Pros: 5th generation Core i3, 4GB upgradable RAM, 1 TB of storage, very attractive price.
Cons: Inadequate for gaming.
Finding a mid range laptop that features an affordable price point is not a particularly common event. More often than not we do end up paying a bit more than we might've hoped for. However, once in awhile, a truly distinguished model comes to the forefront. We've seen this with the compelling Asus F555LA-AB31 and today we're seeing it again with the Asus X555LA-HI31103J.
The new Asus flagship is quick to stand out thanks to its prominent 5th generation Core i3 processor, extremely competitive pricing and vast storage, but don't take us on our word and keep reading as we take a dive and review the Asus X555LA-HI31103J.
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Asus X555LA-HI31103J Review of a Mid Range powerhouse
Current Design and a standard display
It's quite clear from the get go that the Asus X555LA-HI31103J's attributes do not lie within it's design. Not that it features an ugly design but it doesn't really stand out either. To that point, we've got a pretty basic look of polished metal on the front and glossy dark finish on the back end. It's not ugly but it simply isn't "new".
Weight and size are also on par with what we're seeing in the market for a 15.6 inch laptop. That is a weight of a little over 5 pounds and about 1.02 inches of thickness.
The screen is portrayed by a 15.6 inch LED backlit display with a basic 1366 by 768 pixel resolution. Nothing really new on this front so we'll move on...
What powers the Asus X555LA-HI31103J?
Aside from the pretty typical aesthetics, the Asus X555LA-HI31103J features some pretty interesting internals. On that front we should point out that the laptop at hand comes with a 5th generation Core i3 5020U model. This particular model is quite good, spreading the heavy lifting over two cores with 3 MB of cache and clocking in at 2.2 GHz.
Translating these specs to common usage, the Asus X555LA-HI31103J would be well suited for stuff like surfing the web, editing video, chatting with friends, doing some light coding and you could even go as far as to run a virtual machine if needed.
It's not the fastest processor in the market but ultimately it will do most of the things you ask of it, even if it's a bit challenged when faced with heavy duty tasks.
The system memory in this case is a standard 4 GB of DDR3L SDRAM that works at a speed of 1600 MHz. It's very interesting that RAM can be upgraded all the way towards 12 GB. Honestly we think 12 GB is hardly necessary and not really what you would do with this type of CPU but a healthy upgrade to 8 GB might remove any obstacle you might have on the multitasking front.
What about gaming? Is this laptop good for gaming?
The short answer to this question would be a very definitive; "no". To be more specific, the Asus X555LA-HI31103J in review features a UMA graphics card which is a fancy way of saying that it houses an integrated graphics card that uses the System memory instead of its own.
Generally speaking, manufacturers tend to disclose the exact graphics chip employed (whether integrated or dedicated) so the fact that the company hasn't leads us to believe that we're looking at a standard Intel HD graphics card which in general terms is simply bad for gaming, be it casual or hardcore gamers.
What about battery life and storage options? What are those like?
Aside from the key specs mentioned above, many people base their purchasing decisions on storage and battery life. To this point you should be pretty pleased with the overall storage of the X555LA-HI31103J that houses 1 TB of Hard Drive storage at a speed of 5400 rpm. We should note that storage is split between two partitions, something also quite common.
In regards to the battery life, there's not much info to go about it but in accordance to its spec sheet we should anywhere between 3 to 5 hours of battery life. Not too bad but not very impressive either. However, if you would like a longer battery life we would urge you to take a look at Core i5 models as they are, generally speaking, more energy efficient.
Let's take a look at the connectivity options
In terms of connectivity you won't be missing out on much as the X555LA-HI31103J comes with the standard options such as 3 USB ports (2 USB 3.0 ports), an RJ-45 port to log onto the internet in a safer and faster way, an HDMI out to connect the PC to your TV as well as your standard card readers, audio combo, Webcam, Bluetooth and of course WiFi of the b/g/n variety.
Finally, after our brief review of the Asus X555LA-HI31103J we've gotta give a big thumbs up to Asus that's really doing things pretty well lately. First it introduced the very interesting Asus F555LA-AB31 at a tight price and now this.
We really like the 5th generation CPU, upgradable RAM and vast storage. An added bonus would have been to have a few extra hours in the battery life department but aside from that this laptop delivers a very good value for your money and it's quite frankly one of the most interesting proposals in the mid range market today. All in all, a very good choice.