For less than $1100, this 17-inch version of the Asus VivoBook Pro is a bargain gaming rig for users who want more than adequate screen estate. It delivers affordable 1080p gameplay, strong performance, an attractive case design, and audible speakers.
- Plenty of screen estate
- Great day-to-day performance
- Gaming capable
- Good viewing angles
- Loud audible speakers
- Backlit keyboard
- Fingerprint Scanner
- Not the best at thermal management
- Average battery life
- Thin array of ports
If you love big screens and plenty of screen estate for your work, then a 17-inch screen is a great place to start. The Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705FD-ES76 makes no apologies for being a large 17-inch budget gaming system. It packs cutting edge features which enable it to dominate in daily productivity and entry-level gaming. Thanks to an Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 16GB DDR4 memory, plenty of both HDD/SSD storage and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, the Asus VivoBook Pro 17 delivers both great frame rates at a budget price. But what are the other benefits of choosing the VivoBook Pro 17? We found out in the full review below.
Asus VivoBook Pro N705FD-ES76 Specs
|Display||17.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8565U|
|Storage||256GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050|
|Dimensions||16.2 x 10.6 x 0.8 inches|
Design and Features
Like its counterpart, the Asus VivoBook Pro 15, the Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705FD-ES76 features a plastic frame with sheets of brushed aluminum covering the palm rest and display lid. The metal introduces a heavy degree of sturdiness to the design giving it the firmness it otherwise would not have had. From a distance, the whole design is easy on the eye and has a sleek sophisticated look that’s reassuring of its quality.
The hinges are tightly wound leaving no room for an unnecessary bounce. That also means you need both hands to pry the machine open so as not to lift it off the surface. The underside is made of black plastic which helps in preventing the heat from getting to your thighs while working. Overall, the design is rather plain but fortunately, that’s no testament to its performance.
At 16.2 x 10.6 x 0.8 inches and 4.85 pounds the Asus VivoBook Pro 17 is large and bulky and for the most part too big for a briefcase. You would require a special laptop bag to hurl this beast in your commute between home and office or cubicle and conference room. Walmart’s Overpowered Gaming Laptop 17+ is noticeably trim at 1 by 15.5 by 10.25 inches and 5.5 pounds, but the VivoBook Pro 17 is trimmer. On the other hand, MSI did a better job keeping the MSI GS75 Stealth laptop profile slim. It measures 0.74 by 15.5 by 10 inches (HWD) and weighs 5.02 pounds, which is admirable for a 17-inch.
Asus opted for a better grade display compared to the cheap TN panel on the Asus VivoBook 15 predecessor. The Asus VivoBook Pro 17 now comes with an IPS display that carries a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Consequently, the display offers great viewing angles so you can enjoy clear images from whichever side you view from.
With this display, images are crisp and text highly legible and the 354 cd/m2 brightness makes sure viewing is possible even in dimly lit rooms. Speaking of light, outdoors the display is still visible under direct sunlight thanks to the anti-glare display and high/brightness/contrast.
As for ports, you’ll find a single futuristic USB Type-C port (right side) which brings in up to 5 Gbps transfer speeds into the mix. Also in the right section, there is a single USB 3.0, Ethernet port, HDMI 1.4a connector for video output and a charging port.
The left side houses a Kensington Lock, two USB 2.0 ports, and a headphone/microphone combo jack. There are no connections on the front and rear sections of the laptop. On the whole, the port selection is quite thin especially considering this is a 17-inch screen with plenty of room for ports.
Other connectivity options included are the 802.11a/b/b/n/ac wireless connection and Bluetooth 4.2.
Performance – Where The Rubber Meets the Road
Chief among the changes made on the Asus VivoBook Pro 17 compared to last year’s 15-inch model is the processor. The VivoBook Pro 17 packs an Intel Core i7-8565U Whiskey lake 8th Generation processor that is an upgrade of the older i7-8550U found on the predecessor. The two quad-core processors are similar to 8MB of cache but the striking difference between them comes in terms of clock speed. The i7-8565U has a higher considerable maximal clock speed of 4.6 GHz instead of 4.0 GHz.
