Chinese laptops are not the best computing products that you can rely on. And that is true in some situations. What’s even more controversial is having a low-priced Chinese laptop. But what if I tell you that I have found a Chinese laptop that is both good and cheap? Yes, meet the Zeus AZ-518.
ZEUS AZ-518 Ultra-thin
You probably have not heard of the Zeus brand. Well, neither am I. As a matter of fact, I was so skeptic when I bought one last month. But at the time, I needed to get a laptop as a gift to a family member. I was low on budget, and I just had to find a decent spec laptop that can actually perform basic office tasks.
So I decided to use my knowledge as a tech writer and did some research on the hardware that this laptop has. After a few hours, I thought that this might work. And so I made my decision to purchase one from an online shop and set my expectations low. By the way, here’s the link if you are interested – ZEUS AZ-518.
The main reason why I had my eyes set on this laptop is the price. The laptop costs just $170 (P8,799.00). Then it has 4GB of RAM and a pretty decent processor for office tasks. Anyway, here’s the hardware spec if you want a more detailed description.
- Processor: INTEL ATOM X5-Z8350 QUADCORE
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home
- Memory: SSD 64G, RAM 4G
- Screen: 14’inch FHD Ultra Screen
- Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics, DDR3L Shared graphics memory
- Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth, Infrared
- Camera: 1.3 Mega Pixel Camera
- Audio & Video: 4 speakers, 2 microphones
- Ports: 2 USB slots, mini HDMI, micro-SD slot, 3.5mm audio slot, charger port
- Battery: 8,000 mAh
The Zeus AZ-518 is the laptop that will give you bang for the buck for your money. It is ultra-thin and feels like a premium device. The aesthetic is impressive and has a significant weight to it.
If the Zeus logo were not engraved on top of the laptop, you would think that it is from popular brands. Take note, the Zeus logo is glowing every time you turn on the laptop. So it is kind of cool-looking for me.
The keyboard has a distinct click to it that is not too soft to the hands. I know a lot of people that has some issues with keyboard clicks and the Zeus AZ-518 has that satisfying click sound. Upon testing, I actually felt at home typing through its keys.
Another significant factor that I noticed about this laptop is its battery life. For $170 tag price, it can last up to 10-11 hours of browsing and video streaming. I never had that on my previous laptop. It only lasted up to 7-8 hours. So this Zeus AZ-518 gave me a pleasant surprise. Probably, it is the Intel ATOM X5-Z8350’s superb processing capacity. I read that it is low on power consumption due to its 14nm technology.
The 4 GB RAM can deliver really well. I managed to open up to 18 tabs without lagging. So it is cool with multi-tasking. As long as it does not require too much renders or too resource-demanding, the performance should be fine.
The laptop has two microphones located on top of the keyboards. So video calls were crisps in terms of audio quality. That is according to my friends when I called them using Skype and Facebook Messenger on the laptop.
Also, the device has Bluetooth and infrared connectivity. I used the Bluetooth connectivity for my portable Bluetooth speaker, but I never got to test out the infrared as I have no device for it. To be fair, Bluetooth connectivity is quick and seamless. It only took 5-10 seconds, and the audio streams to the speakers like it were connected all along.
I like that the Zeus AZ-518 does not get hot no matter how I abuse it. It got warm a little bit but never got to the point of it being uncomfortable. As a matter of fact, I barely noticed it being warm. Just when I was checking out the temperature when I realized the warmth of the device.
The display monitor has really thin bezels contrary to what was featured on the online listings. I don’t know why that is. So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it for the first time. The overall design is modern and very 2018. It does not look cheap or old-fashioned especially at first glance.
The display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, so the fonts and other details on the screen are superb. The screen brightness isn’t really that bright so viewing on direct sunlight is not really pleasant. It is not that bad, though. Just average or somewhere around that.
My experience on the laptop before I gave it away was not all positive. I also found some quirks and some downsides.
The first thing that made me cringed was when I held the device for the first time. The back or the bottom side of the laptop has nothing on it. It is so plain except for the sticker that says do not disassemble to prevent damages. But in a way, I thought if I remove the sticker, the bottom side would be clean might look better.
The camera for the video call is not that great. It is poor in a low-light environment so it would be best to do video calls outside the terrace or set up a nicely lit area. That is, of course, if you really need to have a presentable video call.
The internal memory storage is only 64 GB SSD. So that means you will only have limited storage. You can compensate this with an extra micro-SD card. It has a dedicated slot on the right side that supports it without the need for an adapter.
I’m not sure about its maximum capacity but I used a 128GB of micro-SD card, and it worked flawlessly. Or you can use an external drive to gain more storage. I use my 1TB external drive, and it worked.
There are only 2 USB slots. On the left side is a 3.0 USB slot and on the right side, the old 2.0 USB slot. There is also a mini HDMI slot. So if you want an external display, you might want to get a mini HDMI adapter.
Another flaw of this device is that it has no LAN port. So your internet will mostly rely on WiFi connectivity.
The speakers are not that great. It lacks bass. But it is not that bad. I mean, when I used it on video calls, I only used 50%-60% volume because it is quite loud. But for other media consumption that requires good audio quality, it is not the best around. It is on average. What I did was use a Bluetooth speaker to compensate for the audio.
The Windows 10 that came pre-installed with the laptop was not activated. So I had to reformat it and used my purchased Windows 10 Professional.
Just a reminder for those who want to buy this laptop and plan to replace the Windows 10 with lower Windows version, do not do it. I tried to install Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 in it, but I had issues with drivers. You will lose a lot of its functionalities if you do it especially the battery indicator, touchpad, and display driver.
By the way, it sucks at gaming. It is not made for gaming. That is the fact. It can play less demanding games such as Plants vs. Zombies, Don’t Starve, Call of Duty 4 (mid settings), Left 4 Dead 2, Torchlight 2 (high settings), and Need for Speed 2012 (low settings).
The BlueStacks Android emulator can also run with this. But be sure not to open other apps when you do as it will start to show lags when playing online games such as PUBG for PC, Marvel Future Fight, Mobile Legends, Final Fantasy XV, and Summoners War. Any more demanding than those, I don’t think it will run as you’d hope for.
Sadly, it only comes with a charger. No other accessories are included. But hey, it only costs $170. What do you expect?
After I tested the device, I bought another one for myself. I think it is worth the price and perhaps even more. If you want a casual laptop that can do most basic tasks, the Zeus AZ-518 will impress you. Your reason is due mostly because it only costs less than $200.
The laptop is not perfect. In fact, it is far from being perfect. But since we are talking about value for money, this device will not disappoint. I would highly recommend this Zeus AZ-518 to my friends and you as well if you are looking for this type of gadget.
If you want more of this type of review, just comment down below. And if you have questions, feel free to leave your queries down below. I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.