The ASUS M580VD-EB76 VivoBook is an excellent gaming laptop, that can be used for work when you’re not playing. It packs a solid feature-set, including a powerful Core i7 processor, dedicated GTX 1050 graphics card, fast SSD and enough RAM, and it costs less than the competition.
PROS: Sleek design. Strong feature set. Fast SSD and tons of storage. USB-C port.
CONS: Middling battery life. Only 1080p resolution.
The ASUS M580VD-EB76 VivoBook $949.00 at Amazon looks and feels like a premium desktop-replacement laptop. But on the inside, it’s different story as it packs enough raw power to play modern AAA games, sans random LEDs and logos that otherwise shout “gamer.” With a stylish modern construction, a powerful seventh-generation Intel Core i7 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 a refreshing upgrade 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.
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.
Design and Build
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 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.
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.
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.
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 $1,749.11 at Amazon . 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.
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) plus 1TB 5400rpm hard drive. 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 2.8GHz (Turbo up to 3.8GHz) Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (4GB) graphics card and 16GB 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.
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.
The system is muscular enough to play modern PC games smoothly. It won’t give you the butter-smooth frame rates you’d get from high-end systems like the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501, but it still delivers playable frame rates on Full HD resolutions –Resident Evil 7 (56FPS); GTA V (65 FPS) and Need for Speed (61 FPS). If you intend to run games in 4K on an external display, the GPU might disappoint. It isn’t cut for such a requirement, you’ll have to look at a notebook with a GTX 1060, like the Predator Helios 300, or even better, a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080.
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 M580VD-EB76 VivoBook 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 powerful Intel Core i7 processor paired with an Nvidia 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 M580VD-EB76 VivoBook a great option if you’re on a budget but need a powerful machine that suffices for both work and play.