X409FA-EK100T-4

ASUS Vivobook 14 X409FA-EK502T full review

Gone are the days when bulky laptops were still in the trends, people now tend to use light-weight ultrabooks which they can carry around. ASUS is in the market of making slim ultrabook laptops and is doing a pretty good job. The best thing about these laptops is they come with both performance and portability combo. When I say performance, I don’t mean gaming – but something that would let you do your office work easily. Ultrabooks also have good battery life. So today we will be talking about ASUS Vivobook 14 X409FA-EK502T – how it performs in daily life.

ASUS Vivobook 14 X409FA-EK502T full review:

Design

ASUS Vivobook 14 X409FA just weighs at around 1.6 k.g. which makes it portable to easily carry around with you. It has a plastic matte finish body and comes in 2 colors – transparent silver & slate grey. In terms of ports on the left are the – DC power jack, type C- USB 3.1, HDMI, USB 3.1 & on the right are – 2 USB 2.0 slots, 3.5mm audio/mic jack, microSD slot, with some power/battery indicator lights. This covers a lot of connectivity options. You also have the fingerprint sensor on the trackpad of the Vivobook 14 X409FA. In terms of design, the laptop does a decent job and gives a finish for business use.

Display

ASUS Vivobook X409FA has a nano-edge 14-inch FHD 60Hz display. What more to expect if you have a full HD bright display on an ultrabook. Plus the thin bezels on the sides make you feel that the screen size is larger. There is an anti-glare coating on the screen to help you focus even if there is a reflection of some light source on the screen. I would say the brightness of the screen is decent for you to work even in some external light too.

Performance

ASUS Vivobook 14X409FA has an i5-8th Gen(8265U) processor clocked at 1.6 GHz. This is enough for doing office work. My model came with 8GB of RAM which is expandable up to 12 GB SDRAM. I feel that 8GB of RAM can easily handle multi-tasking but just in case you can still increase if need be. The ultrabook comes with 512GB PCIe SSD which makes it so much faster. The boot time on this ultrabook is so less which is excellent for business meets. You can always keep the ultrabook on sleep mode as the wake speed of SSD is faster too, but even if you shut down the boot-up is quick. Plus 512GB is enough storage for handling all the work. Just in case you want to increase the storage, you can go for an HDD. ASUS Vivobook 14 X409FA has an EAR HDD protection which is excellent to absorb any shocks that might damage the HDD while you are on the move. As for the software part – the ultrabook comes preinstalled with Windows 10.

Battery:

It has a 2-cell 32 Wh polymer battery which can last around 5-7 hours depending on your usage. They have fast-charging enabled in this ultrabook which can charge to 60 percent in 49 minutes approx which is really good for an ultrabook. The laptop has 1-year international warranty.

Price: INR 44,780 (Amazon | Flipkart)

Verdict:

At this price point, you are getting an i5 8th gen ultrabook with 512GB SSD. I guess this is a pretty decent deal for an ultrabook. Anybody who is looking out for general work laptop with portability can definitely go for this one.

ASUS_VG258QR_39

Lyra Voice, Gaming Router, Monitors announced by ASUS

ASUS in hopes of capturing the gaming accessories and peripherals market has announced ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Dual-Band Gaming Router, VG258QR and VG278QR, 165 Hz gaming monitors having a 0.5ms response time. ASUS also announced ASUS Lyra Voice, an innovative smart-speaker with built-in WiFi router.

 

lyra voice

 ASUS Lyra Voice

“At ROG, gaming has been our forte for over 12 years. With technology constantly evolving, we try to map intricate details that will give every PC gamer the edge while using our products. Lyra voice is yet another example of this technological evolution that will become a part of ASUS’s smart home portfolio alongside AI and Robotics. 2019 will see many such launches in India thus reinforcing our position as an industry leader in the Gaming and Lifestyle segment.” – Mr. Vinay Shetty, Regional Director – Components Business – India & South Asia.

Let us look at the gaming and lifestyle products announced by ASUS:

1) ROG Rapture GT-AC2900

Gaming Router

Rapture GT-AC2900

The Rapture GT-AC2900 is an 802.11ac Wi-Fi gaming router designed to meet the distinct needs of PC, console and mobile gamers. ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 comes with multiple features, including triple-level game acceleration, that gives PC gamers full control over their network, from their PC to the game server, to reduce ping times and deliver low-latency gameplay. It is also recommended by NVIDIA for use with GeForce NOW to provide the best cloud-gaming experience. It has a dedicated gaming port which allows the router to prioritize online gaming packets which means no more low internet speed due to many people simultaneously using the router. 

Rapture GT-AC2900 supports exclusive AiMesh technology for seamless, whole-home Wi-Fi coverage to ensure fast and smooth gameplay anywhere and also features MU-MIMO technology that provides a great online gaming experience for everyone in multi-gamer households. ASUS is keen to minimize the usage of PC systems to configure the router. This is why they have developed an app for the configuring the router. It is integrated with a modern and good looking programmable RGB lighting which is probably the first of its kind in India.

Gaming Router

ROG Rapture GT-AC2900

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Network standards: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, IPv4, IPv6.
  • Concurrent tri-band 2.4GHz, 5GHz
  • 802.11ac (5GHz 1024QAM): up to 2167Mbps
  • 802.11ac (2.4GHz 1024QAM): up to 750Mbps
  • 802.11ac (5GHz): up to 1733Mbps
  • 802.11n: up to 450Mbps

It is priced at INR 23900 and will be available on Amazon and offline stores as well.

 

2) Lyra Voice- A smart speaker with inbuilt WiFi router

Lyra Voice

ASUS Lyra Voice

ASUS Lyra Voice is a three-in-one Triband router with built-in Amazon Alexa and a Bluetooth speaker with stereo speakers. As an AiMesh (what is AiMesh?) router, Lyra Voice enables users to easily create a powerful, seamless and flexible whole-home WiFi system.

We have designed this to look good in a living room, unlike other routers which are present in a corner of some room-Mr. Vinay Shetty, Regional Director – Components Business – India & South Asia.

