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Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: A mid-range laptop that’s versatile and powerful

Picking out a decent laptop that’s also slim and light is a difficult task. In fact, very few companies have been able to offer affordable traditional laptops that has the design to make it desirable, especially in the sub-Rs 40,000 price segment.

The Asus VivoBook 15 is a laptop that tries to be an all-rounder. It has an affordable base model at Rs 30,990 , but if you want a full-baked experience then you will need to buy the top-end version at Rs 35,990. I decided to test out this machine, and here is what I found.

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) specifications: 15.6-inch FHD display | AMD Ryzen 5 processor | 8GB RAM | 1TB HDD | Windows 10 | 1.6kg | USB Type C and full ports

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) price in India: Rs 35,990

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: Design and construction

The new VivoBook 15 is styled more like a traditional laptop. The VivoBook 15’s case is a blend of premium and budget materials. The lid is made out of aluminium with a brushed finish. Even the keyboard deck is a single piece of brushed aluminum that looks sleek. The rest of the device is plastic. I love most aspects of the VivoBook 15’s design. This notebook weighs just 1.6kg, making it highly portable. It easily fits in my backpack and it never feels heavy to carry around.

The VivoBook 15 has a smaller footprint than most 15-inch notebooks. The 15.6-inch display comes with NanoEdge bezels. Asus claims 81 per cent screen-to-body ratio. While this doesn’t mean that the notebook’s display is “bezel-less”, the display housing has trimmed a few centimeters off the sides.

Despite its thin profile, Asus has made space for essential ports. On the left-hand side, you can find an HDMI port, a USB Type-C port, an RJ45 port, and the power dock. Meanwhile, the right-hand side has two USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm headphone/mic jack, two notification LEDs, an SD card reader, and a security lock.

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: Display

The 15.6-inch, 60Hz FHD display on our review unit of the VivoBook 15 is bright and colorful, so it’s good for watching movies and for gaming. The screen also boasts good viewing angles. When I watched the trailer for Aquaman, I could see all the detail; colours literally popped out.

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: Performance and battery

The VivoBook 15 is powered by an AMD-based Ryzen processor. There are two VivoBook 15 configurations, one with the low-end Ryzen 3 and the Ryzen 5. They also differed in terms of the RAM and storage.

My review unit features the Ryzen 5 2500U processor, 8GB RAM and 1TB storage. That makes for a powerful machine that is equipped to handle most of the tasks we usually do on a laptop. In my case, I used this laptop for basic tasks like editing a story on Google Doc, streaming movies on Netflix, and playing light games. It really depends on what tasks you will need the VivoBook 15 to handle. I believe this will be your primary notebook and you are going to be doing browsing, typing, emailing, watching movies and light gaming.

In my week-long testing, the notebook’s battery lasted around three-and-a-half hours with browsing and streaming YouTube videos over Wi-Fi. I believe a 42Wh 3-cell battery is not enough for a 15.6-inch laptop.

The stereo speakers on the VivoBook 15 aren’t terrible, but they are not great either.

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: Keyboard and touchpad

The keyboard on Asus’ budget laptops have always been good, and this time too, we aren’t disappointed. The keys are large, and they don’t feel loose. The layout is decent, though we would have preferred a numpad. Also, missing is a backlit keyboard. Overall, the typing experience is good, if not the best. The touchpad, on the other hand, seems responsive enough and fairly accurate.

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: Verdict

The new VivoBook 15 is one such laptop that tries hard to appeal to the masses. It can do a lot of things right at a very compelling price. Sure, the battery life could have been better, but otherwise the versatility of this laptop is unmatchable.