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ASUS X515 (2020) Laptop Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 13, 2022 at 11:52 am
ASUS X515 (2020) Picture
6.1
School
5.3
Gaming
5.1
Multimedia
5.7
Workstation
6.1
Business
Size
15.6"
Operating System
Windows 10
CPU
Intel Core i3-1005G1
GPU
Intel UHD Graphics G1
RAM
8 GB
Storage
256 GB

The ASUS X515 is a budget Windows laptop with a 15.6 inch display. It has an all-plastic construction that feels reasonably well-built, with a thin and light design that makes it very portable. Its full-size keyboard includes a numpad and provides an okay typing experience; however, its lack of backlighting makes it hard to use in dark settings. Unfortunately, the screen looks dim and washed out, and the webcam doesn't capture any fine details due to its low resolution. Also, its battery doesn't last long enough to get you through a typical 8-hour day, and although it has a USB-C port, you can't use it to charge the laptop or connect an external display. Its Intel 10th Gen processor and integrated graphics can handle light workloads like web browsing and video playback with ease, but it isn't ideal for heavy tasks like video editing or 3D rendering. On the upside, it doesn't get overly hot or throttle under load.

Our ASUS X515 has a 720p TN display, an Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU, Intel UHD Graphics for 10th Gen processors, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. If you need more processing power for heavier workloads or better multitasking, you can upgrade the CPU to an Intel Core i5-1035G1 or i7-1065G7 as they have more cores and threads. There are entry-level NVIDIA discrete GPUs available; however, the performance gain they provide over integrated graphics is minimal and will likely shorten battery life.

Our Verdict

6.1 School

The ASUS X515 is mediocre for school use. It feels reasonably well-built despite an all-plastic chassis, and its thin and light design makes it easy to bring around. However, its short battery life means you have to carry the charger as well. Unfortunately, the screen is too dim for use in well-lit settings, the keyboard lacks backlighting, and the webcam video quality is bad. Its Intel 10th Gen processor and integrated graphics can handle most student workloads like text formatting and web browsing, but they aren't powerful enough for demanding tasks like 3D rendering.

Pros
  • Very portable due to thin and light design.
  • Handles reflections well.
Cons
  • Display doesn't get bright enough to combat glare.
  • Short battery life.
  • CPU can only handle light workloads.
  • USB-C doesn't support charging or video output.
5.3 Gaming

The ASUS X515 is inadequate for gaming. It's only available with a low-power Intel 10th Gen CPU, coupled with an integrated or entry-level discrete GPU, which aren't powerful enough to handle graphically demanding games. It also has a 60Hz panel with a slow response time and no VRR support. On the bright side, it doesn't get too hot or throttle under load, and its internals are easy to access should you want to upgrade the memory or storage.

Pros
  • Easy to access internals for upgrades or repairs.
  • Doesn't throttle under load.
Cons
  • CPU can only handle light workloads.
  • Only available with integrated or entry-level discrete GPUs.
  • 60Hz refresh rate and no VRR support.
  • Slow response time causes noticeable ghosting.
5.1 Multimedia

The ASUS X515 is inadequate for media consumption. Its 720P TN panel looks dim, washed out, and inaccurate, with narrow viewing angles that make it unsuitable for sharing content. It also has a poor contrast ratio, so it isn't the best for dark room viewing. The speakers sound good but don't get very loud, and the battery only lasts long enough for one or two movies at most.

Pros
  • Very portable due to thin and light design.
  • Handles reflections well.
Cons
  • Screen looks dim and washed out.
  • Short battery life.
  • Low contrast makes blacks look gray in dim settings.
5.7 Workstation

The ASUS X515 is sub-par for use as a workstation. You can only configure it with a low-power Intel 10th Gen CPU, along with integrated graphics or an entry-level NVIDIA discrete GPU, which aren't ideal for demanding workloads like video editing and 3D rendering. Additionally, its port selection is mediocre because you can't use the USB-C port for charging or video output, and its HDMI port is limited to the HDMI 1.4 standard. Its NVMe SSD is very fast, though, and it doesn't get overly hot or throttle under load.