 

Lyra Voice also works as a stand-alone router and makes a great choice for the hub of a smart-home network if a smart assistant is needed in the same location where the internet connection enters the home. As a smart-home hub, Lyra Voice provides fast and stable WiFi to all connected smart devices and makes it easy to add more AiMesh nodes to the network in the future.

Lyra Voice also features two built-in stereo speakers with passive radiators and bass reflex ports to extend resonance of low-frequency sound. y. The speaker design and tuning combined with DTS surround-sound technology enables Lyra Voice to deliver natural, full-sounding audio that’s incredibly spacious and immersive. With Lyra Voice, users can play music from their favorite streaming service or stream audio from their smart device via Bluetooth. When I connected to the speaker via Bluetooth, there were connection and latency issues. The song was taking too much time to change. Hopefully, it’s just a software issue which is easily fixable.

Specifications:

Model Lyra Voice
Overview AC2200 Mesh Router + Alexa Voice Assistant+

Bluetooth Speaker

Speaker 8-Watt stereo speaker x 2

Passive Radiator x 2

Operating frequency 2.4GHz/5GHz-1/5GHz-2
Encryption 64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA2-PSK, WPA

PSK, WPS support

Memory size (RAM/FLASH) 512MB/256MB
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2
I/O ports WAN Port x 1, LAN Port x 1

ASUS Lyra Voice is priced at INR 24990 and will be available on Amazon as well as offline stores.

 

3) ASUS VG278QR & VG258QR Gaming Monitors

VG 258QR gaming monitor

VG 258QR

Designed for intense, fast-paced games, the 27-inch VG278QR, 24.5-inch VG258QR gaming monitors feature Full HD resolution coupled with an ultra-fast 0.5ms response time and blazing 165Hz refresh rate to provide super-smooth gameplay. They also feature ASUS Extreme Low Motion Blur (ELMB) technology to make objects in motion look even sharper, so gameplay is more fluid and responsive.

ASUS VG258QR and VG278QR all support gamer-centric features, such as ASUS GamePlus to enhance the in-game experience and GameVisual to provide various pre-set display modes that optimize visuals for different types of games. Both the monitors are compatible with AMD’s FreeSync technology as well.

 SPECIFICATIONS VG278QR VG258QR
Panel size 27″ (68.6mm) Wide Screen (16:9) 24.5″ (62.2cm) Wide Screen (16:9)
Panel type TN TN
True resolution 1920×1080 1920×1080
Response time 0.5ms (GTG, Min.)
1ms (GTG, Avg.)
0.5ms (GTG, Min.)
1ms (GTG, Avg.)
Refresh rate 165Hz 165Hz
Extreme Low Motion Blur Yes Yes
GameFast Input Technology Yes Yes
Input / Output DisplayPort1.2
HDMI (v1.4)
Dual Link DVI-D
Earphone Jack
Audio in
DisplayPort1.2
HDMI (v1.4)
Dual Link DVI-D
Earphone Jack
Audio in

Prices:

VG258QR – INR 26500

VG278QR – INR 31500

Razer blade stealth

Top 3 gaming laptops under $1500

There are gamers all around the world with their customized PCs but those PCs aren’t portable and manufacturers are trying to set their game and make the most powerful laptops specially set up for intense gaming. These laptops might be a second option for those who already have their Pcs with them but being reliable these devices can be the first option for gaming for those who don’t have one or don’t have a budget to build up a whole Pc. From graphics cards to display quality, here’s all that you need to know. These are best gaming laptops under 1500$ on the market this year so make sure to go through it all to figure out which laptop suits you the best according to your requirements.

3-Asus ROG Strix AMD

The ASUS Republic of gamer’s division is known for their high performance and Strix being one of the top-end model featuring AMD set up, both the processor and the graphics card on this laptop were made by AMD and they are both designed for intense gaming use. Starting with the processor, the laptop features the AMD Ryzen 7 1700-8 core processor with the standard clock speed of 3GHz, but if you need extra power this processor can run the speed up to 3.7GHz providing you an immense power across all eight cores along with this processor that is comparable to a desktop model’s capabilities.

The AMD Radeon RX580 graphics card features 4GB of graphics memory. You can’t use the combination of these two if you don’t have enough memory but this device comes with 16GB of memory which should be enough for your gaming. With a 17.3 inch full HD display, this gaming laptop gives you the visibility that smaller 15 will lack and you can easily buy this using Snapdeal Offer Code at reasonable price.

2-Razer Blade Stealth

If portability is the major matter when you’re choosing your gaming laptop, Razer Stealth Blade is the best choice for you. The gaming laptop features a compact form but a wide range of extra features with an impressive set of specs making it an advanced notebook for hardcore gamers with a 13.3 inch display which is not the strongest suit of this gaming laptop but the screen features a few other strengths that helped make this laptop unique for example this computer has a QHD resolution of 1800 pixels providing you a higher quality than most of the other competitors at the same time. In addition to the superior resolution of this laptop, the display is also touch compatible allowing you to interface with the computer without the mouse or the keyboard. The screen helps this laptop more useful in cramped positions where you may not have a luxury of peripheral.

The eight generation Intel core i7 processor is capable of speeds up to 4GHz when it’s running on turbo boost making this one of the most capable and compact notebooks. HD 620 graphics help ensure that this laptop runs some of the most demanding games on the market using a 256GB solid state hard drive. This laptop benefits from lower voice as well as quicker loading times. It weighs just under 3 pounds and a thickness of around half an inch, the 53.6-hour battery will provide you plenty of juice for those long gaming sessions.

1-Alienware Gaming AW17R5-740SLV-PUS

We’re also looking at a 17inch laptop from Alienware and this model takes the title of the best-designed product on this list as Alienware always has the most aesthetic gaming laptops from the iconic alien head to the sleek silver casing, the device looks like it means business. In 1500$ you; ’ll get your hands on a laptop that doesn’t only look the part but also provides you with all the components that you need to enjoy the best gaming experience. The laptop is packed with an eighth generation Intel Corei7 6 core model with 3.9GHz of clock speed when using turbo boost. One of the weak points of this laptop is the RAM as it comes with a single 8GB stick of DDR4 memory but this can always be expanded when the need arises.

