Asus X53z

8/8/2012 11:28:47 AM

Asus is renowned for products that offer great value, but even we were surprised when we read the specification for its latest budget laptop. Despite its 15.6in screen, 500GB hard disk and dual-core processor, the X53Z costs just $462 including VAT.

The AMD Llano A4 processor isn't very fast, and even though its 1.9GHz dual-core chip can reach 2.5GHz using AMD’s Turbo Core feature, it managed an overall score of only 23 in our multimedia benchmarks. We could run everyday applications smoothly, and we even ran several at the same time thanks to its 6GB of RAM, but more CPU-intensive applications will slow the system down.

Description: Asus X53Z
Asus X53Z

Its graphics performance is also average, despite its integrated GPU supporting DirectX 11 and sharing plenty of system RAM. The Radeon 6480G managed only 16.4fps in our demanding Dirt 3 test, so you’ll need to reduce extra detail settings, such as anti-aliasing, if you want to achieve a playable frame rate. Older games should still be playable, though.

It may not be the fastest performer, but the X53Z surprised us with its excellent battery life, managing to last over seven hours in our light-use test despite its power-draining 15.6in screen. If you stick to simple tasks such as word processing or web browsing, you should be able to last nearly a whole working day away from the mains.

The X53Z coped reasonably well in everyday use. Its comfortable keyboard has full-size keys that are very tightly grouped, but still large enough that we rarely made any typing mistakes, and each key has plenty of bounce. There's room for a numerical keypad, too. We also appreciated the large touchpad, which has two physical buttons located directly beneath it. They have plenty of tactile feedback, so we were always sure that our clicks had registered.

Description: That said, Asus’s X53Z provides plenty of laptop for your money.

That said, Asus’s X53Z provides plenty of laptop for your money.

Unfortunately, the screen’s image quality is distinctly average. The 15.6in screen appears rather dim and lacks vivid colors. Asus provides an application for tweaking the display, but even this failed to improve things dramatically. The screen's viewing angles are reasonable, as is screen tilt, but its glossy finish means that light reflections can be troublesome. The 1366x768 resolution is also run of the mill for a 15in laptop, although images and text looked reasonably sharp.

Connectivity is excellent for a budget laptop, with a single USB3 port taking pride of place. There are also two regular USB ports, audio input and output jacks, a multiformat card reader and a DVD re-writer optical drive, as well as an Ethernet port and VGA and HDMI video outputs.

With its plastic construction, average screen and entry-level processor, it's fairly easy to see how Asus has managed to sell the X53Z at such a low price, but it still copes with everyday tasks well enough thanks to its long-lasting battery and comfortable keyboard. It won't be able to play modern games, though, so if you’re a keen gamer we suggest you go for HP’s fantastic Pavilion DV6 instead - if your budget stretches to it. That said, Asus’s X53Z provides plenty of laptop for your money.








Not quite the bargain it initially appears to be, but the X53Z is still a good buy for anyone on a tight budget

General-purpose laptop

AMD A4-3300,6GB RAM, 500GB disk, AMD Radeon 6480G graphics, DVD+/-RW +/-DL, 15.6m widescreen LCD, 2.6kg.

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