The ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 is a stylish, yet-understated laptop that will suffice for your startup, small business or home office. It has exemplary battery life, is comfortable to type on, and adds a few security features including a fingerprint scanner that make it a well-rounded business laptop.
PROS: Delivers 9+ hours of battery life. Comfortable keyboard. Solid overall features and performance.
CONS: Lacks a USB-C ports. The 5400RPM hard drive can be sluggish.
For the business executive, the laptop of choice should, at least, be durable, reliable and have staying power. The Lenovo ThinkPad has always been the ‘go-get’ business laptop – and still is, but we’re seeing new models deliver even better business-level performance. Case in point: the ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51, a well-designed business laptop that packs subtly balances form and function, and it does so with a timeless design.
The ASUS P-Series brings into the category a light weight profile, solid connectivity, durability, and comfortable keyboard, which marks ASUS’ entry into the world of business notebooks. To durability and reliability, it adds a faster seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, a fingerprint reader, and a battery that will last about 9 hours. With all these features, it without a doubt, gets a slot among our top picks for SMB-focused laptops.
Design and Features
The latest ASUS P-Series looks similar to last year’s model, that it replaces, and this time it uses matte-black instead of the usual silver. On the lid, you have plastic rather than aluminum, which is found in most ultraportables, and it does use plastic in the body. It measures 0.9 by 15 by 10.1 inches (HWD) and weighs 5.2 pounds, just a few inches thicker than most business laptops, to accommodate the included fingerprint reader. The laptop is designed to withstand most work environments, whether it can be an office, a coffee shop, or outdoors gigs or a cross country flight.
The 15.6-inch screen has a full HD (1920-by-1080) resolution, making it easy to show large spreadsheets with numbers and text appearing crisp clear. It can also show video in 1080p, while you’re not working, meaning you can catch a few episodes of your favorite TV show as you relax on a cross-country flight. Screen is bright enough, and comes with an anti-glare coating that subdues reflections.
Comfort is one thing you get from the keyboard, making it a joy to use. It has a full number pad for the accounting executives, especially when you have a few spreadsheets to finish. With full size, scalloped keys, it is possible to type all day in comfort. In fact, it is one of the best I’ve typed on an SMB laptop, the other one being the Lenovo ThinkPad 13’s full size keyboard. The touchpad is well set, so it won’t be unfamiliar if you’re upgrading from a dated laptop to this millennial-ready system.
For connectivity all you get are three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, one HDMI port and a VGA port. Yes, they included TPM security and a fingerprint reader, but it isn’t justifiable to exclude a Type-C port, especially when even cheaper laptops are coming with up to two of those. The rest of the I/O ports include a microphone/headphone out jack, an RJ45 port for LAN, an SD card reader and a DVD drive. Wireless connectivity comes by way of dual-band 802.11A/C and Bluetooth 4.1, alongside a VGA Webcam for conference call and video chats.
A seventh-generation Intel Core i5 7200U processor with Intel HD 620 drives the Asus Pro P2540UA-AB51. It’s the successor to the Intel Core i3-6200U found in last year’s HP 15-ay011nr . As such, the Pro AB51 is a bit faster than most of its predecessors, on everything including the ability to have multiple browser windows open, a couple of spreadsheets and music on the background.
It will be many years before it starts to feel tired on day-to-day productivity tasks, like processing spreadsheets, writing reports and college papers. Predictably, games results are average for most of these system without dedicated graphic card, but you won’t be using any of these business laptops for modern games.
For our review unit, we had 8GB of RAM and 1TB of 5400RPM hard drive, both of which are base capacities for the ASUS PRO Series model. Both amounts are perfectly sufficient for a starting business, a home office or the business executive who doesn’t require insane processing power in a system. If needed, you can upgrade the RAM to 16GB, and even upgrade the hard drive to something better, let’s say even a 256GB SSD.
You can do-it-yourself, or get someone who likes to tinker with machines in your house or office to do it in a few minutes. Thankfully, the hard drive, albeit slow, has plenty of free space: Windows 10 Home and a few ASUS utilities are the only pre-installed programs.
Battery life is excellent. The ASUS P2540UA-AB51 lasted 9 hours and 13 minutes on our rundown tests, which is several hours longer than most desktop-replacement laptops that pass off as business laptops. Still, the 2017 ThinkPad 13 tops the list for SMB laptops, lasting 12 hours 9 minutes, while the Apple MacBook Pro lasting 11 hours 38 minutes. With the ASUS AB51 fully charged, you’ll be able to set a trip from JFK to Nicaragua, with a few minutes to spare, plus it comes with an extended battery pack in case you need to stay awake for longer.
The Bottom Line
The ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 is a prime choice if all you need is a stylish, yet humble-looking laptop for your startup, small business or home office. It affords you the luxury of comfortable all-day typing, it’s durable, it has exemplary battery life, and costs almost half what you’d pay for similarly configured business ultraportables. Simply put, it won’t break your bank. It costs a couple of dollars more than most SMB laptops from last year, but the price bump is justified by the addition of a fingerprint reader and a faster processor.
New Model: ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH55
The ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH55 is cheaper than most 15-inch laptops, and with its feature set it looks like good value for a budget system. If you’re comfortable with a 2-in-1 system in the same range, the Lenovo Flex 5 is worth a longer glance. If your computing needs are rather complex and you can’t afford losing on portability, go for the Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS or MacBook Pro (MPTT2LL/A), which cost more but make up for better specification and wonderful design. Still, the VivoBook AH55 is a safe buy for anyone wanting a value, nice-looking laptop with the right features for college and work. it is our Editors’ Choice for office/SMB laptops. We reviewed it here.