We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Budget laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Asus X552CL review: provides good performance for a budget laptop

£500 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Asus

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Asus X552CL provides good performance for a laptop in this price range, and the inclusion of the GT 710M GPU makes this one of the few budget laptops we've seen in recent months. Read our Asus X552CL review to find out more.

Asus X552CL review

You're not going to get a full-on gaming rig for under £500, but the X552CL budget laptop from Asus is a good attempt to provide respectable graphics performance at a competitive price. See also: Group test: what's the best budget laptop?

Promoted rather tactlessly as a 'notebook for the masses', the 15.6-inch One way Asus X552CL keeps the price down is by using older Ivy Bridge processors from 2012 rather than the latest 2013 Haswell chips. See also: Best laptop of 2014.

Prices start at around £450 for a model with an Intel Core i3 processor, but our review unit typically costs £500, and runs with a 1.8 GHz Core i5, 6 GB of memory and 750 GB hard drive. And alongside the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, the X552CL also includes a discrete nVidia GeForce GT 710M to provide a 3D graphics boost.

That's a respectable core specification for a laptop in this price range, and the main real weakness here is the use of an ageing hard drive. This is definitely a little sluggish at times, particularly when first starting up.

A cold boot of the X552CL took a full 35 seconds before arriving at the tiled Windows 8 Start screen, followed by a further 15 seconds of cursor-spinning before the laptop was ready to start launching applications and start work. The Windows 8 fast-start option, which restores from a hibernated state, shaves about 15 seconds off that time. The X552CL wakes from sleep in just a couple of seconds so getting started isn't too frustrating.

A score of 2700 points when running the general-purpose PCMark 7 benchmarks is also quite respectable for a laptop with a hard disk and the X552CL will be able to handle basic tasks such as web browsing and running Microsoft Office. The healthy 6 GB of memory will also help if you need to do the occasional spot of photo- or video-editing.

And, of course, the X552CL earns bonus points for including a dedicated graphics card. The nVidia GT 710M is only an entry-level GPU, but it allowed the X552CL to hit 50 fps when running our Stalker: Call of Pripyat gaming test at 1280 x 720-pixel resolution. And if you don't mind turning off the DirectX 11 effects and anti-aliasing it can also manage a playable 32 fps when running the more demanding Batman: Arkham City at that resolution.

That's good performance for such a low-cost laptop, but there are other aspects of the X552CL that show a few signs of cost-cutting. The 1366 x 768-pixel resolution is a typical compromise at this price, and we don't particularly care about the lack of touch-screen controls.

Asus X552CL review

Unfortunately, the screen's viewing angles are also fairly limited – around 90-degrees both horizontally and vertically. It's fine for use on your own, but friends sitting beside you may not get a very good view when you're trying to show off your holiday snaps.

The laptop is solidly built, and the keyboard and trackpad are both spacious and comfortable to use. And, perhaps thanks to a worryingly large air vent on the left-hand edge, the X552CL stayed cool and quiet even when we were running gaming tests with the nVidia graphics. It's well connected too, with gigabit ethernet, HDMI and VGA video interfaces, and a pair of USB 3.0 ports.

It's relatively heavy, though, and the 15-inch screen and built-in DVD drive help bring the X522C's weight up to 2.4kg. Not much of that mass comes from the small 37 Wh battery though.

Even when switching to the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 we were only able to get 3 hours and 20 minutes of streaming video through the BBC iPlayer. That's one a quarter of the battery life of the best Haswell laptops.

Asus X552CL Expert Verdict »

Asus X552CL-SX047H reviews verified by Reevoo

Asus X552CL-SX047HScores 8.3 out of 10 based on 335 reviews
15.6-inch (1366 x 768) glossy TN display
1.8 GHz Intel i5-3337U (2.7GHz Turbo Boost)
Windows 8 (64-bit)
750 GB hard drive (5400 rpm)
nVidia GeForce GT 710M (1 GB RAM)
1x VGA
2x USB 3.0
SDXC card slot
gigabit ethernet
720p webcam/microphone
SuperMulti DVD burner
headphone/mic socket
37 Wh lithium-ion battery
380 x 251 x 33.6 mm
2.4 kg
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 7 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The X552CL isn't perfect, and the limited viewing angles of the screen definitely leave room for improvement. However, it does provide good performance for a laptop in this price range, and the inclusion of the GT 710M makes this one of the few budget laptops we've seen in recent months that can actually handle some decent 3D gaming action.

  • Rock Pegasus 710 gaming laptop

    Rock Pegasus 710 gaming laptop

    In terms of inspiring design, the Rock Pegasus 710 gaming laptop doesn’t really deliver the goods. But it has some redeeming features that may make it worth your attention.

  • Advent Sienna 710 review

    Advent Sienna 710

    As a generic-looking 15.6in laptop, the Advent Sienna 710 has curved corners and gently tapering edges which do a good job of disguising its rather thick plastic housing.

  • Samsung RF710-S03UK review

    Samsung RF710-S03UK

    The Samsung RF710 is an entertainment laptop with 17in screen and Blu-ray Disc drive, backed up with an Intel quad-core processor and two 500GB hard drives.

  • HTC S710 review

    HTC S710

    The HTC S710 - previously code-named 'Vox' - is a neat, petite and easy-to-use smartphone from HTC.

  • Linksys WUMC710 review

    Linksys WUMC710

    If you're building out an 802.11ac network, the Linksys WUMC710 wireless media bridge is the device to deploy on the client side. Here's our Linksys WUMC710 review.

IDG UK Sites

LG G4 Note UK release date and specification rumours: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 killer could be the LG 3......

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model