Speaking of storage you’ll benefit from Hybrid memory out there that’s managed by an HDD coupled to an SSD, the solid state only features 8GB of space so you’ll likely want to use it for your OS installation and nothing else but the HDD makes up for the relative lack of capacity with 1TB of hard drive room, you can store a vast variety of games when you start running low on space and the need for an external drive arises. The laptop comes with a 17-inch display providing you with quite a bit more quality and visibility than a 15-inch laptop, featuring a full HD resolution for excellent clarity and you can easily buy this gadget using Flipkart Sale offer.

ASUS TUF FX505 design

ASUS TUF FX505 gaming laptop review

ASUS has quite a long range of gaming laptops in the ROG series. Mostly the ROG laptops cost a bit higher but with the new TUF series laptops, they might fit into your budget. One such laptop is the ASUS TUF FX505 which is the sucessor to the FX504. So let us check out the laptop review and if it offers good performance at low price.

ASUS TUF FX505 gaming laptop review:

Design

ASUS laptops have some really tough builds and some great looks. With the TUF series in the market the design has changed a bit from the outside. The ASUS TUF FX505 has some grooves cut out at all four corners. The design is quite good considering its a gaming laptop. The chassis is made out of hard plastic and is of good quality. The keyboard base can be pressed if applied some pressure, but it doesn’t bother much while gaming. The screen has got some flex if you apply some real pressure to twist it. The laptop has brushed texture on the outside lid and inside of the laptop too. There are air vents on the right, back, and at the bottom of the laptop. The typing experience on the keyboard is just great. The WASD keys are transparent. The trackpad works in a decent manner too. The laptop weighs around 2.3 kg. As for the ports goes you have power jack, gigabit ethernet port, HDMI, USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.1, audio-microphone jack all placed on the left hand side. If you are a right-handed person then you can play games without getting issues from all the cables. On the left and right side are the speakers. Overall the build and design of FX505 laptop is good.

Display

The FX505 has a very thin bezel display on the sides. It sports a 15.6-inch Led Backlit FHD anti-glare display which comes in two refresh rates options of 60Hz & 144Hz. Getting a 144Hz display in some budget gaming laptop is a good sign. The viewing angles of the display are just great, and the color reproduction is quite good. You can adjust the brightness directly from the keyboard itself. Overall the display is pretty good for gaming, watching movies etc.

Performance

Coming to the core part of any gaming laptop – the FX505 comes in two processor variants – the i7-8750H clocked at 2.2 GHz and the i5-8300H clocked at 2.3 GHz. I got the i7 model for review. As for RAM, it comes with 8GB of DDR4 2666MHz one, and you have two slots for expansion that can go up to 32GB dual channel. For storage, you have 1 TB of SATA HDD(FireCuda) and a 256GB SATA 3.0 M.2 SSD. Decent specifications which are expandable in terms of memory. Overall this config did work great in normal use cases like heavy multi-tasking work and loading heavy software. The boot time with Windows 10 OS was short which is good. I liked the typing experience on this laptop very much due to the proper spacing and the key feedback. Talking about the graphics, one has two variant- the first one with 4 GB of NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti & the other with 6GB of NVIDIA GTX 1060. The graphics performance for gaming is kind of average I would say. Now the reason being, you can play most games smoothly at medium settings, some with good experience at ultra settings too. But there are times where FPS would really matter and you need to lower the graphics settings to achieve it. The laptop makes sound like any other gaming laptop while heavy gaming and in silent mode, you can still hear the fan a bit. The temperatures do rise while gaming, but its nothing too hot that you can’t handle. The laptop gets a bit warm from the center and prolonged use may cause some heat touching your right hand as the vent is on right-hand side too. The copper heat sink pipes are shared between the CPU & GPU. I would say, overall cooling system could have been improved. The overall gaming experience is pretty decent.

Sound & Connectivity

As you can see there are three USB ports – one 2.0 port and other two 3.1 ports. You have a port for HDMI and a highspeed ethernet port too. Normal Wifi & Bluetooth connections work in a decent manner while using gaming accessories. As for sound you have 2 speakers and the placement is something which gives decent audio output. I wouldn’t say it is loud, but decent for a normal gaming laptop.

Battery:

ASUS FX505 comes with a 3 cell 48Wh battery that will last for around 1 hr for gaming and 3.5-4 hrs for video playback when there are no background apps & keyboard backlit is off too. You can use NVIDIA settings to save battery for a longer duration. The laptop could have lasted more on battery. One common issues is drop in FPS while playing games over battery.

Price

ASUS TUF FX505 is priced at Rs. 76,390 for the i5 variant & Rs.88,990 for the i7 variant on Amazon India website. As for the GTX 1060 variant the price is Rs. 1,19,990 on Flipkart.

To sum it up, the FX505 has a great design, good display, decent gaming performance with an average battery. To get the best gaming performance for no framedrops, one might need to adjust the graphics settings accordingly. Let us know if you would go for this laptop or not in the comment section below. We would love to solve any queries or doubts regarding the review.

Copy of ROG Zephyrus S_GX531GX+GW+GV_Product Photo_10_lighting

ASUS ROG GX531 first impressions | RTX 2070

ASUS has manufactured several gaming laptops with amazing features that are necessary for any hardcore gamer. ASUS now introduces another brand-new machine, ROG GX531 (ROG Zephyrus S), it comes with RTX 2070 Max-Q, i7-8750H generation processor, 512 gigs of SSD and 1080p 144Hz display.

 

Speaking of the looks, the clamshell of ROG GX531 looks quite satisfying, the top of clamshell has ROG logo with a dim red light which gives a premium gaming look to it. Bezels in this machine are thin to provide a lifelike gaming experience, the chassis of this machine is so sleek and slim with a big amount of power packed in it. Incredible!

