Asus Vivobook S510UA review: It’s not fancy, but it’s fast

A Kaby Lake Core i7 at a wallet-friendly price

Battery life

Battery life, on the other hand, is a disappointment once again. In our tests, it clocked up a score of just 5hrs 26mins - well below what we'd expect at this price point, especially given that there aren't any demanding components like a dedicated GPU or high-resolution screen to gobble up the power.

The S510UA won't power you through anything close to a full workday, and in fact we found that it couldn't even last till lunchtime when faced with demanding workloads. This is a real black mark against it, and surprising when you consider that Asus should have been able to pack a meaty battery into that thick chassis.

It's not all bad news, thankfully. The S510UA features fast-charging, delivering 60% charge in 45 minutes - so you should be able to top up your power and get back to work without too much delay.

Ports and features

The S510UA is outfitted with a competent, if modest, selection of ports, including a HDMI out, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, an SD card reader and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. This would be a very handy and well-rounded selection, if it weren't for one problem.

The issue is that while this laptop has a USB-C port, it uses the USB 3.1 standard - rather than the identical but more capable Thunderbolt 3 connection. Thunderbolt 3 ports offer power, data and display transfer, whereas USB 3.1 sockets only support data.

To make matters worse, the S510UA uses the slower first-generation version of the USB 3.1 standard, so it's got the same 5Gb/s transfer rate as USB 3.0, rather than the 10Gb/s speeds of the second-generation port.

Without Thunderbolt 3 support, the Vivobook loses the one-cable plug-and-play versatility that usually accompanies USB-C, and although it's got enough ports to comfortable handle most people's needs, it loses points for the wasted opportunity.

Verdict

The Asus Vivobook S510UA is a disappointing laptop that shows promise in some areas while falling completely flat in others. Performance is very strong and the quick-charge feature is a nice addition, but the poor-quality display, terrible battery life and lacklustre build quality all conspire to undermine it.

On the other hand, it is comparatively cheap. For under 700, you can bag yourself a 15in laptop with a seventh-generation Core i7, and although the rest of the laptop isn't up to much, that's an excellent value proposition that may well be worth it for many businesses. Don't expect it to blow you away, but if you want a powerful, no-frills notebook on the cheap, this is an option worth considering.

Verdict

There’s no bells and whistles here, and there’s a lot that’s disappointing about the Asus Vivobook S510UA. However, if you want Core i7 performance without the extortionate pricetag, this is a cheap and powerful option.

CPUIntel Core i7-7500U
RAM8GB
Display15.6in, 1920 x 1080
Ports1 x HDMI, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1, 1 x SD card reader
Dimensions361.4 x 243.5 x 17.9 mm
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