ASUS K570UD-DS74 Review
The Asus VivoBook K570UD-DS74 is a Full HD gaming rock star that fits in more as a productivity machine for work and college, with an amazing screen, a signature 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia’s GTX 1050 graphics card.
- Slim, sleek aesthetic
- Lots of storage
- Useful port options
- Middling battery life
- Maxes out at GTX 1050
In the world of gaming laptops, we’ve seen competitors like the Razer Blade and ROG Zephyrus S go head-to-head in trying to create the thinnest, yet so powerful, gaming machines. The ASUS K570UD-DS74 is part of the growing crop of svelte gaming ultrabooks that are thin and light enough for travel. With the release of Nvidia’s Turing graphic cards and Intel’s 9th Generation (Coffee Lake) processors, the year 2019 is off to an exciting start for gamers and professional creatives. Going forward, you won’t compromise in power to get a portable gaming machine.
Those days are behind us now, especially with arrival of gaming systems like the Asus VivoBook K570UD-DS74. While it doesn’t fit in the same basket with the current crop of ultra-light gaming laptops like the MSI GS65 Stealth, it manages to find a balance between power and portability. With its 0.9-inch frame, this 15.6-inch laptop comes loaded with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 GPU and 2GB of VRAM – a graphics card that can be used for gaming and professional productivity tasks including media creation.
Beyond its raw components, though, the VivoBook K570UD-DS74 delivers on most fronts with a nice screen, useful port options and premium aesthetics – at a reasonable price.
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The black finish on the VivoBook K570UD is easily recognizable and hard to miss thanks to a lightning blue slide on the tip of the lid, embossed logo, and around the touchpad. With a 15.6-inch display, the overall footprint of the Asus K570UD-DS74 isn’t on the large side. Measuring 0.9 x 10.1 x 14.7 inches and with a plastic housing, this notebook dances the line of tradeoffs for portability over durability, weighing only 4.3 pounds.
With the nifty-looking angles on the lid and a slim design, this laptop’s looks are much more thoughtful than the typical VivoBook square shape. With the entry of thin-and-light gaming laptops like the Asus ROG Zephyrus S, the VivoBook is on the cusp of being too large for easy portability. However, if you put it side by side with its competitors Acer Predator Helios (5.51 pounds) and MSI GV62 8RD-034 (4.8 pounds), you’ll be surprised to realize that it’s the lightest of them all.
Display and Ports
The display itself is good quality, a full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) IPS panel with an antiglare finish. Having an antiglare coating as an additional feature is good, as it successfully cuts down reflections, even in the absence of eye-catching gloss of some displays. The screen’s picture quality is sharp and very bright. The screen gets 45% NTSC color gamut and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Given the GTX 1050 graphics chip, anything more than 1080p resolution would not make sense for gaming, since the GPU wouldn’t be able to push smooth frame rates at, say, QHD. Unlike the Predator Helios 300, the VivoBook K570UD-DS74 does not have a high-refresh-rate display, sticking to the standard 60Hz.
Connectivity is excellent. Plenty of I/O ports come packed around the system’s periphery, including one USB Type-C (Gen 1), one USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, an audio jack, and an Ethernet jack. Your video-out basics are covered there, and the USB-C connection is a nice inclusion. The laptop also includes dual-band wireless and Bluetooth 4.0.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The K570UD’s illuminated keyboard is comfortable to type on, although it does have short key travel and the individual keys are a bit shallow. That’s a concern for pro-typers, the rest of us will find the keyboard just fine and can get going after an hour’s practice. For excel and spreadsheet jockeys, there is a tiny number pad on the left, it will get the job done but the size leaves a lot to be desired.
For the touchpad, it feels responsive enough although it looks a tad undersized for the expansive palm rest. Like the keys, the touchpad gets soft clicks when pressed. Embedded near the top-right corner of the touchpad is a fingerprint sensor that supports Windows Hello and can be used to unlock the laptop.
With Nvidia’s GTX 1050 and an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U processor powering it, the VivoBook K570UD-DS74 is built to be more than a gaming laptop. This laptop is capable of handling both work and play. And, by work, we naturally mean spreadsheet creation, occasional video editing and college tasks. In real-world use, the Coffee Lake processor handles anything you throw at it with ease ranging from spreadsheets, MS Office tasks and image editing (though not at Pro-levels where you might a high-res screen).
Matched with 8GB of memory, a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) and 1TB hard drive storage, this VivoBook gets spirited performance with snappy system startup and app launches and lag-free multitasking. If your computing needs involve spreadsheets, the inclusion of a number pad (though small) makes this iteration of the VivoBook even more appealing. That notwithstanding, the K570UD has the muscle to complete MS Office tasks faster than most mainstream notebooks in the same category.
The system is muscular enough to play modern PC games smoothly. It won’t give you the butter-smooth frame rates you’d get from high-end systems like the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501, but it still delivers playable frame rates on Full HD resolutions –Resident Evil 7 (53FPS); GTA V (62 FPS) and Need for Speed (59 FPS).
If you intend to run games in 4K on an external display, the GPU might disappoint. It isn’t cut for such a requirement, you’ll have to look at a notebook with a GTX 1060, like the Predator Helios 300, or even better, a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080.
So, if you need something for both work and play without sacrificing anything much, stick with the VivoBook Pro. Storage comes in way of a 256GB SSD and 1TB hard drive, which is fine for fast boot times and big enough for several games and other documents.
While Intel’s 8th Gen processors attempt to remain energy-efficient, the added performance of the GTX 1050 GPU takes a hit on battery life. With a total of 4 hours 7 minutes on movie tests, that’s just enough to get you through a movie over a short flight, but don’t expect it to last an entire cross-country flight. This isn’t surprising, though, competitors like the XPS 15 last around five hours –give or take.
It’s rare for us to be thoroughly impressed with a gaming laptop, especially when you have systems dropping into the market each week with killer speeds and premium aesthetics. And, in the case of the Asus VivoBook K570UD-DS74 we like it more as a productivity machine thanks to nimble styling, meaning, it could fit in at a meeting or at the office, but again you can use it for gaming when you wish to. Aside from the knock against battery life, there isn’t much wrong with the VivoBook K570UD-DS74.
In fact, almost everything else about this Asus K570UD-DS74 is stellar, from a premium design, crisp keyboard and clear speakers to its incredible screen for an unrivaled Full HD gaming experience. It is one of the best entry level all-around gaming laptops we’ve reviewed, and easily recommend it for anyone in the market for a mobile PC system for both productivity and gaming.