The weight of the machine is more towards the keyboard which makes the machine stable while lifting the lid up even with only a single hand. The display in here is amazing with a 1080p 144Hz 3ms response time which gives an amazing experience while gaming. However, the refresh rate may drop to 60Hz when not connected to any power source which is still quite enough. At the end of the day it is a laptop, hence the bottleneck.

Moving forward with the keyboard, the keyboard here is pushed down for mainly the cooling process so the RTX doesn’t burn the fingers off. The keyboard can only be used comfortably when used on the desk or a table and gives awkwardness when used on the lap. The trackpad is moved at the right side of the keyboard mostly for gaming purpose but apart from gaming it’s very convenient to use the mouse on the right side regardless of the position you are in, you can even click and navigate through your thumb which brings ease. The trackpad also replaces the num pad, the only task you must do is switch to the num pad mode by clicking a button provided above the trackpad. So now your trackpad also has numbers displayed on it with lights. Amazing! isn’t it?

The ports in ROG GX531 consist of 2 USB 3.1 ports Gen 1 Type A, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 Type-C ports, a 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack.

Gaming on RTX is second to none. GX531 comes with the latest RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics card which enables a gamer to experience gaming to the whole new level. The new RTX makes the game to look more stunning and makes the launching quicker. With the help of RTX, the laptops can even be made thinner as compared to GTX. Video and image processing are great on RTX. The game which was played on this machine was PUBG on ultra-settings and got up to 93 fps on an average which is quite enough considering it is on ultra-settings. The graphics were quite intense and appreciable, again thanx to RTX 2080, the fan makes a little noise when played on the ultra-setting which is considerable, taking in account it is a gaming laptop with such a power packed in it.

Overall, the first impression of the ASUS ROG GX531 was good. We can give you more information once we have complete hands-on the device. Till then stay tuned and let me know if you have any comments/doubts in the comment section below.

Zenfone Max Pro M2 Featured

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 full review

Lately, there has been a lot of tough competition in the budget segment of smartphones. Companies like Xiaomi, Realme, ASUS, Huawei – Honor series etc are offering some real power packed features in budget price. Recently we got our hands on the latest ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2. As the Max series has developed over the past few years, it is not just battery life but also the improvements in performance and other features. So let us do a full review to find out if ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 is worth buying or not.

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 full review:

Let us try to keep the review very precise and to the point while covering all the parameters. I had used the device for 2 weeks as my primary smartphone to experience the pros and cons.

Design

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 is sufficiently smart and slim considering the large battery pack it offers. I remember the old bulky Zenfone Max devices, while the M2 is nothing like those. It is stylish and looks premium for that matter. It is mostly because of the plastic polished back which gives a feel of glass along with the wave design. The micro USB port, headphone jack, and speaker are on the bottom while the volume rockers and power button on the right. On the left, there is the sim card & microSD card slot with noise cancellation microphone on the top. The smartphone has thin bezels on the left & right side with some really thick strip on the bottom. The notch is small compared to other devices. The device has curved side edges due to which grip is good but can be slippery with wet hands or on a smooth surface. You get a silicon transparent case with the device which helps to improve the grip. Overall the design of the smartphone is premium and slim.

Display

Zenfone Max Pro M2 has a 6.26-inch FHD+ display having an aspect ratio of 19:9. The display is crisp and the color reproduction is good. Overall display quality is great and touch experience is good too in day to day use. As for the protection, the display comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection. I tried dropping the device quite a few times and from a different height, but it survived every time that too without a protective case. Though the protruding rear camera might take some of the hits. The smartphone can be used in broad daylight too, the only problem is if you watch a movie and some dark scene comes in, then it would be difficult to see in sunlight. The notch is also small so the notification icons fit in at the top. The bottom bezel could have been thinner. Overall the display of ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 is good.

Performance

Starting with the hardware, ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 packs in a Snapdragon 660 chipset with an octa-core processor. It is a power efficient chipset with AI engine feature. In support of that, the device has 3/4/6 GB RAM options with 32/64 GB internal storage. Apart from internal storage, there is a dedicated microSD card slot that supports up to 2 TB. This is a useful feature in expanding storage. So this combination easily handles all the day to day apps, multi-tasking, app-switching and gives you a really smooth performance. Coming to the gaming section, the device has Adreno 512 GPU which handles gaming pretty well. Normal games run smoothly on high settings, while games like PUBG can run without much of lag in medium settings. I was able to try out many games on this smartphone and it could run most of them without a problem. Though this is not an ideal gamers device, though it handles gaming pretty well. Talking about the fingerprint sensor, it worked really well but the facial recognition still needs a lot of improvement in terms of speed.

Coming to the software, Zenfone Max Pro M2 runs on stock Android oreo, but ASUS has surely promised a Pie update soon enough. The stock UI is great, but it still has some preinstalled apps. Overall there was not much complain on the software end.

Camera

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 has a 12MP + 5MP rear shooter with a 13MP front camera. Talking about the rear camera, it ha Sony IMX486 image sensor which is surely good in hardware terms. The software could have utilized the sensor in a better way though. The rear camera has good color reproduction as compared to the front camera. In the front camera, the colors appeared a bit washed off. The bokeh effect could have better captured the edges in a much better way. The outdoor daylight photography is great with the rear camera. With the Snapdragon 660, Zenfone Max Pro M2 can capture 4K recordings at 30 fps. The EIS does work to clear out the shaking of the video. I tried installing GCAM and found that the selfies improved a lot in terms of color reproduction and sharpness. Low light photography with default ASUS camera app is good too with the F1.8 aperture but improves if GCAM is used.

Camera Samples from ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2

Connectivity & Sound

As for the connectivity, you have a triple slot SIM card & microSD tray. Both the SIM card slots support 4G LTE and VoLTE bands. Other common connectivity options like Wifi 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, & GPS are present. One problem I faced while speaking over call was the low voice which was probably because of the silicon case provided with the device. When I removed the case, other person was able to hear me loud and clear. It might be the case that the microphone was getting blocked due to the case.

