The Asus X553SA-BHCLN10 laptop offers a basic feature set for those on a budget, affordable enough to overlook a few flaws like slow performance and low resolutions.
- A decent design and good aesthetics
- Good battery life
- A slower hard drive
- Would do with enhanced resolutions
Despite the surging popularity of tablets and ultrabooks, notebooks continue to hold a special spot on store shelves by maintaining affordable sticker prices and portability that full-fledged laptops can’t match. The Asus X553SA-BHCLN10 enters the crowded budget laptop market, offering a basic feature set. Basic, in this case, means sluggish performance thanks to an Intel Celeron Dual-Core N3050 Processor, a 500GB hard drive and 4GB DDR3L system memory (can be upgraded to 8GB).
But while you’re likely to get better baseline performance and comfort from more expensive models, the affordable sticker price for most budget laptops is sometimes hard to pass up.
The BHCLN10 is part of ASUS X Series that features a stylish concentric circle finish, available in a variety of colors to choose from ranging from staid black or white, and extends to more accentuated hues like Passion Pink or Lavender Purple alongside audio-visual enhancement technologies like ASUS Splendid and SonicMaster.
We didn’t expect a metallic finish for obvious reasons, but the plastic construction is somewhat rigid, which gives room for limited flexing in the chassis and screen. It measures 1.0 by 10.16 by 14.96 (HWD) inches and weighs in at 4.8 pounds, making it portable enough for use at home or office.
Though it’s on the lower end in terms of processing power, the Asus X553SA-BHCLN10 does offer plenty of battery life. Connectivity and I/O ports are stripped to the bare minimum with only two USB port (1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0), that are good for a mouse and maybe a printer. Others include an Ethernet port, a DVD drive, a multi-format card reader (SD, MMC), and basic headphone and microphone connections.
A Kensington Lock slot lets you lock it down securely, and VGA and HDMI outputs are perfect for connecting to a larger monitor or HDTV. The keyboard is non-backlit; present is Bluetooth 4.0 and a VGA camera is also present for video chats, though you won’t be able to watch your movies in Full HD on the 15.6-inch screen as it supports a maximum 1366 by 768 resolutions, unlike the Full HD support on the ASUS F555LA-AB31 which also offers better viewing angles.
The Asus X553SA-BHCLN10 is equipped with a Intel Celeron Dual-Core N3050 Processor, which is by all standards an entry-level chip that won’t deliver anything that is outside web surfing, word processing and a few other basics. Surely, with 1.6GHz clock speed, and 2.2GHz turbo coupled with a ~750 CPU Mark score, that is low for any serious software, but you’re safe with web browsing and MS Office. If you’re looking forward to some gaming and multitasking, you might have to look upwards on the ladder; the Intel Core-i3 powered ASUS F555LA-AB31 suffices as a good bet for some better multitasking.
Don’t expect anything to do with gaming on a Celeron rig, and the Asus X553SA-BHCLN10 isn’t exceptional. In fact, it will disappoint if you try any demanding games like GTA 5 or Battlefield 4 since the integrated Intel HD will not even initiate the game itself. For that, you may have to look elsewhere, maybe the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK can do the trick and it can multitask as well.
However, for those who insist on playing games on this rig, you can get away with basic ones like League of Legends that we’ve all played at one time albeit at low details and you’ll have to scale the resolution downwards. The 500GB 5,400rpm hard drive is smaller and slower, but it isn’t a deal breaker in a budget laptop of its caliber.
The Bottom Line
The Asus X553SA-BHCLN10 won’t wow you with blazing performance and other extra features, but it compensates in a durable, ergonomic chassis and solid battery life and delivers more than enough computing power for surfing the Web, emailing MS Office processing and other light home-office duties. A higher resolution and more I/O ports would be nice, but for the bucks you’re paying for the unit it’s hard to complain, especially since the 1,366-by-768 panel offers good color quality and a sharp 720p image. It deserves a long look as you shop around.