellent. HDR support is also included. Because of this screen, watching videos and movies on this machine was enjoyable. Users dealing with printing and graphics-related use cases, on the other hand, will benefit the most from this.
It’s worth noting that, while the Vivobook 15 has a Full HD 60Hz panel, the Vivobook 14 has a 2.8K 90Hz panel if you prefer a faster refresh rate and higher resolution. It also includes Pantone Validation, which provides superior color accuracy. And 180-degree tilt support is an added bonus for those who use tools like Adobe Photoshop or InDesign.
The Vivobook is powered by the latest 12th Gen Intel Core i3 processor, though an i5 variant is available for a little more money. The i3 variant I have is very fast and provides more than enough performance for running Photoshop, the Microsoft Office suite, InDesign, and a few browser windows.
While I don’t recommend gaming on this machine, a dedicated cooling fan on the bottom keeps the thermals under control when you put it through its paces. It’s an audible fan, but it’s not too loud. Higher variants of the new Vivobook series include Intel Iris Xe graphics. But users who choose the entry-level 8GB RAM base variants (single channel RAM) will be limited to Intel UHD integrated graphics until the RAM is upgraded. As a result, if you’re purchasing this machine to use graphics software for work, I recommend going with the 16GB RAM option if your budget allows it.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard on the laptop is quite good for the price. It has a good amount of travel and a full-size layout with the Numpad on the right. As a gamer, I’ll never like these smaller arrow keys. But I understand that space constraints are a real issue when trying to fit a full layout on a 15-inch laptop. This keyboard is also comfortable enough for extended typing, so coders and writers should have no trouble with it.
Meanwhile, the trackpad is both large and precise. The left and right click buttons are not cutouts, giving the trackpad a cleaner appearance.
Features and i/o
The Vivobook 15 also has some future-proofing, as the 512GB SSD storage can be upgraded to 2TB, and the 8GB RAM can be upgraded to 24GB. Other notable features include a fast and accurate fingerprint scanner on the trackpad, a physical webcam shield, which I believe all laptops should have, and a three-level backlight for the keyboard.
With two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 2.0 port, and one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, the I/O options are also adequate. In addition, there is an HDMI 1.4 port and a 3.5mm combo audio port. The HD webcam is average, but the laptop’s microphone is excellent.
The Asus Vivobook 15 OLED has a 50Wh battery. It supports 65W fast charging, but only through the dedicated DC port. And it cannot be charged with a USB-C charger. The battery lasts slightly longer than expected. This device lasts about 5-6 hours on a single charge, though this may vary depending on how you use the machine.
What’s not so great about the Asus Vivobook 15 OLED?
The Asus Vivobook 15 OLED has no major drawbacks. Except it may be a little pricey for an Intel i3-based machine with integrated graphics. But, once again, this is justified by the components and features provided. Another concern is the slightly wobbly display hinge, which I wish was stronger.
Who should purchase the Asus Vivobook 15 OLED?
Aside from design and performance, the Asus Vivobook OLED’s standout feature is its Pantone Validated OLED display panel, which is one of the best in the segment. This makes the machine ideal for those who work with visuals frequently while working on college projects or office assignments.
The combination of this screen, performance and features like the full keyboard could be just what you’re looking for. If it’s just the performance you’re after, you should be able to find more affordable options.