- Page 1: Introduction
- Page 2: Design, ports, screen
- Page 3: Trackpad and keyboard
- Page 4: Performance, gaming, and battery life
- Page 5: Maintenance and upgradability
- Page 6: Wrapping up the ASUS VivoBook Ultra A512 review
Maintenance and upgradability
Opening up the ASUS VivoBook Ultra A512 is actually pretty simple. There are some standard Phillip screws at the back and requires some plastic bending magic to release the plastic clips. Very simple and easy to do.
Once the backplate is off, we can see everything there is on the motherboard, including the fans, RAM, SSD, and HDD bays. ASUS laptops are pretty easy to open up for servicing and upgrades, except for the Zephyrus series.
From here we can see that the cooling solution on this laptop is pretty simple. A single large heatpipe that runs through both the CPU, GPU, and leads to the heatsink and single fan. Once again, the heatpipe is easily removable and you can reapply thermal paste easily too. Learn more about why you should do that here.
Opening up reveals that the VivoBook Ultra A512 is actually quite simple to maintain and upgrade – which is certainly something we insist on.
Firstly, the RAM situation. ASUS left a slot for you to pop your own RAM inside, but there is only one visible slot. The pre-installed 4GB RAM is nowhere to be found. Popping in another 16GB RAM means you get a total of 20GB. A weird number but certainly better than the current 4GB RAM. We highly recommend adding more RAM.
Then comes the empty slot part at the bottom left corner. This is where the 2.5-inch storage devices go in, be it a 2.5-inch SSD or HDD.
The reason why I avoid the word “HDD upgrade kit” here is that it allows a 2.5-inch storage device to be installed inside the laptop. You can opt to get another 2.5-inch SSD if you like – then it invalidates the “HDD” moniker in the upgrade kit. Though, the general consensus is to get a 2.5-inch HDD to pair with an M.2 SSD for the best of both worlds in terms of storage capacity and speed respectively.
ASUS provided an upgrade kit for you to do it yourself and it is actually pretty simple to do. Just make sure you follow the instructions and be careful with the ribbon cable which connects to the J5101 connector on the motherboard.
If you want to swap your M.2 SSD for something else, you can do that too as it is easily accessible.