Pros
  • Easy to access internals for upgrades or repairs.
  • Doesn't throttle under load.
Cons
  • CPU can only handle light workloads.
  • Only available with integrated or entry-level discrete GPUs.
  • USB-C doesn't support charging or video output.
6.1 Business

The ASUS X515 is mediocre for business use. It has a thin and light design that makes it easy to carry around for business trips. However, its battery life is short, which means you have to plug it in at some point in a typical 8-hour workday. Unfortunately, it has a dim screen that isn't ideal for well-lit settings, its keyboard only provides an okay typing experience, and its webcam's video quality is bad due to its low resolution. It also has a mediocre port selection because its USB-C port doesn't support charging and video output, and its HDMI port is limited to the HDMI 1.4 standard.

Pros
  • Very portable due to thin and light design.
  • Handles reflections well.
  • Easy to access internals for upgrades or repairs.
Cons
  • Display doesn't get bright enough to combat glare.
  • Short battery life.
  • CPU can only handle light workloads.
  • USB-C doesn't support charging or video output.
  • 6.1 School
  • 5.3 Gaming
  • 5.1 Multimedia
  • 5.7 Workstation
  • 6.1 Business
  1. Updated Jan 13, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Jan 10, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Form Factor
Traditional (Clamshell)

The ASUS X515 is a basic-looking laptop with a plastic chassis. It has a full-size keyboard with a numpad on the right side, so the touchpad is shifted to the left, which some people might not like. The bezels are fairly thin on the sides and the top, although the bottom chin is much thicker, with an ASUS branding in the middle. There are exhaust vents on the left side and the bottom of the laptop, and the speakers are also on the bottom. It's available in four color schemes: Slate Gray, Transparent Silver, Peacock Blue, and Silver.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The ASUS X515's build quality feels alright. It has a full plastic construction that feels somewhat cheap, with a finish that scratches easily, though not from fingernails. There's a good amount of flex in the display and bottom panel, but almost none when the laptop is closed.

5.4
Design
Hinge
Range
130°
Stability
Decent
One Finger Lift
No

The hinge is disappointing. Although it feels smooth with little to no play, the screen still wobbles a lot when typing, especially when using the laptop on an uneven surface.

8.2
Design
Portability
Thickness
0.8" (2.1 cm)
Width
14.2" (36.0 cm)
Depth
9.3" (23.5 cm)
Volume
108.4 in³ (1,776.6 cm³)
Weight
3.7 lbs (1.7 kg)
Charger Size
5.1 in³ (83.1 cm³)
Charger Weight
0.3 lbs (0.2 kg)

The ASUS X515 is a thin and light laptop that's easy to carry around. The power adapter is also compact and should fit easily into most bags.

7.5
Design
Serviceability
Ease Of Access
7.5
RAM Slots
1
Storage Slots
1
Replaceable Battery
Yes
Replaceable Wireless Adapter
Yes

The ASUS X515's serviceability is good. It's easy to access the internals as you only need to remove some Philips screws and unclip the bottom panel with a prying tool. There's only one memory slot, so even though the RAM is user-replaceable, you can only run it in a single-channel configuration. There's room for a 2.5 inch storage drive, but the mounting cable isn't included in the box. As such, we consider it as non-upgradeable. You can replace the M.2 NVMe SSD, though. Opening and making changes to the hardware may void the manufacturer's warranty.

Design
In The Box

  • ASUS X515 laptop
  • 45W power adapter
  • Documentation

Display
Display
Screen Specs
Resolution
1366 x 768
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Pixel Density
100 PPI
Panel Type
TN
Touch Screen
No
Screen-To-Body Ratio
80%

The ASUS X515 has three display options: a 720p TN, a 1080p TN, and a 1080p IPS panel. We recommend getting a model with a 1080p IPS panel because a 720p resolution is too low for this screen size, and TN panels generally have worse viewing angles and color reproduction.

6.0
Display
Refresh Rate
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No

As expected for a budget productivity laptop, the ASUS X515 has a basic 60Hz refresh rate with no VRR support. It also has a slow response time causing visible ghosting, which isn't ideal for gaming or viewing fast-moving content. We expect the 1080p panels to perform similarly.

4.4
Display
Contrast
Native Contrast
406 : 1

Our ASUS X515's 720p TN panel has a poor contrast ratio, resulting in blacks that look gray in dim settings. We expect the 1080p TN panel to be similar. The 1080p IPS panel is likely better, but not by much. The contrast ratio can vary between units.

