I don’t know about you, but I regard Asus as one of the best laptop manufacturers. Why? They seem to have low return rates, so perhaps their notebooks are worthy of keeping. Asus X555LA-SI30202G is one of their later models with an appropriately low price tag, making it a perfect choice for TechForPennies.com to take a look at…
Intel Core i3-4030U is name of the processor of Asus X555LA-SI30202G. If you’re a techie you can see it’s a 4th generation CPU. Intel has just released a new, 5th generation set of processors, and technology gets old fast. But don’t worry, this particular model is still useful with its dual-core setup and 1.9GHz clock speed. The i3-4030U is an excellent CPU for everyday computing and can be good for power users, at least occasionally if not for everyday heavy bit crunching.
The laptop has 6GB memory installed. The official specifications suggest there’s one DIMM socket free (allowing up to 8GB chip), so a memory boost is possible on this model as well. But it’s not necessary for most users, a 6GB RAM should suffice for the vast majority.
This notebook sports a 500GB hard drive (although some sources falsely claim a 750GB drive). So it’s half a terabyte, good if you’re not downloading a lot of data off Internet every day. The speed of 5400RPM can’t keep up with solid-state drives, so you have an option to later switch the HDD for an SSD if you want to.
Display and graphics
Asus X555LA-SI30202G has a 15.6″ screen, the most common size among all laptops. It’s advertised as high-definition display (which is true) but don’t fall in the trap thinking it’s Full HD – it certainly isn’t, featuring just a common 1366×768 resolution. Unlike many people say, it’s not so bad in my opinion, and with a cheap laptop you can’t expect anything better.
Intel HD 4400 is the often-seen graphics engine in Core i3 processors. It runs your games also on this model, and does a better job than the weak graphics units of Pentium and Celeron processors. It should be alright for many newer titles too, although just on low settings and resolution. As an example, Battlefield 4 should get nice 25 frame rates which means playable if you ask me. Other games, those that require less from the system, will get better frames with settings turned higher.
Not every laptop this cheap has two USB 3.0 ports. Asus X555LA-SI30202G has (there’s also one USB 2.0), so it gets a small upper hand compared to its competitors. It also features VGA and HDMI outputs, so you can plug in older monitors without an adapter or special cable.
Getting Internet access is possible either through wired 1000Mbps Ethernet port or 802.11b/g/n WiFi adapter with built-in Bluetooth support.
An optical drive is available on this ASUS, so creating DVDs is no problem. 3-in-1 card reader (SD/SDHC/SDXC) is there too if you fancy memory cards.
For video meetings, the laptops has a built-in VGA webcam.
Some other things to keep in mind?
Asus X555LA-SI30202G works for road warriors like any 15.6″ laptop: it weighs the average 5.07 pounds and has a 2-cell polymer battery good for ~4 hours on web browsing.
The keyboard doesn’t feature backlight, although users commented it’s solid otherwise. The 10-key pad allows you to type number keys quickly.
ASUS software seems to be installed on the system. If you think it slows the computer you can always uninstall it.
Asus X555LA-SI30202G is a high quality laptop with an affordable price. Casual users not wanting to pay a big buck would probably find it great. There’s enough performance well enough for everyday computing, and the HD 4400 graphics unit works for games if you’re happy with no to little eye candy on. At a glance I don’t see anything big to complain – go for this Asus if your budget is limited but your desire for an useful notebook is big.