Asus TP501UA is a 15-inch convertible notebook. it nicely built and capable of handling daily activities and games.if you compare to other brand you also see TP501UB model a 38 Wh battery, when the competition gets IPS panels and larger batteries on their 15-inch convertibles.These need to be compensated with affordable price tags, otherwise
the Vivobooks TP501s are going to be hard sells.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Price range: $749-$1099
Asus TP501UA well built and nice looking; very good keyboard and decent
trackpad; fast performance; runs cool; 5-7 hours of battery life.
poor TN screen, small 38 Wh battery for a 15-incher, more difficult to
upgrade than previous model
This post is about the Asus Vivobook TP501 series, a mid-level laptop
line with Skylake hardware and a 15.6-inch screen that can rotate all
the way around onto the back. In other words, this is a 15-inch
convertible computer, which can be used as a regular notebook, as a
tablet or in stand and presentation modes if so desired.
But is it actually worth buying? Well, stick around for the next few
minutes and you’ll find out.
Before we start though, you should know that we reviewed a
pre-production sample of the Vivobook TP501UA model here, in a
configuration that includes an Intel Core i7-6500U processor, 8 GB of
RAM and a 500 GB HDD.
The TP501UA series will be available in a few different versions, with
Core i5 or i7 CPUs, 4 or 8 GB of RAM and optional M.2 SSD storage. The
same options are available for the Vivobook TP501UB models, which also
bundle an Nvidia GT 940M graphics chip and will cost $50 to $70 more
than a similarly configured TP501UA.
|Asus Vivobook TP501UA|
|Screen||15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, TN, glossy, touch|
|Processor||Intel Skylake Core i7-6700U CPU|
|Video||Integrated Intel HD 520 + Nvidia GeForce GT 940M 2GB|
|Memory||8 GB DDR3L ( 4 GB soldered + 1 DIMM)|
|Storage||500 GB 2.5″ 5400 rpm HDD 7 mm (Seagate ST500L), empty M.2 SATA slot|
|Connectivity||Atheros Wireless AC , Realtek PCIe Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Ports||2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.1 (5 Gbps), HDMI, RJ45, mic/headphone, SD card reader, Kensington Lock|
|Operating system||Windows 10|
|Size||378 mm or 14.88” (w) x 253 mm or 9.96” (d) x 22.5 mm or .88” (h)|
|Weight||2.2 kg or 4.85 lb|
|Extras||no backlit keyboard, HD camera|
Asus put a significant effort into creating a strong screen, which shows
little to no flex, mainly thanks to its metallic hood and glass covered
display. They also revamped the hinges. There are two of them on this
new model, and they are stiff enough to hold the screen in place as set
up, but also allow smooth transition between modes. You’ll need to use
both hands to lift up the screen or switch between them though.
The laptop’s main body and also part entirely made out of plastic, while some of the competitors get an aluminum inner deck as well. So the interior doesn’t exactly feel premium, but it’s not bad, asthe plastic on the palm-rest is matte and actually gets a brushed texture. As for the belly, well, Asus used a soft piece of silver plastic for this part, with four rubber feet, an air-intake grill and two side cuts for the speakers.
The exhaust grill is placed on the back edge, and the fan pushes hot air away from
users, while the entire IO is grouped on the lateral sides, with two USB 3.0 ports, one
USB 2.0 ports, an USB 3.1 TypeC slot, a card-reader, HDMI output and a LAN connector.
I’m not very happy with the fact that most of the ports are lined on the right edge and
will cause cables to interfere with my mouse. They are also squeezed tight, so you might not be able to use all of them at once.
Asus TP501UA is the 1920 x 1080 px TN panel that Asus choose for it, which is just bad by today’s standards, especially when the competition puts IPS panels on their 15-inch convertibles.
The tests show poor contrast and color reproduction, while the limited vertical viewing angles are something you’ll notice from the first seconds you’ll lay your eyes on this screen, especially if you’re used to higher-end panels.
