Recently we covered the Asus X555DA-WS11, an affordable yet very powerful laptop for hardcore users. Today we're going to dive into yet another model of Asus's lineup, a very popular model that goes under the name of Asus F555LA-EH51.
Asus's latest foray into consumer laptops comes packed with great specs though quite honestly it does lack a particularly outstanding feature. Overall, it's an interesting laptop with a lot to offer such as a Core i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM and quite a bit more. Eager to know more? Then keep reading as we unravel all the pros and cons in this review of the Asus F555LA-EH51.
The Good: Broadwell i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, DVD reader, super fast WiFi, 1 TB of storage, highly competitive price.
The Bad: Integrated graphics not for hardcore gamers, standard battery life.
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Asus F555LA-EH51 The Story of a balanced laptop
At first glance...
Upon a first inspection we find that the Asus F555LA-EH51 is lacking when it comes to design. No, it's not ugly but it doesn't really stand out either. It's plastic body doesn't feel cheap when compared to other models within it's price gamut but it doesn't stray much from the design we've already seen on dozens of Asus laptops. If you want to be discreet and professional then this is a good thing, if you're looking to get something with a "wow factor" then it's not.
There's no touchscreen on this model (something we don't mind at all). Instead, we've got a 15.6 inch IPS LED-Backlit display with a 1366 by 768 resolution on top of a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. No, Asus's engineers didn't really kill themselves when they opted for this screen but they did so in order to maintain an affordable price point.
The chiclet keyboard provides an all around comfortable typing experience and the inclusion of a numeric pad (common amongst 15 inch models) is useful for those of you who'll spend hours updating their spreadsheets.
Weight and thickness are of 5.10 pounds and 1 inch respectively, well within what we've come to expect in the mid range.
Hardcore Performance Hidden Within
While Asus might have neglected to push the limits on design, it did a very good job where it really counts: on the internals. At this level, we're very pleased to find an Intel Core i5-5200U processor.
This is a dual core CPU launched a little over a year ago that delivers a solid performance thanks to its 2.2 GHz speed, 3MB of cache and a Turboboost feature that increases speed to 2.7 GHz when faced with more challenging tasks.
What does this mean? Is it any good? What can I do? If you've done some digging while looking up for your next laptop you'll know that currently we're in the sixth generation of Core processors.
This particular model, the 5200U doesn't belong to that batch but rather to the previous one (Broadwell). Performance-wise you'll notice a difference of around 10% when doing stress tests upon this laptop and a similar model with a Skylake i5.
That said, this is a very good processor which can handle a vast variety of tasks. It's by no means a starter processor but rather a CPU that will perform well on most areas. Streaming video, editing video, running photoshop and booting up one or more virtual machines are all tasks well within this processors capabilities so chances are you won't run short on performance any time soon.
System Memory is also a big pro of the Asus F555LA-EH51, since we've got 8 GB of DDR3 SDRAM clocking in at 1600 MHz. In a market where most mid level laptops don't get more than 4 GB of RAM right off the bat this is pretty good and it comes to show that Asus is serious about letting us know that this particular model is, by all means, a power player.
8 GB of RAM is plenty for extensive multitasking and unless you're working over at the NASA headquarters, chances are you're going to have RAM to spare most of the time which is a really good thing.
What games can I play?
To be perfectly honest, the Asus F555LA-EH51 is not a gaming laptop. Inside we'll find an Intel HD 5500 graphics chip which might play nice with some older titles but won't do anything useful on more demanding games.
Popular games of the 2014 circuit will have a decent chance of running at a respectable frame rate when played at low settings but in general terms, anything launched in the last 12 months will be rendered unplayable even at the lowest settings.
What else should i know?
Often times, when we dive into a review there's not much info regarding battery life and unfortunately our review of the Asus F555LA-EH51 proved no exception. In this regard, we know we've got a two cell battery and we would estimate this can hold up between 3 and 4 hours of battery life. Considering there aren't any negative (or positive) comments in regards to battery life this would seem to be a pretty safe bet since this is well within the current standard.
Storage is composed of a 1 TB Serial ATA hard drive that gets to work at 5400 rpm. This is what you'll find on most laptops flooding the current market so we can't say we're surprised but we're not disappointed either.
Finally, connectivity for the Asus F555LA-EH51 is pretty impressive. First of all we've got WiFi ac instead of your typical b/g/n support. This translates into a surfing speed up to three times faster if you've got a router that supports this frequency.
That said, there's also an ethernet port, DVD reader, 2 USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 entry, HDMI out, VGA out as well as an HD webcam. You can check up the rest of details over here.
Sound quality also deserves a special mention thanks to Asus's very own Sonic Master technology which, in conjunction with the laptop's hardware, delivers a pretty good sound (not professional quality sound but good).
That's the million dollar question on our Asus F555LA-EH51 review. Is it worth it? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Quite honestly we would have to say yes. Of course this will depend heavily on your particular set of demands but overall Asus has given us a great mid level laptop at a very competitive price.
We really like the processor, the vast amounts of RAM and the ample storage. The rest of the elements aren't all that but honestly they aren't the important ones when determining the performance of a laptop. If you're a demanding user looking for a strong performance, capable multitasking and a lot of storage then this model will fit you like a glove.
On the other hand, if you value battery life and are looking for a dedicated gaming laptop then this will hardly suit your needs.