The ASUS VivoBook 17.3″ laptop is a massive device with a price tag that will receive a couple of admiring glances and a big-screen display that will turn quite a few heads.
Chief among its other highlights are a stylish build and a port assembly that features the USB Type-C port, in addition to a hinge setup that comes with a lot of strings attached to its bow.
While this laptop will certainly not set the standard for performance, it is sure to meet with expectations on the quality of the audio and the clarity of the displays that are served.
Design and Appearance
The Vivobook 17″ laptop is encased in a well-built plastic frame that sports a transparent silver color finish across the entirety of its smooth surface (much like the Vivobook 15.6 laptop). The same color makes another appearance on the keyboard deck, although the surface gets a slightly roughened texture to boot.
While the build is of a plastic makeup, this laptop is no less sturdy and this solid profile pervades the entire length and breadth of the chassis. Asus also equips the Vivobook 17.3″ laptop with its tried and trusted ErgoLift Hinge and the result is impressive as always.
Not only does the hinge firmly clamp the lid in place once you settle on a suitable viewing angle. It also slightly props up the keyboard to set it up nicely for typing and also to increase airflow into the system through the undercarriage vents.
And with a weight of over 5 pounds, this laptop is most definitely one of the heaviest 17-inchers around. Throw in a form factor measuring 0.84 by 16 by 10.1 inches (HWD) and you get a laptop that feels like a lot to have on your hands or your desks.
The NanoEdge bezel surround is refreshingly trimmed down to just about the right size to house a 720p webcam and the Asus logo at the top and bottom of the screen respectively.
Ports and Connection
The VivoBook 17 is equipped with a generous port outlay that will suffice for a variety of functions. The reversible USB Type-C port is the highlight as a result of its unmatched speed of data transfer and relative ease of connecting to external devices.
Then there is a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port which comes a close second, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, an HDMI output that can connect to external display monitors, and a microSD card reader to supplement the base storage.
For wireless connection, the VivoBook 17 can call on the steady speed of the dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and the smooth gateway provided by Bluetooth 4.2.
Keyboard and Input devices
The keyboard offers a pretty comfortable typing experience with its array of solid full-sized keys, a backlight provision, and a decent key travel of 1.4mm.
The keys sport a sizable font size and the cursor keys line out in an inverted-T layout. There is even enough space to fit in a Numpad which is increasingly becoming much of a luxury nowadays.
Users of this keyboard will also benefit from the slight uplift that is provided by the rotation of the Ergolift hinge
The touchpad is equally impressive, although there is a lot of untapped resources in the vast expanse of the wrist rest that could ordinarily have been exploited for a bigger footprint
Still, this touchpad makes good use of what it gets. Its surface is not only very smooth and sensitive, but the feedback from taps is also decent and the cursor does not erratically veer off track in response to the most inadvertent of swipes.
This laptop is equipped with speakers that make their presence felt and heard from a distance. Unsurprisingly so, given that there is ample space for them to thrive under the laptop.
However, the audio is still a bit deficient in the supply of bass. While the sounds will resonate with the Netflix and the YouTube audience, you’ll have to tune down the volume while making a conference room presentation as it can get pretty loud.
The VivoBooks’ 17″ screen is its major center of attraction, and it is more likely due to its big-screen display than for its Full HD resolution.
It Is also about the quality of the visuals. All the pixels mix fluidly with a fill of colors and sharpness to give out an output that is vibrant and easy on the eyes without being grainy or pixelated.
And while its brightness falls a bit short of its stated 250 nits mark, this laptop still retains a passable degree of visibility in outdoor spaces. This is helped in no small part by a matte screen finish that checks the influx of reflective rays from light sources into the screens’ surface.
Throw in the trim NanoEdge bezels around the perimeter of the screen and a LED-backlit IPS panel with the luxury of viewing angles and you get a laptop display with sufficient coverage and clarity to comfortably serve a litter of viewers.
The downside to this display is the fidelity and accuracy of the colors that dot the screen.