- Panel HardwareID: CHi Mei N156HGE-EAB (CMN15C4);
- Coverage: 63% sRGB, 45% NTSC, 47% AdobeRGB;
- measured gamma: 1.9;
- max brightness in the middle of the screen: 182 cd/m2 on power;
- contrast at max brightness: 90:1;
- white point: 6500 K;
- black on max brightness: 2.06 cd/m2;
- average DeltaE: 11.90 uncalibrated, 2.94 calibrated .
Hardware wise, we had the TP501UA model for our review, as mentioned in the beginning,
equipped with an Intel Core i7-6500U processor, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and a regular 2.5”
5400 rpm HDD for storage. The memory is upgradeable (there are 4 GB of RAM soldered on
the motherboard and an extra DIMM that can take an 8 GB DDR3 stick), the 2.5” drive can
also be replaced and there’s an M.2 SATA slot inside, for an M.2 SSD.
However, upgrading this laptop is not as easy as it was with the previous TP500. You’ll
have to unscrew the Philips screws on the bottom, that’s the easy part. Then, with the
help of a plastic card, pop-up the entire plastic interior in order to get to the hardware. Be careful not to pull too hard, there are two ribbons connecting the keyboard that you’ll need to disconnect first.
At this point, you can have a look at the internals, but only the 2.5″ storage bay and
the Wi-Fi chip are easily accessible. The RAM and the M.2 slots are on the other side
of the motherboard, so you’ll need to take it out to access them, so make sure you know what you’re doing. And disconnect the battery first!
Now, when it comes to performance, this is a capable computer, although its speed and
app loading times are dragged down by the slow HDD. It can still handle all the daily
activities at ease, from browsing with multiple tabs open to watching any sort of video
content, and it can also run some games at the native 1080p resolution, albeit older
ones with reduced details.
If you’re interested in benchmarks results, you’ll find them below.
- 3DMark 11: P1605;
- 3DMark 13: Ice Storm – 58158, Cloud Gate –6331, Sky Driver – 3858, Fire Strike – 867;
- PCMark 08: Home Conventional – 2656;
- Cinebench 3 32-bit: Single-Core: 3128, Multi-core: 6571;
- CineBench 11.5: OpenGL 35.26 fps, CPU 3.56 pts, CPU Single Core 1.47 pts;
- CineBench R15: OpenGL 41.56 fps, CPU 320 cb, CPU Single Core 128 cb;
- x264 Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 – 113.18 fps, Pass 2 – 20.58 fps.
At the last point is price. The Asus Vivobook TP501 is expected in
stores in February-March 2016 and based on what we know right now, a Core i5-6200U
configuration with 4 GB of RAM and 1 TB of HDD storage will sell for around $750, but
take this with a grain of salt. Configurations with Core i7 processors, more RAM,
Nvidia 940M graphics and 128 GB M.2 SSDs are also available, going up to around $1100.
Just to be sure that I was clear before, there are two TP501 models:
TP501UA – without dedicated graphics;
TP501UB – with Nvidia 940M 2GB dedicated graphics.
They share all their other traits and the UB is going to be $50 to $70 more expensive
So if you like to this device i’m saying that go to market and bye it.
There’s one more thing I’d like to add, and you might call this a rant, but it bothers
me. I’m usually recommending those who look for a computer in the $600 to $800 price
range to get lower-end models and then upgrade the RAM and storage themselves later on,
once they can afford it.
But with this laptop, Asus made upgrades difficult and in a
way force us to buy the higher-end configurations they are selling. I’m not a fan of
that, especially since there’s no ultra-slim or ultra-light body to justify this trade
off. The TP501 is only 0.3 of a pound lighter than the old TP500, but that’s due to
having a smaller battery, which for me is another step backwards. Anyway, we’ll end this here. Get in touch in the comments section if you have any questions or anything to add to this post, and check out our list of recommended 15-inch ultraportables or our post on the best 2-in-1 hybrids available in stores right now for more suggestions that you might find interesting.