Asus VivoBook F510QA-DS99 Review
The Asus VivoBook F510QA-DS99 is the company’s 15-inch budget laptop for college students and general users. It features the same exterior chassis as its predecessor but gets a component upgrade to AMD’s quad core A12-9720P processors. The plastic exterior is sturdy enough to supply the much-needed durability to survive daily workday/college use.
Again, its sub-$500 price meets our definition of a budget laptop – but it comes too close to call it anything else. Still, the VivoBook F510QA dazzles with a stylish design, and AMD A12 performance. We just wish it battery life were better.
- Need more budget laptop options? Check out of Best Budget Laptops for 2019
Most of these budget laptops rarely turn heads with the boxy, clunky designs. The VivoBook F510QA, in contrast, sports a sleek, modern looks that’s not reminiscent with its budget status. The exterior has a gunmetal gray color that’s unique and attractive. You won’t get an aluminium chassis at this price point, but the F510QA-DS99’s plastic enclosure is thin and fairly rigid. The textured lid feels like a lenticular lens, with a corrugated surface upon which an image changes depending on your viewing angle.
Measuring 0.8 by 14.2 by 9.6 inches (HWD), the VivoBook F510QA is sandwiched between the Acer Aspire E 15 and the Dell Latitude, and at 3.7 pounds, it is the lightest of the three. The inclusion of an optical drive makes part of the Aspire E’s added weight; like most modern notebooks, the F510QA lacks an optical drive, so you’ll have to do with external help.
The 15.6-inch full HD (1,920-by-1,080) LED-backlit display produces vibrant images. You don’t get touch support, but still Asus managed to forego the glossy screen coating that you’d usually find on touch screens, instead opting for a matte finish that keeps screen glare at bay. Also, the viewing angle is not very wide, but that’s expected at this price range.
Connectivity is excellent for a budget laptop, featuring a single USB 3.1 Type-C port, USB 3.0, and two USB 2.0 and HDMI. Wireless connectivity comes via Wi-Fi 5 (802.11AC) and Bluetooth 4.2. The bottom firing speakers produce passable audio, that is predictably lacking in the bass department. Nevertheless, it’s enough to fill a small room, making it ideal for YouTube videos and video conferencing.
Keyboard & Touchpad
Getting a 15-inch notebook comes with its share of downsides, but at least you get a roomy keyboard that allows you to type in near silence. The keys here provide narrow travel but still offer a firm, muffled click. If you’re a pro-typer, you’ll notice some keyboard deck flexes around the mid-section but its isn’t badly off to affect your typing experience. It’s a non-backlit keyboard, a feature that’s rare among budget models.
Beneath the keyboard is a 4.1-by-2.9 inches touchpad that feels responsive, but feels a bit downsized. Like the keys, the touchpad offers a soft click when pressed, and it gets a fingerprint reader on the top-left corner of the touchpad.
Packed inside of the Asus VivoBook F510QA-DS99 are an AMD Quad Core A12-9720P processor, 8GB of RAM, an integrated AMD Radeon R graphics card and 256GB SSD. The Core A12 has four processing cores, and operates between a base frequency of 2.7 GHz and a turbo frequency of 3.6, with a 2M cache. 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 on 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 F510QA’s specs sheets signals 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.
With a 42 WHrs 3-cell battery, we really didn’t expect the notebook to last long, and that’s one area where it tripped. It lasts only 6 hours and 43 minutes, while others like the Acer Aspire E 15 run for hours and hours longer on a single charge. If you plan to use the F510QA for a long, just carry your power adapter along.
The VivoBook F510QA provides a great deal of a bang for your budget buck, offering a roomy display and comfortable keyboard packed in a stylish, sleek package. On the inside, it boast a popular AMD A12 processor, along with ample RAM and snappy SSD storage. Of course, these features make sense for as long as you can live with the machine’s short battery life.
Even so, the Asus VivoBook F510QA-DS99 gives you a bunch of essential features – the functional fingerprint reader, the handy hinge design, the sweet price – that cheaper laptops don’t.
Is there a better alternative?
For better performance and longer battery life, Acer’s Aspire E 15 (A515-54-51DJ) looks like a perfect alternative. It packs an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8265U processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD a backlit keyboard, and up to 9 hours battery life in an exciting, portable package.
If you don’t mind a Chromebook, the Asus Chromebook C425 is worth a long look as you shop around, thanks to a perfect balance of design, performance and price; giving you real value for the money.
Should you buy it?
Yes. Middling battery life aside, the ASUS VivoBook F510QA is a well-rounded, good-looking budget laptop.