Another month and another new laptop to check from ASUS – Vivobook 15 (X1502). This time, though, it is on the budget and more mainstream - no gaming and no premium design or OLEDs in place. This laptop starts at Rs 45,000, and comes in two colours – Quiet Blue (which I tried) and Icelight Silver. Let’s take a look at what works and what doesn’t for this budget Windows 11 notebook.
The Vivobook 15 comes equipped with a 42WHr battery unit (3-cell) and a 65 W charger in the box. The battery lasted around 6 hours on a continuous stretch – with brightness set at about 50 per cent, WiFi always on, mail sync on and two browsers running. The laptop almost never heated up with these apps opened.
It sports a 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) full HD LED display that is quite bright and not very reflective, too. It manages 1080p videos output just fine; don’t expect punchy colours like a high-end OLED display, but with the given price tag, the display holds its ground.
The trackpad is of average size and works decent in tracking gestures and clicks, but it carries a physical fingerprint scanner on its top right – the fingerprint scanner is undoubtedly one of the better parts about this device. It is quick enough to unlock and rarely failed to recognise the correct finger/thumb as well.
The device boasts of 12th Gen i3 (Alder Lake) chip Intel UHD Graphics with 8 GB RAM. For day-to-day tasks, the laptop does not show a lot of struggles. With Microsoft Excel, Firefox, Edge and Air Explorer open, there was no slowdown and hardly any stuttering when switching between apps while playing a video in the background. Don’t expect to play a game like Fortnite at high settings, but for basic tasks like mentioned here, you won’t be disappointed.
There’s a 720p HD webcam on the top of the display, which does a strictly okay job for video calls, but interestingly there’s a physical switch to turn the camera on or off (in addition to the F10 key to control the webcam) for enhanced privacy.
Though an ethernet port and a microSD card slot would have made the package a bit better connectivity-wise, the notebook has a USB 2.0 port (on the left side), 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type C port, an HDMI 1.4 port and a 3.5mm audio jack (on the right side). Not the latest specifications, but most of the required ports are still there.
What does not quite click:
The laptop has aluminium chassis that feels okay at first but flexes at several points such as the laptop’s lid and the palm rest area. I wasn’t expecting its build quality to be from the absolute top drawer, but you would expect an experienced campaigner like ASUS to not have such low-quality build.
The chicklet keyboard feels okay to type on but the keys, again, don’t give great feedback or look to have very nice build quality, similar to the previous point. They aren’t so bad to type with, once you get the hang of it, but you would continue to notice how the keys make clanky sounds.
The ASUS Vivobook 15 is a bit of a mixed package, it covers battery and basic performance well, but comes up short on the build quality and typing experience. This price segment is especially quite competitive and crowded with options from the likes of HP, Dell, and Lenovo. The laptop could
find it hard to stand out and perform better on any front, compared to a lot of other laptops available from these brands.