6.0
Display
Brightness
Maximum Brightness
226 cd/m²
Minimum Brightness
13 cd/m²

The 720p TN panel on our ASUS X515 has mediocre screen brightness. It doesn't get bright enough to combat glare, so it isn't ideal for well-lit environments. However, it gets very dim at the lowest brightness setting, providing a more comfortable viewing experience in the dark. ASUS advertises the 1080p TN panel as having the same maximum brightness, but the 1080p IPS panel is brighter, with an advertised brightness of 250 cd/m².

7.7
Display
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
4.067%
Indirect Reflections
4.909%
Calculated Direct Reflections
0.84%

The ASUS X515 has good reflection handling. Its matte anti-reflective coating works well in reducing the intensity of reflected lights, although you can still see some reflections even with the screen at maximum brightness.

0.3
Display
Black Uniformity
Uniformity (Std. Dev.)
8.934%

Our ASUS X515's TN panel has awful black uniformity. The bright spots at the top and bottom of the screen are caused by the TN panel's poor viewing angles. We expect the 1080p IPS panel to have better uniformity. Black uniformity varies between individual units.

5.0
Display
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
22°
Color Washout From Right
20°
Color Shift From Left
29°
Color Shift From Right
22°
Brightness Loss From Left
27°
Brightness Loss From Right
25°
Black Level Raise From Left
16°
Black Level Raise From Right
15°
Gamma Shift From Left
15°
Gamma Shift From Right
14°

Our ASUS X515's TN panel has poor horizontal viewing angles. Image accuracy degrades very quickly as you move off-center, so you have to look at the screen almost straight on for the best picture quality. The 1080p IPS panel will have much better viewing angles.

3.0
Display
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
Color Washout From Above
24°
Color Shift From Below
Color Shift From Above
13°
Brightness Loss From Below
22°
Brightness Loss From Above
26°
Black Level Raise From Below
Black Level Raise From Above
Gamma Shift From Below
Gamma Shift From Above

Our ASUS X515's TN panel has terrible vertical viewing angles. The image looks especially bad from below because TN panels suffer from chroma inversion. You have to look at the screen straight on to get an accurate image, so you don't have much leeway to tilt the screen. The 1080p IPS panel will have much better viewing angles.

1.2
Display
Out-Of-The-Box Color Accuracy
Avg. White Balance dE
8.25
Avg. Gamma
2.31
Avg. Color dE
7.62
Avg. Color Temperature
7,968 K

The ASUS X515 has awful color accuracy out of the box. Most colors are inaccurate due to the panel's narrow color gamut, and the white balance is also visibly off at most brightness levels. The color temperature is much cooler than our 6500K target, giving the image a slight bluish tint. The gamma doesn't follow the sRGB curve at all, making most scenes appear darker than they should. Color accuracy varies between units.

4.1
Display
Color Gamut
sRGB xy
67.29%
sRGB uv
52.08%
Adobe RGB xy
50.64%
Adobe RGB uv
46.05%
DCI P3 xy
50.27%
DCI P3 uv
42.6%
Rec. 2020 xy
36.13%
Rec. 2020 uv
31.19%

The ASUS X515 has a poor color gamut. It doesn't even have full coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space, making most content look washed out. It also has very limited coverage of wider color spaces like Adobe RGB, DCI P3, and Rec. 2020. We don't recommend using this display for color-critical work or viewing HDR content. The 1080p TN and 1080p IPS panels are advertised to have the same 45% NTSC coverage.

10
Display
Flicker
Flicker-Free
Yes
Flicker Frequency
No Flicker
Flicker Active Below
0%

The ASUS X515's backlight is entirely flicker-free at all brightness levels, which helps reduce eye strain for some people.

Interface
5.1
Interface
Keyboard
Typing Quality
6.0
Numpad
Yes
Backlighting
No
Operating Force
59 gf
Actuation Force
37 gf
Pre-Travel
0.97 mm
Total Travel
1.6 mm

The ASUS X515's keyboard is disappointing. It provides a passable typing experience as the keys are stable, well-spaced, and have a good amount of travel. However, the plastic keycaps feel cheap, and there's no backlighting.

6.2
Interface
Touchpad
Tracking Quality
6.0
Size
12.1 in² (78.3 cm²)
Material
Plastic
Dedicated Buttons
No

The touchpad is acceptable. It doesn't stutter, but it doesn't track accurately near the edges of the touchpad, and actions like drag and drop or double-tap clicks don't work at times. Also, the plastic material feels cheap, and the click mechanism only works in the bottom half of the touchpad.

