I have reviewed quite a number of high-end ASUS notebooks in the past and while they are fun to fiddle around with, a lot of them aren’t accessible to the masses due to their high price tags. This ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED, on the other hand, might be one of the more, budget-friendly notebooks around. Not only does it come with a gorgeously calibrated OLED panel but its internals make it versatile for daily content, design and so much more.
Watch the ASUS Vivobook OLED (M1505Y) Review Below
The fact that this Vivobook costs R16,999 is likely the most remarkable part about the notebook. This means for a budget, you can get a portable machine with an OLED panel and some decent power without breaking the bank.
Sure, there are some things I wish this notebook had. For example, the display can rotate 180 degrees downwards but isn’t touch screen. But the notebook more than makes up for this with other cool features such as its Antimicrobial Guard Plus which protects the outer shell from bacteria and other nasty things you don’t want spreading on your daily device.
This ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED does come in a few models. This specific model is the M1505 variant which includes an AMD 7 7730 CPU coupled with integrated AMD graphics. But you can also get this notebook with a 15-inch 1.8K 120Hz OLED display with the same CPU in it.
ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED Design
The ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED is a small form-factor notebook. Right from the start, this notebook screams portability thanks to its thin and lightweight design. The 15-inch panel stretches as far as possible across the lid taking up 88% of the available space. There is a webcam at the top of the display which features a privacy shield which can be opened and closed. The webcam comes with some nifty image optimization tech to clean up noisy video. I test it out later on.
The entire notebook is plastic which helps make this device not only affordable but also contributes to the feather-light design. The plastic, as I mentioned before, features ASUS Antimicrobial Guard Plus which is basically a virus and bacterial-inhibiting material. It can prevent the spread of unwanted germs on the plastic shell.
The inner of the notebook features a full-sized keyboard which is nice to see on this 15-inch body. The keyboard features white LED backlighting and feels great to type on. The trackpad is also nice and big which makes getting around Windows 11 with gestures a lot easier too. There’s also a fingerprint scanner on the trackpad. I did feel like the trackpad was a bit wobbly for liking. Even nudging it slightly caused it to creak and wobble around. It took away from the premium feel.
As for the ports, on the right-hand side, you’ll find an HDMI 2.0 port, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, an audio jack combo and a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port with power delivery. On the left-hand side, there’s one USB 2.0 port.
Overall, the design of the ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED is familiar but that isn’t a bad thing. The fact that this notebook weighs only 1.7 kgs is impressive and everything you need on the go is packed into it. ASUS says this device is also US military-grade tested meaning it has passed 12 tests and can withstand a bunch of environments and situations you’ll likely never find yourself in like -32 degree weather. Nice to have, but necessary? I don’t think so.
ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED Performance
The biggest selling point of this ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED is, of course, its display and the OLED panel is fantastic. Sure, the HD factor here is hard to miss. Text isn’t as sharp as it should be and the general image quality definitely suffers from the 1080p resolution. However, the panel is bright and vibrant which is a great trade-off for the lower resolution. The 15-inch panel also means the HD content doesn’t take such a big hit due to the higher PPI on the OLED display.
Everything I did looked good. From watching some videos I filmed in HDR on YouTube to general web browsing and app use. The colour is especially punchy and clear.
ASUS has also made the entire top of the panel 180 degrees rotatable. This means the top lid can rotate all the way down and sit flat on the table. ASUS says it makes sharing the screen with others easier but I can’t imagine a circumstance where turning this display flat would be easier than simply turning this super lightweight device around instead.
As for the performance of this notebook, the AMD Ryzen 7 7730U CPU definitely carries its own weight and makes most tasks a breeze. I did run loads of benchmarks which you can see in a bit but just general use of this notebook was snappy and fast. I had dozens of Chrome tabs open and everything was smooth.
Here are some tests I ran with a focus on productivity on this notebook:
- Essentials: 9 478
- Productivity: 9 544
- Digital Content Creation: 5 776
- Overall: 5 774
- Multi-Core: 8967
- Single-Core: 1400
Of course, this isn’t a gaming notebook. But you can get away with light app games on it if you wish. The built-in GPU on the Ryzen 7 7730U can run the most basic app games and even Fortnite. You won’t be able to do much more with this chip but it makes sense given the hardware on offer here.
I need to chat about the fan noise because I was surprised at how little I heard during all my tests. Even when running some intense gaming benchmarks on the device to see its performance, the fans simply whistled away with a soft hum. I could hear them when I put my ears to them but there wasn’t any sort of unpleasant noise at all. You’ll barely even know they were there.
When it comes to the battery, the ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED will get you through a couple of hours of the day before needing to charge. The CPU is low-power and the OLED panel is also quite an energy-efficient display. This means the 55Wh battery can last about 6-7 hours with 50% brightness on the panel while web browsing. The notebook can also charge up quite fast too. It can go from 0-60% in about 50 minutes.
Lastly the speakers and the webcam. The camera is a 720p webcam which isn’t great. The noise-cleaning features don’t work as well as I hoped and it doesn’t produce a great image in low-light scenes at all. Even with a bright light on my face, the image quality was still overly smooth and lacked all detail.
As for the speakers, they are also as basic as they come. They don’t have any real kick to them at all and everything sounds low and lacks power. You’ll be able to consume content with them sure, but if you appreciate music and want more, wear headphones.
I think the ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED is quite a remarkable device. Not because of its specs and power but its price tag. It makes for a fantastic option for students and even just general users on the go who aren’t looking for a workhorse but just a device to get the job.
ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED (M1505Y)
The ASUS Vivobook 15 OLED (M1505Y) is a fantastic little machine that acts as a great entry for OLED notebooks. It packs decent power for those on the go.
Lightweight and portable
Webcam could be better
Touchpad is flimsy