As tech journalists, we get quite a number of products that land on our test bench. Some of them are expensive and some, not as much. Most of the products have one or two party tricks that may or may not impress us, but never before has a product so seamlessly blended into the work life as this one right here. But should you spend on this special blend?
Asus X509F Design and build
Yup, it is from the Vivobook line of products from Asus, but there’s nothing fancy going on here. There are no strange blue/purple colours or any of that shebang. In fact, some may even call it utilitarian, we prefer the words subtle and understated. Clad in a grey outer shell with not much going on in terms of design flair, the X509F clearly isn’t going to invoke emotions of ecstasy when you lay eyes on it.
It weighs around 2kgs and is slim enough to slide into any backpack. The charger too has downsized and it’s now a tiny block, almost the size of a typical OnePlus mobile charger and weighs close to nothing, so carrying both is not at all a problem and you won’t even notice the weight in your bag, making this a real joy to use as your daily workhorse.
Asus X509F Display and Keyboard
The 509F sports a Full HD panel which rests under a relatively slim bezel. Asus has managed to add a texture to the frame, which gives it a better look as well as the impression of a slimmer profile. It is a clever little touch, however, the display itself is pretty good and manages to balance colours and contrast rather well.
Of course it is nothing compared to the calibrated ones you get on the higher end ROGs, but the panel here gets the job done when it comes to binging on Netflix or working on your sheets. We do wish it were a little brighter for comfortable outdoor use, but it isn’t going to strain your eyes if you do find the need to use it outdoors thanks to the anti glare coating.
The keyboard is also a standard unit with a 1.4mm travel and is spaced out really well. It is a boon for those who have large hands and find it cumbersome to type on cramped setups. You also don’t get a backlight, which is seriously a glaring omission. However, you get all the basic shortcuts and a slightly sidelined numeric pad which although thin, is useable on a regular basis. The trackpad also has a smooth finish and is quite precise with ample of space for regular Windows gestures.
Asus X509F Performance
With the cracking and economical Intel i7 8565U under the hood, this people pleaser is a work horse. Actually, it is more like a camel - it charges up and stores the energy and uses it slowly while it does all the weight lifting and heavy work. Running basic software like Photoshop and InDesign doesn’t make it sweat even a bit, pile on some more work and you might notice that slight stutter every now and then, but that’s when you really push it.
For heavy workloads we would recommend getting the one with more RAM than the paltry 8GB you get on here since it really struggles and takes its time to process and render videos you’ve been editing. We also ran the standard PC Mark test and the Asus managed to score a 3885 in the Home and 4433 in the Creative tests. These numbers might not be the greatest, but you get very few others who can perform just as well for the money the Asus demands.
We also managed a few rounds of PUBG, but it requires settings to be turned down low for that really smooth gameplay and even then, after a while the Asus starts to heat up and lets you know that it isn’t the greatest idea to play for four straight hours.
Asus X509F Audio and Battery life
While the battery life is that of a regular laptop, dishing out about 7-8 hours depending on your brightness and work load, its longevity is what Asus has really put in their efforts. That effort involves switching to a 32Wh Polymer unit that has 3X the lifespan of Lithium-ion batteries. Another advantage is the seriously fast charging times. An hour of plug in time should give you about 65% charge, which is a boon when you need to quickly charge it up for some urgent work.
The thing that turns our smile into a straight face is the audio output on this laptop. Although powered by iCE software which gives you a proper equalizer and the freedom to tweak it to your heart’s desire, the actual output isn’t that loud and won’t make you go WOW. It is just enough for a quiet room and if you use it outdoors, you will find your hand immediately reaching out for your headphones, the output of which is quite good especially after you’ve tweaked the sound through the iCE software.
Asus X509F Verdict
This line of lappies is for those individuals who put practicality and value before anything else and the X509F provides that and then some. You get a subtle design, great battery life, a decent display and a lot of grunt, all in a package that weighs less than 2Kg. It makes the perfect travelling companion and just blends in seamlessly into your lifestyle. Before you know it, you will be turning to the X509F for most of your work and will start to prefer working on it! Now that is some voodoo influence right there especially at a starting price of ₹49,990.