First off, the ASUS VivoBook Slim 15.6 inch Laptop boasts the worst BIOS I have ever seen. ASUS urgently need to change this! They are now trying a ridiculous GUI-style BIOS screen, but they forgot to make this rubbish work: does not recognise external drives, no USB-boot possible, I wasted hours on end only to finally find a few forum posts saying it’s likely not going to work, at all. Without any intention to taint this review right from the start, this is one of the most important factors I had to consider, so I needed to mention it right at the top of this review.
Most Important Review Question: Does the Item Deliver?
“ASUS — In Search of Incredible”, but the only thing they found is incredibly stupid. So continue searching, ASUS… They need to do a lot more searching, maybe then at least they re-gain some credibility among just slightly advanced users instead.
It seems as if they did not do any marketing, usability and user-base research.
I am going to look into other important features and noteworthy matters about the ASUS VivoBook Slim S510UQ-BQ517T 15.6-Inch Laptop below. The model I am reviewing and commenting about here has the following specifications: CPU Intel Core i5-8250U, RAM 8 GB, Drive or Storage 256 GB SSD, Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Windows 10 pre-installed (the latter is a major downside, see in-depth reasons and comments below).
Quite unlike previous ASUS notebooks I had, this one is finally fault-free, even has a nice and responsive trackpad, working keyboard etc (not at all a common thing at ASUS, according to my own experience). They either fixed their earlier quality issues, or I just got lucky with the unit I received. Note that I still kept the other one (despite its drawbacks, for it was a versatile allrounder otherwise, and I was happy with its -re-configurability and options for modification, OS-replacement, and overall optimization). I am also giving ASUS the benefit of the doubt when it comes to earlier shakiness issues, assuming I was just ‘unlucky’ and they may have been limited to a few items out of a wider range of fault-free ones? So I am overall (maybe overly) ASUS-friendly in my review here, but enough is enough.
The (Incredibly Stupid) Push for Yet More Vendor Lock-In
It is sad to see how ASUS screwed up an otherwise very well-built and (at long last) quality unit, simply by pushing for yet more vendor lock-in and making it (intentionally or out of engineering incompetence at ASUS?) hard to use this box for anything but housewife-style computing. Wholly unsuitable for anything remotely resembling professional deployment.
Note that I am not that dumb here and I very well did disable ‘secure mode’, turned off all those idiotic shenanigans, switched back from that hairbrained GUI-style BIOS screen to a more normal-looking one they call ‘advanced mode’, I enabled CSM and tried all sorts of additional steps just in order to make this pile of garbage boot from USB-connected devices like CDROM or a standard USB memory. Nothing. Numerous sources all over the Net also confirm that you’re likely out of luck with this product when it comes to wanting only a tiny bit more than your every-day mass-market consumer or dumb user. Not a good approach for any manufacturer. Certainly not worth our money, so let us wish them better luck in future (they’ll need it)!
Overall Layout, Hardware Design
While build quality has considerably improved over previous ASUS products tested and the display is clear, crisp, stable, anti-glare and simply lovely, the trackpad on my unit was responsive, accurate, and very good, and there are many features mass-market and consumer-level users might like about this ASUS notebook, there are other (more important) factors to consider.
They don’t even include any RJ-45 sockets to connect to standard networking without dongles, adaptors, and similar pain. Have they never seen a professional network or even a medium-size datacenter at ASUS?! Have they never heard of the outrage Apple have been causing by scrapping common connectors on MacBooks?! And do note that these ASUS thingies are not even MacBooks, so ASUS would be well-advised to stand a little lower and adhere to what their audience wants and needs. I really don’t know what they have been smoking. Seriously…
I am most certainly aware (also confirmed in the reviews left and right of this one) that most people only seem to care about how ‘good’ the wireless stuff is or whether it displays nice colours out of the box (and, clearly, it should! Instead of complaining, one could also try to fix those graphics issues by finding that usually easy-to-fix driver problem though)! Still, there is that ‘other half’ of users who need all (or some) of what I mentioned, but ASUS are neglecting that portion of the market altogether.
Meaning, with this (otherwise excellent, really a shame) notebook you’re stuck with that ridiculous Win-10 garbage so many people don’t really want anymore these days. No alternatives. You’re not likely to run Linux on this one. As manufacturers apparently do this on purpose with “Win10-compatible” computers these days, they are not earning my spending money. Plain and simple. Still very frustrating as in time needlessly wasted. I had to send this ASUS notebook straight back to the sellers for a refund and not waste any more time on this ridiculous product.
The unit was bought in order to test Davinci Resolve compatibility, hence the focus on a dedicated Nvidia graphics unit as well as high CPU specs and an Intel i7 processor. Due to the hurdles with even doing a basic OS replacement and Linux install for a professional video editing setup, I could not even get as far as seeing any of the actual purposes and runtime results with a power-heavy professional Video NLE package. While it may be good enough to support the software package for some playing around under Windows, this ASUS notebook (and likely any other one from this manufacturer using this ridiculous BIOS variant and ASUS-style makeover) is entirely unsuitable for this intended purpose.
The ASUS Intel Core i5-8250U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX Graphics, Windows 10 received an overall score of only 1 out of 5.