Asus X551CA-BI30804C 15.6 inch Laptop Review

Asus X551CA-BI30804C 15.6 inch Laptop Review

15.6 inch Asus X551CA-BI30804C
via Amazon

Black Asus X551CA-BI30804C is a great little 15.6 inch budget laptop with a decent 3rd generation Intel i3 processor, sufficient memory for multitasking and hard drive storage space that would be enough for most customers, a DVD optical drive unlike many modern laptops so it is ideal for performing regular daily tasks efficiently and some light gaming- this is not a gaming or complex multimedia editing PC as neither the ULV processor nor the integrated Intel GPU would be good for these purposes, but is a great everyday things computer that is easy to set-up and use at a reasonable price point, making it a good choice for students and anyone that uses the computer for not too demanding tasks.

Asus X551CA has the Ivy Bridge dual core Intel i3-3217U (3MB L3 cache) at 1.8GHz base speed without turbo boost but with hyper threading for smart 4-way processing, 4GB SO-DIMM DDR3 SDRAM, 500GB Serial ATA-150 hard drive at 5400rpm- spacious enough storage with fast read/write times and Windows 8 64-bit operating system which you should upgrade to Windows 8.1 free of charge but first you will need to download and install a few Windows 8 updates which the system will tell you. A few customers commented on the speed of this PC- that it was a lot faster than they expected- despite being only 1.8GHz on paper, it has the Passmark benchmark score of 2296 on this review day and being an ultra low voltage processor the Thermal Design Power- TDP is 15 watts.

15.6 inch high definition display with 1366 x 768 resolution and Intel HD 4000 graphics card offers nice enough visuals with fine details and vivid colours- of course for what this PC is and you can’t compare it to the more expensive Full HD screens with IPS panels, but just nothing wrong with the screen. Sound is fine as you would not have high expectations from a budget PC with relatively smaller speakers. It comes with a 1.0MP webcam with an integrated microphone making it easy to chat live with people. The CPU and GPU are adequate for using software like Photoshop but not for playing the latest games at high resolutions. Although we do not have solid info on the gaming performance and which games you can play, our guess would be the older games at medium settings and some of the later games at low settings. The Intel HD 4000 is fine as a graphics card and compares to the AMD Radeon HD 6620G but its performance relies very much on the processor it is attached to, so in case of less powerful ULV processors the performance level will be down by about 30%.

Asus X551CA-BI30804C 15.6 inch Laptop Review
Textured finish in black Asus with stylish and durable design weighs 4.7 pounds and measures 9.90 x 15 x 1.20 inches offering easy portability- has an average weight and not particularly slim at 1.20 inch. The chiclet-style keyboard is OK (not the best of the best and is lacking a LED indicator light to let you know when caps or numlock is on) and enables comfy enough typing and easy data entry with the numeric pad on the side. Touchpad seems to be functioning fine but the left and right mouse-like buttons aren’t the best. Keyboard and touchpad is the main weakness of this PC, see how you go and if you don’t like it much, just connect a USB keyboard and mouse that you feel comfortable with. It has the Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive unlike many modern computers these days, high-speed 802.11n WLAN, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet with RJ-45 connectivity for wired internet connection, 1 x USB 3.0 port and 1 x USB 2.0 port, an HDMI output to connect to your HDTV or other HD display and a Digital media reader that supports Secure Digital format.

Conclusion: Asus is a reliable computer brand and the X551CA-BI30804C model gives you that solid, durable and premium feel despite its price tag and works fast overall in daily things like web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, online games, emails, photo viewing and similar basic tasks. It is not loaded with a great deal of junkware but comes with a 30-day trial of Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium which may come in handy. When you first take it out of its box and turn it on, will start with updates and when it’s all done, it is easy to operate and you will want to upgrade to the latest Windows 8.1 online (free for Windows 8 users). It has a decent Intel i3 processor and not a Celeron or Atom like many budget computers and the fact that it comes with a DVD drive will make it easier to download software or watch movies from DVD's. In terms of graphics, it allows some gaming but we’re sure you’re not purchasing it to play those demanding 3D games, having said that you will be fine with basic photo viewing, streaming multimedia and light games. Performance to price ratio is high, has a solid build quality and decent specs and features- offering good value for dollar.

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