ASUS Vivobook 16 (M1605)
The ASUS Vivobook 16 gives you a large 16-inch screen, a reasonable level of performance, good battery life and peace of mind with its ASUS Antimicrobial Guard Plus, all for just RM2,599.
- A more accessible 16-inch screen
- Good-enough performance
- Good battery life
- Upscaled antimicrobial protection
- Convenient charging
- A tougher-looking design
- 1×1 WiFi limits speeds on legacy networks
We checked out the 2023 ASUS Vivobook 15X (K3504) and Vivobook Go 15 (E1504), and while they were decent laptops in their own rights, they were somewhat lackluster when compared to ASUS’ 2022 offerings. Today, we have the ASUS Vivobook 16 (M1605) in for review. Will this laptop impress us, or will it also pale in comparison against those that came before it? Well, let’s see what’s good and what’s not with this laptop.
ASUS Vivobook 16 — What’s Good?
A more accessible 16-inch screen
ASUS brought us the ASUS Vivobook 16X (M1603) last year, and its main selling point was its 16-inch display. It was not a great 16-inch display, but it did bring 16-inch displays to the mainstream. What was once a premium feature was now available at a sub-RM3,000 price point. However, it was also priced too close to the OLED-toting Vivobook 15X OLED (M1503), which had a fantastic 2.8K 120Hz display that I still can’t get over until today. So with the Vivobook 16, we are looking at a 16-inch laptop that starts from RM2,599, or the same price point as the Vivobook 16X after its recent price adjustment earlier this year.
The Vivobook 16 shares the same screen as its predecessor, which means you are looking at a pretty standard 16-inch, FHD+ (1920 x 1200) with a subpar 45% NTSC gamut coverage. The hinge also smoothly goes down to 180-degrees, allowing you to share the screen easily with those around you. Viewing angles are good thanks to the IPS panel, so you don’t have to worry about off-colors even when looking at the screen from extreme angles. ASUS also claims TUV Rheinland-certified low blue light emissions, albeit this being a software-based solution and thus means that your screen will look warmer if you enable the feature in MyASUS.
It is worth mentioning that the AMD Ryzen 5 7530U is technically a downgrade coming from the Ryzen 5 5600H. However it delivers what I would consider sufficient grunt for most users looking for a laptop in this price bracket. As a member of the Ryzen 7030 series, we get Zen 3 cores with Radeon Vega GPU compute units. If you want more, the Vivobook 16 also comes with a Ryzen 7 7730U with two more CPU cores and one extra GPU CU. With that said, I think the Ryzen 5 7530U gives the best cost-performance ratio here. The lower 15W TDP also means that the whole system runs slightly cooler, which was not the case with the 2022 Ryzen 5 5600H-powered duo.
Good battery life
For a small-ish battery like this, the ASUS Vivobook 16 doles out over 8 hours of battery life in PCMark. Real-world usage translates to around 6 hours, which is pretty decent in my books. Interestingly enough it outperforms the Vivobook Go 15 which has a similar battery capacity by a very significant margin. Might it be due to the CPU architecture advantage? I am not too sure, but I am quite pleasantly surprised by the battery life figures
Upscaled antimicrobial protection
Last year’s Vivobook 16X came with the nifty ASUS Antibacterial Guard, which helped eliminate bacteria from the frequently touched areas. This time, we have ASUS Antimicrobial Guard Plus, emphasis on the Plus. This adds antiviral properties, which means that your Vivobook 16 will be free from harmful viruses. This works against the COVID-19 virus too, so the hypochondriacs among you will probably rest a lot easier with this laptop on your desk. This ASUS Antimicrobial Guard Plus is applied to the full-sized keyboard and trackpad, which I must add, are quite comfortable to use for daily computing.
We are getting the same array of ports here as we have on the Vivobook 15X (K3504). That also means that you also get the USB-PD upgrade here. Aside from the USB-C port — which is capped at USB 3.0 speeds, BTW — you also get three USB-A ports, two of which are USB 3.0 and one which only goes up to USB 2.0, a full-sized HDMI port, a headphone jack, and a barrel charger port. If I were to nitpick, I would highlight the fact that ASUS put a barrel charger in the box, instead of a more useful USB-C one. But to also play devil’s advocate, perhaps ASUS wants to leave the USB-C port for other uses than just for charging, considering that there’s only one of them here?