7.6
Interface
Speakers
Max Volume
72 dB SPL
Standard Error @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
4.9 dB
Slope @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
-0.9
Bass Extension (Low-Frequency Ext.)
217 Hz
Treble Extension (High-Frequency Ext.)
7 kHz
Dynamic Range Compression @ Max Vol.
0.9 dB

The ASUS X515 has good speakers. They have a good amount of bass extension for laptop speakers, but the treble drops off pretty early, and the dip in the high-mid frequencies makes vocals sound slightly distant. Unfortunately, they don't get very loud.

4.4
Interface
Webcam & Microphone
Video Quality
4.0
Resolution
480p
Position
Top Center
Privacy Cover
No
Face Unlock
No

The ASUS X515 has a bad webcam. It has a very narrow field of view, and due to its low resolution, the image looks soft with almost no fine details. The image is also overexposed, making colors look washed out. The microphone sounds loud and clear, although voices sound a little nasal, and there's some static in the background. Some models have a 720p webcam, which we expect will perform better.

Connectivity
6.0
Connectivity
Ports
USB-A Ports
3
USB-C Ports
1
Thunderbolt
No
USB-C Charging
No
USB-C Display Out
No
HDMI
1.4
DisplayPort
No
3.5mm Jack
Combo mic/headphone
Card Reader
No
Ethernet
No
Proprietary Port
No
Security Lock
Yes

The ASUS X515 has a mediocre port selection. The USB-A port on the left side supports USB 3.2 Gen 1 standard (up to 5Gbps data transfer rate), but the two on the right side only support USB 2.0 (up to 480Mbps). The USB-C port is also USB 3.2 Gen 1, and you can only use it for data, meaning you can't use it for video output or charging. There's a slot for a Kensington lock on the right side.

Connectivity
Wireless Communication
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
Bluetooth
4.1

The ASUS X515's wireless adapter is an Intel Wireless-AC 9461.

Configuration
Configuration
CPU
Brand
Intel
Model
Core i3-1005G1
Core Count
2
Thread Count
4

Our ASUS X515 has an Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU, a low-power processor designed for thin and light laptops. It can handle simple tasks like web browsing, video playback, and other general productivity workloads like text formatting. However, it isn't powerful enough for demanding tasks like video editing or 3D rendering. If you have a slightly heavier workload or tend to have multiple programs running simultaneously, you can upgrade to the Intel Core i5-1035G1 or i7-1065G7 for better performance, as they have double the number of cores and threads. The Intel Core i7-1065G7 is faster than the i5-1035G1 on paper, but the difference in performance is likely minimal due to thermal limitations.

Configuration
GPU
Brand
Intel
Model
UHD Graphics G1
Dedicated/Integrated
Integrated
VRAM Size
N/A

The ASUS X515 is available with an integrated or discrete GPU. The Core i3 and i5 CPUs have Intel UHD Graphics for 10th Intel processors as its integrated graphics processor, while the Core i7 has Intel Iris Plus. Although the i7's Intel Iris Plus performs better than the Intel UHD Graphics, none of them are ideal for graphically intensive workloads like gaming or image processing. The discrete GPU options include the NVIDIA GeForce MX130 and MX330 with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. They perform slightly better than the Intel CPUs' integrated graphics, especially in VRAM-heavy applications, but they're still entry-level discrete GPUs that aren't powerful enough to provide a smooth experience in demanding games or hardware-accelerated applications like video editing software.

Configuration
RAM
Capacity
8 GB
Modules
1
Type
DDR4
Speed
3,200 MHz

You can configure the ASUS X515 laptop with 4GB or 8GB of RAM. We recommend 8GB because 4GB is very limiting and can cause some stutters or slowdowns. Unfortunately, while the RAM module is user-replaceable, you can only run the memory in a single-channel configuration because there's only one slot, which impacts performance in applications that benefit from a higher bandwidth.

Configuration
Storage
Advertised Capacity
256 GB
Usable Capacity
204 GB
Drive 1
Western Digital PC SN530
Drive 1 Type SSD
Drive 2
No 2nd Drive
Drive 2 Type No 2nd Drive

There are many storage options available. You can configure the laptop with a PCIe NVMe SSD, a physical SATA hard drive, a combination of both, or an SSD with Intel Optane memory. We recommend getting a model with an SSD because installing the operating system on a physical hard drive will significantly impact performance. You can add the 2.5 inch SATA drive yourself after purchase; however, ASUS doesn't include the mounting cable in the box, so you'll have to get it from a third party. As for Intel's Optane memory, it can boost performance in some instances because it acts like an extra cache memory, but the gain is likely minimal because the NVMe SSD is already very fast.

