ASUS K55N-DS81 15.6-Inch Laptop Review

ASUS K55N-DS81 15.6-Inch Laptop

The ASUS K55N-DS81 15.6-Inch Laptop is an inexpensive, yet relatively capable, machine. In terms of performance, it sits towards the lower end of the mid-range market, yet its price tag is much more in keeping with the upper end of the entry-level range.

It should have no difficulty in handling day-to-day computing tasks; document editing and creation, email, surfing the web, video chat and HD video are all well within its capabilities. Even light gaming or video editing are not entirely beyond its reach, although more demanding tasks may prove challenging.

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The 1.9GHz AMD A8-4500M Processor at the heart of this machine is a quad-core component specifically designed to provide a reasonably balance between power consumption and performance in mid range, medium sized laptops. It features AMD’s Turbo Core technology, to improve performance, particularly on single-threaded applications.

The machine ships with 4GB of DDR3 RAM installed. Although this is enough to make good use of the supplied copy of Windows, allowing it to show off its new user interface and multitask your favourite applications, more memory would have been nice. That said, there must inevitably be some compromises in order to keep the price low, and this one isn’t so onerous as to be a deal breaker. This is particularly true since the machine is easily upgraded to a maximum of 16GB RAM.

For permanent storage of documents, music, movies and applications, the K55N-DS81 is fitted with a 500GB hard drive. Again, more storage space would have been nice, but 500GB represents a reasonable compromise between storage capacity and price – it should be enough for most purposes, but, if more storage is required, it is a simple matter to attach an external disk drive to one of the machine’s USB ports.

The 15.6-Inch, 1366*768 pixel, HD, LED backlit display is powered by ATI HD 7640G graphics. This is a relatively fast, integrated graphics processor, that should provide better performance that the equivalent Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor found in recent Intel-based laptops. Despite its relative speed, and ability to handle limited gaming at relatively low detail settings, this is not a dedicated gaming laptop, and shouldn’t be compared to one. It is, however, perfectly capable of handling the kinds of task it was designed for!

Pros :

  • Good Value, Mid Range Laptop
  • AMD A8-4500M Processor (1.9GHz)
  • ATI HD 7640G Graphics
  • 4GB RAM
  • 500GB Hard Disk
  • Windows 8

Cons :

  • Underpowered For Serious Gaming

If you intend to use the machine for entertainment, as well as work, the time will probably come when you will want to attach an external display – watching movies on a 15.6″ display, particularly with friends, is nowhere near as enjoyable watching them on a full-sized display. Fortunately, this machine has both an HDMI port for connecting to a modern monitor or HDTV, and VGA port for connecting to older monitors, projectors, etc., so can be to sure to watch your favourite movies in comfort, whether streamed from an online service or played directly from the built-on DVD-RW.

With one standard USB 2.0 port and two high-speed USB 3.0 ports, there should be no problem in attaching wired peripherals, such as memory sticks printers or external disk drives to this machine. For wireless peripherals such as mice and headsets, the machine supports Bluetooth 4.0. A card reader makes it easy to transfer images from your camera or cellphone, and a built-in 0.3MP webcam makes this machine video-chat ready right out of the box.

Network access is, of course, essential in today’s connected world, and this machine offers the usual choice of connectivity options. There is an Ethernet port for wired networking, and built-in 802.11 b/g/n WiFi for wireless connections.

The machine’s black cases measures 14.90 x 10 x 1.30 inches (L x W x H) and weighs 5.3 pounds, making it small and light enough to be easily portable.

Overall, the ASUS K55N-DS81 15.6-Inch Laptop offers some good features at an attractive price. It isn’t the most powerful laptop on the market, by any means, but it should be easily capable of handling routine productivity chores – email, document editing, surfing the web, updating social status etc – and some more demanding tasks, too. If you are in the market for a capable workhose to handle everyday tasks, along with some light gaming or video editing as needed, this laptop should definitely be on your shortlist.

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