If you’re a budget hunter you might’ve been eyeing the ASUS X200MA-SCL0505F. It’s an inexpensive notebook, and from experience I can say these things sell well. But low price usually means low performance – indeed this machine comes with entry-level components such as Celeron processor and 500GB mechanical hard drive. It might make you wonder whether the notebook is powerful enough for you at all? Well, I’ll tell more about that here…
The laptop features Intel Celeron N2840, a budget mobile processor from 2014. The chip contains two cores and 2.2GHz base speed that increases to 2.6GHz with burst technology. Those things look good on paper but benchmark tests reveal the processor’s true nature. For example, the popular Passmark software gives this unit a low 1000 points, whereas mobile Core i3s start from 2500. As such, you’ll find this Celeron good for very mundane tasks (editing papers, surfing the web, watching YouTube videos) but for more complex software or many games there’s not enough performance.
ASUS X200MA-SCL0505F has 4GB DDR3 (1333MHz) RAM installed. As far as I know it’s onboard memory so you can’t remove it or add more. That might be sad news for somebody looking to upgrade RAM for more performance. However, most casual users should be good with the current four gigabytes.
The storage solution is a common 500GB 5400RPM hard drive. It’s fine for everyday computing but insufficient if your storage needs are huge. Also, the speed is bit questionable, so you might want to swap that drive for a faster SSD for performance boost.
Graphics and screen
The definition of ASUS X200MA-SCL0505F is small. Its screen size is 11.6 inches, almost something you see on tablets. The resolution is 1366×768 which works well for this small display. It also features 10-finger touch support which you might find useful with the pre-installed Windows 8.1 (64-bit).
If you’re interested in gaming, your best bet is to pick an expensive laptop. Not like this ASUS. It has a paltry Intel HD (Bay Trail) graphics chip integrated to the processor. Be prepared for very limited gaming sessions, with light games like Minecraft working fine but heavier titles not so much. Demanding ones like Battlefield 4 would get frame rates around 10 on low settings which means unplayable in my opinion.
ASUS X200MA-SCL0505F has three USB ports which is rather good for such a small laptop. One of them is faster USB 3.0 for a bandwidth-hungry peripheral. HDMI and VGA outs are available if you want to plug in a PC monitor or television.
The laptop has 100Mbps Ethernet (RJ-45) and 802.11b/g/n Wireless for networking. Bluetooth 4.0 should be supported as well.
The lack of a DVD drive might bother some, but there’s always the option to connect an external optical drive. They’re cheap, costing around 30 dollars. The built-in SD/MMC card reader might be helpful too, but only if your data resides on memory cards.
You’ll find an HD webcam on the laptop, so video meetings with friends and relatives on Skype are entirely possible.
Some other things to keep in mind?
ASUS X200MA-SCL0505F is very portable model. The unit weighs just 3 pounds and because of the compact screen you don’t need a separate case, it all fits to your backpack or purse. Furthermore, the 3-cell battery should give a solid 5 hours which also user reports confirm.
The keyboard is not backlit, and because of the small size, there’s no numpad on the right either.
ASUS X200MA-SCL0505F is a notebook for those who don’t run demanding software and games on their computers. Very basic programs such as MS Office and Google Chrome will work no problem. A handful of games, such as lightweight Minecraft and Sims 4 will also run, although most titles from 2014 and 2015 will feel too laggy. But for many people this is perfectly fine, they don’t need more. Plus this ASUS is dirt cheap. So if you think you can do with such a budget laptop, by all means go for it.