One of the most difficult things to do is to pick a low-budget (or entry-level) machine that can actually do the job for you, without leaving you stranded with a slow processor, low amount of RAM, a terrible screen, etcetera. This is why we are prising manufacturers for trying to give you the best bang for your buck… when your buck is not a very big one.

Today, we are going to check out a laptop that falls in this category. It looks good, has decent specks and, despite the TN panel, it offers a Full HD option. ASUS has named it the X509. What is great about these laptops lately, is that they actually look pretty good – look at the Ideapad L340 (15″) for example. Well, this one doesn’t fall behind in terms of design, but let’s make a deep analysis together and see how ASUS has managed to keep the price down, or in other words, what were the cost-saving measures.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-x509/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Asus X509 – Specs


OS


Windows 10 Home, Linux


Dimensions


360.2 x 234.9 x 22.9 mm (14.18″ x 9.25″ x 0.90″)

Ports and connectivity

  • 1x USB Type-C 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • 1x USB Type-A 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • 2x USB Type-A 2.0
  • HDMI
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Audio jack 3.5 mm combo

Features

  • Web camera VGA
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot

What’s in the box?

Well, the contents of the packaging are pretty straightforward – the laptop, placed in a protective bag, a 45W power brick, and some set up guides and warranty paperwork.

Design and construction

Quite expectedly, the first price-preserving measure was to build the laptop entirely out of plastic. Yes, it is not the most premium material in any means, but actually, the X509 looks pretty good for a budget notebook. It weighs only 1.80 kg and has a 22.9mm profile.

As the plastic is not super durable, you shouldn’t rely on it to have great structural qualities. This means the screen is susceptible to bends during twists, as is the chassis, though – a lot less. Its lid can’t be opened with a single hand, but it features a camera (unlike some gaming devices from ASUS).

Then there is the keyboard assembly. It features an almost full set of keys, with the Number Pad segment being a little shrunk down. Actually, the keyboard layout is the same as on the ASUS VivoBook S15 S532 and S530, however, the keys are painted in black, rather than silver. By the way, the keyboard itself is pretty comfortable for typing with its relatively long keystroke and tactile feedback. Moreover, the X509 is equipped with a very nice touchpad, which is accurate and swift.

On the bottom can be seen the ventilation grill, which is located right above the fan, as well as two speaker grills. By the way, the situation of the fan is pretty interesting, but more on that – later.

Ports

On the left side, you can find the power plug, a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1) port, ventilation grill, an HDMI port and another USB port, this time Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1), while on the right, there are two USB Type-A 2.0 ports, a MicroSD card reader and a combo audio jack.

Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

As you can see from the video above, there are 10 Phillips head screws, that hold the backplate to the chassis of the device. When you remove them, you need to pry the panel up, but please make sure that you use a plastic tool, as a metal one will surely damage the plastic panel.

Wait, what?! A Core i5-8265 cooled with a directly attached copper heatsink. Now, that is interesting! We sincerely doubt that it is going to perform as good as a heat pipe-to-heat sink solution, however, it is probably the first laptop with such a cooling solution we’re yet to test. Be patient as we’re going to reveal how it performs in the Temperature segment. Nevertheless, the concept is that the air from the fan is going to travel in between the white lines (the bottom plate is constructed in a way that channels the airflow like that) and will eventually dissipate the heat from the heat spreader. This has the positive effect of cooling the VRMs and other parts from the motherboard.

As far as upgradability is concerned, this laptop is pretty strong. While there are 4GB of RAM already soldered to the motherboard, there is also one RAM DIMM that can add up to a maximum of 16GB of memory. Additionally, on the top side of the machine, you can find an M.2 PCIe x2 slot, while the 2.5″ SATA slot is located on the bottom right.

In terms of battery capacity, it is clear that ASUS has tried to cut even more costs by supplying the X509 with a mere 32Wh unit.

Display quality

As soon as we are ready with the display results of this device, we’re going to update the article.

