Asus Vivobok : OWNER REVIEW
by Adan Ramirez Quintero
July 21, 2019
I am Adan Ramirez, I am a computer science student, it should be no surprise that a laptop is a key component of my everyday life, we use it to code and do whatever other tasks we may need to do, reports, documentation, graphing equations and so on. A while back my old laptop just bricked, I heard a crack from it and it was gone, just gone, I tried to fix it for a while but no luck, lost too much time on it and I was fed up, so I decided to purchase a new laptop so I could easily work on projects or homework if I wasn’t at home. And so I looked around for a laptop which I could afford with whatever savings I had, and so I checked online for a laptop looking mainly for the right price, I found one that was just the price I had in mind, and the specs were not too bad, so I decided to get myself an ASUS Vivobook A505BA-BR432T.
Just after breaking it out of the Amazon delivery box and opening the nice packaging I noticed that this is a very good looking laptop the front has a nice texture on it, sort of like diagonals that go across the part back of the screen, and of course the big Asus logo in chromed letters in the center of it, upon opening it I encountered a nice keyboard that looks well in contrast to the clear material surrounding it, but I was a bit disappointed it didn’t have a numeric pad, but it is expected due to the following aspects.
The screen is also a plus here, the side edges of the screen are thin, thinner than most laptops, one centimeter tops, which helps reduce its size, and weight, compared to my other laptop that also had a 15-inch screen, this laptop is about 3 centimeters shorter, and about 200 grams (7.05 oz) lighter, which may not seem like much, but every little weight off a bag you carry as much as I do is a lifesaver, walking a literal mile with 200 grams less feels like a world of difference.
And the portability is one of the best aspects of this laptop, the charger is also very compact, but unwieldy, a square of about 5 centimeters per side and about two centimeters thick with the connection sticking out is very easy to carry around, but not practical for connecting it in some places.
As I mentioned before, this computer I use mainly for coding simple programs in python, java, and other c based languages, and it really does this decently enough, nothing great but also nothing remarkably bad.
The battery life is just about what is expected from most laptops, getting 3 to 4 hours of use depending on what you are doing while the battery is in use, as far as more resource-intensive usage goes, I have seen it drain a bit more quickly than most, but always between the 3 to 4 hours of usage.
RAM and storage
I would be lying if I didn’t mention that I was a bit let down by the lacking Ram on this device, but it is a bit expected they had to cut a few corners to get this pricepoint, but 4 GB is the bare minimum for any PC, portable or not in my opinion, so you might want to look into upgrading the RAM as soon as possible. This is unlike the hard drive which is a very welcome terabyte, Most laptops at this price point did cut to something around 500GB, but the hard drive was what made me really consider it in the first place.
I was never expecting anything great in the way of processing power, especially so for graphics, while I do like my gaming on pc, I much prefer to have it on a desktop which I can customize and update to my preferences and budget, But I sometimes break a game or two into my laptop, and I wanted to see what I could run on the laptop, so after a bit of experimenting I came to the conclusion that any sort of 3d gaming is mostly out of the question i you like your games to run over 30 FPS, but I don’t really mind that if it keeps me from being distracted by the games I can install on my working laptop, I still yet to code something other than simple java applications on it, but everything I have coded so far runs just fine on it.
Display and audio
As i mentioned before the screen is a great plus, not only because it is pleasing to look at while it is off it has an anti-glare finish keeping it from reflecting light if you are outdoors, and on a campus which is mostly outdoors like the one I am in all day, this will save you from trying to find a place dark enough to work or do whatever you need, but over time as I carry it in a bag I have noticed that the edges of the trackpad left a pressure mark on the center of the screen, like most laptops eventually get, but these not only formed quicker but they also are more noticeable than the ones I have had in other laptops.
While this has only happened a few times I still want to mention that I have encountered that the audio completely stop working, not even after updates, and I haven’t found out why this happens or how to stop it but after tinkering with drivers and audio devices for hours, the only thing that seems to reliably stop this issue (not permanently mind you) is to reinstall the audio devices.
The performance of this laptop is just what is to be expected at this price point (it set me back $473.33 USD), you could get better as far as specs go but this is not too bad either, and the increased portability is expected to set back the specs at least a bit, if you need something to use when you have no access to your desktop which is what you use to do heavy lifting, this lightweight and compact laptop is not too bad of a choice, if you are on a budget and need a laptop quick to do light work on a lightweight computer this is a serviceable choice for that niche which I just happen to fall into
Overall while I do endorse this laptop personally the specs and performance leave much to be desired the final grade for this laptop is a 7/10.