ASUS Vivobook Pro 15 OLED (2024) review: A versatile beast

It's a gradual but noticeable improvement on that model, and with graphics capabilities approaching true professional levels for well under £2,000, it strikes the perfect balance between price, screen splendor and performance.
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ASUS Vivobook Pro 15 OLED (2024) review: A versatile beast - W3Tekno
Our Verdict
Reasons To Buy
  • Powerful graphics
  • 120Hz OLED display
  • Great ergonomics
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Bad sound quality
  • No touchscreen
  • The ASUS Vivobook Pro 15 OLED (N6506) joins a competitive market that includes several ASUS laptops as well as professional laptops priced between £1000 and £2000 with powerful displays and gaming capabilities.

    Intel Core Ultra is a statement. We wanted to examine how things have changed from last year's impressive entry, which was equipped with Intel's first NPU-powered processor, the 14th generation Intel Core Ultra (in this case the mid-spec 155H).

    After using the new Vivobook Pro 15 for over a month, I did more than just play games like Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, NBA 2K, Jurassic World Evolution, Jurassic World Evolution, F1 '23 and many others. Perhaps more importantly for you, dear reader, I've been working on Photoshop, Lightroom, video editors and 3D programs, as well as doing everyday tasks like writing this review. And after more than two months, I can confirm that things have gotten even better.

    Key Specifications
    CPU:14th Gen Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
    GPU:NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU
    Display:15-inch 2880x1620 OLED, 120Hz, 617 nits peak brightness
    RAM:16GB
    Storage:1TB SSD
    Connectivity:1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 support display / power delivery, 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x Thunderbolt 4 supports display / power delivery, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, 1x RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, 1x DC-in, 1x SD 4.0 card reader
    Wireless:Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
    Dimensions:35.57 x 23.53 x 1.99cm
    Weight:1.8kg

    DESIGN AND BUILD

    The exterior design of the Vivobook Pro 15 from last year hasn't changed much. The metallic cover design of the slim chassis is almost comparable to the previous generation, where the depth and thickness remained almost the same but the width was reduced by about 4 mm due to slightly narrower bezels. It is available in two color options: Earl Grey (almost black) and Cool Silver (cool silver). My review model had the Earl Grey color and I quickly grew to love it despite its tendency to draw attention to every speck of dust that fell on it (maybe that was a good thing because it meant I had to keep it clean all the time? Maybe.)

    Even for my ten stubby thumb-like fingers, the keyboard houses my favorite numeric keypad on the right side without looking too narrow or crowded.

    The weight is the same as the previous generation, right in the middle at 1.8 kg (3.97 lb). It's not as portable as the previous model, but it's not as heavy as an assault weapon gaming rig either. It strikes the same balance between portability and power that we found so impressive in the previous model last year.

    Connectivity is still among the best among laptops of this size, with a Thunderbolt 4 port supporting power delivery and external display, another USB-C port, a USB-A 3.2 port, an HDMI port, a DC output, a combo audio jack and - please save your applause for last, photographers - an SD 4.0 card reader.

    But the display is the main attraction, just like on most ASUS devices from previous years. It's a stunning 15-inch 3K OLED display; in my tests it reached a maximum brightness of 617 nits, so the company's vivid 600-nit peak brightness claim is actually slightly below the actual display.

    FEATURES

    ASUS has consistently shown itself to be one of the most creative and daring laptop makers when it comes to features for creatives. This time the laptop doesn't have a touchscreen, which is unfortunate but I can overlook that as it's very sharp and bright. It also retains its 180-degree hinge, which is useful for presenting your content to an audience, but without touch functionality it loses its potential to help with artwork or drawing.

    Inside the sensitive touchpad, the ASUS DialPad is packed with creator-friendly features like MyASUS, GlideX and ScreenXpert to maximize your visual workflow and graphics performance.

    The GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card is included and works great for 3D tasks, Photoshop and gaming (I've included benchmark scores below to back this up). It also makes the most of the 120Hz, 3K display, and the ray tracing in particular adds a gorgeous brightness to my gaming sessions.

    With 100% DCI-P3 coverage, Pantone certification, and a functionally infinite contrast ratio (rated at 1,000,000:1, which goes into the realm of imperceptible to the human eye), the color gamut is also truly pro-level. I soon found myself preferring to work on any photo, video or image on the smaller OLED display over my second 27-inch screen.

    PERFORMANCE

    Geekbench 6CPU single-core: 2,355 - CPU multi-core: 12,408 - GPU OpenCL: 77,026
    Cinebench 2024CPU single-core: 107 - CPU multi-core: 885 - GPU: 7,565
    PCMark 10Total: 6,522 - Productivity: 8,151 - Essentials: 9,727 - Digital Content Creation: 9,496
    3D MarkTime Spy: 8,051 @51.6fps

    While Intel's promises of a 50-100% improvement in graphics power may be a bit lacking, it's clear that the 14th generation Intel Core Ultra with its AI-powered NPU has contributed to simplifying processing tasks. During my extended use of the Vivobook Pro 15, I found that app launching was smoother than before, probably because the NPU took over app launching and the 16 GB of RAM helped keep things running smoothly.

    The benchmark results were also quite striking. Despite having only 16GB of RAM (as opposed to 32GB in many high-end creative/gamer laptops these days), the Geekbench 6 and Cinebench 2024 results were very similar to those of the previous year's Acer Predator Helios gaming beast. In addition, the PCMark 10, 3D Mark and Handbrake scores were truly remarkable. The PCMark 10 exam results for Digital Content Creation were very impressive. A score of 9,496 indicates that it's a great option for video editors, streamers and even some 3D experts.

    The Vivobook also did well in my Handbrake test, where I animated an 11-minute 4K video clip and turned it into a 1080p movie. It did so in 4 minutes and 36 seconds, which is comparable to other pro-level creative laptops and, once again, not far off the 4 minutes and 11 seconds achieved by my current record holder, the Acer Predator Helios.

    Vivobook Pro's large 125W charging brick supports gaming credentials, allowing it to fully utilize its ray tracing and 3D rendering capabilities without worrying about the connected cable running out of juice. Large, graphically demanding games like Jurassic World Evolution 2, fast-paced role-playing games like RPGs and first-person shooters, and even the motion demands of F1 23 and NBA 2K23 ran smoothly on my system.

    Generally speaking, the 14th generation Vivobook Pro 15 outperformed the previous year's model by almost 10%, which is impressive given the value already delivered.

    It was a pleasure to use as my daily laptop thanks to the fast start-up and the beautiful, unobtrusive display. Video viewing was also a joy, as excellent color reproduction and true blacks made it a pleasure to watch both new live-action black-and-white movies and animated television shows.

    Claims of 'powerful, immersive sound' are, as is almost always the case with laptops, purely fanciful, but Harman/Kardon has tried here to deliver a passable mid-range sound quality, though still lacking in both highs and lows.

    PRICE

    The previous year's Vivobook Pro 15 was around £1,499, but the Intel Core Ultra version (look for model N6506) is currently available for £1,599 without any special offers or discounts included. If that price is too high for you and you're prepared to wait, you can start saving in the second half of this year based on ASUS' past sales trends. Although slightly more expensive than the new MacBook Air with M3 processor, it comfortably beats the Air in both Geekbench and Cinebench tests, giving you a more powerful creative tool that can also play some intense games.

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