Asus VivoBook F1502ZA Review – A Game-Changer in the Budget Laptop Arena!

When searching for a budget laptop, compromises are inevitable. The question then arises: where are you willing to make concessions in order to lower the price? Typically, these trade-offs involve sacrificing a solid metal chassis for a plastic enclosure that may feel less sturdy, as well as settling for a dim and dull display instead of a bright, vivid, and high-resolution one.

In addition, budget laptops often come with a slightly outdated CPU, limited memory, and a smaller SSD. You might even have to accept a clacky keyboard without backlighting and a mediocre touchpad.

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Asus VivoBook F1502ZA Review

Image Source: Lexica

AspectAsus VivoBook F1502ZA Review
PerformanceRanked last in performance tests.
Design and Build QualitySturdy plastic chassis with gun-metal blue color. Weak display hinge.
Keyboard720p webcam with accurate colors includes a a physical cover for privacy.
TouchpadSlightly undersized but performs adequately. Features fingerprint reader.
PortabilityWeighs 3.8 pounds, which falls within the average range for its size.
Display15.6-inch, 1080p display lacks vibrancy. Limited contrast ratio.
WebcamThe audio output is tinny and muddy. Headphones recommended.
SpeakersUSB-C, USB-A, HDMI, audio jack, and power connector. USB-C lacks Thunderbolt 4 support.
Connectivity and PortsUSB-C, USB-A, HDMI, audio jack, power connector. USB-C lacks Thunderbolt 4 support.
ConclusionSolid budget laptop with a few noteworthy features. Offers affordable upgrade options.
Alternative RecommendationsHP Pavilion Aero 13, HP Pavilion 14, Acer Aspire Vero.
Asus VivoBook F1502ZA Review

Features of Asus VivoBook F1502ZA

  • The Asus VivoBook 15, while requiring several compromises, manages to present a plastic body that looks more elegant than many other budget laptops without sacrificing durability.
  • One notable feature of the VivoBook F1502ZA, which I had the opportunity to test, is its 512GB SSD, offering double the storage capacity usually found in this price range.
  • Currently priced at $599 on the Asus website, the VivoBook 15 provides 8GB of RAM, which is standard for its price, but for an additional $50 on Amazon, you can upgrade to 16GB of RAM for smoother performance.
  • Alternatively, Amazon offers a model with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for $700, which may be the best value among the available VivoBook 15 configurations.
  • While we appreciate the design and build quality of the smaller and slightly more expensive HP Pavilion Aero 13 and HP Pavilion 14, the VivoBook 15 stands out by offering a larger display for budget-conscious buyers.
  • However, if your main concern is getting the largest display for your money, we would suggest considering the 17-inch HP Laptop 17.
  • Among the 15-inch budget models, the Acer Aspire Vero offers a sturdier and more stylish option.

Asus VivoBook 15 Specifications and Performance

  • Our model of the Asus VivoBook 15, the F1502ZA-DS52P, is currently available on the Asus website for $599, which is $101 less than the regular price.
  • It features an Intel Core i5-1240P CPU, 8GB of RAM, integrated Intel HD graphics, and a 512GB SSD.
  • The Core i5-1240P belongs to Intel’s 28-watt P series, which sits between the more power-efficient 15-watt U series and the performance-oriented 45-watt H series.
  • This CPU employs Intel’s hybrid architecture with a combination of performance and efficiency cores, offering four performance cores, eight efficiency cores, and a total of 16 processing threads.
  • The 15.6-inch display boasts a full HD resolution of 1920×1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:9.
  • While midrange and premium laptops have shifted to a taller 16:10 or 3:2 aspect ratio for increased vertical workspace, most budget models still retain the traditional 16:9 ratio.
  • The display of the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA is rated for a modest brightness of 250 nits, and our tests confirmed that it lives up to this rating.
  • In lab testing, the VivoBook 15 performed comparably to other laptops with similar specifications, with two competing models featuring 12th-gen Core i5 CPUs and another model featuring a previous-gen AMD Ryzen 5 5000 series processor.
  • We also included Asus’s pricier Asus VivoBook 16X OLED laptop, equipped with a 12th-gen Core i7 processor.
  • Among these systems, the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA 15 ranked last in performance on Geekbench, 3DMark, and our battery drain test.
  • Although it achieved a positive Cinebench score, there are better options available in terms of budget performance and battery life.

