Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 Review: The best Windows laptop for (most) creatives

Yes, that’s it, there’s no ifs and buts. It’s that good.

WrittenBy:Vinay Aravind
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Usually when reviewing a gadget, it’s bad form to lead with a categorical headline like the one above. At the end of the day, it’s in our interest to keep up a little bit of mystery so that you read through the next few paragraphs right till the end to find out the conclusion. 

But then rarely is a product such a slam dunk that any attempt to equivocate would be unconvincing at best.

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It’s an unobtrusive and pleasant looking laptop.

And such is the case with the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 that I have with me to review. I’ve had it for a few weeks now and I’ve put it through the grind.

How good is it exactly? What's the catch? Is there a catch at all Read on to find out.

The models

As with many Windows laptop makers, the Asus Vivobook model line-up is vast, confusing and contains all kinds of wildly dissimilar models of different vintages and price points. So, for the purposes of this review, I am only considering those models that answer to the name “Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023” (yes, it’s quite a mouthful). 

As best I can tell, there are two models in this line-up in India. The one I have with me – that runs the Intel Core i9-13900H chipset and comes with 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage – will set you back Rs 1,57,990. The cheaper model runs the Core i5-13500H processor and comes with 512 GB of storage. This retails for Rs 1,22,990. Apart from the chipset and the storage, the rest of the specs, including the nVidia RTX 4050 GPU, appear to be the same. (There is also a 16” version of these machines, with ever-so-slightly different specs and prices, but I won’t get into those weeds here.) 

The hardware

It’s confusing for a somewhat expensive laptop, but the Vivobooks are not Asus’s high-end line of machines. Their absolute top end are the ProArt laptops (one of which we reviewed last year), followed by the Zenbook line and then Vivobook. Now, this means that the body is made of plastic (although the lid is aluminium) and the charging is via a barrel connector. The good news is that apart from these two aspects, the rest of the machine is as high-end as it gets.

The aluminium lid gives it a bit of a premium look.

It’s not a particularly handsome machine, but the grey colour is unobtrusive and looks nice enough. The build quality feels very solid, and it’s MIL-STD810H certified, for further reassurance. 

At the core of the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 I have with me is the 13th gen Intel Core i9-13900H processor, one of the most powerful laptop processors that you’re likely to find in the PC universe. With a high core count and high clock speeds, this chipset is all about performance. Helping this along is the nVidia RTX 4050 GPU with 6 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, not quite high end, but adequate for this class of machine.

Rounding up the speedy internals is the 16 GB of DDR5 RAM (half of which is in a SO-DIMM slot, so you can upgrade it to 24 GB), and 1 TB of PCIe 4.0 storage (with an additional two empty PCIe slots so you can lavishly upgrade the storage as well). This combination of high-end parts and modularity is a real delight. 

The other headline item is the screen. Now, if you’ve read my reviews of other Asus OLED laptops, you know the script. The screen is terrific. With a typical brightness of 400 nits and a peak brightness of 600 nits, a Delta E less than 2, 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a Pantone Certification, it ticks virtually every box for a terrific display. The colours are punchy and accurate, the contrast is deep, and everything looks picture perfect.

The backlit keyboard is springy and responsive, and the touchpad is spacious and smooth. Neither is top of the line, but they’re both squarely in the ‘very good’ category and I was happy using them every day.

The battery is 70Wh, and as always, I would have loved to have seen perhaps a 90 Wh unit in a laptop this powerful. The supplied power brick puts out 150W which means the battery charges up reasonably quickly. 

The keyboard is very good and overall build quality is excellent.

As you would expect from a creator laptop, the port selection is plentiful. There’s one Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port, a regular USB-C 3.2 port, two USB-A 3.2 ports, an HDMI port, an SD card reader and that very rare thing, an RJ45 ethernet port, and of course a headphone jack. 

In use

It’s almost trite to say that the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 2023 is fast. For a machine this powerful, day to day tasks are trivial. For any kind of regular use, this machine is, in fact, totally overkill. 

But since it’s essential, I am here to tell you that everything is as fast and as smooth as I’ve seen on any other high-end laptop. You can browse the web, do word processing, play some music, or stream video – all of it without a stutter. But none of these things are what the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 2023 is designed for.

