Asus Vivobook Pro 16 (2023) review: Power packs a punch

Joel Loynds

Packing an RTX 4060 and an i9-13900H, the new Asus Vivobook Pro 16X is quite the powerhouse. However, it comes at a cost – and it’s not just the price.

The new Asus Vivobook Pro 16 is not a gaming laptop. It’s not even a dedicated content creator’s laptop either. What Asus has made is an all-around little powerhouse that can tackle just about anything thrown at it.

However, for a device that can run you nearly $2000, it feels like a sidenote in Asus’ recent slew of releases in the laptop space. The unit we got faced a lot of weird issues, and despite fidgeting around with the MyAsus settings, could never get it to a place we felt happy with it.

Key Specs

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-13900H
  • RAM: 16GB DDR5
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 (8GB GDDR6)
  • Display: 16-inch 16:10 IPS (120Hz display)
  • Storage: 1x 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • IO: 1x Thunderbolt 4 port, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 1x HDMI 2.1 port, WiFi 6, 3.5mm combo jack
  • Features: Triple fan vents, dual M.2 slots, 180-degree lie-flat hinge.
  • Price: $2000


With its all-silver shell (or a metallic blue), the actual look of the Vivobook might be a little generic, but it’s appreciated. An understated device that slips into the background while you work on it is exactly what you need, especially in content creation. With too many gimmicks, it can become a small hindrance when trying to work or even game.

It isn’t the lightest, weighing around 2KG, and carrying it around to different places to work off of slowly revealed a massive fear we have. After a near fall from a table, we were positive that if it had made contact with the tiles, it’d be over. Instead of housing it in a singular body of aluminum or another metal, it’s all plastic.

For cheaper devices and many laptops, this is perfectly fine. Plastic is a part of our day-to-day. However, most devices don’t cost nearly $2000. Asus’ biggest competitor in the space, the Apple MacBook Air or the lower-end of the Pro range still feels like it could take on at least a couple of falls before breaking.


Despite this, the heat was never really an issue on most of the top layers of the laptop, with the three-vent fan design actually functioning as intended. There’s a particular corner, typically where your hand would rest when gaming that gets hotter than the rest of the laptop, but temperature-wise, it managed just fine.


We’re also a big fan of the 16:10 aspect ratio of the screen at a resolution of 1920×1200. While not the ideal 3:2 for a laptop, it provides you with that additional verticality that helps with creativity programs. Adjusting yourself for gaming on it isn’t a hardship either, as the black bars while playing certain games just melt away into the background after a while.

While not exactly as secure as you’d hope, the webcam does have a switch you can switch to the side to hide it from view. It’s handily bright orange too, so you know for sure when it’s off or on.

Keyboard & trackpad

It comes with a chiclet keyboard, and while mushy, is perfectly fine for on-the-go typing sessions or futzing around in Photoshop and DaVinci Resolve. We’re not too big on the squashed layout, with the far left Shift, Caps Lock, and Tab keys being shrunken down to account for the numpad. We constantly felt like we were leaning to the left while typing, leaving us in uncomfortable positions over time.

We are, however, glad that Asus included a large trackpad. Having that on hand, with its smooth finish made using the Vivobook a treat. Though, we wish it were centered. For whatever reason it sits more to the left to feel like it’s centered with the non-numpad side of the keyboard, leaving wrists in those uncomfortable positions again.


We’re not disappointed in the performance of the laptop, but feel as if the leap between generations is more reliant on the software that Nvidia is developing than the hardware itself. Games, content apps, and the like all run spectacularly well, but it’s all with caveats.

The first thing is that we’re positive that in our content creation testing, the GPU MUX switch, which allows the laptop to control when the integrated GPU from the CPU comes into play will get stuck. Almost as if it doesn’t recognize when certain apps require it.

When we changed it over to use the graphics card full time, it forced a full lockdown from BitLocker. It’s lucky we’d logged in as Windows 11 intended because otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to complete the review.