Drivers

You can find all of the drivers and utilities for the ASUS X509 here: https://www.asus.com/bg/Laptops/ASUS-Laptop-15-X509FL/HelpDesk_Download/

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. Despite the notoriously small 32Wh battery pack, the laptop manages to get more than 9 hours of Web browsing time and 6 hours of video playback, solely on battery power.

CPU options

This device comes with the Holy Trinity of Whiskey Lake CPUs – the dual-core Core i3-8145U, and the quad-core Core i5-8265U and Core i7-8565U.


Asus X509 CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Asus X509 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Asus X509 model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.


GPU options

GPU-wise most of the models are comming with the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620. However, there is the option for NVIDIA GeForce MX250.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i5-8265U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
ASUS X509 2.56 GHz (B+60%) @ 75°C 2.33 GHz (B+46%) @ 97°C 1.95 GHz (B+22%) @ 94°C
Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″) 3.27 GHz (B+104%)@ 72°C 1.99 GHz (B+24%)@ 60°C 2.01 GHz (B+26%)@ 65°C
ASUS VivoBook S15 S532 2.96 GHz (B+85%) @ 75°C 2.95 GHz (B+84%) @ 90°C 2.17 GHz (B+36%) @ 68°C
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s 2.76 GHz (B+73%)@ 75°C 2.74 GHz (B+71%)@ 84°C 2.11 GHz (B+32%)@ 74°C
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s 3.43 GHz (B+114%)@ 91°C 2.69 GHz (B+68%)@ 91°C 2.19 GHz (B+37%)@ 80°C
HP ProBook 450 G6 2.69 GHz (B+59%)@ 64°C 2.53 GHz (B+60%)@ 68°C 2.09 GHz (B+31%)@ 71°C

As you could have imagined, the teeny tiny cooling solution that ASUS has developed for the X509 is not working quite well. Indeed, in day-to-day loads, it is as efficient as a two-heat pipe one, but under heavy load, the temperatures grow immensely in under 20 seconds. This prevents the CPU from reaching high clock speeds at basically any point. On the bright side, the processor doesn’t throttle below the Base clock.

Comfort during full load

On the bright side, the laptop remains pretty cool almost everywhere, with the hottest point we measured being slightly above 34C.

Verdict

First, let’s note that at this price point, all expectation should be severely lowered. After all, this device is not battling with any MacBooks or Dell XPS 15s. With that said, we should start with the design of this machine. The X509 is a pretty sleek laptop that despite its plastic design, manages to give a somewhat good feel when handling.

In terms of performance, sadly, you won’t be the owner of the most powerful laptop out there. The main reason for that is the bizarre cooling solution, which has no heat pipes, nor heatsinks. ASUS only used a single tiny heat spreader placed right on top of the CPU, and has the fan blowing directly at it. This resulted in very high temperatures in extreme loads and relatively low clock speeds. The good news is, that it is absolutely fine in day-to-day tasks like Web browsing and video playback, where the fan is barely spinning.

Next, there is the great upgradability that this laptop offers – it is equipped with a single RAM DIMM slot (4GB are soldered) and there is also the M.2 PCIe x2 slot (that also supports SATA SSDs, as well as the 2.5″ SATA drive slot.

Now, let’s speak about what’s not good. The first thing that comes to our mind is the TN panel. Despite its 1080p resolution, the viewing angles and the contrast ratio are terrible. Then there is the battery pack. Well, actually we were kind of impressed of the optimization of this laptop because it is equipped with a 32Wh battery pack and it was able to achieve more than 9 hours of Web browsing and up to 6 hours of video playback.

Additionally, there is the keyboard that is comfortable to use with its rather long key travel and somewhat clicky feedback, however, the materials of use feel cheap. And this is true for the entire device. The base bends ever so slightly when you press upon it, and based on previous experience with ASUS’ budget line up of laptops, expect some of the paint to rip off the keys at some point.

Nevertheless, the X509 sits comfortably on a good position in the market for entry-level laptops. And if you are wondering what you can compare it to, you can always check out our take on the Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″).

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Surprisingly good battery life, given the small battery capacity
  • Great typing experience
  • Offers decent upgradability

Cons

  • Inefficient cooling solution
  • All-plastic build
  • Limited IPS options

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-x509/





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