As for the sound, ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 has a 5 magnet speaker powered by NXP smartAMP which does its job in the best possible way. The speaker is really good on the Max Pro M2 and the sound is loud & clear.

Battery

ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 sports a massive 5000 mAh battery which lasts for 1.5-2 days of usage. For a very powerful user like me using Wifi or 4G at all times with some GPS, video playback, Bluetooth music streaming, & loads of calls it lasted for more than 1 day and even 1.5 days for that matter. Even while gaming you will experience that this battery is really amazing. Though I did feel that the charging speed could have been better. In this age of Type C and fast charging, ASUS should really see to adopting fast charging tech especially for the Max series devices with massive battery packs. The charger is the same old micro USB port with a 5V 2A power rating.

Price

The ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M2 is Rs. 9,999 for 3GB/32GB, Rs. 11,999 for 4GB/64GB, & Rs. 13,999 for 6GB/64GB variant. The device is available in Titanium & blue color. The pricing got cut with the new Redmi Note 7 entering the market.

Overall the Zenfone Max Pro M2 is a combination of all the features packed in one device. I would say it is a good device to grab out there with the battery being the core followed by design, performance, & sound.

 

ASUS ROG Strix II

ASUS ROG STRIX II GL504 review | Benchmark

ASUS has made a lot of gaming laptops till now, but the one we are reviewing today can be one of the best in terms of design. ROG series laptops are specially built for gamers keeping all the parameters in mind. Today we have ASUS ROG STRIX II GL504 gaming laptop for review. As I said, it was built considering the design aspect in mind. So let us take it for a spin and find out if its really a worthy gaming laptop or not.

 

ASUS ROG Strix II GL504 review

Design: 9/10

We will start with the key point of the laptop which is design. ASUS ROG STRIX II has a very compact build considering its a gaming laptop. The chassis is all made out of plastic – good quality one. This helps keep the weight of the laptop in check. There is some camel print design on the laptop which doesn’t look that impressive as compared to other designs available in ROG laptop. Some might like it, but I didn’t. The hinges are really good such that it stays at once place in any position. One can lift the screen with one hand, so the laptop has good weight on the bottom side too. On the top of the plastic lid, it has brushed metal-like finish with the glowing ROG logo. It looks pretty cool to see the ROG logo shining in the dark with all the breathing RGB led. One of the most attractive thing on the laptop is the RGB LED strip on the front edge. The keyboard is all RGB too, with see-through WASD keys. Overall the build quality and design of the laptop is great and you will have no complaints in terms of design.

Connectivity: 9/10

Most of the ports are on the left side of the laptop, giving you enough room to keep the mouse without any tangled wire issues. On the left, you have the power jack, RJ45-LAN port, mini-display port, HDMI, 2 USB 3.1, USB 3.1 type-C, and the 3.5mm audio jack. On the right-hand side is the USB 3.1, SD card reader, & Kensington lock.

Display: 9/10

When you first lift the lid, you will notice that the display has little bezels on left-right & top. On the bottom, it has a thick strip where you can again find the shiny ROG logo. To adjust the height of the bottom, they had to keep the thick bezel. The display on ASUS ROG Strix II has a 144 Hz refresh rate with 3 ms response time. It is very fast in terms of response time as you don’t want any lag in terms of gaming. Its a great full HD display on the ROG Strix II which is best suited for hardcore gamers where every frame matters.

Performance

The model of ASUS ROG Strix II that I received came with Intel i7-8750H latest processor. It had 16GB of RAM clocked at 2666 MHz. As for the storage, it had 256GB of SSD and 1 TB of SSHD. The SSD is enough to have the operating system and some games for quick loading, rest can easily go in the SSHD. The specs for processor, memory, & storage are well suited for any heavy editing or multitasking work. Coming to the key parameter which is the GPU, ROG Strix II comes with 6 GB of NVIDIA GTX 1060 GDDR5. You can play almost all the games on high settings to get decent FPS. Dual fans inside the laptop keeps the laptop all cooled down while gaming, though they may make some noise while running. The wents are on the back end, front-top and on the right side. I had no issues as I was all plugged in while playing games. So I guess fan noise doesn’t matter much while gaming, does it?

As for the in-game testing, we tested the laptop with Rise of Tomb Raider. Here are the scores that we got with the in-game benchmarking tool.

Also for heavy graphics intensive games like Witcher III we got around 60-70 FPS on an average. I disconnected the power source from the laptop and ran it on battery power to find out that FPS dropped and after a point, I could feel the lag. So keep in mind that, to get optimum performance you will have to always keep the laptop plugged in. Overall in terms of gaming, I had no complaints and the gameplay experience was great.

Sound

ASUS ROG Strix II have 2 speakers of 1W each. The speakers are not that impressive in terms of audio quality. The sharpness in the sound especially for the high notes was missing. Different audio types in a game were not played to perfection. This is one segment where the ROG Strix II could have improved.

Battery

As for normal surfing and working, the battery will last for around 3.5 hrs. This is kind of below average battery life for a normal battery. Something over 4 hrs could have been a great thing for this kind of laptop. Gaming over battery creates an issue with the gameplay as it lags and frame drops appear. So I won’t suggest playing many heavy games on battery power.

Overall the ASUS ROG Strix II laptop is good in terms of design, display, performance and somewhat in cooling too. But it still can improve in battery and sound. As for the price goes, the laptop is priced at 1.42 lakhs on Amazon. You have all the parameters laid out in front of you, so you can decide which one to weigh more and accordingly conclude. If you leave the sound & battery thing, then you can go for this stylish powerful laptop.

 

ASUS TUF FX504

ASUS TUF FX504 full review

ASUS is one of the leading companies when it comes to gaming machines. They have some of the best hardware packed inside them. Though the price might be higher if you compare it with an assembled gaming PC, but they provide the same thing in a portable laptop. One such device ASUS TUF gaming series FX504 laptop was reviewed by us. We played various games, did some work, and even carried it to work. This is an ASUS TUF FX504 full review after using it for 2 weeks.