Performance
5.9
Performance
Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)
CPU Single-Thread
1,138 points
CPU Multi-Thread
2,414 points
GPU Compute
5,051 points

Our ASUS X515 with an Intel Core i3 has middling performance in Geekbench 5. It performs amazingly well in single-thread workloads, but its multi-thread performance is disappointing due to its limited number of cores and threads. This means it can handle simple tasks like web browsing, video playback, and text formatting, but it struggles in heavier workloads like 3D rendering. If you need to run multi-threaded applications or tend to have multiple programs running simultaneously, the Intel Core i5 and i7 will perform much better because they have double the number of cores and threads. As for the GPU compute, the Core i3's Intel UHD Graphics performs terribly, and we expect the Core i7's Intel Iris Plus and NVIDIA discrete GPUs to be only slightly better.

6.5
Performance
Cinebench R23 (CPU Rendering)
Single-Thread
1,049 points
Multi-Thread
2,391 points

Our ASUS X515's Intel Core i3 performs reasonably well in Cinebench R23. Like the Geekbench tests, it has good single-thread performance, but its multi-thread performance is sub-par because it only has two cores and four threads. The Intel Core i5 and i7 will perform better, especially in multi-threaded rendering.

1.6
Performance
Blender (3D Rendering)
CPU Render Time
16.0 min
GPU Render Time
N/A
GPU Render Time (Optix)
N/A

The ASUS X515 performs terribly in Blender, taking a long time to render the relatively simple bmw27 scene. The Intel Core i5 and i7 will be faster, but not enough for any practical purposes. We can't perform the GPU test because Blender doesn't support the integrated GPU, although we expect it to take even longer. The NVIDIA GeForce MX130 and MX 330 GPUs can complete the task faster than the CPU; we expect them to be within the same ballpark but a tad slower than the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 in the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020).

2.2
Performance
Basemark GPU (Game Scene)
Overall Score
4,922

The ASUS X515 performs very badly in the Basemark GPU benchmark, which is expected for integrated graphics. The Intel Core i7's Iris Plus and NVIDIA discrete GPUs can likely achieve playable frame rates in lighter or older titles, but not in modern, graphically-intensive AAA games.

9.1
Performance
Storage Drive Performance
Sequential Write Speed
791.6 MB/s
Sequential Read Speed
2,040.1 MB/s
Random Write Speed
111.7 MB/s
Random Read Speed
47.6 MB/s

The ASUS X515's storage drive performance is outstanding. It has fast read and write speeds that make the system feel very responsive, like when booting up the computer, launching apps, and transferring files. The SATA hard drive will be significantly slower, so it's best to get a model with an SSD as the main drive. The speed of the SSD may vary depending on the size, as larger SSDs tend to perform better.

5.4
Performance
Battery
Capacity
37 Wh
Battery Life (Web Browsing)
6.1 hrs
Battery Life (Video Playback)
3.8 hrs
Battery Life (Gaming)
1.9 hrs
Charge Time
2.1 hrs

The ASUS X515 has poor battery life. It only lasts a little over six hours of light productivity, and it's even shorter for video playback. Gaming shortens the battery life significantly, although it's still better than most gaming laptops with a power-hungry GPU. Models with an Intel Core i5, i7, or a discrete GPU will have shorter battery life. Battery life varies depending on usage.

1.1
Performance
Borderlands 3
Avg. FPS
7 fps
1% Low
2 fps
0.1% Low
1 fps
1% Low Delta
293 ms
0.1% Low Delta
1,551 ms
Avg. FPS On Very Low
18 fps

Borderlands 3 isn't playable on our ASUS X515 with an Intel Core i3-1005G1. It's extremely choppy even at the lowest graphical settings, and we had to run the benchmark in DirectX 11 because it kept crashing on DirectX 12. Models with an Intel Core i7 or an NVIDIA discrete GPU will only perform slightly better.