In essence, that means the VivBook Pro 17 and 15 perform similarly in computing tasks. However, the VivoBook Pro 17 surges have more muscle for handling heavier duty workloads such as video and photo editing and gaming (light games and select demanding titles).
Update: The Asus Vivobook S15 S512FA-DB71 we recently reviewed is also a strong mainstream laptop. It comes with a 15.6-inch IPS display, a similar processor, 8GB memory, 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD. It’s a great alternative for 15-inch budget mainstream users
Memory and Storage
The ViVoBook Pro 17 comes with a dual-storage solution. You get both solid-state drive and mechanical hard drive storage as part of the package. The 256GB SSD brings in fast boot times, blazing loading of applications and software and retrieval of data. Meanwhile, considering the 256GB SSD isn’t overly generous, to begin with, the mechanical hard drive acts as good backup storage for large disposable files such as videos, music and downloadable games.
Asus offers a 16GB DDR4 memory with this system. With its 16GB DDR4 memory, six-cores and 12 threads, it is very capable of handling office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet work, web browsing, and videoconferencing. If you’re into multi-media, it should allow you to edit videos, render 3D effects, compose soundtracks, and stream all your gameplay simultaneously, all without compromising your rig’s performance.
The VivoBook Pro 17 N705FD-ES76 runs on an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 card which is a notable feature with the 15-inch VivoBook Pro. With this card, the VivoBook is able to play the most demanding games in high settings and at a native 1080p resolution. It doesn’t flourish well at native 4K UHD resolution so if you’re looking for such we recommend a laptop with RTX 20 series graphics card. On gaming benchmark, the VIvoBook Pro 17 managed some great frame rates on high 1920 x 1080 settings with some select titles hitting triple digits.
The VivoBook blazed through League of Legends (2019) on ultra 1920 x1080 settings to deliver 146 fps and 113 fps on 4K (3840 x 2160). The laptop also managed 55 fps on high 1920 x 1080 settings on F1 2019. Far Cry New Dawn managed 36 fps on the same settings while Battlefield V 2018 managed 41.9 fps. On low 1920 x 720 settings, Battlefield V 2018 got 79 fps. Overall, this goes to show it all depends on which game you opt for. Some select none-demanding triple titles A will play at high frame rates while others will not. Nonetheless, GTX 1050 is a great GPU for entry-level gaming.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The keyboard deck is made of silver aluminum which gives it a great contrast compared to the black keyboard keys. Compared to the Asus VivoBook Pro 15, nothing has changed for the 17-inch VivoBook Pro meaning the physical build and pleasant typing experience remains. The keyboard is decent, with comfortable travel and actuation force but it’s no match for industry leaders like the Dell XPS 15. Considering the size of this laptop, there is enough room for a numeric keypad and we appreciate the fact that Asus included one. The keyboard is easy to type on for long hours and the backlighting certainly makes it a cinch to use in dimly lit rooms.
The trackpad is also great and includes an integrated fingerprint reader which eases the load of typing passwords every time. Other than that the 104 mm x 72 mm pad is smooth, comfortable, and spacious and comes with two buttons along the bottom. The buttons have a clicky sound and offer very short key travel distance but all the same a great sense of feedback.
A 17-inch screen and IPS display is a death sentence on battery life. For the Asus VivoBook Pro 17, the battery life is invariably brutish and short and getting four hours on it in regular use like web browsing would be amazing. To be more precise, the 42 Wh battery delivers 54 minutes while under load (GPU intensive tasks such as gaming) and 4 hours 24 minutes on daily productivity tasks (web surfing).
One of the plus sides of having a 42 Wh battery is that a small battery is quick to charge. The VivoBook Pro is able to charge to almost full (86%) within just an hour.
The Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705FD-ES76 nabs our Editor’s Choice for having a much faster CPU and performance than its stablemate. It’s worth considering it, being that you get Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 16GB DDR4 memory, plenty of both HDD/SSD storage and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. Because this sub $1000 machine manages more than the acceptable 1080p gaming at 30 fps and instead delivers 60 fps (or comes close to 60 fps) on some select games, we easily recommend it.