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ASUS VivoBook S510U Review - A GOOD laptop for the price!

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The ASUS VivoBook S510U is marketed to be the one who redefines laptops for the mainstream users with an Intel i7 built-in and a ton of add-ons for PHP 39,995!
ASUS VivoBook S510U Review - A GOOD laptop for the price!
ASUS VivoBook S510U review

This is the our full review of the VivoBook S510U which aims to be an affordable i7 machine!

ASUS VivoBook S510U Specs

Display: 15.6-inch Full HD LED 1920 x 1080 resolution with Matte non-reflective surface at 141 ppi 
CPU: Intel Core i7-7500U quad-core processor
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 940MX
RAM: Up 16GB RAM
ROM: Up to 512GB SSD + 2TB HDD 
Webcam: VGA
Battery: 42WHr LiPo
OS: Windows 10 Home or Pro
Connectivity: 2x2 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, 1 x USB3.1 Gen1 Type-C, 1 x USB3.1, 2 x USB2.0, 1 x Audio combo jack, 1 x HDMI 1.4 1x Card Reader (SD/SDHC/ SDXC/MMC) Push-Push type
Others: Fingerprint sensor, Dual speakers stereo audio with surround-sound effects, built-in microphone
Dimensions: 361.4 x 243.5 x 17.9 mm
Weight: 1,500 g
Price: Starts at PHP 44,995

Disclaimer: This unit has been loaned by ASUS for an honest and fair review.

Unboxing / Accessories

What's in the box!?
What's in the box?

The ASUS VivoBook S510U arrived with a painted cardboard box with the regular inclusions inside. It has the standard 20V ASUS AC adapter, the laptop itself, and documentation.

Build Quality / Design

Hinge mechanism
Hinge mechanism

The ASUS VivoBook S510U's build is a mixed bag with only the top part with the monitor has an aluminum shell while the rest is made of polycarbonate chassis. The aluminum shell added that premium feel to it which further accentuates the polycarbonates lesser appeal. It isn't that bad but it was obvious because of the aluminum part.
Front part
Front part

The plastic chassis however is light and it feels sturdy with some heft to it. The weight on the other hand is a good thing. It feels just right for a laptop of this size. It's dimensions are 361.4 x 243.5 x 17.9mm because of the nanoedge display which basically means the bezels are small. This is why they can fit a 15.6-inch display in 14-inch laptop body.
Headphone jack, HDMI port, USB Type-A
Headphone jack, HDMI port, USB Type-A
USB Type-A, SD card slot
USB Type-A, SD card slot

The backlit keyboard. It is the standard layout without a numpad. The size of the keys are decent, the keys are soft and quiet to press, and the backlighting is very subtle, only visible in dark places.
Keyboard is backlit!
Keyboard is backlit!

Below the keyboard is the trackpad and fingerprint sensor combo. We would have preferred the fingerprint sensor to have been separate as it does not act like the trackpad. This is only an issue when trying to move the mouse cursor to the top right of the screen. Other than that, the trackpad uses Windows drivers and supports various multi-finger gestures like switching between windows and zoom.

The fingerprint scanner work well with Windows hello for fast and secure logins.

Underneath the keyboard are the speakers and philips screws that protect the inside.

Between the top and bottom of the laptop is one hinge that hides heat vents.

The laptop has a variety of ports. On the right side we have, a combo headphone jack, a USB-C (non-thunderbolt), an HDMI port, a USB 3.1, and the DC input.

On the right side we have 2x USB 2.0 ports and a full SD card reader. We would have preferred USB 3.0 rather than USB 2.0 for future-proofing but it will do for most setups.

Display Quality

NanoEdge!
NanoEdge!

The screen is 1080p 15.6-inch LED. Due to ASUS' NanoEdge display, the side bezels are narrow, making the laptop feel bigger on the inside. It gives an immersive viewing Narrow bezels are already standard features for ultrabooks, but Asus here brought it to a laptop that is more affordable.

1080p NanoEdge display!

