The Asus X540LA-SI30205P is a sleek laptop with a premium look that is budget priced for office, school and home entertainment. The laptop features a Broadwell Ultra low voltage Intel Core i3 -5020U processor clocked at 2.2GHz that is capable of handling daily and more demanding tasks better compared to a Celeron processor. The system comes with 4GB DDR3L SDRAM memory that is enough for basic multitasking of day to day work. For storage, it has 1TB Serial ATA hard drive at 5400rpm and is pre-installed with 64-bit Windows 10 Home operating system. The system boots up and shuts down faster with the new Windows 10 than it would with the earlier versions of Windows. It also features 15.6-inch HD LED-backlit display with a 1376 x 768 resolution. This mid-range laptop comes with an efficient processor, large capacity, impressive sound quality, fast connectivity and good entertainment in a sleek package and stylish design.
The Asus sports a silver-colored chassis made of solid plastic. The laptop measures 15 x 10 x 1 inches and weighs 4.4 pounds, which is light and slim enough for a 15.6 inch budget laptop. The build quality of this laptop does not inspire the most confidence. Some of the flaws include a touchpad that feels quite hollow with loud clicks. It however doses not fall short of being a companion for students to complete their assignments, office work and home entertainment with its light weight and average battery.
Under the hood, the Asus features a 5th generation dual-core Intel Core i3-5020U processor clocked at 2.2GHz with 3 MB of Level 3 cache. It comes with hyper threading for two cores to handle 4 threads in parallel for better utilization of CPU but no turbo boost. It combines with 4GB DDR3L RAM and 1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive disk to offer an average performance. The memory on board is not good enough to handle intensive multitasking and demanding software. You can however expand the memory to 8GB to handle your demanding tasks. The ITB HDD offers ample storage to keep all your music, movies, photos and files. The Hard disk is however slow at 5400RPM compared to 7200RPM hard disk or better still a fast SSD for quick boot times and Loading of programs. If you know a thing or two about computer this isn’t a problem as you can always remove the installed hard drive and put your SSD. Asus had to keep all this features at the lower end to make it a budget priced laptop for users after a down to earth machine for basic daily use.
The laptop includes the Intel HD 5500 series integrated graphics, which can serve well for some low-detail and low-resolution gaming. The laptop can handle light games, GTA-5, Minecraft and World of Warcraft at medium settings. This is not a top for choice for hardcore gamers, it only works well as a home, office or school desktop replacement laptop for editing of documents, watching movies, listening to music and web browsing.
In terms of connectivity, you get all the necessary ports including a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port for faster transfer of data and the latest USB Type-C. There is also a VGA and HDMI port that will let you extend to larger displays such as monitors, projectors or HDTVs. A microphone/headphone combo jack is available to let you listen to your music without disturbing others in the late hours of the night. There is a media card reader for transferring data between the laptop and memory cards. If you still want to use your DVDs with your movies and data, the laptop comes with an optical drive that will allow you to read and write your DVDs. Ethernet port RJ-45 works at 100Mbps speed and there is also 802.11/b/g/n Wi-Fi N-standard adapter for wireless connections. Important to note is the fact that it does not have built-in Bluetooth, so you might have to purchase a Bluetooth adapter separately in case you need it.
The 15.6 non-touchscreen display is nothing fancy, it comes with a screen resolution of 1366×768. The screen does not come with an IPS panel or full HD as it comes with a regular TN panel with narrower viewing angles. The screen is not amazing but adequate for viewing your photos, streaming YouTube videos, internet surfing and playing of light games.
The Asus X540LA-SI30205P features a 33 WHr battery, which can usually provide around four hours of run time on this type of a 15.6″ laptop. The sound quality of the laptop is impressive with the inclusion of in-built stereo speakers with SonicMaster technology that are loud enough to fill the room. I was able to play “Coward of the County” by Kenny Rodgers at high volume without any distortion.
The ASUS X540LA-SI30205P is a laptop that does not promise what it cannot offer. It is packed in a sleek and stylish design with above average features for daily use. The inclusion of a fast and powerful fifth generation Intel Core i3 processor, 1TB storage and 4GB memory for the current price tag is a pretty good deal. The system gives you room for improvement, you can expand the memory to 8GB and replace the existing mechanical drive with an SSD for intensive multitasking. The laptop has a 15.6 inch display which is big enough to offer a good image quality thanks to the backlit display that is bright enough even in the dark. Gamers will not find this laptop interesting, but then that is what it is meant to be. Serious gamers should therefore look upwards and adjust their budget for gaming machines like the Asus K501UX or the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 gaming laptop. The Asus X540LA-SI30205P suffices as an affordable notebook that won’t break your bank capable of handling daily tasks, streaming online, editing documents, watching HD entertainment, video playback, browsing the web and everyday use.