Here I must mention that I had a couple of issues when I first started using this laptop, namely an inability to automatically sync the system time, and a random flickering on the top third of the screen. But both these things were resolved when I updated the drivers from the myAsus app. I hope they ship future models with up-to-date drivers, but I’d advise anyone buying to do this quick step anyway.

Now let’s get down to the important stuff: using it for creative work. 

Using my main work app, Lightroom Classic, on the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 made me emotional. Mostly because it reminded me that my 2018 Mac Mini was in desperate need of an upgrade. Everything was incredibly smooth and fast. Importing a whole day’s worth of RAW files (over 1,400), plus generating both Standard and Smart Previews was dispatched in around 10 minutes. Moving from image to image in the filmstrip is instantaneous and edits are smooth. Even the AI masks work rapidly. Hopping over to Photoshop for some tweaks and sky replacement was once again as fast as I’ve ever experienced. 

The screen is magnificent.

I also ran some of the major benchmarks and as you can imagine the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 tore it up. Most of these numbers are competitive with the 14” M2 Pro Macbook Pro, which starts off at Rs 1,99,999. 

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I also encoded a 60-second 4K 60 fps clip (measuring 477 MB) through Handbrake, just like I did in this review for the Asus ProArt model, and it sped through in 1:10 seconds. Had a friend run the same video on an M1 Pro Macbook Pro, which took 1:13 seconds, so it’s neck and neck. 

I didn’t have a similarly priced Macbook Pro at hand to do a head to head comparison. But looking at the benchmark performance, I’d say that you’re likely to find the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 every bit as capable as the comparably priced 13” M2 Macbook Pro, and possibly even on sparring terms with the more expensive 14” M2 Pro Macbook Pro.

Branding on the lid is subtle enough.

If you’re looking to do photography, video editing or design work, the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 should be among your top candidates. All of this power is delivered consistently and without too much throttling, and with excellent thermal management. Even while running benchmark after benchmark and stress testing it on photoshop, while the fans spooled up rather loudly, no part of the laptop felt uncomfortably warm.  

Rounding out the usage experience of this laptop are the speakers, which are good, even if not quite outstanding, and the 70 Whr battery which surprisingly gave me between five and six hours of endurance, as long as the MUX switch is set to hybrid. If you set it to discrete graphics all the time, you’ll run through it in under three hours. This isn’t table topping performance, but surprisingly decent, for a powerful Windows machine.

Should I buy it?

Yes. 

I was tempted to leave it at that, I must confess, but I’ll elaborate. Of course, if you are a Mac user with a Mac-based workflow, you’re unlikely to be considering Windows systems, so this is probably not for you. But if you’re someone who’s a Windows user or simply OS agnostic, and just wants the best bang for the buck, the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 is at this point the best PC laptop for creatives that’s available in India. This machine may be eclipsed in terms of pure performance when the latest ProArt models launch in India, but for sheer bang for your buck, it’s unlikely this will be matched. 

Thunderbolt, USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, RJ45 and the barrel connector.
USB-A, headphone jack and the SD card reader.

At Rs 1,57,990, the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 offers some of the very best performance and features you can find, in a thoughtfully designed and well rounded package. The fact that both RAM and storage are expandable make this machine even better value. Here I should also mention that Asus offers inexpensive extended warranties and accidental damage protection packages as well, which is another mark in its favour.

When compared to the Macs, the main downside is the battery life. While it’s about average for a Windows laptop, the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 doesn’t come close to the Apple Silicon machines when it comes to battery life or thermal efficiency. But if you’re someone who mostly does their work plugged in, this shouldn’t be too much of a concern.

The bottomline is, if you’re a creative professional, the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023 is probably the best option that you have in India right now outside of the Apple ecosystem. 

This Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED 2023  was sent to the reviewer as a loaner unit for review purposes. The unit will be returned on completion of the review. Asus has been given no advance information about the content of this review and exercises no copy approval.

Contact the author on Twitter @vinayaravind.

Also see
article imageAsus Vivobook 15 OLED review: Is that really a pro-grade OLED screen in a Rs 50,000 laptop?
article imageAsus Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Has the M1 Macbook Air finally met its match?

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