With the launch of Windows 10 there are several manufacturers scrambling to give us great laptops at affordable prices with the new OS already installed. However, few have offered such a great price/spec relationship as the Asus F555LA-AB31 we're going to talk about today.
The Asus F555LA-AB31 is an excellent mid-range laptop with a 5th generation Intel Core i3 CPU, 4 GB of RAM and the latest iteration of Windows (Windows 10) for an extremely competitive price point (click here to see the price). However, its most interesting feature (for the price) is that it comes with a Full HD (1920x1080p) screen.
Despite its lack of a dedicated graphics card, this laptop is still able to run video editing software like Adobe Premiere and After Effects, as well as videogames like League of Legends thanks to its integrated Intel HD graphics.
The only problem is that it comes with a 500 GB hard drive, though this is still plenty of storage for most of us and considering you’re forking over just a few hundred bucks, I’d say it’s a sacrifice worth making. Without further ado, let's get our mojo on with our in-depth review of the Asus F555LA-AB31.
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Review of the Asus F555LA-AB31, a cheap mid-range Windows 10 laptop.
Screen & first impressions
We'll start of our review of the Asus F555LA-AB31 by saying it has a very elegant, dual-tone design that makes it easy on the eye without attracting too much attention. It’s black on the outside and most of its inside, but it has a silver plate around the keyboard (which has an integrated numpad) and the touchpad (which is silver as well).
As I've stated in the intro to this review, the Asus F555LA-AB31’s most interesting feature is its 15.6-inch LCD display, because it rocks a Full HD (1920x1080p) resolution. That's quite a killer feature for a budget laptop, especially considering the fact that most of its competitors sport a 1366x768p screen.
The screen also comes with a matte layer on top, so it will not reflect as much light as a normal (glossy) display. This is particularly useful for outdoor usage, because you will be able to see the screen even with direct sunlight.
If for some reason 1080p is not enough for you, you can also connect this laptop to your TV or external monitors via the HDMI port and stream your content at a maximum resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. If it’s still not enough for you, then you better start saving your pennies because what you want is a 4k laptop and that costs three to four times the price of this laptop.
CPU, RAM & graphics
Moving on with our review, the Asus F555LA-AB31 is as powerful as you would expect a mid-range machine to be. It has a 5th generation, Broadwell-based Intel Core i3-5010u dual-core processor with 4 threads and 3 MB of cache that runs at 2.1GHz. It also has a 64-bit architecture, so it will take maximum advantage of the RAM memory.
Speaking of RAM, the Asus F555LA-AB31 comes with 4GB of DDR3 random access memory that runs at 1600MHz. This is more than enough for basic multitasking, so you shouldn’t have any problems unless you try to open 10 apps or more at the same time.
When it comes to graphics, this laptop is not the strongest out there but it is still capable of doing plenty of damage. It’s integrated Intel HD 5500 graphics card is able to run videogames such as League of Legends, Counter Strike: GO, Dota 2 and even the critically acclaimed Tomb Raider at more than 30 frames per second; but you’ll first have to lower the visual quality quite a bit (to be fair, you’ll have to do that with any mid-range laptop).
The same goes for video editing, because this graphics card will help you render 3D animations and complex special effects, but it will definitely not be as fast in doing so than other laptops with dedicated graphics (which, by the way, are way more expensive).
Basically, as long as you don’t try to push it too hard, this Asus makes for a very decent gaming and video editing machine. When it comes to media streaming, you’ll be able to watch your 60fps movies or videos even at 3840x2160 resolutions, not to shabby if you ask us.
Storage & Battery life
The Asus F555LA-AB31 comes with a 500 GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD), which despite not being as fast as a solid-state drive (SSD), it’s still fast enough for most people thanks to its 5400rpm reading/writing speeds. However, with the price if SSD's dropping dramatically, you might want to check out the option of using an internal SSD instead of the 500 GB of hard drive, at least if you're a speed junkie.
That said, I know that 500 GB might not be enough storage for some people, but you’ll still be able to connect your external drives and SD cards through the USB 3.0 and SD card slots, so it’s not that big of a deal.
Moving on to battery life, you might think that because of the 1080p screen, this laptop’s battery life sucks; but it actually isn't that bad either. With mid-to-heavy usage, the Asus F555LA-AB31 is able to last as much as 5 hours per charge. This is possible because of the very low energy requirements of the 5th generation i3 processor.
Connectivity & extras
We’re close to wrapping up our review of the Asus F555LA-AB31, so let’s talk about connectivity (both wired and wireless) as well as the most interesting extras.
The Asus F555LA-AB3 comes with basic compatibility with WiFi networks (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth (v4.0), wireless LAN and an ethernet port for your wired LAN connections; so you’re pretty much covered when it comes to Internet compatibility.
This laptop also comes with two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port and an SD card reader for your data needs, as well as HDMI and VGA ports for maximum display compatibility. It also comes with a webcam for video-conferences and a “combo audio jack”, which will let you plug your headphones or external microphones without a problem.
The biggest pro of the Asus F555LA-AB3 (besides the 1080p screen), is that it comes with Windows 10 out of the box, so you won’t need to spend any extra time waiting for the laptop to update (at least not as much time, because there’s still the minor updates).
What the Asus F555LA-AB3 lacks in internal storage, it compensates with an amazing, Full HD screen (which 15.6” size also allows for better multitasking). This laptop is, in our opinion, powerful enough for most students and professionals sporting a design that's both elegant and discreet.
As if this were not enough, the Asus F555LA-AB3 also comes with an integrated numeric pad for better and faster writing, and Windows 10 out of the box for better compatibility and usage. Basically, this is an excellent machine that comes at an even more excellent price.