Asus has got the thin-bezel game right. From premium gaming notebooks to budget offerings, thin bezel is now common in all devices. The VivoBook 15 X505ZA is no exception. Asus claims that the entry-level notebook has an 81% screen-to-body ratio and 7.7mm thin bezels that frame a Full HD (1920x1080) IPS display. The side bezels are thin and the top and bottom panels are average sized. The screen is good for daily office work or watching movies.
However, the laptop’s colour output is average. The screen covers 55% of sRGB scale and has a limited colour range. The viewing angles are comfortable but not for wide viewing. The contrast ratio is high and maximum brightness is not bad, so spending long hours on the screen won't be a problem.
The construction is worthwhile considering the laptop’s price. An aluminum-brushed finish on the lid gives a very sleek and corporate feel. However, the screen bents noticeably in the centre between the hinges and the area around the keyboard and the palm rest are made of hard plastic that imitate the metal fairly well. The plastic flexes a bit, but there's nothing to be worried about as the overall hard build will survive minor falls. The laptop is fairly thin (measuring 18.9 mm x 361.4mm x 243.5mm) and weighs only 1.60 kg, which is great as far as a 15.6 inch laptop is concerned.
The keyboards lack a numerical pad which is uncommon for a 15.6-inch notebook. The keys are unnecessarily big and surprisingly there are only two indicators on the right side. The placement of the indicators create a lot of confusion and you may need some time to get used to. The keyboard is not backlit and the overall typing experience is nothing special. The touchpad is accurate and responsive and supports all the Windows 10 gestures.
The ASUS VivoBook X505ZA has good sound quality with clear low, mid, and high tones. However, the 42WH 3-cell battery is not big enough for the 15.6 inch screen. One can get around 3 hours of battery life in full brightness mode. The cooling system on the other hand is surprisingly great for a thin 18.9 mm laptop. The laptop stays lukewarm even after an hour of continuous video editing.
The laptop has a good selection of ports considering the price point. All the essential ports are evenly spread between both the sides and the additional Type-C port is something most of the competitors in this price range dont have.
In terms of CPU, the VivoBook 15 is an AMD Ryzen-based notebook. There are four different versions based on different CPUs, starting from the entry-level Ryzen 3 2200U to the Ryzen 7 2700U. All these chips corresponds to Intel’s Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550U and performance is not bad for day-to-day work and can also handle casual gaming without much hiccups.
A 4GB of DDR4 RAM is present that reads only SATA drives which isn’t a surprise for the price. One can extend it to 16GB of RAM which is adviced going forward in order to experience hassle-free performance. Unfortunately, there's no room for a dedicated GPU, thus one has rely on the dedicated Vega graphics engines that come with the AMD processors. These integrated graphics card has 512 mb of dedicated memory and are way better than the Intel UHD Graphics 620 available in majority of the laptops at this price range. However, the VivoBook 15 is absolutely not made for gaming and one can possibly enjoy a few games at their lowest settings with a 720p resolution but one should not expect more at this price point.
The ASUS VivoBook X505ZA is a butter-smooth laptop and at a starting price of just Rs 30,990 you can’t ask for much. Ryzen 7 2700U present in the review model was enough for day-to-day performances and the prossecors by AMD will surely provide plenty of performance for most of the users looking for a budget laptop.
The relatively thin screen bezels, weight of the notebook and addition of a USB Type-C port at this price point are the highlights of the VivoBook 15. The cooling system also handles stress better than a lot of competitors. While the build quality is a bit questionable, overall it makes for a great option if someone is in the lookout for an entry-level laptop that looks premium and handles everyday chores with ease.