I recently purchased an Asus A53s series computer after losing my netbook while traveling.
I would say my "honeymoon" phase of the computer is now coming to a close I can give a thorough review of what I like and don't like about the laptop.
This is the first laptop that I have bought in years so bear with me as I dig into this review.
If you're in the market for a new notebook then you may consider one from the A53s series; here's what I love (and hate) about this laptop...
It's been some time since this review. A newer model I would recommend would be the Asus X555DA which has similar (but better) features. Otherwise, you could probably find the A53s on eBay or Craiglist, still.
I needed a computer that would be able to handle my work and a bit of video gaming. What I decided upon, after many hours of searching, was the Asus A53s line of computers because they provided all the ample amount of processing, memory and video capabilities to do everything I needed.
For work, I'm able to multitask with ease. I do a lot of video editing and production; the laptop hasn't been problematic even under stressful editing environments and rendering. I also manage a few websites which the computer excels at with the ability to multitask.
One other element that I needed the laptop to handle was video games. The video card for the laptop is an upgrade from the on board models; a GeForce GT540M to be exact which has allow me to play all of my games on medium to high preferences (and some on ultra).
As for the overview of the laptop, it will fit anyone's need no problem. As for the specs and geeky stuff ...
The Asus A53s series has a nice selection of low, mid and high end machines but I settled on the mid range model.
The specs of the laptop:
- Core i5 Processor
- 6GB of Ram
- 650+ GB of Hard Drive Space
- 1GB GeForce GT540M Graphics Card
The laptop, in no way, is a super high end machine but it was a great upgrade over my netbook and has some of the best specs I've seen for a mid-range laptop model that wasn't going to break the bank.
For a few hundred dollars extra, I could have upgraded the GPU, Processor and Memory but it wasn't all that much of an improvement overall to make up for the cost especially when you consider you can take that same money to go toward a new laptop in a few years time or to buy some accessories like a new mouse or an additional monitor.
Things I Like and Hate
Even though I love this new laptop, there are a few things that I don't really care for but it may just be nit-picking because I'm bit of a nerd when it comes to computers. This would be my 7th computer over the last decade or so.
What I like:
- The screen is very crisp and handles HD videos no problem
- The speed is really top notch for a mid-range machine
- The keyboard is wonderful (spacing in keys) for typing (I do a lot of freelance writing)
- The aluminum design keeps everything nice to the touch
- The laptop gets hot but the cooling is excellent
What I don't like:
- The headpone jack is on the right side which gets in the way of your mouse (right handed)
- The power cord is close to the USB ports which is annoying when you have something plugged in
- I had to fix the touch pad even though the laptop was recently released (new drivers)
- The laptop has a bit of 'bloat ware' which I removed (this is more a pet peeve)
- The DVD player's button doesn't seem super responsive at times (to open it)
In terms of the good and the bad, the good greatly outweighs the bad especially if you're a general user of computers.
In all, the laptop is blazingly fast and efficient at doing just about anything you need it to from playing high definition movies, browsing the net, working and playing video games. An average computer user will be blown away at the speed of the machine; geeks could ask for more but it's still one of the better computers you can pick up especially for its low price.
Getting a laptop soon? Ask me questions!
QAtheOutsideWorld on September 09, 2012:
I recently picked up the quad-core i7 version of this laptop.
Yeah, the A53S gives you a lot of processing power for the money (quad-core i7, nVidia GPU with CUDA computation). But the configuration that Asus saddled it with is really irritating.
The Asus bloatware is nearly intolerable.
The worst things about it are that it comes with no documentation to explain what software is included, or why I might want to keep it. AND a lot of the software is actually defective. Maybe that's the same as saying "The software was written by Asus". I've lost a lot of faith in Asus over the past couple years.
Litany of the sins of Asus and the A35S:
1. The chicklet keyboard layout is bad. How could you screw this up?
It has uniform spacing between all the keys. Even between right-Shift and the arrow keys, between F4 and F5, and between Delete and Home, and no tactile "dots" anywhere but the F and the H. So, for not-quite-touch-typing keys, it's impossible to feel your way to them, resulting in mis-keying, esp. working in low-light. Why is the right control key doulbe-wide? Why is are the arrow keys fitted, like a Tetris piece, into the bottom left corner of the numberpad, so you can't locate the zero and one keys by touch? Basic human-factors fail.
2. What the hell is "Asus Vibe"?
It's some sort of software. It runs at boot. I never saw any benefit from it because, after a couple days of owning this laptop, it began crashing at boot. I disabled it with MSConfig. Problem solved, I guess.
