ASUS VivoBook Pro (N705UD-EH76) Review

     
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The new ASUS VivoBook has hit the market with much of hype. These notebooks are touted as having superior performance, fast storage, gaming capabilities and thin & light design. Knowing ASUS’s reputation of making high-quality ultrabooks these claims might hold true, but to really see how this new laptop is, a closer examination must be taken. This review concentrates on the N705UD-EH76 model, although every member of this VivoBook family is very similar to another.

Claims of Performance Backed Up

There is no question about the performance the new VivoBook brings. You see, in the Autumn of 2017, Intel released their latest, 8th generation set of processors. They are still Kaby Lake based like the predecessor, although various improvements have been made. The model in this notebook is Core i7-8550U, the company’s flagship i7, with quad-core configuration and 1.8GHz clock speed with 4.0GHz turbo boost. It’s also low voltage processor, with TDP around 15W. Despite this, it’s much faster than the previous-generation i7s.

This laptop has plenty of physical space for components. Thus, two storage drives were easily included. There is a combo of hard drive and solid-state drive; with the hard drive offering 1TB storage (5400RPM) and M.2 SATA3 SSD giving 256GB for your files. Often – if not all the time – manufacturers put the Windows installation on the SSD part. That is a smart move, the laptop will boot up quickly that way. I think that’s the way how OS installation is done here as well. These drives can be upgraded, although I don’t think there’s a dedicated service door for that. As for memory, two 8GB sticks are installed, which makes the total RAM a very comfortable 16 gigabytes.

Large Display with Great Graphics

Now don’t be fooled to think the VivoBook Pro N705UD-EH76 is really an ultrabook. It has a large 17.3″ display, although the weight of this unit stands at a reasonable 4.6 pounds – less than many 15 inches are. Either way, the display supports 1920×1080 resolution which is fine for such a diagonal. Also wide viewing angles and 72% NTSC color gamut are available, which suggests this is an IPS-style display. It does not have touch support so you are to use this notebook with trackpad and keyboard.

Gamers should not have problems with this computer. It includes GeForce GTX 1050 (4GB GDDR5), a mainstream video card also for casual gaming. In general, it’s ready for Full HD gaming, although with some heavier games you need to dial down the settings from maximum to high or even medium to attain smooth FPS. This includes GTA 5 (+60FPS at high settings) and The Witcher 3 (+40FPS at high settings). However, there are plenty of games you can play at maxed out in-game settings.

Video Overview

Non-Surprising Collection of Ports

There’s nothing shocking in the ports section; in fact, there rarely is as the pool of all available ports and connections is not that big to begin with. As for USB, two USB 2.0, one USB 3.0 and one USB 3.1 Type-C are at your fingertips. The USB-C port does not seem to support Thunderbolt or charging of the laptop (the regular charging port must be used). There’s a way to connect an external monitor also, with the laptop’s HDMI-output.

The computer is a DVD burner-less one; just like most of the laptops sold in this year are. You can enhance it with an external optical drive, or then just forget the discs and download everything from Internet. Available is an SD card reader, accepting also the higher capacity derivatives of SDHC and SDXC.

There’s RJ-45 LAN port for network cable, and of course also a high-speed 802.11ac wireless adapter for WiFi. As it seems, Bluetooth 4.1 is supported as well.

A Few Noteworthy Things to Finish Up

The VivoBook Pro 17 is shipped with a 3-cell 42Whrs battery. Judging from these specs, I wouldn’t say this notebook has the best battery life available. You are likely to find it running for 5-6 hours maximum, under non-gaming use that is. It looks like the battery is built-in to the model, so to replace it you’ll need to remove the laptop bottom.

The notebook comes with an illuminated chiclet keyboard. The backlight can be turned on and off, although color itself can not be changed.

Pros:
A new processor - This laptop sports Intel's new 8th generation processor that is very fast. Hence, the notebook will feel fast to operate, in general.

Gamers are not forgotten - As GeForce GTX 1050 is the commander of graphics you are free to play games lightweight and heavy on this rig. What is more, most will run flawlessly on 1080p and high in-game details.

Big, beautiful screen - The large 17-inches display offers a good multimedia experience, even moreso when the viewing angles are wide and colors accurately produced.

Cons:
How's battery life? - I wouldn't expect wonders from a 3-cell battery. Exceeding five hours wouldn't happen often with this notebook.

This ASUS VivoBook Pro is a very decent laptop if you realize it’s not an ultrabook as the name might suggest. It’s physically large (although not that heavy) 17-incher that serves as a great multimedia/gaming laptop. Yes, there is plenty of graphics performance on top of “regular” performance, so one can find many use for this unit. The new 8th generation Core i7 processor is especially a keeper when talking about components. I’d say this rig offers rather plenty for your buck, hence I can recommend it at least for those looking for a desktop replacement.

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