ASUS VivoBook Pro 15 (N580VD-DB74T) Review

     
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4.55

In my books, ASUS laptops have always shown themselves as quality pieces of electronics. At the same time, they are not as costly as, say, Macbooks, which makes them attractive to the general public. This trend continues in the new Asus VivoBook, a series of high-end ultrabooks released in Summer 2017. In this review, we are taking a look at the N580VD-DB74T model that has already gathered attention from prospective shoppers…

The Big Three Trio in Engine Room

This laptop runs on a single 512GB M.2 SATA solid-state drive. That is actually the best drive you can get: it brings the snappy performance of SSD and also pretty much of storage space (around 480 gigabytes free for your files). This SSD can be upgraded, and the M.2 interface supports PCIe/NVMe standard and form factor 2280. What is more, there is also an unoccupied 2.5″ SATA slot in the computer; meaning a regular hard drive can be installed too.

Welcome to the world of elite processors: Intel Core i7-7700HQ is what commands this ASUS. It’s a quad-core processor with a running frequency of 2.8GHz and turbo boost of 3.8GHz. As you can see from the model number, it’s also a 7th generation model which is still Intel’s latest technology. Finding a better processor than this is a tough job – in fact, you don’t even need to as the i7-7700HQ suffices for programs that require remarkable performance (virtual machines, video editors etc.) from the system.

The memory should not fall short for anyone; the laptop boasts a single 16GB DDR4 2133MHz stick installed on the mainboard. However, if you crave for more memory, it’s possible to install another stick as a free slot exists for that!

Decent Display Brought to The Table

In ultrabooks and high-end models like this ASUS VivoBook Pro, a high-quality display is a standard. Indeed, what this model sports is a 15.6-inches Full HD display, with 1920×1080 maximum resolution. Now, the reason why they didn’t include even a higher resolution is debatable, but I think it’s safe to say that Full HD is the best all-around resolution these days – not too low for stuffed viewing experience and not too high that icons and text look too small. The panel type is IPS which is generally the best technology. The refresh rate on this screen is typical 60hz, with an appropriate 45% NTSC color gamut for high contrast (although higher percentage would mean even better color reproduction).

Gamers Are Not Forgotten

While the GeForce GTX 1050 (4GB) graphics card is seen as a mid-range unit, the reality is that the card can run pretty much any game you throw at it, even on higher resolutions and settings. Continuing the thought, the maximum resolution of this laptop’s screen is 1920×1080 which you can keep on every game. For example, even Witcher 3, a game considered most demanding one, will run at a happy ~40 frames per second with settings turned to high. Also, the GTX 1050 card meets the minimum specs for Oculus Rift, although the company suggests at least GTX 1060 for the full VR experience. Bear in mind, it won’t be possible to upgrade the graphics engine on this notebook.

Hands-on Video

Modern Ports and Connections Are Present

The ports section of this VivoBook N580VD-DB74T seems to be in check. The most important ones, the USB ports, are four in total. A bit odd thing, two of the ports are USB 2.0 (the slow ones) while only one is USB 3.0, although that might be explained by the inclusion of USB 3.1 Type-C port. Even though Microsoft said earlier in 2017 the USB-C isn’t ripe for mainstream, the port will provide some future-proof for the laptop. In case you are wondering, you don’t need to use the USB-C if you don’t want, as also HDMI output is provided on this notebook.

It should not comes as a surprise, but let me remind you the laptop does not have an optical drive. They can be bought separately, an external one that plugs to the USB port on this computer, that is. One feature that is included is the SD(HC/XC) card reader; in another words, if you have memory cards (like in camera) you can conveniently transfer files that way.

To get networking access, the mainboard has an integrated 802.11ac wireless chip with 2×2 antenna and Bluetooth 4.2. You are also going to find Gigabit RJ-45 port; feel free to plug in Ethernet cable as well!

Battery Life and a Few Other Things

The notebook includes a 47Whrs 3-cell battery which, keeping the laptop components in mind, won’t last as long as some smaller ultrabooks. ASUS itself estimates the battery life to be between four and five hours which also I approve. To my knowledge, it’s a non-replaceable battery unit, so you will need to tinker a lot if you indeed want to replace it.

As the laptop is made from high-strength aluminum, it’s quite lightweight at only 4.8 pounds. Moreover, the manufacturer has managed to create a very slim profile for it, with the thickness standing at a mere 0.8 inches.

The keyboard is illuminated, although the colors of individual keys can not be changed like in some gaming laptops. The ASUS also has a fan for cooling the high-end components, although fan noise should be minimal.

Pros:
Slim profile - The profile and design of this ASUS pleases the eye, it's nothing like bulky and big laptops of the old. The upside of this is the better portability aspect, as well.

Specs hard to beat - The engine room is occupied by Core i7 processor, a lot of DDR4 memory and solid-state drive. That should be enough said; you won't be finding many faster laptops than this.

Some gaming capabilities - Yep, this is ultrabook with the gaming side rather well thought of. Most titles run very well on the GTX 1050 card.

Cons:
Don't expect all-day battery - Many smaller laptops (ultrabooks) last longer on battery than this.

Getting a laptop like ASUS VivoBook Pro 15 should be a high priority if you want (or need) a beautiful, streamlined and above all, a quick notebook. From university students to business travelers, this high-end laptop will deliver unprecedented performance and high portability, while the brilliant IPS panel offers sharp images, colors and viewing angles for those interested in digital arts. As said in the review, it’s also very possible to play games on this rig; thanks goes to the GeForce GTX 1050 card. I don’t find anything major to whine about; hence this VivoBook Pro is truly a recommended choice for first-rate laptop seekers.

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