on August 27, 2012
This is a 3rd Generation Intel processor combo, CPU/Graphics ... smaller die size means runs cooler, faster, better graphics, longer battery life. This model has 4 GB RAM ... I added 4 GB more (make sure the added memory is 1600 mHz frequency not 1333. The screen is bright and clear, though I don't know how color accurate it is. The keyboard is excellent ... the touch pad requires only a light touch, but is tricky when typing a lot. When keyboard adapter is plugged in, can setup to auto turn off pad, nice. I prefer an external mouse. Speakers are okay (for a laptop, but no bass frequencies). External Speakers are obviously much better. Wlan (WiFi) has good range. Though I am adding an Alfa wireless range extender...for use in boonies ... see below (1). Camera and microphone are fine for Skype like chats. No bluetooth, but it can be added via USB 2.0 adapter. SD camera card reader is actually SDHC ... I like the new USB 3.0 ports ... two of them and one USB 2.0 ... total of three ... nice.
Overall, a well made, great performing laptop by ASUS ... fast, runs cool and has reasonable battery life for a non SSD storage drive system. Tons of storage ... 750 GB HHD ... Pricing is very competitive. The instant on is really nice. I prefer ASUS build quality, reliability and customer service... one of the best in the industry.
Amazon customer service has also been outstanding on this and many other items I have bought. Cooperative and helpful.
(1) Alfa AWUS036H High power 1000mW 1W 802.11b/g High Gain USB Wireless Long-Rang WiFi network Adapter with 5dBi Rubber Antenna and a 7dBi Panel Antenna and Suction cup / Clip Window Mount - for Wardriving & Range Extension by Alfa
on August 30, 2012
-Good battery life (3 hours on high performance)
-No bullshit bloatwares on setup
-Graphics can handle most graphically taxing games on low-med settings
-Great processor for everyday uses
-Comfortable keyboard, great screen
-Simple design, sleek looks
-Touch screen a bit too sensitive, delicate to the touches
-Mediocre built-in speakers
For those of you who are looking for a work laptop without heavy tasks such as video editing or hardcore gaming, this is a great laptop. Furthermore, this laptop can handle games such as WoW, Guild Wars 2, and Starcraft at Medium-low settings at 40-50 fps, which is good. Great price for a versatile entertainment laptop
on August 3, 2012
The specs are pretty good and i'd say you get what you're paying for. what's not mentioned above is that the sodimm is expandable to 8gb, and the graphics card is a 1gb, and it's got a usb 3.0 and insta-on.
Good comp runs everything smoothly and i've doing a lot of heavy STATA data analysis and massive excel sheets. the battery life is about 2.5 hrs (pretty bad), and the WORST thing about this computer is that the SPEAKERS ARE ON the BOTTOM!!! WTF?! why would you do that? so when i put the laptop on my lap...I can barely hear any sound on full volume!
I didn't realize how wide this computer actually is...it's got that number pad on the side too so just make sure you want that.
and the smart touch thing is retarded...i have had to disable touch click b/c my cursor keeps redirecting while typing.
My wife has had an HP laptop for several years. It had Windows Vista as the operating system. I have an Acer laptop and an HP desktop, both with Windows 7 installed. My wife's computer was fairly slow and didn't talk well with my Windows 7 home network, so when my grandson needed a laptop to do homework on, I jumped at the opportunity to give him the Vista laptop and get a new laptop for my wife with Windows 7 installed.
After having two HP computers (laptop and desktop), I am not enamored of HP computers, so I was looking for something else that had good ratings (on Amazon of course). I like my Acer laptop, but the keyboard is kind of chintzy - it flexes a little when you type. Reading reviews on Amazon and Consumer reports, I decided to try an Asus brand laptop. I wanted something with a large enough screen that my wife could comfortably read and that didn't take up a huge amount of counter space since the laptop sits in a countertop desk in the kitchen. 15.6-inches is the same as her old laptop, so that is why I picked that size. Amazon had a good choice with the right options and processor and the blue color stood out as my wife's favorite. So, for all the reasons above, I picked this laptop.
The laptop came boxed and packed well. No problems with damage. It is beautiful. The blue is rich and everything seems of high quality. I had a lot of fun customizing it for my wife's use. I took off all the crapware and added the programs I like to have on my computers - like OpenOffice - a free clone of MS Office and other similar programs that we use every day.
