Asus enjoys a high quality image among many professionals. Their laptops are usually said to be durable, easy to use and also neat looking. At the same time, I’ve seen many Asus computers sporting a bigger price tag. This leads to a logical question: Are these notebooks really worth every penny? Let’s see what’s the case with ASUS F555LA-AS51.
Not many months ago, Intel released a new set of processors. Also known as the 5th generation, these CPUs should bring up-to-date features with new graphics, so both casual users and gamers might find them useful. The exact model in ASUS F555LA-AS51 is Intel Core i5-5200U. Its clock speed is between 2.2 and 2.7GHz (with turbo use) and core amount is two. It’s becoming a popular processor: I’ve seen it in many new laptops which I can understand considering its higher performance than an average i5 CPU has. This 5th generation Intel looks promising, and I see no reason not to recommend it over older Core i5 models.
The notebook has 8GB DDR3L memory installed, so heavier applications pose no threat to the performance. Bear in mind you can’t add more since there’s only one RAM slot and it’s already taken. But this amount is good for practically everybody, and only advanced users with really heavyweight software (such as HD video editing) could utilize more than 8GB system memory.
Storage is 1024GB so plenty of space for all of your movies, games or otherwise ridiculously big files. The drive’s RPM rate is just 5400 which I can’t really recommend if it’s absolute speed you’re after. If that’s the case, you can always replace this HDD for a solid-state drive (which of course costs money).
Display and graphics
The display of ASUS F555LA-AS51 seems to be similar to most budget notebooks, offering the cookie-cutter 15.6″ size with 1366×768 resolution. Such a low resolution will not please power users, especially when you can almost get a Full HD laptop for this price. But if you don’t care the screen will do its job for everyday computing fine: it’s not a touch monitor, but Windows 8.1 doesn’t really require one in my experience.
The processor integrates a graphics unit called Intel HD 5500. If you know about tech stuff you see it’s indeed a new graphics engine. The performance is on the better side of Intel HD models, somewhere above HD 4400 (but most likely below HD 4600). Thus, some gaming is very possible on it, for example the famous Battlefield 4 should reach over 30FPS on low settings, which is quite a playable frame rate. Some very recent titles will get below 20 frames per second which is barely playable. But remember that you simply can’t get a great gaming notebook for this price.
ASUS F555LA-AS51 comes with three USB ports. A nice little thing, two of those are USB 3.0 instead of just one which is often the case. And if you want a bigger screen for your laptop, using an external PC display or HDTV works with the notebook’s VGA and HDMI outputs.
The Ethernet RJ-45 ports offers solid gigabit speed, although the WiFi is just a single-band (802.11b/g/n) one. Bluetooth is not supported.
You can burn DVDs with this laptop, there’s a Super-Multi DVD drive for that. You can also use memory cards thanks to the SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader.
The laptop has a basic VGA webcam which should work for occasional video chats.
Something else to keep in mind?
The portability of ASUS F555LA-AS51 is poor to average. It weighs 5.1 pounds like most 15.6 inch laptops. But a sadder thing is the battery. It has just 2 cells, so at most three hours operating time can be expected.
The keyboard is not backlit, but not many notebooks of this price are. A 10-key pad is installed so access to number keys should be effortless.
ASUS F555LA-AS51 is a computer with latest processor & graphics engine, a lot of RAM and plenty of storage. But besides that, there are no fancy things in it. For example, the screen has a basic 1366×768 resolution which is bad news for professionals. Of course, for this low cost, not all bells and whistles can be expected in the first place. But I think the brand Asus adds some premium to the price. If you’re willing to pay, you’ll most likely be happy with this laptop.