Design and Build Quality

  • At first glance, the Asus VivoBook 15 appears to be a step above typical budget laptops. One of its appealing features is the gun-metal blue color of the plastic shell, which adds a touch of sophistication compared to the usual silver or dark gray enclosures.
  • The plastic chassis feels fairly sturdy, exhibiting minimal flex on the keyboard deck and lid. In fact, I have encountered budget laptops that felt more fragile.
  • However, the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA does have a weak display hinge, a characteristic often found in budget laptops, causing the screen to wobble with any movement.
  • While the hinge allows for a 180-degree rotation, enabling the display to lay flat, I have yet to find a practical use for this feature and would gladly trade it for a firmer hinge.
  • Although the display may be prone to wobbling, the keyboard offers a solid typing experience. The keys have ample travel and provide satisfying feedback, contributing to a pleasant typing session.
  • Additionally, the keyboard includes a number pad without compromising the size of other keys.
  • One peculiar aspect of the Vivobook’s keyboard, as observed in previous VivoBook models, is the striped Enter key.
  • This key features white-and-black striping along its bottom edge, presumably for aesthetic purposes or to aid in locating the key.
  • However, I would argue that the Enter key is one of the last keys, aside from the spacebar, that requires assistance in finding, and I would prefer Asus to forgo the distracting striping in future iterations.
  • The keyboard also offers backlighting, a useful feature that is not always present in budget models.
  • Furthermore, the backlighting has three adjustable levels, allowing you to set the brightness according to ambient lighting conditions.
  • The touchpad, although appearing and feeling slightly undersized, performs adequately. This is a common issue with laptops featuring widescreen 16:9 displays.
  • Laptops with taller 16:10 displays not only offer more vertical screen space but also provide a wider wrist rest area, allowing for a larger touchpad.
  • Despite its size, the touchpad on the VivoBook 15 offers smooth and accurate tracking, accompanied by responsive click functionality.
  • Additionally, it features a fingerprint reader in the upper-right corner, providing convenient and secure logins—a notable bonus at this price point.
  • Weighing in at 3.8 pounds, the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA falls within the average weight range for a laptop of its size, which is commendable for a budget device.
  • It is slightly lighter than the more robust Acer Aspire Vero, which weighs an even four pounds.
  • If portability is a priority, there are more lightweight options available, such as the 14-inch HP Pavilion 14 weighing 3.2 pounds, or the 13-inch HP Pavilion Aero 13 weighing only two pounds.
Asus VivoBook F1502ZA Review

Display and Multimedia Experience

  • The Asus VivoBook F1502ZA features a 15.6-inch, 1080p display that unfortunately falls short in terms of vibrancy. With a maximum brightness rating of 250 nits, our tests confirmed that the display does not exceed this specification.
  • Colors lack the desired vibrancy, and the limited contrast ratio leads to the loss of details in bright and dark areas of images. While it performs on par with typical budget laptop displays, it fails to stand out.
  • Surprisingly, the 720p webcam located above the display provides a positive experience. While most laptops, excluding budget models, now feature 1080p cameras that produce sharper and better-balanced images, the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA camera is notably less grainy than other 720p cameras. The colors and skin tones appear accurate as well.
  • Moreover, the webcam includes a physical cover that can be slid across the lens when not in use, ensuring privacy—a valuable addition, considering the limited usage of webcams in most scenarios.
  • Unfortunately, the speakers do not meet expectations. The audio output from the speakers sounds tinny and muddy. It is recommended to keep headphones handy for music playback, as well as for watching movies and shows where clear dialogue is essential.

Connectivity and Ports

  • The majority of ports on the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA are located on the right side of the laptop.
  • This section houses a USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, an HDMI 1.4 port, a combo audio jack, and a power connector.
  • On the left side, there is a single USB 2.0 Type-A port positioned next to a cooling vent.
  • It is worth noting that the USB-C port lacks Thunderbolt 4 support, while the two USB-A ports on the right side offer faster USB 3.2 Gen 1 connectivity compared to the slower USB 2.0 port on the left side.
  • Overall, the VivoBook 15 provides solid connectivity options for a budget laptop, albeit without the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard. However, Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking is available.

Conclusion

While the Asus VivoBook 15 does not have any major flaws, it is important to acknowledge that it falls within the budget category. Nevertheless, it offers a few noteworthy features, such as the inclusion of a spacious 512GB SSD for its price range. Additionally, Amazon provides affordable upgrade options, allowing users to double their RAM and SSD capacity.

Furthermore, the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA boasts an appealing design compared to its budget counterparts. However, the underwhelming display quality and weak speakers serve as reminders of its budget classification. For individuals seeking better alternatives, HP offers a variety of budget models in different sizes, among which the HP Pavilion Aero 13 and HP Pavilion 14 stand out. Another noteworthy option for budget buyers in the 15-inch range is the eco-friendly Acer Aspire Vero.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. What is the price and configuration of the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA?

The Asus VivoBook 15 (model F1502ZA-DS52P) is available for $599 and features an Intel Core i5-1240P CPU, 8GB of RAM, integrated Intel HD graphics, and a 512GB SSD.

Q2. How does the display of the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA perform?

The 15.6-inch display has a full-HD resolution but lacks vibrancy, with colors lacking punch and a limited contrast ratio.

Q3. Is the keyboard on the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA comfortable to use?

Yes, the keyboard offers a pleasant typing experience with deep travel and snappy feedback. It also includes a number pad.

Q4. What about the touchpad on the Asus VivoBook F1502ZA?

The touchpad is slightly undersized but performs adequately, offering smooth and accurate gliding. It also features a fingerprint reader for easy and secure logins.

Q5. What is the portability of the VivoBook 15?

Weighing 3.8 pounds, the VivoBook 15 is of average weight for its size, making it a decent option for portability within the budget laptop category.

Q6. What are the alternative options to the VivoBook 15?

For budget buyers, alternative recommendations include the HP Pavilion Aero 13 and HP Pavilion 14, which are slightly pricier but offer better design and finish. Another option is the Acer Aspire Vero, which is sturdier and more stylish among 15-inch budget models.

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