ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB54 Gaming Laptop Review
The ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB54 is a capable gaming laptop that has a premium feel, in addition to enough raw power for both play and work. We are used to gaming laptops adorned with gairy LEDs and beastly keyboards, but the newest VivoBook looks laid back, but packs the latest components and hardware that are hard to pass by.
With a stylish construction, powerful seventh-generation Intel Core i5 processor, a Pascal GTX 1050 graphics card, and hardware that sets it ahead of the competition in terms of performance, it’s clearly competitive. Many will see it as this year’s version of the well-reviewed ASUS K501UW-AB78 – very true, but it gets an upgraded processor and graphics card that yields better performance, and its battery lasts longer than last year’s model.
If you prefer more power, you can check out its bigger sibling the ASUS M580VD-EB76 VivoBook, that has the same design, safe for a Core i7 processor, more storage, and better overall performance. It doesn’t quite beat the Acer Predator Helios 300, our current top pick for entry-level gaming laptops, on overall performance and build quality, but if you need a laptop that can perform daily office work and media tasks when you’re not playing, it’s certainly worth considering.
The VivoBook line is a pretty new concept, but it picks the same deluxe design from the Zenbook line over its several iterations, and the latest entrant has the same sturdy aluminum construction seen on its predecessor ASUS K501UW-AB78. Sure, there’s more than a passing resemblance to the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro, but the new svelte design and newer elements give it a flavor of its own.
The VivoBook M580VD-EB76 measures 0.8 by 15 by 10 inches (HWD) and weighs 5.1 pounds, which is within an ounce or two of competitors like Apple’s MacBook Pro and this year’s Dell XPS 15 Touch. Lately, Ultra-High Definition (UHD) definition displays have become the new standard for premium desktop-replacement system, and even if the VivoBook is billed as a gaming laptop, most of us will be using it for professional tasks like media creation among others.
Surrounded by a half-inch black bezel, the 15.6-inch screen is bright and crisp with Full HD (1920-by-1080) resolution. We expected that the screen will turn heads on such a perfect system, but instead of an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel, Asus opted for a Twisted-Nematic (TN) panel, which doesn’t offer wide viewing angles, though the colors are sharp and vivid.
The low-resolution display puts the VivoBook on uneven footing with the likes of the Dell XPS 15 Touch and the 12.5-inch Razer Blade Stealth. For gaming, a higher resolution doesn’t count for much, especially on a small display, meaning color accuracy doesn’t suffer a lot. With 100-percent Adobe RGB color gamut and 72 percent NTSC, the hardware and software are optimized for vivid color, so photos and films will show more accurate colors.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard is similar to that seen on last year’s model, with chiclet-style keys and automatic backlighting that adjusts as per the lighting in the room. The biggest difference, is perhaps, the narrower keyboard than you’d find on a proper keyboard, but its absolutely comfortable for anyone working with numbers.
Below the keyboard sits a touchpad, that Asus claims to have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which blend well with the display’s aspect ratio. Whether this is a beneficial addition–or not, is still up for debate, but it is quite responsive with Windows 10 gestures.
Ports and Storage
On the right side, you’ll find two USB 2.0 ports, an SD card slot and a headset jack. On the left are a USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type C (Gen 1), an HDMI port and an RJ 45 port. Wireless connectivity comes via 802.11ac dual band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. It doesn’t have extras like a mini DisplayPort, Thunderbolt or optical drive, which is not surprising at all. But by including a Type C port, you have all the versatility and flexibility to connect to 4K UHD external displays.
For storage, there’s a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD). Its Core i7 version, the ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB76 adds a 1TB 5400rpm hard drive to the base 256GB SSD configuration. By fusing an SSD and a mechanical hard drive, Asus ensures that you benefit from both spheres: fast booting, with tons of storage for your documents and media files. This is pretty good storage than you get on the MacBook Pro, or even the Dell XPS 15 Touch, considering that most of them come with a 512GB SSD as standard.
The VivoBook M580VD-EB76 boasts a quad-core 2.5GHz (Turbo up to 3.5GHz) Intel Core i7-7300HQ processor, a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB) graphics card and 8GB of RAM. It combines a seventh-generation (Kaby Lake microarchitecture) and the latest Pascal based graphics card, which is a hallmark of all upgrades in a system that leans more towards a premium desktop-replacement, than a gaming laptop.
This is not far apart from the M580VD-EB76 that features a a quad-core 2.8GHz (Turbo up to 3.8GHz) Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (4GB) graphics card and 16GB of RAM.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on Asus products lately, you may notice that this configuration is nearly identical to its purely gaming-oriented rigs, including the ASUS FX502VM-AS73, safe for a few small features and a chassis design distinguishing the two. But, there’s one other difference –where the ASUS AS73 mimics the Republic of Gamers (ROG) line, the VivoBook EB76 shines well as a premium desktop-replacement laptop for power users.
Graphics performance is top-notch thanks to the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (with 2GB) graphics card. It will produce playable frame rates (albeit at medium detail and lower resolution settings). While it isn’t built to satisfy hardcore gamers, and certainly won’t deliver the sort of 4K graphics the display can support, it does have some gaming capability, so long as you dial down the settings and don’t expect flawless performance.
The only aspect most folks will find to be lackluster is battery life, with the laptop lasting about 4-5 hours. The new processors are expected to be power-efficient, but the dedicated GTX 1050 graphics card requires more power to deliver crisp visuals. Still, it isn’t bad at all – when compared with the competition like the Dell XPS 15 (5:48) and Apple MacBook Pro 15 (8:55), which only uses an integrated graphics card.
A Laptop for Work and Play
The ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB54 is billed as a gaming laptop but it doubles up as a laptop for work, college or professional media creation. It is a prime example of how premium hardware and construction can impact the usability of a system, with the capable Intel Core i5 processor paired with a Pascal GTX 1050 graphics card providing enough raw power for games and productivity, alike. It can be comfortably used at the office the same way you’d use any powerful desktop-replacement laptop to perform daily work and media tasks when you’re not playing.
A while ago, this perfect mix of form and function was a reserve for high-end systems, but as technology gets affordable, the hardware behind high-end performance rings up at a much lower price. The result is a svelte system, that not only outclasses competitors on most fronts but is far more affordable. All these make the ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB54 a great option if you’re on a budget but need a powerful machine that suffices for both work and play.
The ASUS VivoBook M580VD-EB54 is a capable gaming laptop, that equally checks all boxes for a productivity and gaming. It is one of those laptops that can be used for work when you’re not playing.
- Sleek design
- Strong feature set
- Fast SSD for storage
- USB-C port
- Middling battery life
- Only 1080p resolution