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Laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Asus K55VD review

£599 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Asus

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

One of the cheapest Ivy Bridge laptops we've seen so far, the K55VD also has a dedicated graphics card capable of playing 3D games. We put it through its paces to find out if it's a bargain or not.

The K55VD is one of the cheapest Ivy Bridge laptops we've seen, and can be found for under £550 if you shop around online. The Core i5-3210M processor is nippy, although the benchmark score of 132 in our WorldBench 6 suite is a little lower than we'd have expected.

It's nothing to complain about, though, since the K55VD easily outstrips other laptops at this price and will even please most gamers thanks to its GeForce 610M graphics chip which has 2GB of memory. It managed a respectable 46fps in our Fear game test. It's unusual to have great 2D and 3D performance for less than £600. See also: Laptop Advisor

K55VD

Asus K55VD: build and design

So what's the catch? Well it's hard to overlook the plastic construction even if the metal wrist rest adds a touch of class. When the K55VD is shut, though, there's no mistaking it for a more expensive, slimmer model. It weighs 2.6kg, so you're going to notice it in your rucksack.

K55VD side view

The lid is quite flexible, but we saw no indications that this was damaging the screen when we opened the K55VD's lid by each of it's corners.

The K55VD is available in a range of colours. Our sample was dark brown, but there are also vibrant pink, purple and orange options. The white model lacks the metal wrist rest of the others.

There's 6GB of RAM, which should be plenty, built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and an HDMI output. The only signs of compromise is a 500GB hard disk and only a pair of USB 3 ports, but these are minor quibbles.

Asus K55VD: screen, keyboard and touchpad

Asus K55VD

The 15.6in display has a standard 1,366x768 resolution and a glossy finish. It's bright enough and has vibrant colours but suffers - as most budget laptops do - from narrow vertical viewing angles. Speakers, though, are better than average, delivering decent volume and quality.

We like the large keyboard with its numberpad to the right. The separated keys have enough travel for good feedback and therefore fast typing. The only layout issue is the narrow cursor keys which can be fiddly for anyone with fat fingers.

We're not big fans of the button-less touchpad. It's good to see multitouch support for scrolling and zooming, but clicking the buttons at the bottom of the pad made the cursor jump around the screen, making it tricky to click and drag, or even to click on small objects.

Touchpad

Asus K55VD: battery life and warranty

Battery life is good, with the 50Wh unit lasting five and a half hours in our MobileMark tests. This is all the more respectable given the performance on tap. Plus, Asus backs the K55VD with a two-year collect and return warranty. Most manufacturers give you just 12 months' cover, and you're responsible for taking it back to the shop, or posting it back to the manufacturer directly.

Follow Jim Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

Asus K55VD Expert Verdict »

Asus K55VD-SX071V Scores 9.1 out of 10 based on 11 reviews
2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-3210M (3.1GHz Turbo) dual-core with Hyperthreading
Intel HD Graphics 4000 + nVidia GeForce 610M with 2GB RAM
15.6in (1366 x 768) TN gloss
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
500GB hard disk, SATA 3Gbps
6GB DDR3 1600MHz
gigabit ethernet
tray-load DVD±RW
VGA, HDMI
802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
0.3Mp webcam
stereo speakers
built-in mic, 3.5mm line-in, 3.5mm line-out
2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
Kensington lock slot
SDHC card slot
105 x 74mm, buttonless, multi-touch trackpad
90W mains charger
50Wh lithium-ion, removable battery
2590g
Two year collect-and-return warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 8 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

It isn't the prettiest, but Asus' K55VD delivers surprisingly good performance for your money. The touchpad takes some getting used to, but as with the smallish 500GB hard disk, these foibles aren't deal-breakers.

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