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Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW review – a great value do-it-all laptop

Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW lead
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £900
inc VAT (as of 27th of April)

The Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW is big and heavy but it's good value for the specifications

When it comes to the Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW’s internal specifications, it has a lot in common with its gaming oriented cousin, the Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) GL552VW. Both use an Intel Skylake-based Core i7-6700HQ processor and each of them comes with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card.

However, in terms of their design, they couldn’t be more different. While the GL552VW shares all the hallmarks of a ‘gaming’ system with its aggressive design, large fans and bulky chassis, the VivoBook cuts a far more refined and elegant figure.

On the outside, there’s Asus’ trademark brushed metal concentric circle finish, half resembling the grooves of a vinyl record, while inside you’ve got a classy silver keyboard tray. Admittedly, I did notice a little flex on the keyboard tray, but it wasn’t particularly worrisome.

For all its good looks, though, the N552VW is still quite a hefty general-purpose laptop, measuring 29.9mm thick and weighing a sizable 2.5kg, so it’s not the best laptop for carrying around all day. Most of its bulk can be attributed to its built-in DVD drive, but the thick, black bezels around the display also drag down its overall appeal. Still, when this is clearly a desktop replacement laptop rather than a thin, sleek ultra-portable, it’s easy to forgive its rather unwieldy dimensions. Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW rear

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard in particular was incredibly comfortable to type on. The keys have a good amount of travel with a good action to each stroke, and they all sit precisely where your fingers would expect them to, meaning I had no acclimatisation period and only made very infrequent mistakes. More importantly, the keys are relatively quiet, too, which is great if you value unobtrusive working. The only disappointment was that my particular review model lacked any backlighting, so make sure you check the model number before you buy.

The large touchpad is equally comfortable to use and its smooth, slick surface allows your fingers to glide across it without much resistance. It felt lovely and responsive during testing, and the integrated mouse buttons worked well, too.

Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW touchpad

Display and Speakers

The other massive difference separating the VivoBook from Asus’ ROG laptop is the display. Whereas the ROG made do with a standard 1,920×1,080 resolution panel, the VivoBook Pro uses a vastly superior 15.6in 3,840×2,160 IPS screen.

This not only has lower black levels of 0.49cd/m2 compared to the ROG, but it’s also a lot brighter, hitting 287.9cd/m2 on its maximum settings. That said, its contrast ratio of 538:1 is still pretty poor, but at least its colour accuracy hits 81% of the sRGB colour gamut, which is a definite step up over the ROG’s paltry 61% coverage.


There are, of course, better displays out there – most notably on the Dell XPS 15 – but to get the same kind of specification as the Vivobook, you’re also looking at paying around £700 more, so this is still a pretty good display considering its price. Likewise, the Vivobook’s 4K resolution is great for those who like to multi-task and work on multiple documents simulataneously, and it’s also a good fit for digital creatives like audio engineers who don’t need to rely on colour-sensitive work, particularly when you combine it with the Vivobook’s dedicated graphics card.

Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW keyboard

As for the speakers, they’re distinctly average, but since they fire upwards they’re not as muffled as other laptops with down-firing speakers. They’re perfectly adequate for watching films on Netflix, but for a more enjoyable audio experience, all you need to do is simply plug in some headphones or external speakers and you’ll be all the happier for it.


As mentioned on the previous page, the Vivobook Pro N552VW has a quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor running at 2.6GHz. This can Turbo Boost to 3.5GHz when thermal conditions allow for it, and it also has 16GB of RAM. There’s also plenty of storage, as you get a 128GB SSD and 1TB hard disk. It’s a shame it doesn’t have the ROG’s 256GB SSD and 1TB hard disk, but this should still provide more than enough room for all your media files and applications.

In our tough 4K-based benchmarks, the VivoBook Pro managed a score of 114, which is right up there with the similarly-specified Dell XPS 15 and Chillblast Samurai. This makes the VivoBook Pro an excellent choice for an wide variety of desktop tasks, whether that be video editing or music production, especially when you take into account its 4K display.

Of course, one of my main complaints with the ROG GL552VW was its decidedly mid-range Nvidia GeForce 960M graphics card, which is again used here. In this case, though, the VivoBook Pro doesn’t really fit into that hardcore gaming laptop clique, so it doesn’t feel as much of a shortcoming. Instead, it’s more of a pleasant bonus, allowing you to use it for light gaming as well as helping with the grunt of desktop tasks that can utilise GPU acceleration.

In our Metro Last Light benchmark, it still couldn’t handle 1,920×1,080 resolution, Very High graphics and SSAA turned on, producing just 18.5, but turning off SSAA resulted in a much smoother 32.8fps. Dropping the quality to High also saw a completely playable 43.8fps, so you should be able to manage most games as long as you tailor the graphics settings. Older titles shouldn’t be a problem either, as Dirt Showdown ran at 45.8fps on 1,920×1,080, 4x anti-aliasing and Ultra graphics.

The one area where the VivoBook Pro falls behind is battery life, most likely due to that high-resolution screen. It only lasted a very disappointing 3h 34m in our video playback test, which is just under an hour less than the ROG. However, when the laptop’s this heavy, this isn’t something you’ll be wanting to use on the move too often.


There’s no shortage of connections on the N552VW, with three USB3 ports and a USB 3.1 Type-C port thrown in as well. For connecting displays, there’s both a full-size HDMI output and mini-DisplayPort, as well as a headset jack for audio. The aforementioned DVD-RW drive is on the right and there’s an SD card reader on the front. For networking, there’s full Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW ports


There’s a lot to like about the Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW. It’s good value considering the specifications on offer, and it’s a better gaming laptop than the mid-range ROG GL552VW without even really trying to be a gaming laptop. It’s just as quick as the considerably more expensive Dell XPS 15, too, even if its design doesn’t quite live up to the same expectations.

Still, for around £900, you’re getting a decent 4K display, top performance and a respectable dedicated graphics card, making it a great all-rounder if you’re looking for a desktop replacement. Provided you’re happy with its heft and slightly poor battery life, it’s a great choice.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ
Memory slots (free)2 (0)
Max memory16GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio (3.5mm headset jack)
Pointing deviceTouchpad
Screen size15.6in
Screen resolution3,840×2,160
Graphics adaptorNvidia GeForce GTX 960M
Graphics outputs2GB
Graphics memoryHDMI, Mini DisplayPort
Total storage128GB SSD, 1TB hard disk
Optical drive typeDVD-RW
Ports and expansion
USB ports3x USB3, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C
Networking802.11ac Wi-Fi, 1x 10/100/1000
Memory card readerSD
Other portsNone
Operating systemWindows 10 Home
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying information
Parts and labour warrantyOne year RTB
Part numberN552VW-FY094T

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