3. What is the utility "Wireless Console 3" even doing there?
First of all, it's not a "console" in any sense. It's sluggish to respond and pops up an ugly dashboard-type graphic which apparently represents your wifi antenna. You can use it to turn the wifi on and off, and nothing else. But the laptop comes with a superior utility called Intel My Wifi, which also runs at boot. "My Wifi" was actually written with the built-in Centrino chipset in mind, and it was written by Intel, the makers of the chipset. "My Wifi" lets you turn the radio on and off AND configure Centrino-specific features. So, in addition to being crap software, "Wireless Console 3" is redundant. I'm sure you're all eagerly awaiting the release of "Wireless Console 4", to see if Asus can get it right on the 4th try. (I'm not betting on it.)
4. "Instant On" technology appears to be some sort of joke.
It's a "technology" that rearranges the order of startup software, so that you can get an Explorer interface while lots of software is still being loaded. So your hyperthreaded, quad-core, 2nd gen i7 laptop, with a maximum "turbo-boost" CPU speed of 3.1GHz runs like molasses for the first 2-minutes that you have access to the desktop. Not awesome.
5. Apparently related to "Instant On" is a power management scheme that ACTUALLY OVERRIDES CHANGES THAT YOU MAKE to power management settings and, by way of a dialog box, scolds you at next boot-up for changing things.
6. Speaking of booting, why can't I boot from a USB drive? The BIOS sees my bootable USB drive. I can set it to the first position in the boot order. It just won't actually...boot.
7. The laptop is sold with no OS discs included, just a "Recovery" partition. I realize this is industry standard practice. I also regard it as industry standard consumer abuse.
8. The Asus product info didn't mention whether it came with 1 or 2 RAM sticks (it just said 4Gb, with 2 slots available). Fortunately there was a customer review on TigerDirect that disclosed it only came with 1 RAM module. That means that the out-of-the-box maximum performance will be crippled since the i7 CPU's built-in dual-channel RAM controller won't be able to get full speed RAM throughput. (Sandra benchmark results show a near doubling, from 9Gb/sec to 17Gb/sec in RAM throughput after adding the second stick, and that's not just from doubling the size of available RAM).
10. The "AI Recovery" utility helpfully encouraged me to burn the "factory configuration" to backup DVDs when I first turned the laptop on. That was kind of nice. But it somehow didn't remember that it had already done so, because it kept prompting "you haven't backed up your factory configuration..." on subsequent boots. Another irritating behavior from Asus branded packaged software.
11. The Asus product registration software is apparently defective. I created an account and I can log in to their registration website with no problem, but when I try to register through the bundled registration app, it fails to log in every time.
I think these guys should seriously stop writing software.
If they just sold laptops with bundled OS DVDs, their typical user experience would improve dramatically and they could trim a ton of software-writing expenses and avoid massive public embarrassment.
You reading this, Asus? With that last paragraph, I just demonstrated that I'm more qualified to run your operation than your entire management team. It's clear that none of them have ever used a single one of the products you sell.
As soon as your board wises up and creates a COO position, I'll be happy to step in and fill it.
duhdum on April 02, 2012:
I have this laptop, almost same specs as yours, expect that I have 4GB ram and 500 GB 7200rpm HDD
I like this laptop much.
Sometimes I think USB ports are too close since some USB devices are lil bigger and can't fit 2 USB devices plugged since they are too close and larger one will block the way out.
Also what I don't like is touchpad buttons, so... how to say.. soo noisy? Too hars sound click.
Also, as for the headphones jack, I haven't had anyproblems with it while using mouse, didn't get on my way, mostly now since I used wifi mouse or bluetooth (w/e).
Also one thing more, I think there are no great spots for in going air, if you just look at the bottom of your laptop you expect to have holes near to fan, but on this one, almost none... :) yet it doesn't get hot! only sometimes playing newer games such as BF3 and so on..
Anyways, I love the buttons and that they arent close to each other, plastic between them which stops my potato chips and bread going to my keyboard.. :)))
battguide on December 09, 2011:
It is a good laptop,I am very like it!If the battery dies, then the laptop isn't as useful,because it will need to be plugged in at all times in order to function. ~~laptopinc?COM ?au~~ tell you the way to solve this is to purchase.
Injured lamb on August 25, 2011:
Really a useful hub in time for me...I am recently considering to have a new laptop but have not made up my mind which to consider. Thanks for your review sharing...