The LED backlighting gives it those satisfying deep blacks with decent color and pop to them. The matte display does a good job in softening reflections on the screen.

Overall, the display is good and performs well especially at its native resolution of 1080p. This display isn't for color accurate work though. An external monitor for creative professionals is still the ideal bet. But if you do, we highly recommend calibrating it with an external calibrator to be sure.

Battery

We have to disclose the fact that our unit has been lent to other reviewers before and this might have affected the battery. The Asus Vivobook S510U's 42 watt hour battery scored only 3h 16min on the PCMark 8 Conventional Work Battery test (Non-GPU). In our tests, the battery lasted 6h 30 min, a respectable but it is not outstanding number. 

Our unit may have had problems with the battery as this was rated at 8 hours and usually, ASUS's laptop are near accurate with their battery rating. 

Audio Quality

The 2-watt speakers are best described as above average.  It does great really loud for a budget laptop at this price range. It is good enough for the standard user but it is not for audiophiles or for people who work professionally for audio creative work.

The VivoBook S has a combo headphone jack that you can use to listen with your favorite earphones and headphones.

The laptop's microphone is decent. It is good enough for the usual familial Skype calls. We wouldn't use it for audio production work like voice over. We never had complaints from our callers at the other end. It also records quite a bit of the ambient noise so it would be best to record in quiet rooms.

Camera

VGA webcam sample
VGA webcam sample

There is not much to say when it comes to the camera. It is VGA so do not expect it to take footage for content creation. The image quality for a VGA camera is good where the resolution, color and contrast are passable for Skype calls.

Performance

Good!
Good scores!

Performance is where this laptop this laptop can shine especially in productivity for its price. It won't impress power users but it is more than enough for most people.
Firestrike scores
Firestrike scores
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15

The read speeds of the drives are fast while the write speeds could be better. Most people wouldn't notice this unless they were using read and write intensive tasks like video editing.
Decent read speeds but the writes speeds could be improved
Decent read speeds but the writes speeds could be improved

However, the most surprising part is its gaming capabilities. The review unit that we have is housing an Intel Core i7-8550U CPU that runs at 1.8GHz to 1.99GHz, 16GB of RAM, and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB of memory.


Nice specs for the price!

The VivoBook S510U thus have a discrete GTX 940MX but it is not a gaming laptop. It doesn’t have great cooling, and any 3D game will heat up the laptop to 85C. This more appropriate for GPU accelerated workloads.
CS:GO played very well with an average of 54.0 fps at high settings at 1080p
CS:GO played very well with an average of 54.0 fps at high settings at 1080p
Overwatch averaged 64 fps on the low preset at 1080p
Overwatch averaged 64 fps on the low preset at 1080p
PUBG is not playable with an averaged 24.2 fps at very low preset at 1080p
PUBG is not playable with an averaged 24.2 fps at very low preset at 1080p

Overall, the performance is good with the only concern is the battery tests. 

Lastly, we put it through the dreaded Google Chrome multiple tab test and it is safe to say that we had 10 tabs open and we have yet to experience slow downs or stuttering.

Pros - Decent productivity performance, A lot of ports, display and audio quality is decent, speakers can get loud, priced competitively, lightweight, 15.6-inch display in 14-inch chassis
Cons - Not for power users, gamers or creative professionals, upgradability is limited, battery life is vague

Verdict

The ASUS S510U is a good laptop for the price! It is not for gaming, power users or for creative professionals and it doesn't need to be at the price.

It has a wide selection of ports and interface with decent audio and display quality, good productivity performance and lightweight design with a 15.6-inch display makes this a good buy for anyone.

If there really isn't a problem with the battery hardware and if our Battery benchmarks were accurate, the battery is where it needs the most improvements as most laptops in class can last for more than 7 hours.

Good job ASUS!

Build / Design - 4
Display - 4.25
Audio - 4.25
Battery - 3
Camera - 3.5
Performance - 4
Average -  3.84 / 5
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