When in full performance mode, the fans make this horrible whining noise as if something is wrong, and when going into sleep mode with the lid just shut, it never seemed to turn off. The fans kept spinning until we let it die.

The biggest issue here is that the Vivobook’s battery when in full action, is just terrible. We managed to squeeze about an hour and a half of Path of Exile before it told us off for having a low battery.

On more economic settings, including messing around with MyAsus, we still only managed to get a couple of hours total between Photoshop, writing this review, and a couple of maps within Path of Exile before having to run back for the charger.

The laptop is also filled to the gills with bloatware. McAfee, MyAsus, and something called “ScreenXpert” which makes itself at home at the corner of the screen, actively harms the overall experience when using the laptop.

It’s not often we consider reinstalling Windows on a test unit, but here it almost made us reach our breaking point. Each update and restart would introduce something new.

Synthetic benchmarks

Vivobook 16 Pro“Whisper Mode”“Performance Mode”Blade 16
Speed Way30815454951
Port Royal1680368411980
Time Spy Extreme146731379279
Time Spy34888150N/A

Gaming benchmarks

Vivobook 16 ProLow FPSHigh FPS
Resident Evil 4 Remake42FPS90FPS
Path of Exile68FPS120FPS
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive90FPS150FPS

In our testing, we found that the laptop was more than capable at handling the latest AAA games at High settings and 1080p. Any higher than that, and you’ll be using FSR and DLSS as a crutch, with Resident Evil 4 really benefitting from it.

Esports and MMOs will have a much better time here. Counter-Strike managed to hit highs of 150FPS and never dipped lower than 90, while Path of Exile’s frame rate drops mostly stemmed from latency issues with the server.

Is it good for creators?

As we said at the top of the review, the Vivobook 16 isn’t meant for just gaming. It doesn’t even come with the Nvidia gaming drivers installed, opting to use the Studio drivers instead. With these installed, the laptop can do incredible things – when connected to other devices.

The Pantone verified display is fine, but never gets bright enough to give a truly color-accurate display. When editing the video on it, the results came out too bright because of it. We wouldn’t trust it for extended editing sessions for photography either.

However, no self-respecting professional would heavily rely on a built-in screen. However, what the 4060 inside allows you to do – with the Nvidia Studio drivers installed – is spit out a 10-bit image onto a supported screen. This extra depth and wiggle room in the color space means you can avoid banding, grade correctly, and see images for almost what they’d be elsewhere.

For those like us, who will set the laptop aside and dock it for larger projects, this is a massive boon. Especially once you start to work with it in your programs of choice.

We were able to export a 10-minute 4K video from DaVinci Resolve in just a few short minutes, while Photoshop had no problem being drilled with an abundance of filters on super-large photos.

For the streamers, the 4060 also gives you access to the AV1 codec, making this potentially an excellent choice for a small-scale centerpiece with plenty of setups. AV1 is impressive, allowing a higher quality to get sent out over a smaller bitrate, and having it on hand in laptop form is a massive boon.

Is it good for gaming?

This is a tricky question, as the Vivobook can handle a lot of games just fine with modern technologies assisting it. However, we wouldn’t make this our first choice in any capacity. The 4060 inside isn’t a real 4060 you could expect to see later this year in desktops.

It’s considerably weaker than anticipated and during our testing with games like Resident Evil 4 Remake, we found that without the help from AMD’s FSR, it would dip into the low 40FPS range during hectic fights.

Even with the 120Hz panel onboard, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a game without DLSS or another supersampling option that will actually make use of it, unless you play esports titles.

There’s also the 1920×1200 screen, which as we’ve already said, will cause black bars if the game doesn’t natively support it. This is more a preference issue than an issue with the gaming performance, but we think it’s just fine.

Verdict – 3/5

Between the price, software bloat, and overall build quality, the Vivobook Pro 16 doesn’t scream premium. Removing everything from that and looking at it at the internal hardware level? Asus has made a really tiny powerhouse that’s pretty much ready to take anything on. From gaming to content creation, that GPU inside and the added boost from an i9-13900H, make this a good, all-rounder device.

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