[Review] Asus L410-PS04: A Game-Changing Entry-Level Laptop


Pros
  • Ultraportable design
  • Full HD display
  • 128 GB of SSD and 4 GB of RAM (upgradable)
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Generous battery life
Cons
  • No ethernet port
  • No fingerprint reader

Asus has really stepped up its game this year! The company seems determined to take over the entry-level segment with compelling laptops that offer some serious bang for your buck.

Recently we talked in-depth about the Asus L510MA-DB02 and today we're set to review the DB02's "little brother", the Asus L410MA-PS04, a 14-inch notebook that takes on all of the best features of the DB02 and adds a few of its own.

Without further ado, let's get on with it!

Who's it for?

=>Students - If you're a student on the go with a tight budget for your next laptop, consider the Asus L410MA-PS04. The compact and lightweight design is perfect for carrying around in bags or backpacks. It also features enough horsepower to let you perform your tasks while its generous battery life ensures you a charger-free backpack.

=> Business Professionals - If you don't need to work with heavy software and graphically demanding apps then the L410-PS04 will likely fit the bill of what you're looking for. Mainly if your computing tasks will consist of emails, videoconferences, browsing the internet and editing reports then this notebook can definitely help you out.

=> Writers/Bloggers - If you're looking for a simple-to-use, compact and lightweight laptop to get your creative juices flowing on the go then this one is for you.


Design

Asus really stepped it up a notch with this minimalistic notebook. With a weight of 2.87 pounds and a slick design that only measures 0.72-inches, the PS04 presents itself as an easy-to-carry ultrabook.

What's more, its 180ยบ lay-flat hinge means we can position the laptop in a fully flat manner. Having said that, we don't see why anyone would want to do such a thing but it's a possibility for those who want to.

From a design perspective, we also appreciate the digital NumberPad implemented on the trackpad. By clicking on the icon in the upper-right corner on the trackpad Asus manifests a digital number pad, allowing for a more comfortable and spacious keyboard.

Speaking of the keyboard, Asus went with a chiclet-style keyboard which is something that can be seen on more expensive machines too. It's nice to see Asus hasn't skimped out here. The key-travel distance is comfortable -1.4 mm - and it's backlit, something that's not all that common amongst entry-level machines.

Display

The display of the L410-PS04 is a 14-inch Full HD LED-backlit panel with a 78% screen-to-body ratio. Its viewing angles are slightly limited - a common issue amongst models in its price point - but other than that it's quite good.

The 1920 x 1080 resolution ensures images and text are sharp and clear. The screen is non-touch which some might see as a disadvantage but I personally prefer it that way.

Overall, it's a great screen for everyday use. You just need to be aware that you have to be staring directly at it for the best picture quality it can offer. It also features an anti-glare coating, which means that you can use it under direct light. 

However, let's not get too excited here, it's still the panel of an entry-level notebook which means it's got 220-nits worth of brightness and as much anti-glare as Asus implements, that's still not comfortable to use outdoors in direct sunlight. Heck, even my MacBook Air with retina display isn't comfortable under direct sunlight!

 Hardware and Performance

The Asus L410MA-PS04 comes with an Intel Celeron N4020 dual-core processor clocked at 1.1 GHz that can boost up to 2.8 GHz when necessary. The N4020 is an entry-level processor, meaning it's best suited for more basic tasks like web browsing, checking email, editing documents, and so on.

When it comes to graphical power the integrated Intel UHD Graphics GPU isn't strong enough to handle demanding multimedia or gaming apps but for casual games - such as Candy Crush or the likes - it works just fine.

From my experience with this notebook, I can say that it's just what it needs to be for everyday use in the modern world. It doesn't try too hard nor is it underpowered. The N4020 processor along with the 4GB RAM makes it capable enough of handling most tasks you throw at it.

Considering how affordable this notebook is, one cannot expect a lot out of the 4GB RAM but for light users who only do basic computing tasks along with some multimedia consumption, I think this amount will be more than enough.

What's more, what makes this notebook even more interesting is the fact that Asus has left a slot to upgrade RAM. Yeah, you read that right!!!

This means entry-level ultra-compact devices are no longer limited to the basic RAM they typically come with.

Sure, 4 GB might be enough today if you are not an intensive multitasker but leaving the door open to upgrade the RAM by another 4 GB at least means that the laptop doesn't have its days numbered like most other models in this price range.

Finally, while storage can't be upgraded, Asus has provided this model with 128 GB of SSD storage. It's not the highest capacity but we appreciate two things here: 1) it's actually an SSD and not an eMMC unit like most cheap laptops and 2) It's got 128 GB which is far more than the bear-minimum 64 GB we're all too used to seeing these days amongst this category of devices.

Battery Life & Connectivity Features

Asus has equipped this laptop with a 3-cell lithium-ion battery that provides 12 hours of battery life. While 12 hours is the maximum it can offer, in reality, you'll be able to squeeze about 9-10 hours of usage with this battery, which isn't bad at all.

Most laptops within its range will offer anywhere between 5-7 hours at best so this is actually a pretty big deal.

Connectivity-wise this device has 1x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, and 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C. It also includes Wi-Fi 5(802.11ac)+Bluetooth 4.1 (Dual band).

Asus has included an HDMI port for those who like to connect their device and project on a bigger screen. A Combo 3.5mm audio jack is also included so you can plug in your headset when listening to music or watching movies with other people.

Oh, there's also a webcam, but the quality is far from impressive so it's more of an afterthought really. But then again, when was the last time that manufacturers at this level actually cared about the webcam?

Bottom Line: If the Asus L410MA-DB04 worth it? 

The Asus L410MA-PS04 reviewed today is one of the most affordable compact notebooks in the market right now. Priced between $200 - $300 this Laptop is a great deal especially if you're looking for something that's extremely portable, looks sleek and doesn't drain your bank account.

If you're not after power and just want something to get the job done with a little extra then this laptop fits the bill more than any other model.

The fact that it's got 4 GB of RAM, 128 SSD storage, and most importantly the ability to easily upgrade with another 4GB of RAM if you feel that the onboard 4GB is not enough. For me, that's more than enough reason to bag this one.

Couple that with the digital NumberPad, extensive battery life, and generous connectivity options and you've got a notebook that's well worth your money.