ASUS TUF FX504

ASUS TUF FX504 full review:

Design – 9.5/10

As the series name suggest TUF, it really has a good build. The laptop casing is built from plastic with some grey grid design. On the lid, it has some protruding corners that converge at the center ASUS logo. The laptop overall has a matte finish with some cleanly cut grills. Surprising a gaming laptop weighs the same as a normal laptop that’s 2.3 kg. So you can carry this with you and make the gaming portable. ASUS TUF FX504 comes with a red led backlit keyboard. Clearly, red is the way to go for gamers! What I like is, ASUS has though much about the keyboard and the ports while making the laptop. All the ports like USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.1, HDMI, audio jack, RJ45, and power jack are placed on the left. When you first see it, you will feel odd seeing this type of port placement. But it does makes sense to avoid all the wire clutters on the right side which is the play area for the mouse.  Talking about the keyboard, the keys are well spaced and arranged like a desktop keyboard. I have enjoyed typing on the keyboard of FX504 with sheer satisfaction. What amazes me is the key actuation point which is kept at midway, so one doesn’t need to always press the key to the bottom while typing. Also for those who want to enjoy the key travel, you still can press it till the bottom overstroke point. This generally happens while you are too much engrossed while playing games and end up killing your enemies by showing force on the keys. The spacebar has greater width on the left side to perfectly accommodate the thumb in WASD gaming mode. There is a dedicated numpad which is used for work and sometimes while gaming. Also the trackpad has the Windows 10 precision drivers for gestures to work properly and it does the job well. I love it when the gaming companies make the products by keeping every small gaming detail in mind.

ASUS TUF FX504

Display – 9/10

ASUS FX504 comes with the LED backlit full HD 120 Hz display that means it is capable of displaying 120 frames per second. Normal displays have a 60 Hz refresh rate. Now while playing movies it might not make much difference, but for a gamer higher FPS means much better and smooth gameplay. Games can have a higher refresh rate then normal videos. So only if your FPS goes above 60, you would be able to enjoy this advance display. It also has anti-glare feature which avoids external light and provides a crystal clear view. The viewing angles on this laptop are good, thought the vertical viewing could have been improved. In low brightness you will have to adjust the display if you are playing a game that has lot of dark scenes. It has a 130% sRGB color gamut which gives better contrast to the display. You can also switch between normal, vivid, and eye care mode for the display.

Performance – 8.5/10

ASUS TUF FX504 has two variants one with i7-8750H and other with i5-8300H. The one which I received had an i7-8750H hexa core CPU with Intel HM370 Express Chipset. It has 8GB of DDR4 2666MHz RAM which can be expanded using extra SO-DIMM socket upt to 32GB. As for storage, the laptop has a 1TB 5400 RPM FireCuda SSHD which is a bit different from HDD. It has a flash memory which stores frequently accessed files without accessing the HDD resulting in better performance, less power consumption, and quieter hardware. SSHD is a very good alternative to the traditional HDD. Also the ASUS TUF FX504 packs 128 GB of SSD, so the operating system works in the best way it can. The boot time is very less on this gaming laptop. Overall the performance is good on the ASUS TUF FX504. We will talk about the cooling separately. Here are some of the results from the bench marking software.

Coming to the graphics, ASUS TUF FX504 comes with three variants 
4GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, 4GB GTX 1050TI, or 6GB GDDR3 GTX 1060. The one that I got was the 4GB GTX 1050TI. It worked quite well and I was able to play games like Crysis 3, call of duty world war II, NFS Payback etc. The gameplay was smooth and the smart placement of fan did manage to keep the keyboard cool. Overall the 1050TI packed in a laptop did perform well for the figures.

Cooling – 8/10

ASUS TUF FX504 cooling

ASUS has this patented Anti-Dust cooling(ADC) system which prevents dust particles to get accumulated in the vents. This keeps the cooling efficient and increases the lifespan of the system. Here you have a manual control over the fan to keep it silent, balanced or just switch it to overboost mode while gaming. It has two fans one situated directly below the WASD keys to keep the system cool while gaming. With intense graphics game and overboost mode, the fan makes 50-55 dB of noise which is quite audible. The temperature can go high even with the cooling system when the graphics is put to test under a lot of stress. It might be as there are only two copper pipes out of which one is common for CPU and the GPU. Overall in most of the scenarios the cooling system on this laptop does help in keeping the gameplay smooth. 

Sound and Connectivity – 9/10

ASUS TUF FX504 has two speakers very well placed on the left and right edge of the laptop. As the speaker placement is on the sides, they are not obstructed by the surface below or your hands. It has the DTS Headphone:X tech that supports 7.1 surround sound experience. I would say, that the audio through speaker on this laptop is surely amazing. I had to turn down the volume while shooting some guns as it was feeling quite realistic with all that rounds firing. 

As mentioned before, the ports on this laptop are kept only on the left hand side to keep the play area for mouse clutter free. It has 1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, 1 audio-microphone combined jack, 1 RJ45 port, and lastly the power jack. Using these ports the laptop can cater the gaming needs. As for the connectivity ASUS FX504 has 802.11AC WAVE 2 which is about 12 times faster than the conventional 802.11 b/g/n.

Battery – 8.5/10

The battery of ASUS FX504 can last for approx 4-5 hrs while normal work/movie or 2-2.5 hrs for gaming. It has a 3 cell 48 Wh battery with a charger giving output of 19V 6.3A. 

Pricing

ASUS FX504 is available on Amazon, Flipkart  i5 GTX 1050, i5 GTX 1050 Ti, and i7 GTX 1050 Ti. The price for them starts at around 60,000 INR and goes up to 78,000 INR for the highest variant. 

