asus vivobook pro 15 oled review

Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED review (M3500QA)

A few months ago we were impressed with the 16-inch Asus Vivobook 16X OLED Creator laptop. It was most notable for having some funky design flourishes and sumptuous OLED screen. Now here’s the (marginally) smaller, 15.6-inch Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED laptop which offers less power and a (much) lower price but keeps the OLED screen. Is it any good?

Key specs of the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED

15.6-inch, glossy, 60Hz, 1920 x 1080 OLED display; 3.2-4.4GHz AMD Ryzen 9 5800H CPU; 8GB RAM; 512GB HDD; Integrated Radeon graphics; 63Wh battery; 1.64KG. Dimensions: 36 x 23.5 x 1.9cm.  SKU: M3500QA-L1164W, Full specs here.

Design and Handling

The dark “Quiet Blue” styling of the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED’s metal lid and chassis might not be the most exciting but the sharp lines mean it looks smart. The raised, silver-lettered label (and logo) look novel on the one hand, but is arguably a bit cheap on the other. Note that it’s quite a fingerprint magnet.

The 15.6-inch OLED screen announces its presence before Windows has even finished booting thanks to the bright, Vivobook logo’s appearance on the jet-black screen. The Windows Desktop looks sharp with the Full HD resolution and colours and contrast are excellent. Designers will like that it supports 100 per cent of the demanding, DCI-P3 colour gamut and the fact it’s Pantone Validated. Pixel response time is fast but it only has a 60Hz refresh rate, which isn’t great for fast-and-frantic gaming… not that this is in any way a gaming laptop. Static and moving images look amazing on it though.

asus vivobook pro 15 oled front view
Contrast is rarely good on a laptop screen but with the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED, it’s superb.

Above the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED’s screen is an impressive, HD webcam with a hardware privacy slide. Below it, the white-back-lit keyboard, with its low-travel, Scrabble-tile keys is very comfortable to type upon and we’re pleased to see the full-sized number pad on the right. We don’t like the squished arrow keys though. The Enter key retains the striped, industrial-inspired flourish but the bright, orange escape key (from the 16-inch model) is gone.

asus vivobook pro 15 oled keyboard
It’s great to type on the Vivobook, but we’re not fans of the squished arrow keys.

The large, smooth trackpad is accurate and its buttons are comfortable to click with.

So far, the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED appears to be an impressive laptop to interact with… but, then we used the speakers. While there’s reasonable fidelity at the mid-range and the top-end, there’s virtually no bass response and they are way too quiet.

Performance

The processor is an octa-core (with 16 threads), 3.2-4.4GHz AMD Ryzen 9 5800H. It’s flanked by a diminutive 8GB RAM and a rather-small 512GB hard drive. These combined to score a respectable 6317 in the general, PCMark 10 test which is above average in the current laptop market. In the Cinebench, processor-intensive rendering tests the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED scored 1933 in the R15 drag-race and 11,180 in the longer R23 test. These are also above average.

There’s no separate, discreet GPU so graphics are handled by the integrated Radeon unit. Unsurprisingly, it’s not great for gaming, scoring just 1373 in 3DMark Time Spy which is an average of 7.5FPS. In Fire Strike Extreme it scored 1531 (average 7.1fps) and it couldn’t run the challenging Port Royal ray-tracing test. However, it did score 15,090 in the simple Night Raid test. This represents an average of 78.5fps so it will manage to play basic, casual and competitive games.

Connectivity

On the left.
On the left are two, old-school USB-A 2.0 ports.
On the right.
On the right is a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, HDMI 1.4, MicroSD card reader and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Inside the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED there’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. Ultimately, while it’s a bit last-last gen in places, the important connection ports are there.

Portability

At 1.64KG and with a sub 20mm (1.9cm) thickness, the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED is relatively thin and light for a 15.6-inch laptop. The chassis and screen are also very robust and should easily survive life on the road. It ran PCMark 10’s Modern Office battery test for a very impressive 14 hours. It’s a highly portable laptop!

The underside.
The power brick and cables only add another 350g to the weight.

Should I buy the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED?

It’s not exactly a high-performance laptop but it is generally a joy to use thanks to the ergonomics and OLED screen. Only the speakers let the side down in our efforts to call it a great, multimedia device. Still, at just $1,398, it’s relatively affordable and will suit those who want an OLED-based (Creator-designated) laptop without breaking the bank.

Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED results
  • 2D Performance
  • 3D Performance
  • Ergonomics
  • Stability
  • Portability
  • Value
3.7

Summary

The well-priced Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED is a joy to use thanks to the ergonomics and OLED screen. But, the speakers let the side down.

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