ASUS Vivobook Ultra A512 review - Slim, thin and light value-priced laptop for the masses
Most of the time, when you buy a laptop based on value and price you end up with a thick brick of a device with limited features. However, the ASUS Vivobook Ultra A512 is not only value-priced from RM2899, you also get a slim and thin laptop featuring a 15.6-inch FHD display with extremely slim 5.7mm bezels, a fingerprint sensor, 512GB SSD, plenty of ports and more. Find out if the ASUS Vivobook Ultra A512 is the slim and light laptop for you in our review below.
Available in Slate Grey, Peacock Blue and Coral Crush (or black, blue and red), the ASUS Vivobook Ultra A512 weighs in at just 1.95kg with a battery. It is big enough to accommodate a full backlit chiclet keyboard complete with a numeric keypad and large touchpad with a built-in fingerprint sensor.
As mentioned earlier, the bezels around the 15.6-inch FHD display are super thin at just 5.7mm with just enough room for a HD webcam on the top, so the laptop is quite compact. The ergo-lift hinge nicely lifts up the laptop when you push back the display, allowing the ASUS SonicMaster speakers to play better while increasing air circulation and making the keyboard more comfortable to type on.
In terms of tech specs, the Vivobook Ultra A512 comes with an Intel Core i5 8265U processor, 4GB of DDR4 2400 RAM (expandable up to 12GB + 16GB) and a fast 512GB SSD. The 15.6-inch display is Full HD or 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution with an NVIDIA MX250 graphics with 2GB of VRAM.
There’s plenty of ports including 1x USB3.1 Type-A, 2x USB2.0 Type-A, 1x USB3.0 Type-C, 1x combo audio jack, 1x HDMI port and 1x microSD card reader. It measures in at 357.2 x 230.4 x 19.9mm so it should work well as both a desktop replacement unit or a big but light laptop you can bring on the go. It also offers 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity and is powered by Windows 10.
Performance-wise, the Vivobook Ultra A512 is good for nearly everything, as long as you don’t raise the game settings or your expectations too high. You can still play games such as DOTA 2 and League of Legends on lower to medium settings and we certainly loved the clear SonicMaster speakers.
Unfortunately, while the build quality is very good, the plastic chassis + metal top means that it is a bit flimsy while the tight hinge means you’ll have to open it with both hands. It’s a bit of a smudge magnet too and the placement of the power button takes a bit getting used to. The battery life is also a bit more than an hour unplugged. Apart from that, the laptop doesn’t get very hot thanks to the ergolift hinge while the big FHD display and clear speakers are good for movies.
In conclusion, the ASUS Vivobook Ultra A512 offers plenty of features in a slim and thin package that should suit most desktop replacement purposes like a student or professional (perhaps an accountant who likes fingerprint security and a built-in numeric keypad?). That being said, it isn’t really that premium, not suited for road warriors due to the short battery life or for the more hardcore gamers.
However, at RM2899, there’s not many other contenders with the same features and tech specs. The closest we can think of would be the Huawei Matebook D (RM2999), the Acer Aspire 3 (RM2299) and Aspire 5 (RM2549) but the 512GB SSD and other features really offer plenty of bang for your buck on the ASUS Vivobook Ultra A512.
ASUS Vivobook Ultra A512 Tech Specs and Features list:
- 8th Generation Intel Core i5 8265U processor
- 4GB of DDR4 2400 RAM (expandable up to 16GB)
- 512GB PCIe Gen 3 x2 NVMe SSD
- 15.6-inch display (Full HD or 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, 5.7mm thin bezels)
- NVIDIA MX250 graphics with 2GB of VRAM
- supports 1x USB3.1 Type-A, 2x USB2.0 Type-A, 1x USB3.0 Type-C, 1x combo audio jack, 1x HDMI port, 1x microSD card reader, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1
- 357.2 x 230.4 x 19.9mm | 1.6 ~ 1.95kg
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Pros and Cons
Pros - At below RM3K pricing there's not many thin and light laptops of the same 15.6-inch FHD display size that offer a 512GB SSD. In addition, the laptop can be upgraded for up to 16GB RAM and it also has many ports to support it too.
Cons - The plastic body does not feel as premium, while the thin metal top display can be a bit fragile, so you may have to be a bit more careful with it. The thin body also means a smaller battery for less time unplugged and you only get 4GB RAM initially (which is just enough).
Summary - Large yet compact 15.6-inch value buster laptop from ASUS.