ASUS VivoBook (X510UQ-NH71) Review

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ASUS VivoBook is a new series of ultrabooks, made to appeal to power users and people who, in general, want to enjoy great performance from their notebooks. There are several different models of this VivoBook – some cheaper, some more expensive. However, they all are, thin, light and powerful, even the more affordable X510UQ-NH71 we are taking a look at today. Read on and find out our recommendations and advice on this ultrabook below.

Big Display, Small Frame

The display 15.6″ diagonal often suggests that laptop is rather big. It’s only the notebooks with smaller screen that are compact ultrabooks, right? Not really, new technology has allowed manufacturers to make laptops lighter and lighter. As a result, this 15-inches ASUS VivoBook weighs just 3.75 pounds, something only smaller ultrabooks often are. That is considerably better than many of its competitors as far as weight is concerned.

The display has just 0.3″ bezels so the screen occupies most of the laptop’s top part. Resolution stands at 1920×1080 which is enough for today’s standards. The screen has IPS-like technology with viewing angles of 178 degrees. There’s no touch support on this model, but my guess is most people won’t long for it anyway. Knowing ASUS quality, I would say the screen will be easy on the eyes.

Performance Mostly In Check

It’s the processor section this ASUS has got down, too. They have selected Intel Core i7-7500U to run the system, a dual-core 2.7GHz ultra low voltage chip with 3.5GHz turbo boost ability. Surely, the i7-7500U is not on par with its quad-core and power hungry brothers, but for the modern power user this processor is all you need. It provides solid performance without much heating; an important feature for travelers and others.

The laptop’s storage consists of a 1TB 5400RPM SATA hard drive which is a bummer. I mean, it has a good raw storage space – the terabyte – but with moving parts and 5400RPM spindle speed will be left far behind of solid-state drives when it comes to performance. This kind of drive is not really 2017 anymore; that is why I recommend to upgrade it to SSD if you decide to get this otherwise decent ultrabook. The memory department, luckily, is all good with 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM.

Not all ultrabooks have much graphics performance to speak of, but this VivoBook (X510UQ-NH71) is not one of them. ASUS has it included the dedicated Nvidia 940MX graphics card in it – a budget engine, yes, but still much better than mere integrated graphics. If you don’t mind playing on medium settings and 720p resolution, you are good to run many games of today, including Counter-Strike: Go, Battlefield 4 and GTA 5. Some heavier ones like Fallout 4 would be a stretch and you might need to lower the settings futher.

Video Review

A Few Ports To Enhance This

In the end of 2017, most manufacturers have jumped on the USB-C bandwagon, including ASUS. Thus, the VivoBook has a single USB 3.1 Type-C port at your disposal, which works with many technologies – even the popular video output HDMI with right kind of cable. That being said, the notebook surely has a dedicated HDMI-out at your disposal, as well. In addition, one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 are available too, in case you want to connect many peripherals at the same time.

ASUS has decided to make this laptop wireless only by default. A high-speed 802.11ac WiFi adapter with 2×2 antenna is installed inside. If you want to connect via cable, the Ethernet RJ-45 port, you will need to get a cheap USB dongle for that.

It does not surprise me that there’s no optical drive in the unit; most often in 2017 it’s left out of laptops because folks don’t use DVDs (let alone CDs) anymore. There’s still a microSDXC card reader for memory cards, but yes, it eats only microSD format, not the full-sized SD.

Battery Life Plus Miscellaneous

The VivoBook is equipped with a 3-cell 42Whrs battery, and as far as I know it’s integrated – so replacing it will take considerable effort. The actual battery life won’t be super; I have read comments about 5-6 hours under lightweight use. This is not nearly as good as many ultrabooks’ 8+ hours, although those laptops are often pricier. If this ASUS had a better battery, it would be the perfect choice for traveling as its so lightweight.

The notebook has no illuminated keyboard, something you most often see already in this price category.

Powerful for the money - It has Intel Core i7 which, alone, puts this notebook to the high-end performance category. You won't be struggling with lag and stutter even if you threw some more complex programs at this rig, such as virtual machine.

Runs games, too - Nvidia 940 MX is the engine for visuals. It's a good deal for the budget gamers who can do with less resolution and in-game settings.

The lightest - Now, this is a 15.6 inches laptop, but it weighs only 3.75 pounds. You get the best of the both worlds: larger, comfortable display, yet portable system.

Battery life - I don't expect the 3-cell battery to last too long. Unlike on many other ultrabooks, you won't get a full-day battery life here, five-six hours is your best best.

No SSD - The storage is brought by a conventional, moving parts hard drive. Thus, the performance of SSD can only be acquired if you install one yourself.

By the looks of it, ASUS VivoBook (X510UQ-NH71) seems to be one of the better budget ultrabooks of 2017, and possibly, even 2018. The processor performance is second to none, RAM is appropriate, and there’s even a dedicated (if entry-level) graphics card to satisfy the gamers. There’s at least one questionable thing, the battery life, which is worse than on many more expensive ultrabooks. Also the exclusion of SSD could be seen as a negative; often, it’s indeed a solid-state drive that you get as the storage for ultrabooks. I guess you can not get everything for cheap; and yes, for the price this VivoBook will be a good deal for power users and perhaps travelers too.

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