Pros: 256 GB SSD unit, Core i7 Skylake, dedicated graphics chip for real gaming, dual fan technology, competitive price for a gaming laptop.
Cons: No DVD reader.
As of late, it seems that affordable gaming laptops are no longer a prank someone plays on you as an April Fools joke. Both Dell and Asus have been hard at work to deliver some of the most interesting affordable gaming laptops in the market. Proof and point is the latest Asus K501UX-AH71.
Asus's latest incursion into the competitive but very lucrative gaming market comes equipped with a Full HD display, dedicated Nvidia GeForce 950M graphics, a Skylake i7 processor and a huge 256 GB SSD storage unit. As we dive into our review of the Asus K501UX-AH71 we invite you to hop on and take an extensive look at one of the most promising affordable gaming machines in the market.
Is this laptop a hit or a miss? Find out in the customer reviews!
Asus K501UX-AH71 Review of a Cheap but very Powerful Gaming Laptop
A Full HD Display, Backlit keyboard and a light design
As expected, when Asus set out to launch a gaming laptop the company knew that a good screen would be vital to the process. As such, the company has given the K501UX-AH71 a 15.6 inch LED anti glare display with a 1920 by 1080 pixel count, also known as a Full HD resolution. This isn't as impressive as the Retina resolution that the MacBook Pro Retina is packing but it's still pretty good all things considered.
Asus didn't pull out any punches when designing the keyboard and therefore came up with a chiclet keyboard with backlit technology and a dedicated numeric pad on the side. The backlight is perfect for all those late nights either working or killing off zombies in your favourite games.
Weight and thickness is an aspect that the company took special care of. This is interesting considering that most gaming laptops are very robust machines that really don't lend themselves to being called "portable". That said, we've got 4.4 pounds on the scale and 0.9 inches in terms of thickness.
When it comes down to general performance, Asus's K501UX-AH71 takes the throne on all counts. Inside we've got an Intel Core i7-6500U processor that performs over two cores with 4MB of Intel's smart cache and a base frequency of 2.5 GHz that can scale up to 3.1 GHz.
This is an excellent processor, and other than it being dual core instead of quad core it's pretty much one of the best CPU's available for a laptop (we're not counting desktop CPU's). As a part of Intel's latest generation of processors, the 6500U delivers a solid performance on all fronts. Whether you're running photoshop on a daily basis or doing some 4K video editing, performance won't be an issue with this model.
As expected, RAM is also a main feature with 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM working at 1600 MHz. Sure, it's not 16GB like some other models offer but honestly, unless you're operating literally dozens of programs at a time it's doubtful that you'll notice the difference between 8 GB and 16 GB on an everyday usage.
What about gaming?
As we stated previously, this is a gaming laptop and we know as much thanks to its dedicated graphics chips; an Nvidia GeForce 950M with 2 GB of vRAM. So what does this mean? Well it means that you'll be able to play pretty much all current games at a good frame rate in high settings.
Be it Rainbow Six Siege, Need for Speed 2016 or even Star Wars Battlefront, with most current games you'll be able to do some serious uninterrupted gaming and with older titles of the 2015 circuit you'll be able to breeze right through them.
By the way, speaking of breeze, another big bonus to the Asus K501UX-AH71 is its dual fan system which ensures us that you won't be overheating the laptop anytime soon, no matter how intensive the works you're doing.
A Massive SSD and a quality audio system
Aside from coming packed with an i7 CPU and a powerful dedicated graphics card, the other big selling point in our review of the Asus K501UX-AH71 is its storage. Not because there's a lot of it but because it boosts an SSD unit instead of a conventional mechanical hard drive.
Also, while Asus could've skated by with just a 128 GB SSD, the company opted to go all out in this case and invested in a 256 GB SSD giving you plenty of storage and extremely fast speeds on every task you perform and file you access. Believe me, once you go down the SSD route you never wanna go back to a conventional hard drive.
It's also worth noting that as a gaming laptop, Asus has given this notebook a quality speaker system, spearheaded by its own SonicMaster technology which deliver higher volumes as well as a deeper bass.
How's it doing on ports?
Again, Asus has gone above and beyond in every sense with this model. We've got 4 USB ports in total, three of them being of the USB 3.0 variety, an SD card reader, audio combo, HDMI out as well as an ethernet port to log onto the internet the old fashioned (and more secure) way.
Oh, by the way, speaking of internet access, the K501UX-AH71 comes equipped with a WiFi ac antenna which means that it can reach download speeds up to three times faster than traditional b/g/n antennas, assuming you have a compatible router of course.
Wrapping things up
After all's said and done we really couldn't be more pleased with our review of the Asus K501UX-AH71. It offers an excellent processor, super graphics card and stellar storage for an extremely competitive price.
Couple all that with a Full HD display, dual fan technology and 8 GB of RAM and you've got a real winner in your hands. Should you buy the Asus K501UX-AH71? If you're looking for an affordable gaming laptop then the answer is most definitely yes.