ASUS K553MA-DB01TQ Review

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November 7, 2014
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If you’re a friend of touch displays you might’ve noticed there are not many options for you in the budget laptop market. Fortunately, some manufacturers offer remedies for your desire to touch the screen. One of those laptops is ASUS K553MA-DB01TQ which features 15.6″ touchscreen that should also be ideal companion for the notebook’s operating system Windows 8. Well, here at Tech For Pennies we don’t only concentrate on the obvious things, but rather take a look whether the computer actually has the performance and features you’re looking for…

The main things

At least on the Amazon product page, they’ve somewhat hidden the fact that the processor of ASUS K553MA-DB01TQ is a Celeron. Bearing the full name Intel Celeron N2930, this CPU offers clock speed of 1.83GHz with turbo increasing it up to 2.16GHz. There are four cores in it, although in performance tests that Celeron does just as expected: they are not powerhouses meant for professionals, but for home users choosing a notebook with such budget components is just fine. There will be no lag in lightweight use, like web browsing, watching videos and making video calls.

The laptop has 4GB RAM installed, and if you’re not happy with that, you can double the memory up to 8GB. Some vendors’ product pages say there are free empty slots and some say there are not, so it’s probably better to assume no free slots at this point. Anyways, I would suggest going with the current RAM amount before upgrading it – chances are 4GB is all you need.

The hard drive is a cookie-cutter 500GB one with 5400RPM speed. Using that with the Celeron processor won’t certainly give you the smoothest user experience. For everyday computing it should however be fine, and half a terabyte will last forever for those who don’t stuff their hard drives full of multimedia.

Display and graphics

Yeah, ASUS K553MA-DB01TQ has a touchscreen! It’s 15.6 inches big and sports a 1366×768 resolution. The pre-installed Windows 8 will be smooth sail with such a touch display, although the resolution wouldn’t please power users looking for Full HD experience. It’s hard to find a 1920×1080 laptop for this price, and for the intended use of this budget notebook such a lower resolution should suffice.

There’s no good graphics performance in this Asus. It features an older version of Intel HD Graphics chip, a family of graphics engines known for their subpar performance. Keeping mind the limitations also the Celeron processor has, this laptop is not a good pick for gaming. Basically any modern game with flashy graphics would have less than 20 FPS even on low settings. Lightweight titles like Minecraft, CS:GO, Fifa and World of Warcraft should reach acceptable frames on low-to-medium settings and resolution.

Connectivity

The ports of ASUS K553MA-DB01TQ are located on the left hand side. There are two USB 3.0 ports for peripherals, and both HDMI & VGA outs for screens like HDTV. The common headphone/mic jack is also available.

As for networking, the laptop features 10/100Mbps Ethernet port and also WiFi. Bluetooth isn’t available by default, you must resort to a USB dongle if you want that.

The right side houses a DVD burner drive. There is also a media card reader with support for SD and MMC formats.

A 640×480 webcam is installed on top of the screen.

What else to consider?

Some people commented the keyboard of ASUS K553MA-DB01TQ is flimsy. Well, I can’t comment on that, but it’s non-backlit one and has ten-key numeric pad on right, allowing a quick access to number keys.

The battery life is 5 hours and weight is 4.9 pounds. So nothing spectacular here, it shouldn’t be too inconvenient for people on the go.

Verdict

On the paper ASUS K553MA-DB01TQ looks good. Naturally, the same goes for any laptop. There are things like quad-core CPU and 15.6″ HD touchscreen, in reality though it’s just a Celeron processor and the touchscreen features HD but in no way Full HD (which people might be looking for). These things one must accept if he’s after a budget laptop, and indeed for everyday use I don’t see anything wrong with this computer. Especially if you’re after an affordable touchscreen notebook, and don’t tend to game a lot, going for this Asus is probably worth it.


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3 thoughts on “ASUS K553MA-DB01TQ Review

  1. steve

    Dismantled the ASUS K553MA-DB01TQ IRL.
    has 1 memory slot. occupied by m471b5173qho-yko
    presumably upgradable to M471B1G73BH0-YK0 so long as the form factor is the same (the width).

    I swapped the HDD to an SSD. The SSD was MBR, the HDD was GPT, and I left it that way. However, it is highly recommended that you re-initialize the SSD instead, and just install windows 7 from an image, then do an upgrade to 8 using the product key from the windows 8 that came with your device.
    Instead, I first cloned (not copy) the HDD disk to the SSD with easeUS partition master. This step gets the FAT32 system partition copied, and up to 3 more partitions (because the target drive is MBR). I also took the OS, recovery, and restore partitions, but I don’t know if any partitions besides OS are necessary for functionality. With no SSD installed (it boots too fast otherwise), I went into the BIOS and changed the target OS to windows 7. I installed the SSD and used a win 7 recovery disk to do startup repair, twice (the second time the win 8 was recognized). I uninstalled the SSD. I changed the target OS to win 8.x in the BIOS (otherwise touchscreen won’t work). I installed the SSD and we’re done. I did this all hot to save myself time (this is not recommended).

    Reply
    1. Edgardo

      Can you tell me what is the brand of the wireless card?
      is it broadcom ? Atheros? Realtek?
      I’m looking to buy one but if it has a broadcom card with a certain chip I can’t get it since it’s not linux compatible.
      If you can post info on the wireless card I would really appreciate it.

      Reply
      1. Tech For Pennies Post author

        Edgardo, that’s an excellent question. Sadly, it’s impossible to know the WiFi card manufacturer if you don’t have laptop serial number at hand. One notebook model can have a different wireless card manufacturer, it varies from unit to unit.

        Anyway, most ASUS laptops seem to come with Qualcomm Atheros. But again, the unit you receive might have some other brand, too.

        Reply

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