2.2
Performance
Civilization VI
Avg. FPS
7 fps
1% Low
6 fps
0.1% Low
6 fps
1% Low Delta
43 ms
0.1% Low Delta
46 ms
Avg. FPS On Minimum
30 fps
Avg. Turn Time
10.52 s

Civilization VI runs terribly on our ASUS X515 with an Intel Core i3-1005G1. The average frame rate is so low that it doesn't even show up on our frame time graph, and the turn time is very long. It's playable at the lowest graphical settings, although you'll still see some occasional stutters. Models with an Intel Core i7 or an NVIDIA discrete GPU will perform better, but you still have to turn down some settings to achieve playable frame rates.

5.1
Performance
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Avg. FPS
43 fps
1% Low
23 fps
0.1% Low
19 fps
1% Low Delta
21 ms
0.1% Low Delta
30 ms
Avg. FPS On Low
87 fps

CS:GO is playable at high settings on our ASUS X515 with an Intel Core i3, but it's a bit choppy at times, which isn't ideal for an FPS game that requires precise aiming. It's much smoother if you turn the settings down to near minimum. Models with an Intel Core i7 or an NVIDIA GPU will perform better and get you a more stable 60fps at high settings.

0
Performance
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Avg. FPS
N/A
1% Low
N/A
0.1% Low
N/A
1% Low Delta
N/A
0.1% Low Delta
N/A
Avg. FPS On Lowest
17 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider doesn't run on our ASUS X515 with an Intel Core i3-1005G1 at high settings. It only works at the lowest graphical settings, and even then, the average frame rate is too low to provide a good gaming experience. We also had to run the game in DirectX 11 because it kept crashing on DirectX 12. We expect the same result on the Intel Core i5-1035G1 models. The game will likely start on models with an Intel Core i7 or NVIDIA discrete GPU at high settings, but it won't be playable due to low frame rates.

7.9
Performance
Thermals And Noise
Keyboard Temp While Idle
28 °C (83 °F)
Keyboard Temp Under Load
41 °C (105 °F)
Fan Noise While Idle
26.0 dBA
Fan Noise Under Load
44.8 dBA
Power & Fan Control App
No

The ASUS X515 has good thermal and noise performance. The keyboard is cool when idle, and the fan is near silent. The keyboard doesn't get uncomfortably hot under load, although the heat is centered around the Z and X keys, where most people rest their left hand. The fan is audible at full speed, but it isn't loud or distracting.

9.9
Performance
Performance Over Time
CPU Temp (Cinebench)
92 °C
CPU Perf. Loss (Cinebench)
0% loss
GPU Temp (Heaven)
69 °C
GPU Perf. Loss (Heaven)
0% loss

The ASUS X515's performance over time is superb. The CPU doesn't throttle even though it gets very hot, and there's no performance loss on the GPU either as the temperature is well within the normal range. The Intel Core i5 and i7 models likely throttle because higher clock speeds generally lead to more heat, but we expect the performance loss to be minimal.

Additional Features And Software
Additional Features And Software
Software
Operating System
Windows 10
Additional Software
Yes

The ASUS X515 ships with Windows 10S, a stripped-down version of Windows designed for low-end hardware. S mode generally runs smoother because it requires fewer system resources, but you can only install apps from the Windows Store. You can opt-out of S mode free of charge; however, this is a one-time switch, and you can't go back to S mode after activating the full version of the operating system. ASUS indicates that this laptop meets the minimum requirements for Windows 11.

The ASUS X515 has a couple of pre-installed software applications, including:

  • MyASUS: This application optimizes the system and keeps the firmware up to date. It also lets you access some system settings and warranty information.
  • AudioWizard: This application lets you customize the laptop speakers' sound profile and EQ settings.
  • Disney+: Application for video streaming service.
  • Microsoft Office: 30-day trial of Microsoft's Office Suite.
  • Spotify: Application for music streaming service.

Additional Features And Software
Extra Features
RGB Illumination
No
Touch Pen
No
Secondary Display
No
Biometrics
No

Some models of the ASUS X515 have a fingerprint sensor at the top right corner of the touchpad.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the ASUS X515 (model X515J) with an Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU, Intel UHD Graphics for 10th Gen Intel processors, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. The display, CPU, GPU, memory, storage, and color are configurable; you can see the options in the table below. There are other CPU options available, including Intel Celeron, Pentium, and Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs. However, our performance tests focus only on the Intel 10th Gen Ice Lake processors for conciseness.