Creative professionals will not derive as much satisfaction as the movie-bingers or the internet browser with a penchant for splitting the 17″ screen into splices of open tabs.
Asus also sneaks in a 720p HD webcam into the top bezel and it suffices for the average zoom calls.
As this 17-incher is offered in several configurations, the graphics cards are also offered in a variety of options onboard with the processors.
The base configuration comes equipped with an integrated AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphics card. It serves up graphics on the low-end spectrum and so can not be relied on for creating the most stimulating content with the full complement of applied filters and special effects.
Although the dual-channel 8GB of DDR4 SDRAM is billed to give it a slight edge in performance, the limited power in this GPU means that this laptop will only be suited to basic photo editing and casual gaming.
The higher-end configurations of this laptop model will offer graphic cards with more shaders and mappers that are capable of reproducing visuals with better color fidelity.
This review model of the ASUS VivoBook 17.3″ will not exactly tick a lot of boxes in the Gaming laptop checklist like its counterparts from the stables of the ROG and TUF lineup.
The graphics card onboard this device is not wired for the thrills of gaming. With some help in the form of reduced graphic settings, you should be able to run several less demanding or older titles at respectable frame rates.
Games like Overwatch and League of Legends will play out smoothly on this laptop, as will other games that do not require ray tracing.
The battery in this laptop is grossly underpowered, to say the least. Asus fits in a meager 32-Wh battery inside the vast headroom available for use in this device, disappointing so.
While other laptops in its size class like the HP Envy 17 and the Lenovo Ideapad L340 both stay up for 9 hours at the least, this laptop will only give you an underwhelming average of 5 hours.
Dialed-down operations can always buy you more time, and on the bright side, the battery is less vulnerable to deterioration arising from the effects of overcharging or overheating.
Cooling and Noise Emission
The mechanical drive housing the fans in the Asus VivoBook 17 is a smooth operator in the way that it works.
The whirring sounds of the fans are relegated to the background while the whine of coils is relatively non-existent.
Only very few users of this laptop will complain of a heating challenge, most especially those that use this laptop for processor-intensive tasks.
This is probably due to the energy efficiency of the processors on offer.
With the processor configuration options that are stated for this laptop, ASUS offers its users the opportunity to go for the basics or the jugular.
The Vivobook 17.3″ gets its power from the third generation of AMDS’ Ryzen based processors. While our review laptop comes with the relatively low-end dual-Core AMD Ryzen 3 3250U, users looking to get more work done with this laptop can opt for a higher-priced quad-Core AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, or quad-Core AMD Ryzen 7 3700U.
With the Ryzen 3 3250U on processor duty, this laptop is only well primed to take on less demanding workloads that will not stretch your imagination or strain the system.
Regular computing tasks like web browsing, video playback, and word processing will be a piece of cake. The icing can only suffice for the laborious and protracted sessions of image processing or video transcoding.
So while the boot times and system commands takeoff with prompt, this laptop will make a slog of more processor-intensive workflows.
However, multitasking with this laptop ensues at relative ease and with a very tolerable system toll.
It will hold out quite well under the pressure of a slew of chrome tabs simultaneously running with a couple of spreadsheets and a 1080p video.
And when it reaches its threshold, the fans do not whip up a frenzy and the system does not become too hot to handle, although it may lag a bit.
While the big-screen display is unarguably its biggest draw, the Asus Vivobook 17.3″ laptop can boast of other qualities that add further gloss to its attractive price sticker.
Users of this laptop will find considerable value in its decent port ensemble and noiseless working operation along with a fairly robust but stylish build design.
The spanner in the works is the underwhelming battery that puts a damper on the device especially when things start to get interesting.
But if you can look beyond that, along with the massive heft and the basic storage provision, then you can look forward to enjoying the largest of displays and the loudest of speakers for one of the most relatively cheapest of prices.
256GB PCIe SSD
8GB DDR4 SDRAM
17.3″ FHD IPS (1920×1080)
AMD Ryzen 3 3250U
AMD Radeon Graphics
Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Bluetooth 4.2, 802_11_AC
16 x 10.1x 0.84 inches