Verdict

At this price, ASUS FX504 has some balanced feature and if one wishes to buy a gaming laptop can go for this model. The build is tough, performance is good until you don’t mind the fan sound, highly portable, display is good for gaming, impressive keyboard with some great sound. Do let me know your views about ASUS TUF FX504 gaming laptop and if you have any doubts, do mention them in the comment section below.

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ASUS Vivobook S14 S406UA full review

ASUS has quite a good line up of laptops with the new series of Vivobook series. One such model ASUS Vivobook S14 S406UA which has balanced features. It is pretty lightweight when compared to normal laptops. Let us check out ASUS Vivobook S14 S406UA full review and find out if its worth the money or not. The model which I received had the i5 processor in it. I used this laptop for roughly around 10-12 days for light gaming, heavy work, watching movies etc.

Front top

ASUS Vivobook S14 S406UA full review:

Design – 7.5/10

The laptop has a brushed aluminum finish plastic body to keep the weight to a minimum. I would not say that this is the best premium design I have ever seen, but it doesn’t look that bad too. The plastic quality is decent enough for the chassis. I am not a fan of the brushed design which is present on the top. Though the matte around the keyboard and the dotted print near the keys looks good. Overall the thickness of the laptop reduces as you go from the top(battery) to bottom(touchpad). There is a slot-like space between hinge bar and laptop base. If you look closely, you will find air vents for cooling. The vent is also present at the bottom and I felt that most of the air escapes from the bottom which might get hot if you keep the machine on the lap. The vent placing could have been improved to avoid heating issues at the bottom. It can be unbearable if it comes in contact with skin or while you are wearing a thin clothing. The touchpad is placed at the center just below the keyboard. It is large enough to operate the laptop properly. Keys are well spaced too and the typing experience was good. The laptop weighs just 1.2 kg and is highly convenient to carry at all times. Overall the design of the laptop is decent enough.

Display – 9/10

Display

When you open the lid you will see that the display has thin bezels on the sides, bit thick on the top and the max on the bottom. The bottom part feels quite thick considering the other sides. As soon as you boot the laptop, you will see that the display is very crisp and clear. ASUS Vivobook S14 S406UA comes with an FHD(1920×1080) 14-inch LED-backlit display. It has an anti-glare coating on the display which does work in sunlight to avoid too much light reflections. The viewing angles on the display are good and the display is bright enough to make it work outdoors. One of the major issues with the display lid is that it wobbles while you keep the machine on the lap by opening it to for more than 90 degrees and start typing. This issue is with the hinge design may be. And the other small factor is the large bezel at the bottom which could have been avoided by making the laptop form factor even small. But that is something you can work with. Overall if we only speak about display then it is pretty good.

Connectivity – 8.5/10

This laptop has pretty much everything if ports are concerned. ASUS Vivobook S14 S406UA has a USB 2.0 port, USB 3.1 type A port, USB type C 3.1 port, micro-HDMI, micro SD card slot, and a 3.5 mm audio jack. It does not have a LAN port given the thickness of the laptop. It has inbuilt Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0 support. The options given for connectivity are sufficient for any normal usage.

Performance – 9/10

ASUS Vivobook is a laptop which is meant for powerful multitasking work and not for gaming as it doesn’t come with a dedicated graphics card from Nvidia or AMD. In terms of processor, it comes in three variants – i3-7100U, i5-8250U, & i7-8550U. I had the i5 processor version which is a quad-core system having a base clock speed of 1.8 GHz and can go up to 3.4 GHz at peak. The machine has 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256/512 GB of SSD storage. Because of the SSD, the performance is quite good along with the operating system boot speed. I tried playing music along with many tabs of Google chrome opened up simultaneously which worked smoothly. It comes with Intel HD/UHD 620 integrated graphics which will help in day to day applications and not particularly meant for heavy gaming. Though I managed to run GTA San Andreas and some other low-graphics game pretty easily. I would say you can try out a few games on this laptop. I had no complaints regarding the laptop performance as such, the only issue was with the heating vents present on the bottom which can get heated up and irritate sometimes. As for the OS, it came with Windows 10 home 64-bit out of the box which worked pretty great.

Below are the results from Geekbench 4 – CPU and Compute Benchmark.

Speaking about the keyboard, the keys are spread out as there is no dedicated numpad. The travel distance is around 1.4mm which gives quite nice typing experience. I enjoyed typing on this chiclet keyboard even at night as it comes with backlit keys which surely does help. The touchpad comes with a fingerprint sensor to unlock the laptop, which works pretty good too. Apart from that, the laptop has an HD 720p webcam for video calling.

Sound – 8/10

ASUS Vivobook S406UA Speaker Grill

ASUS Vivobook S14 S406UA comes with 2W stereo speakers from Harman Kardon along with microphone support. The speakers are placed at the bottom, which is a bad place. If you use it on a flat surface like a desk, then the sound output is maximum. But in case you keep it on lap or bed or on a pillow, the sound will get suppressed. The sound quality is amazing and is very crystal clear. Though I felt that the audio level could have been better to match with something like Macbook. Overall the audio experience for movies and games was decent.

Battery – 8.5/10

ASUS Vivobook S406U rear/bottom

ASUS Vivobook S14 S406UA has a 2 cell 39 Wh battery which lasts for about 6 hrs with normal work usage and 4 hrs with music+power usage. The laptop battery will survive based on your usage. I would say that the battery life is decent and considering that it charges quickly – 60% in 1 hr approx. The power adapter is square in shape and pretty compact to easily carry it along with the laptop.

The laptop is priced at around 46,500 INR for the i3 model, 51,000 INR for the i5 version, and 71,000 INR for the i7 model on Amazon. The machine has 2 years of warranty and is available in Grey and Gold color options.

Verdict

The new ASUS Vivobook S14 S406UA is a laptop that is lightweight, good on performance, has an excellent display and a decent battery life. It is not meant for hardcore gamers but for someone looking to carry it around for multitasking, requiring good performance or to watch movies its a good choice.

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ASUS Zenfone 5Z worth buying?

