As Windows 10 has started appearing on all newly launched devices the price of the previous stock of devices which came with Windows 8.1 have started to go down. Unsurprisingly you end up getting funny situations like in the case of the ASUS F555LA-AS51 where the Intel Core i5 version sells for less than the Intel Core i3 version just because it’s running Windows 8.1 out of the box. Let’s not forget that you can upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge any time you want. I think this laptop is a real bargain at the moment and needs more attention.
Update: Since I first wrote this review it seems Amazon has fixed the price difference. There still are other devices that have this price difference though. Still, the Intel Core i5 version of the ASUS F555LA-AS51 is still a good laptop none the less.
The Asus F555LA-AS51 comes in a now typical form factor, not as thin as Ultrabooks but still a lot thinner as most laptops used to be. On the exterior it is finished in black plastic with the top cover featuring a concentric circle pattern with a silver Asus logo right in the middle. Only the silver lines between the screen and the rest of the body give away the fact that the palmrest and keyboard areas are finished in a silver brushed aluminum texture. Once open you are greeted by the 15.6-inch matte screen surrounded by a black plastic border. The Asus F555LA-AS51 features the integrated webcam and dual microphones on the top border of the screen. The last design feature of the screen border is a large chrome Asus logo right in the middle of the bottom edge. The dual microphone and good webcam make the Asus F555LA-AS51 ideal for people looking for a good video chat experience or conf calls.
The brushed aluminum palmrest features a contrasting black full sized keyboard. It comes with large and nicely spaced key and thankfully no compact arrow keys in the case of the Asus F555LA-AS51. If you have ever had to deal with a laptop with compact arrow key you know what a hassle they can be. This means the Asus F555LA-AS51 is ideal for anyone interested in doing a lot of office work, navigating large spreadsheets with ease and generally getting your job done.
The power button is located on the top left corner of the keyboard and just below it it features an off center touchpad that isn’t to large to get in the way. Because it’s not as oversized as in most laptops and also off center underneath the space bar it doesn’t get in the way of typing.
The final design ques on the palm rest are the status logos on the bottom right corner describing the status LEDs on the front edge of the laptop.
The Asus F555LA-AS51 features all the current standard connectivity options and also some older ones on their way out.
On the left side of the laptop you can find the power cable, network port, VGA and HDMI video out, 2 USB 3.0 ports and the Kensington-lock port. The other side features the built in DVD-Writer, another USB port, 2.0 this time, a combo headphones/mic-jack, and the SD-card reader.
On the inside it comes equipped with wireless WiFi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. The only thing missing from the package is Bluetooth connectivity. If you need Bluetooth you can easily fix it with a compact USB adapter.
The Asus F555LA-AS51 is currently well quipped for the future while still remaining compatible with older standards. Just the combination of DVD-Drive and VGA-out alone make this a very good laptop for business.
As we have already stated in the intro the Asus F555LA-AS51 comes equipped with an Intel Core i5 5200U Processor running at 2.2 GHz. This is Intel’s now 5th generation of Intel Core processors and comes with much lower energy consumption while bringing better performance to the table. The integrated Intel HD graphics card has also seen performance improvements. It also gets 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a large 1 TB HDD. Overall it is a very good all round laptop that can handle almost everything you throw at it.
If you don’t plan on running games or 3D CAD software it has all bases covered for most people.
At the moment it is surprisingly difficult to find official technical data from Asus on the F555LA-AS51 and I haven’t been able to find any trustworthy information on the built in battery. As it’s running one of Intels’ newest Core i5 processors I expect it to be able of at least 5 hours of battery life even if you have to baby it. Only if Asus decided to install a very small battery should it get less than that. I will update this section when I am able to get more information on this.
As mentioned in the beginning of the article the Asus F555LA-AS51 comes with Microsofts’ previous Windows version, 8.1. This is the main reason why it is priced so closely to the Windows 10 version equipped with the much slower Intel Core i3 processor. Don’t let this scare you though, Microsoft is offering free upgrades to Windows 10 for one year and they have made it as painless and easy as possible. So my advice is get this far better version now and you can upgrade it straight away when you first start it up.