Asus VivoBook K15 OLED (KM513UA) review: for observers

Multimedia laptops tend to reach the price point between performance and performance. Such devices generally provide high-quality video viewing displays, are powerful enough for light gaming, and are relatively affordable. The Asus Vivobook series has followed this trend, and today we will take a look at the new O15 K15 series, which is surprisingly well priced.

The price of the Asus Vivobook K15 OLED series in India starts at around Rs. 47,000 and goes up to about Rs. 80,000. We will test a variant that is somewhere in the middle and has an AMD Ryzen processor instead of the Intel ones that most other variants have. With not many other OLED laptops in this price range, the Asus Vivobook K15 OLED deserves your attention? Let’s take a look.

Design Asus VivoBook K15 OLED (KM513).

The Asus VivoBook K15 OLED has a large footprint due to the 15.6-inch screen, but it is not very thick or difficult to handle. It’s on the heavier side, with 1.8 kg, but that’s not too bad for a laptop of this size. The construction quality of the chassis is good, and the plastics have a good fit and finish, without unwanted bends or creaks anywhere. Asus sent me a unit with a Hearty Gold finish, but this model should also be available in Indie Black and Transparent Silver.

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The OLED screen is the main attraction of the Asus VivoBook K15 OLED

The main attraction is the OLED display. This 15.6-inch screen has a full-HD resolution, a maximum brightness of 600 rivets and 100% support for the DCI-P3 color range. The screen also has certifications from Pantone, TUV Rheinland and others for things like color accuracy and low blue light emission. The Asus Vivobook K15 OLED has narrow edges on the left and right of the display and is slightly thicker at the top and bottom. There is a built-in webcam above the screen, but it only has a 720p resolution. The cover provides decent protection for the OLED panel and, although there is some flexibility, this does not visibly affect the display.

One of the great advantages of a 15.6-inch laptop is that you have the luxury of a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad. I needed to recalibrate my muscle memory a bit from a smaller laptop, because I kept pressing the wrong keys at first, but I got used to it after a few days. The keys themselves are well spaced and comfortable, but I wish they were lightly sculpted and not flat, for a better typing experience. The “Enter” key has fluorescent green lights, which is a fun little touch. The arrow keys are also well spaced. The Asus VivoBook K15 OLED has a fingerprint sensor placed in a corner of the trackpad. It works well and doesn’t get in your way.

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The Asus VivoBook 15 OLED has a full-size keyboard

Coming to the ports, you get a lot. On the left, you have two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and on the right, there’s a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A port, a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C port, HDMI 1.4 video output, a headphone jack, a DC power input and a microSD card slot. For everyday use, these ports should do well, although I would have preferred more USB 3.0 ports instead of the two USB 2.0 ports, and HDMI 2.0 instead of the older v1.4 specifications would have allowed the output at 4K 60fps.

I also don’t understand why Asus opted for a microSD card slot instead of a standard size one, especially since there should be enough space on a 15.6-inch laptop. You cannot charge your laptop through the Type C port, and none of the USB ports will provide power to charge other devices if the laptop is turned off. This may sound wise, but it’s the small features that make a big difference to everyday use.

Specifications and software Asus VivoBook K15 OLED (KM513).

The Asus VivoBook K15 OLED is available with either an Intel or AMD processor. Intel-based variants start at Rs. 46,990, and at this price you will get an 11th generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor. You can go up to a Core i7 if needed. As of this review, Asus has only one AMD-powered version for sale in India, which has an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor with integrated Radeon graphics. This variant also has 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB M.2 NVMe SSD and a 1 TB mechanical hard drive. Of the 8 GB of RAM, only one 4 GB module was detected in the CPUz application, which means that the other 4 GB are most likely glued to the motherboard.

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MyAsus offers quite a few customization options

My drive came with Windows 10, but you can choose to upgrade to Windows 11 while you set it up. Some pre-installed programs include a trial version of McAfee Livesafe and a fully licensed version of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2019. All Asus programs can be found through the MyAsus launcher, for which there is also a dedicated keyboard shortcut button . . The application is a bit cumbersome but functional and offers plenty of options for battery care, updates and display settings.

There is also an OLED Care section here, which has options for a special screen saver that can be activated if the laptop is idle on a static screen for too long and a Pixel Shift function to avoid screen burning problems. These are enabled by default to protect the OLED display for a long time. Another feature I liked is the ability to switch the primary functions of the Fn line keys.

Asus VivoBook K15 OLED (KM513) performance and battery life

Asus VivoBook K15 OLED excels at video playback thanks to its vibrant OLED display. Black is deep, and colors can look very vivid depending on how you change the display. The glossy screen may cause reflections, which should be noted. Viewing angles are good, but there is a slight change in color when viewing the screen off-axis, although this is only noticeable with a white background.

The screen supports HDR, but to use it, you must enable this setting in Windows. The default image profile is pretty bad, because any highlight in an HDR video is removed instantly. You’ll need to adjust the HDR slider in the Windows display settings to find the right balance, and also turn on HDR streaming while running on battery power. After doing this, the HDR videos looked much better. Stereo speakers sound decent, but not great, even with DTS enhancements.

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There is a decent selection of ports, but a full size SD card slot would have been preferable.

Windows 11 worked very well on the Asus VivoBook K15 configuration I tested. The programs opened and closed quickly, waking the laptop from sleep was fast, and the fingerprint sensor worked well for authentication. The white backlight on the silver keys makes their labels difficult to see during the day, but it does its job in low light conditions. The laptop also worked well in benchmarks, recording good numbers in synthetic tests.

The Ryzen 5 5500U processor was just behind the Ryzen 5 5600U that I recently tested in the Acer Swift X, which made sense. However, the integrated Radeon GPU is not powerful enough for demanding games. Fortnite was playable only at low graphics settings at the native display resolution. Games like Far Cry 5 were only playable at low graphics quality and here the resolution had to be reduced.

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The bright and vivid display of the Asus VivoBook 15 OLED makes it ideal for watching movies in excess.

The Asus VivoBook K15 OLED has a modest 42 WHr 3-cell battery, which lasts about four hours with light to medium usage and the Windows battery profile set to “Balanced”. This type of battery life is not great, especially for a 15.6-inch laptop. With the laptop in “Better Energy Efficiency” mode, I managed to squeeze another hour with a similar use, which is still not too much. It would have been nice to have a bigger battery considering the size of the chassis, even at the price of making the laptop a little heavier.

Verdict

The Asus VivoBook K15 OLED (KM513) is a great laptop for media consumption and is relatively thin and light for a 15.6-inch screen. The six-core Ryzen 5 processor offers plenty of power for multitasking and demanding workloads. Games are not the strong point of this laptop, which means you will have to look at other options if this is a priority for you. Battery life is a bit disappointing, and I wish Asus had provided a full-size card slot instead of a microSD slot.


Updated: March 13, 2022 — 3:53 pm

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