ASUS is quite famous when it comes to launching phones in the budget segment. But this time they have launched a phone in the range of 30K called as ASUS Zenfone 5Z which has been quite a buzz in the digital market. The phone has a balance of all the features required to give a tough fight to the competitors such as Oneplus and Xiaomi. So let us check if ASUS Zenfone 5Z is worth buying or not.

ASUS Zenfone 5Z worth buying or not?

Design

ASUS Zenfone 5Z has a glass panel on the front as well as back. It has an elegant design and the concentrated circle design on the back which looks premium. The edges on the corners are rounded and the phone is quite good to hold if you just grab the corners. The back however being a glass one is very slippery if you keep it on your lap. The volume rockers & power button are on the right and the dual SIM card tray is on the left. The type C charging/data syncing port, speaker, and 3.5mm audio jack are on the bottom of the device. The fingerprint sensor is on the back with ASUS logo. I would give a 9.5/10 for the design of the device. One of the best phones I have seen in this budget if you consider design. 

Display

ASUS has done the best job when it comes to the display of the device. ASUS Zenfone 5Z has a full HD+ LCD IPS+ (2246×1080 resolution) display having screen ratio of 19:9. The quality of display is amazing and it does a great job of color reproduction. You can play around the color temperature settings to set the perfect display temperature that suits you. If the brightness is set to automatic, it sets the color temperature automatically based on the lighting conditions. The LED notification light is on the extreme left corner of ear-piece speaker grill. The bezels are reduce from all the sides and it has a notch on the edge to edge display. There is an option to hide the notch in the settings as every other device. The display is protected with Gorilla glass and does a pretty well job. Tried dropping it from different height like pocket, desk, and dinning table but it managed to protect it everytime. Overall the display is something which you will be impressed to see on ASUS Zenfone 5Z.

Performance

ASUS Zenfone 5Z comes with one of the powerful chipsets that is Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. It has an octa-core processor(4 cores clocked at 2.7 GHz & the other 4 clocked at 1.7 GHz). As far as the memory is concerned it comes with different RAM & ROM variants like 6GB+64GB, 6GB+128GB, & 8GB+256GB. For gaming they have introduced Adreno 630 which can run any game in high graphics. They have AI introduced in almost everything to optimize the features and utilize the hardware in the best possible way. I would say that the phone handles multi-tasking very well and it is capable of running graphics intensive games without any lag. Normal usage experience is amazing as you can keep the apps running in the background without worrying about the performance. 

Software

ASUS Zenfone 5Z has Oreo 8.0 out of the box with the new ASUS ZenUI 5. Not many people are fan of the custom ASUS ROM but I feel that it is not that bad to use. Though they might need to revamp the design a bit and go for the modern minimalistic approach for designing the UI. For example the dialer, it is quite old fashioned now and they have kept the design almost same. 

Camera

ASUS Zenfone 5Z has a Sony flagship IMX363 12MP primary shooter on the back. It has large sensor size 1/2.55″ with F1.8 aperture. One of the core features is the 4 stops optical image stabilization with LED flash support. The secondary lens on the back is of 8MP having a 120 deg wide-angle camera having F2.2 aperture. With AI photography feature added, the ASUS Zenfone 5Z can detect 16 types of different scenes with AI photo learning feature too. As for the default camera modes that ASUS has, it supports real time potrait and beautification. The front camera is of 8MP having F2.0 aperture and 84 deg field of view. As for the recording, one can take 4K UHD video at 60 fps with rear camera, 1080p FHD video recording at 30/60 fps. It has 3-axis EIS for rear cameras. One can record slow-mo videos with 1080p at 240 fps and 720p at 240 fps. Overall the camera on the device is excellent for indoors as it introduces artificial lightning which is better than other smartphones in the range. Outdoor camera quality matches with the competitors but it forms very well indoors. One needs to lower the brightness of the image if you are not looking for too bright images especially indoors. The video recording was good as the OIS & EIS worked great. 

Speaker & Connectivity

It has dual speakers with NXP Smart Amp for louder, deeper and less distorted sound effect. The speakers are quite loud and I enjoyed watching movies on the smartphones with its amazing display & sound. Recommended for people who love watching videos/movies on smartphone. It has 3 internal mics for noise cancellation. The speaker grill is located on the bottom of the device which is conventional in terms of design. One of the best features of ASUS Zenfone 5Z is the dual SIM dual standby support. You can use JIO along with other 4G network provider and both 4G services will work simultaneously. Though you can use interent service of only one service provider. One needs to sacrifice one SIM if he/she wishes to extend the memory by using memory card slot. Both SIM cards supported are nano. It has other connectivity options like Wifi, bluetooth, GPS, & NFC too. In terms of security the phone supports face-unlock, fingerprint scanner & other modes of security modes like password/pin. The face unlock worked quite well on this device and so did the fingerprint sensor. You can save upto 5 fingerprint impressions on the device. 

Battery

The device ASUS Zenfone 5Z has a large 3300 mAh battery pack. Though frankly speaking I feel that the phone could have been optimized to use the battery pack in a much efficient way. It might be possible that the screen is using quite some battery, but I noticed that the camera was consuming the battery rapidly. On a above normal usage that includes 2-3 hrs of video, 3 hrs of music playback using bluetooth earphones and all time WiFi or 4G connectivity, the phone lasted for somewhere more than half a day. But if you are such user, then you need to charge the device once in the middle of the day or at evening. You can make it work for one full day too, it all depends on the usage. One good thing is that it comes with Qualcomm quick charge 3.0 and the phone takes up less amount of time to get the juice in. Also it has AI charging it can schedule it for battery protection. It is said that initially the phone might drain out in a shorter amount of time, but later it optimizes itself to last longer. 

Price

The phone comes in two colors – midnight blue(my favorite) & meteor silver. The price for 6GB RAM + 64 GB ROM is Rs.29,999, for 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM is Rs.32,999 and for 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM is around Rs.36,999. The phone is available on Flipkart. Yes I would suggest with all the offers going on from different banks, the phone is definitely worth the price and you can go for it.