ASUS ExpertBook B9

Within ASUS’s latest slew of Tiger Lake laptops here in Malaysia, we have a laptop that’s called the ASUS VivoBook 15 – specifically, the K513EQ. I know we reviewed the VivoBook S (particularly the S15 S533EA) and A series (A413) of laptops before, but specifically for this time – we recommend you to forget about those and get this VivoBook 15 K513EQ instead. But why? Let’s take a look at this video here.

Acer Nitro 5

The reasons are simple. Firstly, its upgradability. When I got this VivoBook 15 K513EQ, I was pretty much expecting that this laptop to be… a rather basic laptop like any other ASUS Tiger Lake laptop. But turned out, I was wrong – this laptop is quite upgradeable.

When you get the laptop and unboxed it, you’ll also get this little HDD upgrade kit. ASUS calls it an “HDD upgrade kit” but in reality, you can fit in any other 2.5-inch storage drives that are 7mm in thickness.

ASUS VivoBook 15 K513EQ

Curiously, I opened laptop up to see what else is upgradable and I was surprised by the fact that there is another RAM slot available for us to chuck in.

Now, in terms of specs, the ASUS VivoBook 15 K513EQ that we have here comes with:

  • Intel Core i5-1135G7 with Intel Iris Xe graphics
  • 8GB of DDR4 RAM at 3200MHz that is soldered (another empty SO-DIMM slot)
  • 512GB of Intel 660p SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX350 graphics

And that brings us to the second point on why I recommend getting this VivoBook 15 K513EQ instead of the others – its performance.

ASUS VivoBook 15 K513EQ

While the specs don’t seem all that impressive on paper, I was wholly surprised when I tried to compare the performance between the Intel Iris Xe and NVIDIA GeForce MX350.
Spoiler alert: both of them are not good performers, but they can both work in tandem to create a very playable 1080p 60fps experience at the lowest graphical settings.

ASUS VivoBook 15 K513EQ

Now, for the screen. This is a standard IPS LCD screen with 1080p resolution, 60Hz, and honestly, the screen doesn’t look particularly great. There seem to be a little washed out and the color vividness is not that good.

While we do not have a color calibrator with us, ASUS claims that this laptop has only 45% NTSC color gamut coverage – which I believe them.

ASUS VivoBook 15 K513EQ

The keyboard is actually quite good to me. No problems here as it is tactile, springy, and has decent travel distance too.

ASUS VivoBook 15 K513EQ

But the trackpad is where I have issues. It needs the finger to move a little first before it “wakes” and starts to “detect” finger moves. Its palm rejection is also bad, too. But that aside, we do have a fingerprint scanner on the trackpad if you want that kind of feature.

And let’s not forget – the I/O ports. On the left side, we have:

  • 2x USB 2.0 ports

ASUS VivoBook 15 K513EQ

On the right side, we have

  • MicroSD card reader
  • Combo audio jack
  • USB 3 Type-C
  • USB 3 Type-A
  • Barrel jack for charging

ASUS VivoBook 15 K513EQ

And the overall number of ports is okay, but I do wish that ASUS just gave us all USB 3 ports this point and USB 2 should be obsolete.

Now, look – the 11th Gen Intel chip supports Thunderbolt 4 – the fastest port that is available in the market today. While we don’t have the Thunderbolt 4 port on this VivoBook 15 K513EQ, we still have USB 2.0 ports. It’s just… frustrating.

ASUS VivoBook 15 K513EQ

Oh, by the way – this laptop cannot be charged via the Type-C port. I’ve tried. And the battery life of this laptop isn’t that good either – at about 4 hours in silent power profile. I’m not sure if this is because of the tiny 42Wh battery or if it’s because of how both the Intel Iris Xe and NVIDIA GeForce MX350 are working in tandem while on battery.

Finally, the price. The exact model of the ASUS VivoBook 15 K513 that we have here is priced at RM3,299. It’s a fantastic price for all it offers – and it has some upgrade path too, which makes this laptop rank even higher in my personal list of recommended laptops.

But you should also realize that this laptop is covered in soft plastic – which is why it sounds… kinda hollow.

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