The Asus L510MA-DS04 is a budget laptop for learners and college students, with almost all-day battery life, is portable and versatile than competing Chromebooks.
- Very light & portable
- Great value
- Good battery life
- Middling keyboard
The Asus L510MA-DS04 is a budget Chromebook alternative that offers a full Windows 10 (S Mode) experience at the same price you’d pay for a basic Chrome OS device. For learners and students, this impressive entry level notebook reinforces why Asus is one of the fastest growing laptop brands across all categories.
It’s a creative combination of features, starting with a lightweight body shell to the decent 10+ hour battery, and the decent 15.6-inch screen. To that, add a slim profile and a cleverly designed 180° lay-flat hinge, something rarely seen in entry level laptops, and you’ve got a fantastic basic PC for a learner to use at home and at school, or a college student researching and writing assignments.
Asus L510MA-DS04 design
All the bodywork on the Asus L510MA is plastic, but the lid has a thick layer that looks and feels like an improvement over the Asus VivoBook L203MA, that had thin plastic that wouldn’t withstand classroom shoves and pushes. Even with the thicker layer, it remains pretty portable at only 2.31 pounds and 0.67-inches thick. The fanless CPU and eMMC storage are also weight savers and contribute to the portability of the package.
The 15-inch display, however, is bright enough for our liking. It boasts an FHD (1920 x 1080), and the matte finish is a good choice for working outdoors. This is a vibrant choice if you’re buying for word processing or web browsing, and is great for photos and videos.
Port selection is well rounded, including: USB 2.0, USB 3.2, USB Type-C, HDMI, audio jack combo and micro-SD card. Wireless connectivity comes in way of Wi-Fi 5(802.11ac), and an included webcam on the upper bezel. All of these ports will prove useful for docking all your peripherals.
Keyboard & Touchpad
On the Asus laptop L510MA keyboard, you have a number pad on the right side of the main keyboard. Having a number pad may not benefit everyone, but for those studying maths, science and business, it’s a great addition on a budget laptop.
Nonetheless, the keyboard is quite basic with very light keys and very little tactile response. The Enter key alone, is colored in luminescent yellow, and it does give the otherwise plain deck some little style accent.
Asus L510MA-DS04 performance
With Intel Celeron processors, expectations are always low, but with today’s Celerons matching yesterday’s i3 CPUs in performance, we can’t ask for more. The Celeron N4020 is a slight upgrade over the base 4000 model with more cache but, while it’s adequate to run office applications, multimedia editing and gaming will be a bit of a stretch.
This fanless CPU is ranked amongst the mid-range mobile processors, is paired with 4GB RAM, 128GB eMMC storage and Intel UHD Graphics 600 chip. This is adequate enough for web browsing and office applications, and the very simplest games of course. For budget gaming, you can consider the Asus TUF FX505GT-AB73, with a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics card.
Again, the Asus L510MA will do the basics of running two or three apps simultaneously provided you’ll not be opening dozens of windows at the same time. The 128GB storage is a bit lean, but it is double the 64GB storage you find on most Chromebooks and competing Windows 10 notebooks.
The low power fanless CPU and low-res screen all contribute to remarkable power savings. On our review unit, you have a mid-size battery, and if you keep things light, you’re getting 11 hours of battery life. That’s excellent.
For college students and home users, the Asus L510MA packs enough features and performance than most similarly priced laptops. It boasts class-leading battery life, is very portable, timeless design and good connectivity for all your peripherals.
However, the screen’s low resolution and average keyboard hold it from earning our Editors’ choice award for budget college laptops. A few dollars more with get you an Acer Aspire 5 or a Lenovo IdeaPad 3, both offer better performance, full Windows 10 and better processors.
If you’re on a tight budget and strictly need a 15-inch laptop, the Asus L510MA-DS04 offers all the value you need for most college tasks.
ASUS F512JA-AS34 VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray
13 used from $339.99