ASUS Vivobook Pro 14 15 OLED
Configuration suitability depends on use scenarios. Graphics designers and gamers should opt for the smaller 14 inch model which has a much better screen resolution and refresh rate. Serious gamers should avoid integrated graphics models and choose dedicated graphics configurations. Multiprocessor performance is much better with the AMD choice so if you edit videos the models having the Ryzen 7 or 9 processors are preferred. However, you should keep in mind that this laptop series is not for hard-core gaming, the dedicated graphics card do not offer sufficient performance for more demanding titles.
Durability and Repair-ability
Despite the pro moniker, the laptop does not have a highly durable case or any other durability enhancement. The construction feels alight but the laptop is clearly not made to withstand abuse and falls more than typical models. The case flexes during typing on the center keys and the display can experience flexes when enough pressure is placed in the center area of the top case. The keyboard itself is not waterproof so any water that may drip into the computer will not be able to exit it without pooling. As with all modern, even slightly upmarket laptops, there is no way to secure the display to the bottom case, although the hinges seem to be able to maintain the laptop closed quite tightly, at least initially.
Repair-ability is limited mostly by the amount of components that are directly soldered to the motherboard. As the RAM cannot be replaced, despite the typical durability of such components, it still means that any damage to it is much harder to mitigate. The bottom case has a cover that can be reasonably easy to unscrew, offering access to all internals for cleaning or replacement of the WiFi and SSD drive. Due to the way in which the laptop operate, you have to contend with quite frequent dust cleanings as the fans are on, sometimes, even during idle processing periods.
Greatest features & flaws
|Excellent contrast and colour gamut OLED display (much above any LCD model)||Mediocre resolution and refresh rate on 15 inch model|
|Great performance AMD CPU configuration||Mediocre Intel CPU configuration performance|
|Comfortable keyboard, sensitive trackpad||No upgradeable RAM, mediocre performance SSD installed|
|Great WiFi 6, decent microphone and speaker performance||Noisy cooling even without dedicated graphics|
A mainstream, laptop catering to professional users, released in 2021. The major highlight is the worldwide highly acclaimed OLED screens from Samsung, the AMOLED lineup. This offers unprecedented visual comfort at an affordable price. The configuration options are reasonable but the laptop does not respect the "PRO" moniker, having a mediocre 15 inch screen and no possibility of upgrading RAM.
The OLED screen is the major highlight of this laptop lineup. It offers excellent contrast ratio that are practically infinite (1 million to 1), compared with LCD screens that only reach, at most around a couple of thousands to 1 ratios. This means that black and dim colours are presented realistically, even better than in the case of old CRT screens that have been highly praised by graphics designers, more than a decade ago. The 100% DCI-P3 certifications offers even more confidence in any graphics editing scenario, which simply highlights in the best way the suitability of these laptops. The only minor complaint to have is that the 15 inch models have a poorer (standard) refresh rate and lower resolution, which seems slightly unsuitable for 15 inch screens. Keep in mind that the screen may be slightly unstable in brightness at low light levels and this is not a defect.
The choice of CPUs make the lineup heavily skewed towards AMD models and does not fully include top of the line models from either manufacturer (the HK Intel Series and HX AMD Series). These have the highest number of cores and performance. In terms of raw capability, the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 configurations offer true desktop replacement performance, the only exceptions being overly demanding workloads. Unfortunately, the choice of video cards does not keep up well and is lacking even when an integrated graphics option is not used. Cooling also seems unoptimized for noise output. While the dual CPU fan configuration is highly effective in keeping the system cooled even when running at full load, it is very noisy and lowly kicks in even in idle states.
The limited RAM configuration choices are a major nuisance. The 8GB configuration is seriously limiting even in Windows 10 and Windows 11 does not seem to improve the situation much. Using large applications can easily get close to even the largest 16GB configuration. There seems to be no reason to forego even the availability of a single RAM upgrade slot in the laptop, as previously even cheap models had this choice. Being left with a single configuration possibility vastly reduces the laptop's main life potential as well as its re-usability, being wasteful on resources.
The integrated graphics performance is poor, whether you have an AMD or Intel configuration. It seems almost pointless that such fast CPUs are coupled with abysmal graphics chipsets. As it seems, the pro lineup should have been supplied only with dedicated graphics capabilities. Even the graphics chipset lineup seems inadequate as highly performing video cards from AMD and Nvidia are not included either, making the top of the line models still short on GPU performance. Decent, albeit somewhat noisy cooling, noticeable even in some idle load cases, maintains predictable performance and a comfortably low surface temperature.
The storage selection is decent but it does not feature high performance SSDs but low-end PCIe NVME choices that are only slightly better than SATA models, being, again, far from the PRO moniker. It is true that affordable SSDs can be present on the lower end models, but the top of the line one should have a much better one. Just as important, 1TB SSDs seem quite on the low side for video editors, the 2TB choice should have been present.
The chassis seems reasonably well made but it does not have a frame stiff enough to improve survivability. Also, the lower case bends slightly when using the keyboard, making the typing experience not that pleasant, despite the overall good performance of the keyboard itself. The trackpad feels smooth and sensitive, being comfortable to use and generally precise enough. As is standard with most laptops, it is large and support multiple gestures.
The sound system is decent, but falls short of expectations for a Harman/Kardon tuneup. The speakers sound reasonably fine but there is a clear lack of space and bass output while general reproduction does not shine in any other way. Microphone input is somewhat better than on some laptops, but still far behind even mid-range phones of 5 years ago. The integrated camera video quality is very poor, not having full HD resolution and being far from even cheap front smartphone cameras.
The port selection seems very poor for a pro laptop. There is no reasonable explanation for designing the laptop with 2 USB2 ports and a single TYPE A USB3 port. The USB2 ports have a too poor performance to be used in most cases and especially so on a laptop designed for work. Even 8 years ago some 12 inch laptops had 2 USB 3 ports, so there is no excuse for delivering a laptop with a single USB3 Type A port.
The inclusion of a single USB3.2 Type C port is even less understandable, as the laptop has plenty of space for at least 2 such ports. Availability of a micro SD card reader is welcome, although it depends on your workflow if it is useful or not. The lack of USB Type C charging seems unpleasant, especially in the case of integrated graphics configurations that draw less current. Not having to carry a proprietary power adapter would have been a major usability advantage. Moreover, as USB3 Type C adapters get more common and higher power ratings are cheaply available, this decision seems less forward thinking as an USB Type C adapter can power a laptop, tablet or telephone easily and requires less space for travelers.
The standard configuration that features a 60Wh battery seems small for 15 inch laptop models and the endurance of it is outright low even without integrated graphics as the laptop has issues reliably being used for more than 6 hours in typical pro editing applications, even discounting 3D design and video editing which are overly CPU intensive.
Software support is somewhat good on Windows 10 and Windows 11 but graphics drivers seem to be quite incomplete in backward and forward compatibility, leading to cases when certain applications do crash or textures are missing. Most well known titles fare well but there are fringe cases that seem to manifest. While the AMD configuration options are plenty for graphics, Intel ones seem almost nonexistant, making an almost pointless purchase reason for this laptop configuration as it also performs poorer, generally, and the cost difference is not justifiable.