AT A GLANCE
If you are determined to get a computer that offers excellent price-performance ratio, the ASUS X550ZA-WB11 comes to your rescue. The A10 technology coupled with 8GB RAM is quite a good feature for smooth functioning of programs and is good for entry level photo editing, office suites and playing of light games.
The ASUS X550ZA-WB11 looks and feels like a premium desktop-replacement laptop. If all you need is good-looking laptop with class-leading performance for home, office or school use without breaking your bank, then you should read along. The 15.6-inch non-touch notebook brings into the competition powerful AMD A10-7400P 2.5 GHz Processor, 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM, a massive 1TB Hard Drive storage and Windows 8 Operating System, that you can upgrade to the latest Windows 10 for free by just clicking on links in this post.
We’ve seen systems with similar specs but this unit ups the game with a premium look and for a budget laptop,we can’t ask for more. In fact, the kicker on ASUS X550ZA-WB11 isn’t performance or features, but price as it delivers class leading performance for several hundred dollars less than the competition.
Design and Features
The ASUS X550ZA-WB11 is clad in a dark-grey matte finish, measuring 1.20 by 15 by 9.9 inches (HWD) and weighs 5.1 pounds, which is way heavier than most ultrabooks (but that is a different class altogether), but is lighter than most desktop replacements. This makes it one of those laptops that you can carry around once a week stashed in a backpack, with the 4-cell battery providing enough power for upto 4 hours before you need to hook it up to a power source.
For Web browsing and office productivity this shouldn’t be much of an issue, but you’ll definitely notice the difference between the full HD picture on those laptops and the boilerplate 720p quality that you get on the VivoBook V551LB.
In as much as the ASUS X550ZA-WB11 lacks touch screen feature, it comes with a 15.6-inch LED-backlit screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, but we expected at least a full HD display thrown somewhere here. Nevertheless, the price makes it twisted to have Full HD, but you can find it on similarly priced systems such as the HP Pavilion Touchsmart 15, however you might make a few compromises on performance. The screen doesn’t have great viewing angles. So if you take a look at it from the sides, the pictures are not as good. This is a common problem among the laptops in this price range but not a deal breaker.
For storage, the device comes with a 1 TB HDD, at a maximum 5400RPM. This is a big plus to the ASUS X550ZA-WB11 as the space is big enough to store all your documents, alongside music, movies and even some less-demanding games. However, it runs a bit slower compared to SSD but you have the option to switch to SSD and get better performance.
The 5,400 rpm (rotations-per-minute) hard drive might not be the fastest as compared with the more speed-centric solid state drive (SSD) like the one we’ve seen in the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E455, but it does offer enough storage space for your media collection and much more.
When it comes to connectivity, the ASUS X550ZA-WB11 is embedded with 3 USB Ports, 2 are USB 3.0 compatible and 1 that is USB 2.0 Compatible. It also features a HDMI output and a VGA port, so you can connect the laptop to bigger displays.
You can as well back up your files using the DVD Burner and it has a media reader, supporting SD cards. Wireless network is accessible in this device through 802.11 b/g/n WiFi adapter and wired network via standard Gigabit Ethernet LAN port (RJ-45). Conspicuously missing is Bluetooth connection so you have to use an adapter if are in need of the same.
The ASUS X550ZA-WB11 is powered by AMD’s A10-7400P processor with 4 cores that operate at a clock speed of 2.5GHz and accelerate to 3.4GHz while at turbo mode. Passionate gamers looking for budget machine can have good time with this notebook which offers powerful graphic display for the current generation of games. Combined with 8 GB of DDR3L SDRAM, this laptop is more than powerful for everyday use and you can upgrade the memory to 16GB.
But the base of 8 GB is quite a good feature as most of the applications would hardly require more than this memory. However, if you are in a search of a laptop for photo and video editing, music creation and 3D rendering, ASUS K501LX-EB71 would be the most appropriate companion for you thanks to powerful 5th-Generation Intel core i7-5500u processor (2.4GHz to 3GHz), 256GB SSD and full high definition screen among other niceties.
The presence of AMD Radeon R6 graphics card gives the system some notch, and could have easily got a nod as our Editors’ Choice were it not for a few rough edges here and there. Still, the AMD Radeon R6 graphics card is a decent graphics card feature that allows moderate gaming and ensures smooth video performance for your laptop.
However, for higher resolution games and modern titles, you might have to look a bit higher and pay relatively more for gaming rigs such as ASUS K501LX-EB71, which offers good gaming affordably, and if your budget allows discover the gaming power in the Alienware 15 or the Razor Blade (2015).
If you are determined to get a computer that offers excellent price-performance ratio, the ASUS X550ZA-WB11 comes to your rescue. The A10 technology coupled with 8GB RAM is quite a good feature for smooth functioning of programs and is good for entry level photo editing, office suites and playing of light games. Except slow hard drive there is hardly any negative aspect associated with this notebook. Be it in office or at home, one can definitely experience the ASUS X550ZA-WB11 as a potential notebook.