Let me present you a real beast: ASUS X755JA-DS71, a high-end laptop with speedy Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and big 17 inches display. There definitely should be enough oomph for power users wanting a smooth environment and even some gamers looking for a lag-free experience. But shouldn’t there be some bad things too, otherwise the laptop would cost much more, right? Well, let’s see about that…
The performance of ASUS X755JA-DS71 is excellent. It features a four-core Core i7-4712MQ processor from 2014. Its clock speed is decent 2.3GHz, although turbo boost will increase it to 3.3GHz. It’s one of the fastest laptop processors, with CPU Mark benchmarks giving closer to 7400 points (Celerons get around 1000 and Core i3 processors around 3000). Needless to say, the i7 model will run all your heavy programs without any problems. It’s a real deal for power users, although also home users might like it because there’s no need to get a new processor (laptop) in the next couple of years.
The RAM isn’t bad, either. The laptop contains 8GB DDR3L SDRAM, something multitaskers will appreciate. On numerous vendor pages 16GB is stated as the maximum memory, although on Amazon ASUS support said the memory is not upgradeable. Either way, eight gigabytes is plenty, and not many people would benefit from going above that.
As expected for this price, there’s a huge terabyte hard drive installed. It has space for all your files easily, taking hundreds of thousands of photos or hundreds of movies as an example. The sheer storage is indeed ridiculously big, but these 5400RPM drives suffer from (possibly) unsatisfactory performance. In that case, you can install a solid-state drive. Being a large laptop there should be space for SSD, in fact somebody on Amazon commented they have a dual drive setup on this ASUS.
Screen and graphics
As I usually say, these laptops with 17.3″ display work well if you’re not planning to travel with your notebook. That is, for home users a bigger screen is often desired since it’s generally more pleasant to work with. The screen type is matte, however I can’t really vouch for the resolution. On this model, it’s just 1600×900. For this price a 1920×1080 screen could’ve been expected. A disadvantage indeed, although depending on your personal preferences perhaps not a deal breaker.
The display is a non-touch one, meaning Windows 8.1’s touch features will be left unused. Personally, I don’t mind, I’ve been using Windows 8 with a normal screen since the beginning. You shouldn’t have any problems either, the interface works fine with just keyboard and mouse.
The Intel HD Graphics 4600 is fast engine for an integrated unit, although dedicated graphics cards are still miles ahead. This model is no stranger for heavier games but in exchange you have to keep settings closer to minimum. Battlefield 4, for example, should give ~25FPS on medium details. With some extremely demanding titles like Thief you’d have to keep settings at absolute low to get similar frames. Of course, Minecraft and lightweight games run fine no matter how much eye candy you have turned on.
There are three USB ports in ASUS X755JA-DS71 – all of them are USB 3.0 located on the left. That side also houses VGA and HDMI outputs. You can plug a monitor or HDTV to those ports and use the laptop on an external screen.
A DVD burner is installed on the right hand side. If you’re into memory cards there’s also an SD/MMC card reader to play with. Webcam is fixed on top of the screen.
Internet can be reached with Ethernet RJ-45 port or a 802.11b/g/n WiFi. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported so transferring data from smart phones should be convenient.
What other things to keep in mind?
ASUS X755JA-DS71 weighs 6.6 pounds so it’s definitely not a small laptop. That’s the “price” of a large display, and road warriors should think twice before their decision. Battery life is limited to three or four hours which is typical for big notebooks.
Pricier laptops often have a backlit keyboard but that might not be the case here. Somebody commented their keyboard was not illuminated although ASUS representative claimed this model has a backlit keyboard. So it’s hard to say who speaks the truth. Anyway, a numeric keypad is installed on the right, so quick access to number keys is guaranteed.
ASUS X755JA-DS71 has both good sides and negatives. Some better things include the extremely fast i7 processor and 8GB RAM: not many people will ever require more, with the current setting offering a smooth ride for casual and power users alike. The large screen will also come handy for non-travelers, although its 1600×900 resolution is the biggest disadvantage. The laptop price is pretty hefty so I really wonder why they left Full HD display out. If it had one, the notebook would be a killer. Now I can recommend it for those who don’t care about display quality so much but value raw performance more.