Remember the time when you went to a computer retailer and decided not to buy the laptop just because the display wasn’t convincing enough? The truth is, the display on a notebook is the most important element for an interaction. If you haven’t been keeping up with display technology, OLED screens have been powering top-of-the-line Windows notebooks (and high-end Android phones and iPhones) for quite some time now. But now Asus is bringing the OLED display technology to the VivoBook K15 OLED, a laptop that starts at just Rs 46,990. That’s a big deal at this price point.
After using the VivoBook K15 OLED for a few weeks, I have a better idea of its strengths and weaknesses. My review focuses on the display as well as the performance of the notebook.
Asus VivoBook K15 OLED price in India: Rs 46,990 onwards
The VivoBook K15 OLED is mostly plastic, but the laptop’s metallic exterior is pleasing to the eyes. As I said, the chassis is made of plastic, but it does not look cheap. My review unit came in a “Transparent Silver” colour scheme with a bright silver logo on the lid along with chrome trim on the side. The notebook does not fall in the ultrabook category, but at 1.8kg it’s still convenient to carry around. Definitely not the lightest and thinnest laptop around, this device was clearly made for average users and students.
The connectivity port options are good, with the left side holding a microSD card, a full-size HDMI output, a USB Type-C port, a headphone jack, and a USB 3.0 Type-A port. The right side houses two USB 2.0 Type-A ports. There is no Thunderbolt 4 support here, which is obvious given the price point. The laptop also includes a 720p webcam at the center of the top bezel, which is decent for video calling and attending online classes as well as support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connections.
Perhaps the reason why you are even bothered to read this review is the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display on the VivoBook K15. Unlike the commonly used LCD (liquid crystal display), OLED works by creating light within every individual pixel that makes up its picture, instead of requiring a separate backlighting system. As a result, it is able to offer darker blacks and sharper images overall. The iPhone 13 uses an OLED display and so does the ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED.
On my review unit, the VivoBook K15’s 15.6-inch 1080p screen produced deep reds and vibrant greens. The display is brighter and colourful, with fantastic viewing angles and improved blacks. Just watch action movies on the VivoBook K15, and everything will look better than real life. It’s something you may not appreciate unless and until you look at the display in person.
Speaking of audio, there are two downward-firing speakers with Harman Kardon tuning. The speakers get loud but don’t expect bass at this price point. There was no crackling sound as I pushed up the volume. The speakers are just fine for YouTube videos, online classes, or casual listening to music. For anything intense, like watching a movie or playing games, you will want headphones or a pair of Bluetooth speakers.
The problem with budget laptops is the mostly cramped keyboard layout and as a user, I just hate it. Thankfully, the keyboard on the VivoBook K15 OLED is slightly better than what you get on a typical budget notebook. The keys are backlit, they are large and well-spaced. Although typing does not feel crip and bouncy, the keys offer plenty of travel. For a change, the Enter key is lined and lettered in lime-green, which adds a dash of boldness to the overall aesthetics of the laptop. What I don’t like is the touchpad, which is a bit small for my taste but smooth and responsive. You will also find a fingerprint reader in its top right corner for secure sign-in.
Performance isn’t bad either, although you need to keep your expectations in check. The VivoBook K15 OLED (at least my review unit) comes equipped with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor with Iris Xe Graphics, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The notebook offers good performance, but it depends on what exactly you would like to do on this device.
This machine is not designed for heavy lifting, and if you are a graphic designer or a video editor, look out for other options. The 11th gen Core i3 processor with 8GB RAM is enough for pulling up web pages, working with documents, doing light photo editing, and handling everyday tasks. But I wish the battery could have been better. Asus has packed in a 42 watt-hours battery in a laptop, which uses an OLED display with an FHD resolution and an entry-level Core i3 processor. In my tests, the notebook made it through four hours which is neither great nor bad.
The VivoBook K15 OLED is a fast notebook for its entry-level price of Rs 46,990. I am not saying it’s a perfect laptop, and there are a few trade-offs in terms of battery and a mere 256GB solid-state drive. That said, there’s no reason not to consider the VivoBook K15 OLED. You won’t be ashamed if you carry this notebook to a coffee shop, it feels light and slips into practically any laptop bag, there are sufficient ports, the keyboard isn’t great but works fine, and on top of that, you get an OLED display. The VivoBook K15 OLED is appealing for students or someone who wants to replace their old laptop. And the good thing: this notebook is compatible with Windows 11 but the timing of updates may vary.