Taiwanese electronic giant ASUS has been a dominant name in the PC industry for as long as I can remember. While I’m biased towards the company’s ROG line of gaming laptops, ASUS has an extensive portfolio of affordable, regular-use options as well. The VivoBook 17 is one such product, and for the specs it has on offer, the pricing seems quite competitive at Rs 62,990. AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs has been making all the right noises and it finds its way inside the VivoBook 17. Let’s find out in this review how well the AMD-powered ASUS machine stacks up against the competition.
Build, Design and Display
The VivoBook 17 offers a standard plastic unibody design in a rather heavy chassis, reducing the portability factor by a notch. Compared to the LG Gram that also comes with a 17-inch display, the VivoBook 17 is a considerably bulkier option although the former is slightly on the expensive side. The build of the VivoBook is extremely sturdy and there’s hardly any kind of flex around the chassis. Colour-wise the entire body sports a pearlescent white shade with a plain texture all around, save for the keyboard and the bezels around the display. ASUS has employed its signature ErgoLift hinge allowing the bottom of the device to be propped up at an angle allowing for easier typing and better thermal flow. However, the lid does not open single-handedly owing to the stiffness of the ErgoLift hinge. Two speakers are present at the bottom. In terms of ports, you are offered a healthy selection that includes two USB 2.0 ports, one USB C port, one USB 3.1 port, an HDMI 1.4 port, and a microSD card slot.
Display-wise, the VivoBook 17, as the name suggests, packs in a 17.3-inch panel, which promises to offer an immersive visual experience. The LED panel, offering FHD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution and 60Hz refresh rate, is definitely quite big but is plagued by relatively low brightness and colour accuracy. DCIP3 coverage is about 42 percent while the screen’s luminosity is measured at 234nits. However, given the reasonable cost of this big machine, both these shortcomings can be given a pass. Viewing YouTube videos or OTT content on the laptop was a decent experience, unless I took the device out in bright sunny conditions. The panel has a matte finish which is helpful in reducing reflections, and the off-axis colour shift is tolerable thanks to the screen’s LED nature. Overall the VivoBook 17 is a decent media consumption device and I feel that users will get their money’s worth from it.
Keyboard and Trackpad
You get a full-sized keyboard complete with a dedicated numpad, as can be expected from a 17-inch laptop. The keys are laid in a traditional six-row layout with ample spacing between them. The travel on the keys is good enough but it requires a firm touch to register a press. I did get my hands quite accustomed to using the keyboard within a few hours and typing up long word documents didn’t seem like a problem. The palm rest is also quite large allowing me to use the keyboard for longer durations without having to worry about the bottom edge cutting into my wrist. The backlighting on the keyboard is sufficient enough for usage in low light conditions. In comparison, the trackpad is quite small given the size of the keyboard, although I did not find any major issues with usage. The surface of the trackpad allows my finger to glide over, while its response and latency are up to the mark. I will recommend using an external mouse if you are planning to do some serious work with the machine.
Performance and Battery
The laptop is powered by the Ryzen 5 5500U CPU, and pushing through moderate performance tasks isn’t a problem for the VivoBook 17. I ran a multitude of synthetic benchmarks on the device to gauge its processing capabilities. On Geekbench 5, the laptop returned impressive single-core and multi-core scores of 1,115 and 5,196 respectively. In comparison, the Lenovo Yoga 7i (review) powered by the 11th-gen Intel i7 CPU scored 1,441 and 4,788 on the tests. The VivoBook shows a slight edge in multi-core processing, though it is priced at two-thirds of the Yoga 7i’s cost. Apart from that, on Cinebench R23 the VivoBook 17 scored 5,838 on the multi-core test along with 1,185 in single-core. Here again, the multi-core capabilities of the Ryzen 5 CPU outperform Intel’s 11th-gen i7 which scores 3,999. PCMark 10’s score of 5,173 was also decent, making the VivoBook 17 a capable workhorse for all your usual day-to-day activities. I don’t really consider myself a power user and opening up several Chrome tabs along with Microsoft Office is the most I usually do. Both those tasks were executed without any lag as expected. In terms of graphical capabilities, the device has integrated Radeon graphics which can just about handle Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at low graphics settings. I ran 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark which yielded an understandably low score of 1,088.
The device has a 512GB M.2 NVME PCIe SSD but you have the option to add another 512GB along with 1TB of HDD. In terms of total memory, my unit of the VivoBook 17 came with 16GB of DDR4 RAM which is non-expandable. The speakers are quite loud and start crackling when used at a high volume while lacking any depth or bass. There is no fingerprint authentication available and the webcam does not support face unlock via Windows Hello either.
On the battery front, a 47Whr battery provides the juice. As expected, battery life was not the greatest, but you can get about 3-4 hours of work done without having to charge the device. This includes some video playback and using the battery-consuming Google Chrome.
The VivoBook 17 is quite a compelling choice for casual users, college-going students, or even professionals who don’t mind the extra weight, but would like to make use of the expansive screen real estate. The large size of the laptop could deter potential buyers who value portability over anything else, and it isn’t meant for gamers either. That said, it should suffice if your work involves moderate day-to-day tasks. If these are the criteria for your purchase, then the VivoBook 17 should make for a reasonable option worth considering.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Good performance
- Huge display
- Lots of ports
- Sub-par battery life
- Quite bulky
- Not meant for heavy graphics-related usage