The ASUS VivoBook 15 F512JA-AS54 strikes a nice balance between its large display and a portable design, whilst delivering solid all-round performance and great connectivity at a competitive price.
- Nice, portable design
- Solid port selection
- Powerful Core i5 processor
- Thin screen bezels
- Fairly weak audio
- Sub-par battery life
The ASUS VivoBook 15 F512JA-AS54 is a great machine. In fact, it may easily be one of the better VivoBooks we’ve reviewed. While it follows the less-is-more trends that seem to define Ultrabooks but does so pretty well. If you’re after a laptop that’s slimmer, lighter, and capable, then this Asus laptop is a perfect fit.
It’s more than a plain lightweight computer though. The Asus F512JA-AS54 offers a sizable screen, a 15.6-inch display to be specific, that will let you complete your work, tackle some light photo editing, or binge on your favorite thing on Netflix from the comfort of your couch.
In addition to a beautiful screen, it rocks a 10th generation chip that guarantees quality CPU performance, making the VivoBook 15 a fantastic addition in the ultrabook category that holds its own against the pricier competition.
The ASUS VivoBook 15 F512JA gets a refreshed look over its predecessor and it manages to pack a few premium design features that are commonly found in Asus’ high-end laptops. For instance, it now features an ErgoLift hinge that angles the keyboard to offer a comfortable typing experience, something you’d usually find on the pricier Asus ZenBook UX333FA line.
Instead of a dull, black boxy design like most budget 15-inch laptops, the new VivoBook 15 gets a gray, brushed-aluminum lid and a shiny, gray deck with barely noticeable crosshatching. The same flair extends to the keyboard deck, and is further accented by as Chrome ‘Asus’ logo on the lid. It measures 14.2-by-9.1-by-0.7 inches and weighs 3.5 pounds, which is quite standard for a latest-gen 15.6-inch laptop. The ErgoLift feature on a value laptop is something that should excite you when it comes to design and ease of use.
Connectivity is fine since you get most of the ports you’d usually need. Here we are talking of two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card slot, and LED indicators for charging and battery status, all these are on the left side. On the right side, there is a charging port, a USB 3.1 port, a USB Type-C port alongside a headphone/mic combo jack.
Asus has a good reputation for its VivoBook brand, and it’s only going to win more fans here, with a full HD (1920-by-1080) resolution screen. It uses In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel technology to deliver vibrant colors and clear images, something we only see in notebooks that cost more. The full HD screen is a delight to use, both for serious office tasks and for watching movies, with great viewing angles.
In fact, it’s a NanoEdge display that has an 80 percent screen-to-body ratio, giving you more screen estate over the body bezel. Asus claims that this VivoBook uses their in-house Splendid Visual Optimization technology, which, apart from being a marketing gimmick, I don’t see any major improvement that would set it apart from other entry-level IPS panels.
On the Asus F512JA-AS54, the design, and screen should be the main attraction before you look at even performance. Another thing should be its weight. It’s light. Seriously so, but it doesn’t feel flimsy because of the lightweight profile.
The speakers are surprisingly good, managing good maximum volume and a little tone of bass. You can gladly watch YouTube and Netflix with these speakers, they can fill a small room, and music plays well.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The same material used in the body is replicated in the keyboard deck and touchpad. Still, it offers a decent amount of key travel and a comfortable feel, though, the keys themselves aren’t particularly luxe. They do take another point from this laptop’s premium construction, but it’s a design you won’t be seeing in similarly-priced systems.
Despite the laptop’s compact size, the backlit keyboard is big in all the right places, with nicely sized letter and number keys. The Backspace and Enter keys are large enough, the Shift key is the same size as the rest of the keys, which is sometimes hard to hit, but over time you’ll get used to it. For the touchpad, it is fairly good, has a fingerprint scanner, but it doesn’t give you the instant feeling you get from the likes of Dell’s XPS 13 and MacBook Air.
Packed inside of the Asus VivoBook F512JA-AS54 are a 10th Gen (Ice Lake) Intel Core i5-1035G1U processor, 8GB of RAM, an integrated Intel UHD graphics, and 512GB SSD. The Core i5 has four processing cores, and operates between a base frequency of 1.0 GHz and a turbo frequency of 3.9 GHz, with a TDP of 15W. The system feels snappy during usual Windows tasks, including multitasking with multiple apps and browser tabs running.
However, the system’s cooling fan kicks on when you open multiple apps and tabs in the background, especially when streaming videos. Surprisingly, it’s not overly loud and obnoxious, but it’s definitely noticeable. The processor used here is a popular choice among budget laptops and Chromebooks, so we’re not surprised by its level of performance.
The VivoBook F512JA’s specs sheets signal very good performance when it comes to everyday tasks like watching videos, browsing the web, and editing spreadsheets. You can get away with the very basic of games, simply put, online games and other simple titles like Minecraft.
The Asus VivoBook 15 uses an energy-efficient CPU, which adds to good, but not great battery life. The notebook lasts 5 hours 24 minutes, compared to the IdeaPad 530s’ 7 hours 43 minutes, but still behind the Acer Aspire 5 which last 9 hours 27 minutes on a single charge. The mainstream-laptop average of 7:28 is about an hour over the VivoBook 15’s runtime.
The Asus VivoBook 15 model we’ve reviewed strikes a nice balance between its large display and a portable design, whilst delivering solid all-round performance and great connectivity at a competitive price.
The battery here won’t break any records, but it’s still respectable for a laptop with such a big display and powerful i5 processor. Alternatives don’t offer much either, you’re either paying too much for better battery life or if you go cheaper, performance is sacrificed.
All said, the ASUS VivoBook 15 (F512JA-AS54) still provides good value for money for anyone looking for a large-screen, yet portable laptop for college students or home-office use.
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel Core i3-8145U CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Windows 10 in S Mode, F512FA-AB34, Slate Gray
3 used from $378.88