The Windows PC market is full of new kinds of machines like 2-in-1 convertibles, tablets and ultrathin machines, also, there are still plenty of full-size, traditional notebooks to choose from. They come in at different price points, from sub-$500 budget laptops, to premium machines costing over $2,000. In our Asus VivoBook F510UA review, we are looking at a reasonably price machine that offers mid-high-end components.
Our review unit – Asus VivoBook F510UA-AH55, is equipped with an eight-generation Intel Core i5-8250U quad-processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD storage combo. Asus has priced that configuration at $549.99 at Amazon , which is a solid price for a 15,.6-inch machine with an SSD storage option.
Did Asus finally release a good performance machine, at a reasonable price, without compromises?
The VivoBook F510UA-AH55’s design is something of a throwback. It’s a full-size notebook with a large 15.6 Full HD display, and its large bezels point to a larger chassis than you’d find in the current crop of ultrabooks costing over $1,000. In fact, if you’re coming from an ultraportable with more minimal bezels, it feels downright chunky. Compared to the Dell XPS 15, the VivoBook AH55 is over an inch thicker, half an inch deeper, and thicker, at 0.8 inches against 0.66 inches.
Even with the large dimensions, the Asus Vivobook F510UA weight maxes at only 3.7 pounds. That’s due to the materials used in its construction, a plastic enclosure that’s thin and fairly rigid. The textured lid feels premium, with a lenticular lens – that corrugated surface upon which images change depending on the angle you view it.
Those materials combine with a solid build to make a machine that feels robust, and doesn’t suffer from any notable creaking or flexing. There’s only one exception, though. The keyboard deck gives with a bit of slight pressure during heavy typing sessions. The screen is firmly held in place by a single hinge, that is a bit too tight and requires two hands to open.
The larger chassis has one big advantage. Connectivity. There are enough I/O ports and Asus makes good use of the bulk space. The Asus F510UA features both USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports, meaning you can connect any USB device without needing to a dongle first.
On the left edge, there are two USB Type A 3.0 ports and an SD card slot. On the right side, there is a USB Type-A 3.0 port and a USB-C port. Others include an HDMI port, a headphone/mic combo, and a power connector.
The Asus VivoBook F510UA specs are highlighted by a 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display that’s quite sharp enough for most people, and we didn’t expect more than FHD at this price. If you look closely, you’ll realize that fine details are a bit jagged, like fonts. That’s not a major problem, though, and most users may not see the problem.
Asus manages to forego a glossy screen coating –mostly found on touchscreens – in favor of a matte finish that cures screen glares and reflections.
The display’s viewing angles are not very wide, however, making this a large-screen laptop that’s best used solo and no sharing a screen where a friend or colleague will be using it from an angle that’s not straight on.
Audio is okay, only that it doesn’t excel well in the bass department. Still, it easily fills a small room, making it a good candidate for YouTube videos and video conferencing.
The Asus F510UA has a keyboard that’s is now recessed into the keyboard deck, a move from the common notebooks, and provides plenty of spacing between individual keys. In fact, it yields to much space. Even with plenty of space on the keyboard deck, the 10-key numeric keypad is squeezed on the right-hand side. All the important Function keys are in their rightful places, though, with small arrow keys that are mixed on the lower row of the keypad.
The keyboard feels comfortable. Key travel is shallow with keystrokes bottoming out, but the experience is crisp with nice feedback. The touchpad is on the small side, if you consider the size of the keyboard deck. Even so, the touch surface is smooth, with just a hint of helpful friction. Being a Microsoft Precision Touchpad, all the usual Windows 10 gestures are expected to work.
The Asus VivoBook F510UA specs include an eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U, a quad-core CPU that’s become quite common in machines meant for just basic tasks. This processor choice promises strong daily productivity performance for tasks like MS Office suites, spreadsheets and anything else that doesn’t require extra cores. This unit performs in line with other machines equipped with the same processor, including the Acer Aspire E15 and the VivoBook S510UA-DS51.
While Asus picked robust components in its CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GD SSD and an additional 1TB storage, the company scaled back a bit on its choice of GPU. It uses an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics card, which only suffices for casual gaming. All competing systems but the Acer Aspire E 15 on the same integrated solution and fail to score on modern games. The Aspire E 15 on the other hand uses a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card that can pull acceptable frame rates on modern games.
The Asus VivoBook F510UA battery life is about one aspect that doesn’t live up to the hype and great aesthetic in this system. While it doesn’t struggle to be thin, light or tiny, its small 47 watt-hour battery struggles to last a full day. Not very good for a portable laptop designed for college.
It only lasts about 6 hours 53 minutes, against competitors in the same price range that run for hours and hours on a single charge. If you’re planning to keep it tethered to a wall as a desktop replacement, it’s an excellent choice. After all, that’s something you might consider doing with a 15.6-inch panel.
The Asus VivoBook F510UA-AH55 offers powerful components including a fast CPU, enough ports, tons of storage including an SSD and quick RAM. It can power through about any productivity task that you’ll throw at it. However, even with the exciting feature set, its battery life is dismal. That makes the VivoBook a less appealing option in today’s world of thin, portable laptops that last all-day on a single charge.
Is there a better alternative?
Earlier in this Asus VivoBook F510UA review, we mentioned that there is a variety of 15-inch notebooks ranging ion price from $300 to over $2000. There are fewer, though, that offer the sweet combination of Core i5-8250U CPU and solid-state-drive storage option.
One alternative is the Acer Aspire E 15, a well-built machine, that uses the same aesthetic footprint to fix a full 15.6-inch display into a 1.1-inch thick chassis. As configured, it features an 8th-Gen., Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card for gaming. It also comes with a much bigger battery that will keep you away from A/C power, and in our school of thought, you’re off paying up the extra dollars rather than compromising quite so much.
Another option is the Asus S510UA-DS71, that fuses an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB + 1TB HDD and a host of ports. It comes with an aluminum chassis, something you only find in premium notebooks.
Should you buy it?
For as long as you can do with the short battery life – YES. If battery life is what maters most to you, you can easily grab one of the notebooks recommended above. That aside, the Asus VivoBook F510UA is a well-rounded, nice-looking budget laptop for work, college and even home entertainment.
The Asus VivoBook F510UA-AH55 offers powerful components including a fast CPU, enough ports, tons of storage including an SSD and quick RAM. It can power through about any productivity task that you’ll throw at it.
- Reasonable, low price
- Slick design
- Includes SSD storage
- String overall performance
- Short battery life
- Non-backlit keyboard