hey everybody it’s lon seidman and this week we’re going to be looking at three different amd ryzen based laptops starting with this one from asus what’s neat about these machines is that they cost well under 500. and i saw a bunch just flood the market about two and a half weeks ago and there’s a lot of them out there right now at really good prices and what’s great about these amd chips is that they perform graphically much better than their intel equivalents do at the price point so today we’re going to be taking a look at the asus vivo book 15. this one has a ryzen r5 3500 u processor and at the moment it’s selling for about 479 dollars and we’re going to jump into this in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that asus let us borrow this for a couple of days to review so we’re done with this it goes back to them all of the opinions you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and take a look at this amd ryzen based asus laptop so let’s take a closer look now at the hardware this is a 15 inch
laptop with a 1080p ips display i do wish the display was a little brighter than what i’m seeing here but it’s not terrible for the price point the quality of the display though is nice nice and sharp as you would expect out of an ips screen decent viewing angles that are a little more muted here under my studio lights but seeming to work pretty decently for me and i’m not seeing a lot of bleed through on the display either again this has got an amd ryzen r5 3500 processor it’s got 8 gigabytes of ram and a 256 gigabyte nvme ssd and you do have some upgrade options with this it’s not hard to take it apart all you got to do is take the bottom panel off and you can swap out ram and storage but on the ram four gigabytes of ram is soldered onto the motherboard and then you have an additional slot where you can put more memory in now one thing to keep in mind though with this configuration is that if you were to take that 4 gig socketed ram out and maybe put in an 8 gig module you could get this to 12 gigs total however you risk performance degradations because these amd chips like dual channel memory for the best graphics performance and when you’ve got two four gig matching modules you can take advantage of that but if you mismatch the pair you risk stability issues or you’ll see the laptop running slower
because it can’t run that memory in dual channel mode so my advice with this one is eight gigs is probably the max you’re going to get out of it because going beyond that will result in a mismatched memory pair also of note they have two gigabytes of shared video memory with the graphics system on the chip that’s good for what i’m seeing on these ryzen laptops some of these only allow for one gigabyte so you’ll have a few more options of things that you can run on this one now on the storage side you can swap out the nvme drive inside for something bigger that’s probably ideal given that you’ll get some really nice performance out of that and the nvme drives are dropping in price but you also have room for a sata drive as well so you can get a sata based ssd and pop that in but there’s a little adapter cable that you’ll need and we didn’t see it in the box with the one that we got from asus it’s possible they package that in with their retail models but just keep that in mind if you intend on adding a second sata drive to this you can install it but you will need an additional cable to get it all working now the weight on this one is 3.86 pounds or 1.75 kilograms that of course will be heavier than more expensive laptops but there are often compromises that are made to hit price points on these lower price machines it is their weight and their battery life battery life on this one is probably going to be about six hours give or take for light usage and then if you’re doing games
or something more strenuous you’ll see less battery life than that these ryzen laptops unfortunately are not known for their battery life and that’s something that you should be aware of if you are buying this keep the power cords nearby but the build quality is pretty decent it’s all plastic but it does have a good feel to it a pretty decent range to where you can put the display it’s got these little plastic pieces down here that will angle the keyboard up at you a little bit for better comfort i have found with past asus laptops that sometimes these things can dig into soft wood desks but this one doesn’t feel like it’s doing that i was running it across my ikea desk here and i wasn’t seeing any new scratches being added to the mix so they might have improved this over prior models but this is something unique to asus that i see and it’s kind of nice to get that keyboard angled up at you when you have the display moving back like that not a touch display by the way but it’s still pretty nice looking as i mentioned before keyboard isn’t bad here the keys are a little on the smaller side but they did get a number pad in here for the excel fans out there it is backlit which is nice we don’t always see that on low priced laptops so that was good trackpad is decent it’s pretty accurate a little on the spongy side but it works fine it’s a standard click pad but you also have a fingerprint sensor built into it as well so you can more quickly get into the laptop when you boot it up on the left
hand side we have two usb 2.0 ports and if you plan on plugging in external hard drives i would attach them to the other side because these are slower ports than what you’ll see on the right hand side of the laptop you have a power light here and a battery charging indicator light there on the other side we’ve got more ports to look at uh one is a micro sd card slot uh the cards will go all the way in so you can add some additional storage without taking apart the laptop with that headphone microphone jack here you’ve got a usb type-c port this port though is only data it does not do power or video out but you can plug in your usb devices into it either directly with a usb-c device or with an adapter hdmi out here for connecting external displays over here you’ve got a usb 3.0 port and then here you’ve got your power adapter for plugging everything in so that is the overall hardware let’s take a look now and see how it performs all right we’re going to start off with a youtube video we’re watching here on my youtube channel this is a 1080p 60 video and we’re playing it right now through microsoft edge we’re not getting any drop frames here now when we ran the same video on google chrome we did see some drop frames here and there which is exactly the same behavior we see on low-cost intel devices playing this same video back on the chrome browser and that’s because chrome still isn’t really optimizing itself for some of the hardware decoding functions that both amd and intel chips have so i would say if you’re watching a lot of high frame rate videos switch over to edge and hopefully when they make the transition over to the chromium code base it doesn’t impact some of this performance but really i think running it on the edge browser is the way to go for now we are going to switch though over to chrome and just load up the nasa.gov homepage
and see how quickly that all comes up we’re connected here to wi-fi on my ac wireless network and everything seems to be rendering in just fine so i think doing web browsing microsoft office and word and powerpoint and all of that stuff should be more than adequate here and in line with what you might get from a three or four hundred dollar intel machine so really no issues here running the basics now in the browserbench.org speedometer test we got a score of 76 on version 1.0 of the test 40.
