ASUS X550ZE-DB10 looks like a typical powerful notebook: a capable processor (AMD A10), 8GB RAM and a terabyte hard drive. But there is one thing that differentiates it from the crowd: a dedicated graphics card, called Radeon R6 M265DX. This could be excellent news for gamers, but it’s too early to tell for sure without taking a closer look at this item. That, and also the overall value of this notebook, will be discussed in the below review.
What software can I run on it?
So what kind of programs you want to use? Is it day-to-day stuff like browsing the Internet, sending some emails and watching interesting videos from YouTube? For that, ASUS X550ZE-DB10 is easily enough. The laptop features AMD A10-7400P, a modern quad-core processor offering 2.5Ghz clock frequency that is upped to 3.4GHz with turbo speed. The average CPU Mark grade is around 3800, pretty much the same than i7-5500U from Intel gets. So beside the aforementioned lightweight tasks, the A10-7400P is also sufficient for programs with bigger requirements, such as virtualization environments and image editors.
The notebook has 8GB memory, just enough to satisfy those who doubt whether the usual 4GB is too low. The notebook has two RAM slots and the 8GB is installed in one stick, meaning the other slot is free – indeed, the maximum RAM this system takes is 16GB. Going for that might make sense for a handful of people with very heavy software and multitasking, but sticking with 8GB is probably much better idea for most.
One thing that possibly limits the performance of ASUS X550ZE-DB10 is the storage drive. It’s a mechanical 1024GB hard drive running on 7200RPM rate. It’s good for folks who hoard big files, but for those who want a modern, lightning fast computer, a solid-state drive would be a really good idea. The bright side is, you can always install such an SSD here if you know how to.
What about gaming?
So you want to play same games with ASUS X550ZE-DB10? That is possible, yes, the laptop features a dedicated Radeon R7 M265DX graphics card. In specifications, it’s dubbed as “dual” but in reality there are no two dedicated cards – just one Radeon that is combined with the processor-integrated graphics for some added performance.
But despite these fancy titles and dedicated graphics, the gaming performance is not top notch. In fact, according to G3D Mark, performance is pretty similar to integrated Intel HD 5500. So, lower level games, such as Counter-Strike: Go and Minecraft will work fine on high settings, but GTA 5 and other newer titles would need lower details to reach appropriate (~30) frame rates.
Anything to comment about the display?
The ASUS has a very basic matte screen: 15.6 inches, 1366×768 resolution, no touch support. You can’t enjoy native Full HD content, it will be scaled to 720p, but it’s debatable whether it really matters. In short, the display is not excellent, but should do its job fine.
What peripherals can I plug in?
ASUS X550ZE-DB10 accepts all the usual peripherals: three USB ports are present, two being USB 3.0. For those who want to use notebook with external monitor, there are VGA and HDMI outputs available.
There’s nothing stopping you from creating a disc or two using this laptop, it features an internal DVD burner. SD/MMC card reader is also present in case you want to upload photos quickly from your camera.
Networking interfaces include a Gigabit LAN (RJ-45) port and 802.11b/g/n Wireless adapter. Bluetooth 4.0 will also work.
There’s a webcam (although just VGA resolution) so you can have an occasional video chat on Skype as well.
Other important things
5.1 pounds is the weight of ASUS X550ZE-DB10, it’s not lighter or heavier than other 15 inch laptops considering most are around 5 lbs. The unit comes with a 44Whr 4-cell battery, some users reported it lasts ~3 hours when web surfing. That’s not great, and considering it’s a non-removable battery you can’t easily switch it for a better one.
The keyboard is not backlit, however as with any 15-inch model, a 10-key pad is located on the right hand side.
The laptop shell is made of metal.
It’s indeed the power users with a knack for gaming that would most benefit from ASUS X550ZE-DB10. It has all the components required to keep your heavy-duty programs running nice and smooth, and the dedicated Radeon card serves you playable FPS and eye candy with many (especially older) games. One disadvantage would be the screen resolution, you can’t enjoy Full HD here, only 1366×768 content. If that doesn’t bother you, and you take advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade, you should find this ASUS a decent computer to work and play with.