ASUS have recently revamped their casual gaming laptop line-up with this model: the rather affordable ASUS Vivobook K570ZD-ES55. At first glance, this is a notebook that’s kind of like a jack of all trades. It does everything you expect it to, but doesn’t particularly excel at anything. Plus, judging by hardware components alone, it makes for a great home / home office laptop or desktop replacement unit.
Admittedly, the Vivobook’s K570ZD design inches toward a more gaming oriented crowd, but in my opinion, doesn’t go the full mile. You can see it doesn’t have a metal alloy body, that its hinges don’t look to be that precise, and that its keyboard, although illuminated, doesn’t have a premium feel to it. We’re talking about a standard 1.4mm key travel full-sized keyboard here. So, you won’t quite get that same satisfying response when typing as you would with more specialized gaming laptops.
Still, the electric blue colored edges of the lid and the touch pad add a bit of flashiness to an otherwise dull-looking laptop. But, if you’d be uninterested in design and materials quality, this notebook comes with an interesting set of hardware choices. Especially considering its price, which is rather low for this type of notebook. I’ll go further into detail below:
Hardware: At a glance
ASUS Vivobook K570ZD-ES55 specs:
- Display: 15.6″ FHD
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4-2400
- Storage: 256 GB PCIe SSD
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
- Weight: 4.18 lbs.
- Battery: up to 9 hours
Processor: powered by AMD
The ASUS Vivobook K570ZD-ES55 comes equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor. Although I’m used to seeing Intel CPUs in most of the laptops that I review, this doesn’t mean an AMD unit is something to scoff at. This quad core processor has a base clock of 2.0 GHz that goes up to 3.6 GHz in turbo mode. It has 8 threads, an L3 cache size of 4 megabytes and a thermal design power of 15 Watts.
These specs make the Ryzen 5 2500U similar to a Intel Core i5-8265U CPU, which can be found in most ultrabooks nowadays. Even benchmark scores suggest this. Considering every other hardware component, this AMD processor is the main reason the K570ZD-ES55 costs much less than competition. And I think it shouldn’t be slept on.
You can push this CPU as hard as an i5, and it won’t let you down. Even gaming is well supported, not to mention running every app or program you would for everyday tasks.
Satisfying memory and storage
When I talk about memory, I tend to underestimate how well adapted these notebooks are to current system requirements. Modern apps rarely require more than what the ASUS Vivobook K570ZD-ES55 comes with as standard. A total of 8 gigabytes of DDR4-2400 RAM should suffice for anyone who’s into editing photos and videos, heavy multitasking and playing games. Still, there’s room for more, since this series features 2 available slots with supported maximum RAM of up to 16 gigabytes.
Storage space is rather adequate for what the K570ZD-ES55 was meant to do. It’s equipped with a 256-gigabyte PCIe Solid State Drive, enough for most folks. But more importantly, you get to benefit from the improved transfer speeds that PCIe has to offer.
Discrete graphics and average display
At the beginning of this review, I called the ASUS Vivobook K570ZD-ES55 a casual gaming laptop. That’s because, aside from the decent processor, this notebook also has a fairly capable graphics card as well. At this low price, you wouldn’t expect it to feature anything mouthwatering. Still, the ASUS has a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, with 4 gigabytes of GDDR5 RAM.
Benchmark scores and user experience alike recommend this model for entry level mobile gaming. You’ll be able to play the usual online games with no issues (think LoL, CS:GO, Minecraft, etc), but struggle to get high frame rates out of recently launched top tier games.
Display quality is standard ASUS. It has a 15.6″ Full HD NTSC display capable of viewing angles of up to 178 degrees. It’s no MacBook display, but it gets the job done. As is standard with almost all ASUS notebooks, this one also benefits from their Splendid technology, which slightly improves the display quality via software. Be advised that it features a glossy panel, so if you’re usually working in bright sunlight conditions, you might have to deal with annoying reflections.
Interface and networking
Both interface and networking are up to modern standards. The ASUS K570ZD-ES55 has a total of 4 USB ports: one USB 3.0 (Gen 1) Type-C, one USB 3.0 Type-A and two USB 2.0 ports. You’ll be able to connect all your peripherals and charge your device(s) with these options. It also has an HDMI output, an RJ-45 network jack, a micro SD card reader, and an audio jack.
You have two options for being on-line. Either via Ethernet, using the Gigabit Base T connection, or via wireless (802.11ac). Note that you won’t get a 2×2 dual band Wi-Fi card with this model. Quite disappointing for people who may need to use a bit more bandwidth on different channels.
Portability and battery life
Portability-wise, this isn’t a remarkably lightweight laptop, nor is it spectacularly thin either. It’s rather common I’d say. It weighs just shy of 4.2 pounds, and has a thickness of 0.86 inches. Compared to real ultra portable gaming laptops or ultrabooks, it’s rather bulky. Still, this isn’t something I would have expected it to pull of well. It’s an affordable device, after all.
Battery life, however, is surprisingly good for a notebook that has a dedicated video card. A full charge will last up to 9 or 10 hours of lightweight use. Think offline video playback, writing documents, answering emails, that kind of stuff. More serious use will lower that number down to 6 or 7 hours, It’s still great, since it allows you to enjoy a full day’s worth of work without having to carry your charger along.
In the end, it’s hard not to like the new ASUS Vivobook K570ZD-ES55. It’s an honest device. It doesn’t try to win your heart with flashy materials, or clever design. It is what it is. And I think it’s a great laptop, first and foremost.
An assortment of really robust hardware options, coupled with a decent price tag and a rather lengthy battery life make this casual gaming notebook a solid option for either people who need a desktop replacement or for those who don’t want to pay extra for features they won’t need or use.
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