A tougher-looking design
While the whole laptop is made of plastic, I would say that I feel that the ASUS Vivobook 16 is pretty solid. It does have ASUS’ renowned US military-grade durability, but the feel of the plastic just gives me an air of confidence. I also like the rougher plastic used for the bottom, if only because it provides better grip than last year’s smooth plastic. It’s something like the Vivobook Go 15’s material, sans the bright orange rubber feet. The raised Vivobook emblem also makes the laptop look a bit more rugged, but that might just be me.
ASUS Vivobook 16 — What’s Not?
1×1 WiFi limits speeds on legacy networks
Sure, the ASUS Vivobook 16 supports WiFi 6E, which is great, but it is quite limiting with support for just 1×1. For context, most modern WiFi adapters support 2×2 WiFi, which gives you up to 300Mbps on older WiFi 802.11n routers. If you run a more recent router, then all’s good, as 1×1 on WiFi 6E will still give you a max theoretical throughput of 1.2Gbps. With that said, I think most people getting this laptop won’t be running NAS setups at home, but it’s just something to take note of if you’re particular about your connectivity bandwidth.
ASUS Vivobook 16 (M1605) Specifications
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 7530U, 6C/12T @ up to 4.5GHz|
16MB L3 cache
7nm FinFET (TSMC)
|Memory||8GB DDR4-3200 onboard|
1 x SO-DIMM slot vacant
|Graphics||AMD Radeon Graphics (Vega), 7CU @ 2000MHz|
|Storage||512GB Samsung PM9B1 SSD (M.2 NVMe PCIe 4×4, NVMe 1.4)|
|Display||16-inch FHD 16:10 (1920 x 1200) Chi Mei CMN1618 IPS LCD display|
300 nits max brightness, 45% NTSC gamut
86% screen to body ratio
|Connectivity||WiFi 6E + Bluetooth 5.3 (MediaTek MT7902)|
1 x USB-C (USB 3.0, 5Gbps; with USB-PD support)
2 x USB-A (USB 3.0, 5Gbps)
1 x USB-A (USB 2.0, 480Mbps)
1 x HDMI 1.4
1 x 3.5mm combo jack
|Power||42WHr 3-cell Li-ion battery|
45W AC adapter
|Dimensions||358.7 x 249.5 x 19.9 mm|
ASUS Vivobook 16 — should you buy this?
Yes. The ASUS Vivobook 16 gives you a larger 16-inch screen, a reasonable level of performance, good battery life and peace of mind with its ASUS Antimicrobial Guard Plus, all for just RM2,599. It’s clearly a better buy than the Vivobook 15X (K3504). Of course, I wish the screen was at least 100% sRGB, and that it had 16GB of RAM out of the box. For the latter, ASUS offers an RM2,999 option, that also bumps the CPU up to a Ryzen 7 7730U. And if you’re ready to spend that much, I would point you towards the ASUS Vivobook 15X OLED.
I still can’t believe how ASUS managed to cram the superb 2.8K 120Hz OLED display into the ASUS Vivobook 15X OLED at its initial price point. And now, it’s even more affordable, coming in at just slightly more than RM2,999 via the link below. I do see stocks of this insanely good value buy dropping though, so I suggest if you want to pick it up, you better do so quickly. The only main drawback is that there’s no USB-PD charging, but I think that’s a fair sacrifice for the significant screen upgrade you’re getting with the ASUS Vivobook 15X OLED.
For more info about the ASUS Vivobook 16 (M1605): https://www.asus.com/my/laptops/for-home/vivobook/asus-vivobook-16-m1605/
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If you are interested in either the Vivobook 16 (M1603) or Vivobook 15X OLED (M1503), we would really appreciate if you purchase them via the links below. The affiliate links won’t cost you any extra, but it will be a great help to keep our lights on here at HelloExpress.
- Vivobook 15X OLED (M1503) (Lazada): https://s.lazada.com.my/s.gi24E
- Vivobook 16 (M1605) (Lazada): https://s.lazada.com.my/s.hPYD0
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