A value laptop, that’s the first impression about ASUS X550ZA-WH11. There’s AMD A10 processor and 8GB RAM inside, a nice power user setup, but the price on the other hand is quite affordable. Screen size is the common 15.6 inches and there’s also a DVD burner to play with discs. But what other essential things does the notebook have, and would it be a good item on your shopping list?
Performance in nutshell
The processor in ASUS X550ZA-WH11 is nothing you should be ashamed of. It’s AMD A10-7400P quad-core CPU, sporting a 2.5GHz clock speed with 3.4GHz turbo. Almost every time AMD processors, especially in these cheaper laptops, tend to be crap, but this particular model isn’t that slow. In CPU Mark (one of the popular benchmarks) it gets over 3700 points, so it’s tad faster than Intel Core i5-5200 with ~3500 points. Feel free to throw any kind of application, lightweight or demanding, at this computer – no problems should occur running it.
The laptop is equipped with 8GB low-voltage type memory. It comes on two 4GB sticks – not one 8GB – to keep the costs down. Maximum RAM is 16GB like in the majority of laptops. The hard drive is a very spacious one, with 1TB storage, although the spindle speed is 5400RPM. You can put in a second hard drive by removing the DVD drive and placing the new HDD there (however SSD wouldn’t fit in the DVD slot as far as I know). Of course, if you want to keep the optical drive but still upgrade the storage drive, you can always take the current HDD out and put a new drive in. The interface is SATA 2.5″ 9.5mm.
How is the display?
It’s a matte 15.6-inches screen you’ll find in this notebook. The display doesn’t support touch, but with Windows 10 it shouldn’t be a huge problem. Resolution is 1366×768, not really a professional-grade but sufficient for daily computing tasks.
Am I able to play games?
It’s possible to play many older games on ASUS X550ZA-WH11. I say “older” because the graphics engine is Radeon R6, an integrated card, although quite a good integrated one – beating, for example, the popular Intel HD 5500. The following titles will be playable using higher settings: Counter-Strike: Go, Sims 4, World of Warcraft, Minecraft and League of Legends. Some titles requiring low-to-medium details are the popular GTA 5, Battlefield 4 and DayZ.
What connections does it have?
You will find three USB ports in ASUS X550ZA-WH11, two of those are USB 3.0. There are also HDMI and VGA ports included, you’ll be able to hook up (pretty much) any kind of external monitor to those. A Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 port is also available, and Internet connection can also be acquired via the built-in 802.11b/g/n type WiFi card. Bluetooth isn’t supported.
The notebook features an internal DVD burner, it works with CDs and DVDs but not with BluRay. 2-in-1 card reader is there as well, it accepts SD, SDHC and MMC type memory cards.
The front-facing webcam isn’t a hiqh quality one, it seems to support VGA (640×480) resolution only.
Some other things to keep in mind?
If you’re wondering about portability, let me tell you ASUS X550ZA-WH11 weighs 5.1 pounds which is just the average of these 15-inchers. The 4-cell battery doesn’t last very long, you’ll be lucky to get 4 hours out of it. Also keep in mind it’s a non-replaceable one; it can’t be removed unless you take the whole laptop apart.
No backlit keyboard is here, but that’s expected because it’s a cheap model. The laptop material is aluminum alloy. Operating system is Windows 10 Home (64-bit edition).
ASUS X550ZA-WH11 is an inexpensive laptop but it manages to pack a lot of power. Such a capable processor and 8GB RAM are not something you see everyday in this category, also gaming capabilities aren’t that bad considering you only get an integrated graphics card. Of course, it’s not a real gaming rig, you can say goodbye to high settings with the majority of games. Battery life could also be better. But one can not complain too much because the price is damn affordable. If you want a decent 15.6″ laptop I’d definitely recommend getting this.