ASUS D550CA-RS31 15.6-Inch Laptop Review

If you are looking for a budget laptop you will have probably come across the ASUS D550CA-RS31 15.6-Inch Laptop. We decided to give this laptop a go over and see what it’s all about.

The Exterior

As with most budget laptops the ASUS D550CA-RS31 exterior case is more aimed toward function than style. The top cover comes with a basic weave texture finish with the chrome ASUS logo right in the middle. This finish is very much functional as it hides scratches and fingerprints very well. Once open we find the 15.6-inch glossy display surrounded by a matte black plastic rim with the integrated webcam in the middle of the top rim. The integrated microphone is placed on the left side of the webcam. A generously sized chrome ASUS logo fills the middle of the bottom rim.
The palmrest has the same weave texture as the top cover while the keyboard area simulates a brushed aluminum look making it look a bit more upmarket. This notebook gets the full size generously spaced chicklet style keyboard that has become standard on most laptops by now. The power button is located in the top left corner of the keyboard.
The large touch pad is located underneath the keyboard area and slightly offset for comfortable typing without interruptions.
The status LEDs and the Card reader are located on left side of the front edge of the laptop. The rest of the body is regular black plastic you tend to find on most devices.
The overall finish of the ASUS D550CA-RS31 is very long lasting and hardy. This finish makes this laptop capable of withstanding a lot of scratches and scuffs and still look good.

The Connectivity

The Connectivity of this ASUS is probably it’s lowpoint as all ports are on one side and it only features 2 USB Ports total.
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This means they only have enough space on the left side for the standard Power port, Ethernet LAN port, a VGA-out, HDMI-out, 1 USB 2.0 Port, 1 USB 3.0 Port and the now standard Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack.
The right side of the body has the DVD Optical Drive and the Kensington Lock port.
On the inside it gets Wireless WiFi 802.11b/g/n connectivity. It lacks Bluetooth connectivity.
If you have plenty of external devices you wish to connect via USB you will need to get an external USB Hub for this laptop.

The Performance

The ASUS D550CA-RS31 comes equipped with a 3rd Generation Intel Core i3-3217U Processor running at 1.8 GHz, 6GB of DDR3 RAM and a 500GB HDD. This processor comes with the now well known Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics card.
The hardware of this device is from the previous generation and this leads to a better configuration for less money. The overall performance is average for this budget. The processor was and still is capable of doing all the everyday casual usage you may need, the 6GB RAM means you can run a full range of applications at the same time without any issues. The Intel HD 4000 was our favorite integrated video card for a while now at it was, indeed very much capable for its generation. Right now though it has become underpowered and can’t keep up with todays games. It is very much capable of running most older games but newer ones will most likely run at unplayable FPS, if they even run.
The 500GB HDD is average for this price range and is enough for most regular peoples needs.
The ASUS D550CA-RS31 comes with a 37WHrs, 4-cell Li-on Battery Pack promising up to 5 Hours of continuous computing. This laptop has a ULV processor with low energy consumption but some basic math and the relatively small battery pack say the 5 hours are a bit optimistic. You could expect around 4 Hours in real life if you don’t require many resources.

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Who is it for? discussing who would benefit most from this laptop...

  • Student
    The ASUS D550CA-RS31 has all the features to make it a perfect dorm room warrior. The fit and finish makes it capable of taking a beating and the performance is enough for most students needs. The battery life is a bit small for your needs but the large quantity of RAM and good processor make it a very capable laptop.

  • Casual User
    If you need a budget laptop for the long haul, the ASUS D550CA-RS31 is the perfect choice for you. The performance will still be decent in a couple of years and thanks to that tough finish it will still look good by that time. It comes with a optical drive so you can store all your photos and video on it or write it straight to DVD.

  • Business User
    I'm not sure if I should recommend this to business users as the battery life is a bit low for what I consider a business laptop, but the very simple sober finish, the presence of a VGA-out and decent processor with a lot of RAM make it an ideal office laptop. It can do presentations, it can run multiple spreadsheets and documents at the same time and it also has a full sized keyboard with numerical pad for easy input. If you are not much on the go and need something fast enough for office work this is a good choice for you.

PROs Vs. CONs

The ASUS D550CA-RS31 comes with slightly older hardware design but only makes it offer better performance for a lower budget. This is exactly the case, you end up getting 6 GB of RAM and a good processor in a full sized laptop. The tough and long lasting finish makes this device ideal for the long haul.

The obvious cons with this laptop is the low connectivity options. Only 2 USB Ports and the lack of Bluetooth will put some people off. The fact that it comes with previous gen. hardware means some of the newer features won't be available on it.

User Reviews: what others think?

As a final note, this device comes with Windows 8 out the box, an outdated version of Windows. The first time you will go online with this laptop it will start updating itself to Windows 8.1 and this takes some time and computing power. A lot of people are unhappy with this entire process so be prepared for your laptop to be a bit slow until it finishes with all the updates. I recommend doing the updates as Windows 8.1 works out most of the complaints with Windows 8 and is a lot more usable.

Summary

The ASUS D550CA-RS31 is a very good budget laptop even if it does come with somewhat older hardware. It is a very capable device and thanks to its tough exterior it makes a good long term buy. The lack of some connectivity options will not be for everyone, but the overall package is good and worth a try.
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Technical Details

Processor Intel Core i3-3217U 1.8GHz
Video Card Intel HD4000
RAM Memory 6GB DDR3
Audio Builtin stereo speakers with Sonic Master Audio
Operating System Windows 8
Display 15.6-inch 1366 x 768px
Storage Drive 500 GB 5400rpm
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
USB 2.0 Ports 1
USB 3.0 Ports 1
Built-in Camera Yes
Built-in Microphone Yes
Optical Drive DL DVDRW/CD-RW
Memory Card Reader Yes
Bluetooth -
Headphone-out Yes
VGA-out Yes
HDMI-out Yes
LAN-out Yes
Color Black
Width 15 in.
Depth 10 in.
Height 1.20 in.
Weight 4.7 lbs.
Battery Life up to 5 hours
Warranty 1 Year Accidental Damage Protection

Updated on April 3rd, 2017

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