6 on version 2.0 but take a look at how the other ryzen machines are faring on that test they’re doing a little better than this one did and i was expecting this one to be the top scoring ryzen machine we got in given it has the more expensive and presumably more powerful ryzen 5 3500u processor but for whatever reason it’s not benchmarking very well here on this particular test and we’ll see something similar on the graphics test we’ll look at in a few minutes but do take a look at the intel i5 chip there at the top in the thinkbook 13s the intel chips will do better especially on this benchmark because they can be a little faster on the cpu side of things but they also cost a lot more too let’s take a look now at gaming because this is an area where these ryzen chips really outshine their intel competitors so let’s kick things off with gta 5 we’re running this at 1080p at 30 frames per second and this is great performance for a low-cost under 500 laptop it’s very playable you’ll see the frame rate dip a little below 30 here or there but really it’s a great gaming experience on a very low cost laptop next we’ll take a look at the witcher 3.
we did have to turn the resolution down to 720p we were getting about 25 frames per second give or take there so that one’s going to be a little bit more challenging but probably still playable we also booted up the new version of doom there again at 720p a playable 30 frames per second it’s going to be hard to hit the 60 frames per second mark on some of these newer games here but the fact that we can get them playing at all on a sub 500 laptop i think is pretty significant rocket league also did pretty well there we did get to 60 frames per second at low settings at 1080p sometimes it even got up to 70. so that was good and we also booted up fortnite there if you set it at medium settings 1080p which will render at a slightly lower resolution we were getting about 25 to 40 frames per second when we did 1080p low resolution we got between 40 and 60 frames per second so overall a very good gaming experience here again not going to rival a gaming laptop but if you’ve got 500 or less to spend this is something that will get you playing some games that you won’t be able to play on a 500 or less intel based laptop and i think that’s a pretty good deal now in the 3dmark cloud gate benchmark test we got a score of 11629 and that really wasn’t much better than what we saw out of an r5 2500u equipped machine in fact the test is looking almost identical and if you look at the ideapad 330s graphically it did a little better on its test run versus the vivo book here so this is really performing at about the same rate as a lower priced amd ryzen laptop and i think it could just be how they decided to tune this processor in its bios for the thermal profile perhaps they were trying to hit so overall the performance here is not spectacular at least on
the benchmarks and as you’ll see a little later in the week we did push a few extra frames per second in some of the games out of that lenovo that we were not getting out of this one but there will be some other limitations on the lenovo to be aware of there’s just no perfect solution apparently at the low end of the market we also ran the 3d mark stress test here to see how well this machine did under sustained load there we got a failing grade of 73.2 percent which means you’ll see some throttling and that could have been going on during these benchmark tests which might have resulted in those scores being about the same so overall not bad it’s performing nicely and much better than other sub 500 computers but i think you might be able to spend even less and get the same performance that we are seeing here there is a fan on board but i found it wasn’t all that noisy you’ll hear it come on of course when you do put the machine under load but i have certainly heard much louder fans out of gaming laptops and even some of the sub notebooks there i think the fact that this thing is so large allows it to work with a larger fan that makes a little less noise so the fan noise here was not offensive and it was pretty quiet overall even under sustained load and one last thing to check out and that is its linux compatibility we booted up in buntu a little bit earlier everything was automatically detected just
perfectly so we got video networking wi-fi bluetooth all the things that you need to get a working functional computer here we’re working just fine on linux which is great to have a nice plug-and-play amd solution here so overall i was expecting better performance out of this especially given that this is a little bit more expensive than the other two you’ll see later this week and it’s the only one that is running with the 3500 u-chip versus the 2500 use that will be on the other two and it just didn’t deliver that performance boost that its increased cost should have gotten us but there are some things on this one that the others might not have so you have to figure out exactly what your needs are and then go from there so we’ll have a lot more on these ryzen machines as we progress our way through ryzen laptop week i’d love to hear what you would like to see down in the comments below maybe we’ll do a summary video of what we’ve learned testing these three different computers and until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters the four guys with quarters podcast tom albrecht rajesh logic gr and kalyan kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe