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Asus F554LA-WS52 Review, Core i5 and 8 GB of RAM at a low end price


Pros Cons
  • Shared graphics memory (integrated GPU).
  • Hard Drive instead of an SSD.

Despite how much I love low-end laptops like the Chromebooks and the upcoming Cloudbooks (which are pretty much just chromebooks with Windows 10), sometimes we just need something more powerful. You might also like: Asus F555LA-AB31 The Ultimate Windows 10 Laptop 

Sometimes we just need something like the Asus F554LA-WS52, a laptop with solid internal specs, a very classy and good-looking design, and a low end price tag (check availability here) that won’t drain our bank account. Now, without further ado, let us begin with our in-depth review of the Asus F554LA-WS52.

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Review of the Asus F554LA-WS52, Pros and Cons


Screen & First impressions


The Asus F554LA-WS52 is a very pretty machine with an all-black chassis, but unlike most black mid-range laptops, this one comes with a textured finish that protects the device from fingerprints and scratches. This finish also gives the laptop a very premium, metal look, so I’d say it’s a win-win.

The screen is nothing extraordinary, but it's still pretty good. We’re talking about a 15.6-inch screen with an HD (1366x768p) resolution that doesn’t reflect as much light as other laptops thanks to its “matte” design. This means that the screen will be bright and comfortable enough even on outdoors. Ergo, if you're big on using your laptop at coffee shops and such, this should be a pretty good fit.

The size of this screen allows for a solid multitasking experience, but if you need a bigger display or resolution you can still connect this laptop to your TV or external monitor through the HDMI and VGA ports included.

CPU, RAM & Graphics


Moving on with our Asus F554LA-WS52 review, this laptop is pretty much is as powerful as you would expect a mid-range machine to be. It comes with a 5th generation, Broadwell based Intel Core i5 CPU that runs at 2.2 GHz and comes with 2 cores, 4 threads and 3 MB of cache.

The best thing about this i5 CPU is that it comes with Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, which means it will automatically overclock itself to a maximum of 2.7 GHz depending on battery and temperature levels.

When it comes down to the graphics department, the new Asus laptop is pretty well endowed. Sure, it doesn't boost a dedicated graphics card but it does bring it's "A Game" with an integrated Intel HD 5500.

This isn't a graphic card I'd recommend if you're looking to edit 4K video round the clock or play hardcore games but for the average movie watching, picture editing and Full HD video rendering experience, you'll be just fine. To put you "at ease", this is the same graphics card that the previous MacBook Air generation had and those are some pretty good laptops.

In the gaming department, you’ll be able to play games such as League of Legends, Dota 2, The Sims 4, FIFA 14 and a few others as long as you lower the visual quality. This is good enough for most people and it’s more than what we’d expect from a mid-range laptop.

Either way, what it "lacks" in graphical power, it overcompensates in RAM, boosting 8 GB of DDR3L SDRAM that runs at 1600 MHz. This basically means that you’ll be able to run several programs at once and not run into any "issues". If you're like me and you have 10+ tabs open at the same time plus a couple of programs running in the background then you'll definitely be glad you got a laptop with 8 GB of RAM. 

All in all, this set of specs translate into a laptop that is more than powerful enough for the average and not-so average user, as long as you don’t need very graphically demanding software.

Storage & Battery Life


I could easily complain about the fact that the Asus F554LA-WS52 has a hard drive instead of an SSD, but when it comes to mid-range laptops, a hard drive is actually better because it means that you’ll have more internal storage.

To be more specific, the Asus F554LA-WS52 comes with a 500 GB HDD that, despite not being as fast as an SSD, it’s still fast enough thanks to its 5400 rpm reading/writing speeds. And like I said, an SSD would have meant a lot less internal storage because of how expensive and intricate this technology actually is. 

That said, if you're looking to get a really fast laptop at a relatively low cost I'd recommend switching the HDD for an SSD, especially when you can buy 250 GB for roughly $100.

Moving on to the battery life, the best part about not having a dedicated graphics card is that the laptop doesn’t require that much energy, meaning that it can last over 7 hours per charge with mid-to-heavy use. If you want to take full advantage of the battery life, we recommend for you to always check the brightness level and the amount of apps running in the background.

Connectivity & extras


The best extras you’re going to find on this laptop are its DVD optical drive, which allows for a better physical format compatibility; and its Windows 8.1 operating system that you’ll be able to update to Windows 10 without having to spend a single dime. However, this update will only be free until mid-2016, though, so you’ll have to act fast (and trust me, you do want to update to Windows 10).

The new Asus laptop also comes with 1 USB 2.0 port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and VGA ports, a headphone/microphone port and an ethernet port for your wired LAN connections. Regarding wireless connections, we've got some basic WiFi (802.11 b/g/n) and Bluetooth (v4.0) compatibility.

Oh, and don't worry, you'll still be able to have videocalls with your friends and family, Asus didn't forget to bring a high definition webcam into the mix. Sure, it won't be as good as a dedicated Full HD webcam but it's more then enough for most of us.

Veredict


We conclude our in depth review of the Asus F554LA-WS52, as well as it's pros and cons by stating that it's an excellent machine for college and work offering a spectacular price/spec relationship. For its pretty low price with 8 gigs of RAM, a strong i5 CPU and a pretty nifty 7 hour battery life.

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