This laptop is fast and has solid hardware. It has not given me any problems and my wife likes it a lot. I would buy another Asus after my experience. One slight issue I have with the case is that the back sits a little low for me. This makes the keyboard face upward at a fairly high angle for my tastes. I would like to see the back end raised a little higher so the keyboard is slanted more towards the user. That makes it easier for me to find the keys with my palms resting on the counter. I am 6'-2" so I sit a lot higher at the counter than my wife who is only 5'-1". However, my wife says it is fine with her, so that is what counts.
This is a great PC - boots fast, has a lot of zip, runs everything that I need to run and I cannot say anything bad about it. I think it was a great buy.
on October 9, 2012
This laptop has everything I need - decent integrated graphics, fast CPU, upgrade-ability, won't burn my legs... on the surface, it ticked all the checkboxes. But I had to return it because of the space bar.
I type A LOT and my wife types a lot, too. She's going to use this laptop for school, and a spacebar that works 30-50% of the time isn't going to cut it; school papers with words mashed together that requires double- and triple-checking to correct is a deal breaker. I don't have the time and I have plenty of things that frustrate me in life, a keyboard doesn't have to be (and will not be) one of them.
Sorry, Asus - I love your motherboards and video cards, but your laptop really, really let me down. I searched around and this is a pretty common problem with keyboards on Asus laptops, so I will unfortunately be going with a competitor's product.
If you plan on using this more like a desktop - connected to an external keyboard and mouse - and only need occasional portability, then it's a fantastic deal. But if you're an accomplished typist and need to rely on a keyboard that has a spacebar that works, I suggest you go elsewhere.
on October 24, 2012
Let me say that this laptop is a great value, as long as you don't mind potentially spending an extra 25 bucks on a new network card.
A few days past my ability to return for full refund, I began experiencing severe problems with the network card (Atheros AR9485). Apparently this particular card is notorious for going on the fritz. I tried several solutions like re-installing drivers, changing power settings, etc etc and nothing has helped in the least. As I don't want to shell out the dough for a new laptop, I am forced to replace the network card.
I am frankly surprised ASUS didn't catch this problem after hearing so many good things about them as a reliable computer manufacturer. My only other complaints might be that it needs to have dedicated volume buttons. Other than that, the rest of the computer is working beautifully.
The network card issue may not happen to you, but don't be surprised if it does.
on October 6, 2012
This is a great laptop for the price and I consider ASUS as the best computer manufacturer in the world; I trust them my eyes closed. But they really failed with the speakers of this laptop, why would anyone put speakers UNDER the laptop?? The sound sucks and I use my laptop for listening music and watching movies a lot; with these speakers you cannot do any of these. If you plan to use this laptop with headphones or earphones don't hesitate to buy, I did my research and as of today this is one of the best laptops you can find in terms of performance/price.
on October 26, 2012
After spending a week and many hours with the Asus A55, here's the skinny.
Build quality is pretty good, nothing twists or was loose. All the keys worked. The screen resolution, as has been mentioned, is probably not the right one for the screen, but it's no worse than my previous Toshiba Satellite and is quite fine. The screen works without any "frizzes" or "jiggles" (important for previous HP laptop owners).
One warning on the listing on Amazon... the rebate is listed for this model under K55, but it's only to re-imburse you for the Win8 $14.99 upgrade special... you don't get $14.99 off the machine price.
Now to brass tacks. THE KEYBOARD... key islands, but not back-lit. There seems to be more space surrounding the keys than is really necessary, so I would strongly recommend getting a keyboard cover to stop dust, etc., from getting inside. The Delete key is in two places, both inconvenient: a half-sized key in the Function row and in the right bottom corner of the number pad. They've placed the insert key right beside it so it's nearly impossible to use it without looking which is more than a bit annoying. Home and End cursor buttons are at the 7 and 1 on the number pad and one wonders if the designer had ever used a keyboard before. Not intuitive at all and it's still tough even after extensive use to get used to Home, "up", End of line "down." Ugh. The feel overall is fine albeit a tiny bit mushy on the downstroke, but it springs up positively on the upstroke. Several here have noticed the sensitivity of the touchpad when typing... ASUS placed a toggle combination (Fn+f9) in the Function keys to disable the touchpad while typing (yes the touchpad has a special feature that senses when the pad is being touched and when it's just your palms touching to stop cursor travel. It works, but only if your palm is flat on the panel with pressure, a light touch of the palm will move it). The Function key disable is a great feature, but it would be FAR better to have a dedicated key just for that feature, since typing is a big use of the keyboard (!). Incidentally, the touchpad also has a gap around it that likes to collect the schmutz as well. As for the feel of it, it's not glass like Apple's, a little rougher to the touch, but it works as well if not better than Apple's. You will have to adjust the sensitivity of it though - use the Mouse adjustment in Control Panel to access it under "Elan". I had a problem with pop-up boxes being magnified whenever I scrolled using the touchpad which was fixed by adjusting it.