Note: Some retailers advertise this laptop as the ASUS Vivobook X515, but ASUS doesn't. The Vivobook laptops are entirely separate models. ASUS replaced the X515 lineup with newer Intel 11th Gen models (X515M) in 2021.

 Screen
  • 15.6" TN 1366 x 768 60Hz
  • 15.6" TN 1920 x 1080 60Hz
  • 15.6" IPS 1920 x 1080 60Hz
 CPU
  • Intel Core i3-1005G1 (2 cores/4 threads, up to 3.4GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 (4 cores/8 threads, up to 3.6GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-1065G7 (4 cores/8 threads, up to 3.9GHz)
GPU
  • Intel UHD Graphics for 10th Gen Intel Processors (integrated, Core i3 and i5, 32 execution units)
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics (integrated, Core i7, 48 execution units)
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX130 2GB GDDR5
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX330 2GB GDDR5
Memory
  • 4GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • 8GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage
  • 500GB 2.5" SATA 5400RPM HDD
  • 1TB 2.5" SATA 5400RPM HDD
  • 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB 2.5" SATA 5400RPM HDD
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB 2.5" SATA 5400RPM HDD
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB 2.5" SATA 5400RPM HDD
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 16GB Intel Optane Memory
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 32GB Intel Optane Memory
Color
  • Slate Gray
  • Transparent Silver
  • Peacock Blue
  • Silver

Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration that we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar ASUS X515 laptop that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Laptops

Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020)

The ASUS X515 (2020) and the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) are very similar 15.6 inch budget Windows laptops. The Aspire 5 provides a better user experience because it has a keyboard that's more comfortable to type on for long periods, the touchpad has better tracking, and its webcam has a higher resolution to deliver a more detailed image. The Aspire 5 also has a better port selection because its HDMI 2.0 port supports 4k @ 60Hz video output.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020)

The ASUS X515 (2020) and the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) are very similar Windows laptops. The Inspiron 15 offers a better user experience because its keyboard is more comfortable to type on, the touchpad has better tracking, and its webcam has better video quality. It also has better serviceability, making it easier to upgrade the memory and storage after purchase. The X515 has a USB-C port which the Inspiron 15 lacks, but it only supports data transfer, meaning you can't use it for charging or video output.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (2020)

The ASUS X515 and the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (2020) are both budget Windows laptops. However, the VivoBook Flip is a 2-in-1 convertible that you can use as a tablet, while you can only use the X515 in clamshell mode. The X515 has a larger display, better-sounding speakers, and a better port selection. It also has a faster storage drive that significantly improves performance. On the other hand, the VivoBook Flip has longer battery life, and it remains silent under load because it has a fanless design.

Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020)

The ASUS X515 (2020) and the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020) are very different. The X515 is a budget 15.6 inch laptop that runs Windows, while the MacBook Air is a premium 13 inch laptop that runs macOS. The MacBook Air is better for the most part because it offers a superior user experience. The MacBook Air's touchpad is larger and more responsive, its keyboard provides a better typing experience, and its display is sharper, brighter, and more colorful. It also has better-sounding speakers and a significantly better webcam. The MacBook Air's M1 SoC is much more powerful than any of the Intel CPUs available on the X515, and it's also more power-efficient, leading to longer battery life.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is much better than the ASUS X515 for most uses. Although the IdeaPad Flex has a slightly smaller display, it has a 360-degree hinge that lets you use the laptop as a tablet, while you can only use the X515 in clamshell mode. The IdeaPad Flex's keyboard provides a better typing experience, its touchpad has better tracking, and its webcam captures more details due to its higher resolution. The IdeaPad Flex also has longer battery life, and it can be configured with Intel or AMD CPUs, while the X515 is only available with Intel processors.

HP Chromebook x360 14 (2021)

The ASUS X515 (2020) is a Windows laptop that can only be used in regular clamshell mode, while the HP Chromebook x360 14 (2021) is a 2-in-1 convertible device that runs Chrome OS. The HP provides a better user experience that's likely better for school or business use as it feels significantly sturdier, its keyboard has more travel and better-quality keys, its touchpad tracks significantly better, and its webcam and microphone are better. Also, the HP's battery lasts much longer. On the other hand, you can get the ASUS with significantly better-performing internals, including a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, dedicated entry-level NVIDIA GPUs, and much faster PCIe NVMe SSDs. You can get both laptops with much better-performing 1080p IPS displays if you don't like the 720p TN panel option.

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