Asus X550LD Laptop Review (Specifications: i7, 8GB RAM, 2GB GPU)

Desktops can be extremely powerful, however, they can still never give you the portability a laptop offers. I wanted to buy a portable yet powerful laptop for a while now. I needed a laptop that will not only fit in my carry-on luggage when I travel (which happens a lot) but also gives me the power I expect from my trusty desktop. After a lot of deliberation and thought, I finally decided to buy the Asus X550LD-0082D laptop from an e-commerce website.

The Asus X series laptops are known to be equipped with high-end specifications. During my research on laptops in this series, I came to know that Asus offers this laptop under various combination of processors, ram and storage depending upon the customer's requirement. I decided to buy the X550LD-0082D variant with the following specifications:

CPU: Intel i7-4500U (1.8GHz)
RAM: 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 (4GB+4GB)
HDD: 1TB 5400rpm (Seagate)
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 820M 2GB DDR3 graphics
Display: 15.6" Glossy LCD display 1366 X 768
Keyboard: 103 chiclet style keys (non-backlit)
ODD: DVD recorder 
USB: 2 USB 3.0 ports + 1 USB 2.0 port
Display Ports: HDMI + VGA port

While I'm extremely happy with some of its features, there are some things that I do not like. Here are some of the positive/negative features of this laptop:

  • Powerful yet efficient CPU: The CPU on this beast is an i7-4500U which is clocked at 1.80GHz. (3.0GHz with turbo boost) It is known to be powerful yet energy efficient at the same time. It is extremely quiet and stays cool. 
  • Storage: Most of the other variants in the Asus X series in this price bracket either come with 500GB or 750GB of storage space. This particular variant comes with 1TB of Hard Disk space which is a bonus.
  • GPU: Although the NVIDIA GeForce 820M is an entry level graphics card, it still makes its presence felt in most of the CPU related tasks that I perform on my laptop. The video unboxing that you see on this webpage was edited and rendered on this laptop and it only took 6 minutes to render the entire video. My desktop usually takes 15-17 minutes to render a video of this duration.
  • Design: The overall design, looks and feel of this laptop makes it look like an ultrabook. The front lid has a spin-wheel design that makes it look very elegant. 
  • Price: Getting an laptop configuration like above can easily cost you upwards of Rs. 55,000 (USD920). However, I was able to procure this variant at an amazing price of Rs.43,000 (USD715) from one of the deals on this Indian e-commerce website.
Here are some of the features that I dislike on this laptop and wish Asus would sort out in their next releases:

  • Battery: For laptops that have high-end specifications, it becomes natural to give a high capacity battery that complements the kind of usage one would expect out of it. An i7 laptop would obviously not be used just to check emails and browse the web. I would definitely expect the battery to be atleast 6-cell and provide me a backup of around 4-5 hours. This battery on the other hand is a 4-cell battery and lasts a maximum of 3 hours on normal usage.
  • Screen Resolution: The maximum screen resolution supported on this laptop is 1366 X 768. Since I edit a lot of videos for my YouTube channel, it sometimes is a pain in the @ss to edit on a resolution like this. If only it offered a 1080p display, it would've been perfect.
  • Keyboard: Although, having a number pad next to the keyboard on a laptop is definitely a plus point, the poor quality plastic used below the keyboard is just unacceptable. The keyboard feels shallow and does not give you the pleasure of typing like an external keyboard does.
  • Lack of physical mouse click buttons: Most touchpads usually have 2 physical buttons to left/right click apart from using the touchpad to click on the screen. With my last laptop, I was accustomed to using the left click button with my left hand while moving the mouse point with my right finger. This is not possible on this laptop. I now have to tap the touchpad everytime I need to click the screen.
Overall, I feel this laptop is an amazing machine that is well built and has been priced amazingly. I am now in the process of installing games on it that require a graphics processor and will write an article on its performance. Please feel free to subscribe to my blog to be notified when it is uploaded and don't forget to Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more such videos.