One more slight annoyance is the placement of the function lights. The on/off switch has a top-side white LED that is several magnitudes brighter than a full Moon and a red or green would have much better. The status lights are located on the side front with the icons on the palm-rest. It would've been more convenient to have the lights with the icons, but that's a minor.
THE GUTS: First, if you plan on having 40 Gigs of programs or more, you'll definitely need the additional 4GB RAM. I have 40GB in use on the C: and 5GB on the D: and am at over 40% on the RAM if I have just two or three programs running simultaneously. To correct the one Commenter who indicated that the Hard Drive wasn't the advertized 750GB... well, the drive is partitioned into a C: and D: (which ASUS labels "Data"), which is normal procedure these days... so, it's there.
THE BATTERY: Seems great so far... I've used it on battery and it's comparable at this point with my wife's Apple.
THE VERDICT: You know, overall, this machine is quite fine. I like having the Apple-like functionality of the touchpad (always found myself running two fingers down the Toshiba touchpad after having used hers for awhile!). It seems to take a bit longer than I'd expected in boot-up - even in sleep-mode it's no Apple, but that's more Windows fault than the hardware, of course. I like the blue case and the mottled look as well. I'm not sure the dedicated number pad is necessary, but it would've been better if the "5" had a dimple on it for tactile use of the keyboard. There's nothing that makes you go "wow", but there's nothing that makes you cringe either. It's got a decent factory warranty, still has high grades in durability (which was my main selling point), and even has a USB3 connection as one of the 3 USB ports as well (plus an SD reader). I searched for hours to find this machine after a sudden HD crash on the Toshiba and can honestly say that I'm glad I found it and didn't go with any of the others I'd had an eye on. The quality and price are just right. Four stars out of five for the key annoyances.
[as an aside, I'm running Libre Office Suite with an HP Deskjet and the ASUS runs them all perfectly.]
on November 11, 2012
I bought this laptop about two months ago but didn't do a review for it. I figured I might as well make it because this is a really good laptop.
My previous laptop was a cheap Toshiba satellite that looked more like a toy than anything else.
This laptop has met all my needs in entertainment, gaming, and working. I can't live without it anymore.
The speakers are pretty loud even if they are at the bottom, maybe I just have sensitive hearing.
On gaming I have played a couple of games without a problem with this computer. Of course they weren't set to super high settings, I'm not a graphics wh**e. The settings were generally medium or low with some games on high.
I have played:
-Skyrim (low-medium settings)
-Portal 1 & 2 (high settings)
-LOL (online game) (medium settings)
-Team Fortress (online game medium-high settings)
-Alice Madness Returns (medium settings)
-Dead Space 2 (medium settings)
-Diablo 3 (high settings)
-Tomb Raider Underworld (medium-high settings)
-Vindictus (online game high settings)
(the settings are from what i faintly recall though diablo, vindictus, and portal 1&2 i can remember vividly)
I haven't played battlefield but I'm pretty sure an i5 processor with intel 4000 could handle it on low settings no problem.
I did buy a 4gig ram stick to put in and it just makes this computer that much more awesome.
currently I use it for playing video games, writing papers along with a moderate amount of multitasking, and streaming movies. I do a lot of other shenanigans and this computer keeps on impressing. It's definitely a good buy in my opinion for college, gaming, and entertainment
on September 12, 2012
Have been using this Asus for a few days following the usual very prompt and efficient Amazon ordering and shipping process. The computer appears well made, looks good and, with the exception of a little bloatware, was easy to setup to my needs. The keyboard, trackpad, DVD, and all USB ports work as they should. I like the keyboard. The screen is good, but perhaps just a little more resolution and brightness would be added benefits (I like a very bright screen).
Performance and speed are excellent. I added 4GB of 1600Mhz RAM which really boosted an already very adequately performing computer. I have had no issues and everything I've thrown at it, including video and photo editing, the Asus handled without a hiccup.
Overall I am quite pleased and feel, after some hours of researching laptops, this Asus represents a really good bang-for-the-buck.