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Asus VivoBook X542U Review – The Mediocre Choice

Asus VivoBook X542U
Lava International

Today we are reviewing the Asus VivoBook X542U, available from Nagmani International. They are the official distributors of Asus laptops in Nepal. We always recommend buying from official retailers for the utmost reliability and genuine products. They also provide you with VAT bill and two years of international warranty. With that aside, let’s get back to the Asus VivoBook X542U review.

Asus VivoBook X542U Specifications:

  • Dimensions: Plastic body, 380 x 251 x 23.2 mm, 2.30kg
  • Display: 15.6″ Full-HD (1920 x 1080) TN Panel with 220 nits max brightness, 56% sRGB, 45% NTSC
  • Keyboard: Chiclet keyboard with isolated Num key
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-8250U Processor
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR4 (2x slots)
  • Graphics: NVidia GeForce MX130
  • Battery: 38Wh
  • Adapter: 45W
  • Storage: 1 TB HDD
  • Webcam: VGA Webcam
  • Connectivity: 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.1
  • Ports: 1 x COMBO audio jack, 1 x VGA port, 2 x Type A USB3.0 (USB3.1 GEN1), 1 x Type C USB3.0 (USB3.1 GEN1), 1 x USB 2.0 port(s), 1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Fingerprint (Optional), 1 x SD card reader, 1X AC adapter plug
  • Price: Rs.95,000 (Rs 85,500 after discount)

Design and Build

Starting off with the design, it looks a bit dated, with those chunky screen bezels, and bulky presence. It’s built around plastic which helps with the weight and keeps the cost down. Although the build could have certainly been better. The laptop is prone to an ample amount of flex all around, and that was a bit troubling for me. Overall, it’s an outplayed design from Asus, they just slapped some new hardware in the same old exterior. Laptop manufacturers do it every now and then, and it isn’t a bad thing either.

Asus VivoBook X542U Design

Just saying, this laptop could have turned out a lot better in terms of design.

Display

This laptop comes with a TN panel, so the viewing angles suffer a lot. The display is sharp, but honestly, the choice to go with a TN panel is the biggest drawback for this laptop. Everything is washed out, and to say the color reproduction (56% sRGB) is bad would be an understatement. Brightness is average at around 220 nits, mated with a matte display, it’s strictly an indoor only panel.

Asus VivoBook X542U display

The display seems to be the laptop’s biggest weakness, with subpar viewing angles and pretty washed out colors.

Performance

If you plan on buying this laptop, we highly recommend you add an additional 4GB of RAM. Our review unit came with just 4GB by default, and that’s just not enough these days. The laptop faced lots of stutters and froze every now and then, mostly due to the lack of RAM. Other than that, the laptop’s performance is what I would say average. It does manage to keep itself cool though.

It also comes with an MX130 GPU, which helps around with applications like Photoshop and light gaming (720p seems to be the sweet spot). Photoshop ran fine (opening times were an eyesore due to the HDD). As for gaming, I tested CS: GO that was totally playable. A few games refused to even start and I suspect it was the lack of RAM again. But to be fair, it wasn’t designed for gaming.

I recommend you add an M.2 stick (even a 128GB one) and 4GB more RAM (there is an empty slot waiting for that extra memory), you are going to feel the boost in performance and the added cost is totally worth it.

Connectivity and Battery

This one gets stellar connectivity, including one of the best ports selection I’ve seen on a laptop yet. You rarely get a USB Type C, DVD drive and a VGA port on the same device. AC wifi comes integrated alongside Bluetooth 4.1. The speakers are loud but the quality is average, and the M.2 slot we mentioned earlier uses a SATA 3 connection. And if you look at the bottom, the easy access maintenance cover holds the two RAM slots, of which one is empty.

The 38Whr battery lasts around 4 hours under normal to moderate usage. This is pretty standard among laptops with similar battery sizes. Charging takes around an hour to reach a 100% form nill. Now, people, in general, might not care much about the below average battery life, but for me, this was a deal breaker. They could have gotten rid of the CD-drive and utilized that space for more battery, but well.

Keyboard and trackpad

This is where the laptop excels. The trackpad on this one is among the best out there. Tracking is on point, the buttons are very tactile and it gets a smooth finish. The pad itself is pretty spacious and that will come in handy for gesture controls. The Keyboard is also pretty great, with medium strokes and the pressure points are on point. Bring a 15-inch laptop, the number pad seems like a give. The only thing to complain here is it’s lack of backlighting.

Asus VivoBook X542U Trackpad and keyboard

Both the keyboard and trackpads on Asus laptops have always been one of my favorites, and this one does not disappoint.

Conclusion

Asus VivoBook X542U

Starting with what the laptop excels at: keyboard, trackpad, connectivity and that’s about it. if you want a laptop for any one of those three reasons, go ahead. But there is a high chance you will be more interested in its drawbacks. For instance, the display is sharp and bright (enough), but the color reproduction and viewing angles just bad. The battery life isn’t good either, added with it’s mediocre out of the box performance and compromised craftsmanship, I recommend you take your money elsewhere.

Asus VivoBook X542U Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Discrete GPU Display
Connectivity Battery Life
Keyboard and Trackpad Performance
Availability of M.2 slot Build Quality
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design and Build
Display
Performance
Keyboard and Trackpad
Connectivity
Battery Life
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I love tech and try to create unbiased content, keeping in mind that everything has their own good and bad