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146 of 149 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good budget laptop that's a bit of a bargain
This is the newer updated version of the Asus X551MA-SX018H model, it features the same screen, keyboard and unit as the prior model, with the exception that the CPU is now a somewhat faster Intel Celeron N2815 1.86GHz (the older one had a 1.5GHz CPU) It's not a huge step up but the addition of bluetooth 4.0 might just appeal to some..

There is a significant...
Published 4 months ago by Mr Baz

versus
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My views about ASUS X551CA
Though the performance is as expected, some features are missing which are standard in many laptops - like no caps lock indicator, no number lock indicator ( these are irritating when typing passwords)and only two USB ports. Also since the battery is built in I might have to take the pc to a service centre when the battery life runs out. Though I was happy about the...
Published 3 months ago by Raj


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146 of 149 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good budget laptop that's a bit of a bargain, 12 May 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Asus X551MA-SX030H 15.6-inch Notebook (Intel Celeron N2815 1.86GHz, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB HDD, DVD-RW, Wi-Fi, Webcam, Bluetooth, Windows 8 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
This is the newer updated version of the Asus X551MA-SX018H model, it features the same screen, keyboard and unit as the prior model, with the exception that the CPU is now a somewhat faster Intel Celeron N2815 1.86GHz (the older one had a 1.5GHz CPU) It's not a huge step up but the addition of bluetooth 4.0 might just appeal to some..

There is a significant difference in CPU performance from the Intel Core i3 3217U 1.8GHz and the Celeron N2815 1.86GHz. The i3 being over twice as fast as the Celeron. Bear that in mind depending on your needs and the price point.

The core specification is fairly straightforward with enough memory and hard drive space for most users and more than enough for day to day use

A quick fire list of pros and cons

Pros:
+ Great value one of the lowest prices on a laptop
+ 15.6" 1366x768 screen is quite good and contrasty easy to read and sharp (better than you expect for the price)
+ 4GB ram and 500GB hard drive is more than sufficient for most users needs even if you have quite a lot of media files around
+ One USB port is the faster USB 3.0
+ Built in SD Card Reader, as well as Wired Lan port and HDMI out
+ Webcam with Microphone built in (not the best webcam in low light but it's fine for this price with decent resolution)
+ Keyboard and touchpad are satisfactory, good response on the trackpad and the keys are of the enclosed type (harder for small children to rip them off!)
+ DVD/CD Burner 8x and 24x should satisfy any media playback/burning needs
+ Bluetooth 4.0 (the latest version)

Cons:
- Build is a bit cheap, clearly it has had some cost cutting in terms of quality of plastics (not unexpected) the low price does compensate for this though, it won't fall apart or anything like that, texturing looks ok, I've used worse.
- Could use a few more USB ports (only 2 but that might be enough)
- VGA port is mostly redundant these days (HDMI is used more often) Might be ok if you connect to a pc monitor
- Basic sound quality from the on-board speakers, ok for the intended market (use the headphones much better)
- No easy access to battery (it's inside the case)

Expect around 3.5 hours of battery life which is par for the course on budget laptops, you can extend things a bit by lowering the screen brightness (power management settings are easy to change for this)
Windows is updated to 8.1 which has a number of improvements including boot straight to the desktop (and at least a partial return of the start menu), I won't go in depth on this as it's down to taste. But it's a better experience than the 8.0 version.

Compared to the older version (Asus X551MA-SX018H) this is how the processors stack up performance wise

Celeron N2815 1.86GHz scored 1024 in passmark
Celeron N2815 1.5GHz scored 958 in passmark
Core i3 3217U 1.8GHz scored 2320 in passmark

The newer celeron has a slight improvement, but in day to day use you won't really notice any significant difference on the newer CPU which is a little faster (but not hugely so)

The i3 is quite a fast processor for a budget laptop (relative to the Celeron)

Passmark is a general CPU benchmark that tries to measure real world performance in a variety of tasks (3d/2d graphics, compression, encryption, text, memory and disk speed) it gives a "general" idea of the CPU and how it deals with tasks, higher scores = better performance
Compared to a desktop budget processor (Intel Celeron G1620 2.70GHz) this would score around 2600 in passmark. That means the i3 CPU is almost on a par with a budget desktop CPU, so if you need the extra processing power that's the one to go for.

Wifi locked on well with good coverage no concerns or issues to report

On-board graphics do take some memory (no matter 4GB is generous with plenty to spare) you can play some lighter less demanding games, or older titles, this isn't aimed at game players though. HD playback will work great with even HD videos playing smoothly with no judder or dropped frames (which is what matters most)

For the money, this has a number of advantages over slightly cheaper Chromebooks. Much larger capacity on the hard drive will suit people who have a good collection of media audio and video files; and you are not reliant on an internet connection for day to day tasks (Chromebooks are fine somewhat limited)

For the asking price the Asus is a bit of a bargain really, you get a straight forward, but quite decent laptop at a very good price. It will be just fine for most people's day to day use. Take care with the CPU choice the Celeron is quite good enough for normal use. If you are a more demanding user the i3 option is quite a lot faster and better suited for users doing some video or photo work or other more intensive tasks.

Recommended purchase for those looking to replace an older/broken laptop with a cost effective newer one. A solid buy
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value and surprisingly high quality, 8 Jun 2014
By 
Jayarfer (Stony Stratford UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having read some mixed reviews about quality and finish I am delighted with this purchase. Firstly, I'm an IT professional but wanted a cheap and cheerful full laptop so that I can take abroad to work - a workhorse not a fashion icon. It needed to be powerful enough and have sufficient features that I could still function away from home - I run my own website design business. This machine has exceeded expectations. Firstly quality and appearance. It appears solidly build, with a keyboard that feels responsive and precise. The only downside to be honest is that there is no caps lock light. The mouse pad is a lot better than my other laptop which is an HP and again functions precisely and smoothly. The casing is a textured finish not unlike some Compaq or HP laptops. Yes, it will mark with sweaty hands, but a soft cloth cleans it down nicely.
The screen is quite shiny but lovely and clear. Fine in normal and even bright light.
Performance for an inexpensive (well relatively) laptop is very good, multi-tasking without hesitation or any obvious delays and everything loads very quickly. The startup time is very quick from a cold startup, maybe that is Windows 8. It runs quite fast too. Compared with many PC's and laptops this could be said to be a quick machine. Certainly better than others I have tried in this price bracket recently. Installing software from the built in DVD drive was very quick and startup of apps is fast too.
It's not preloaded with Windows 8.1, but Windows 8. Updating is reasonably straightforward but I wouldn't say would be easy for a complete novice. Overall Windows 8 (or 8.1) is what it is. I don't find it as off putting as many, but wouldn't say it was Microsoft's moment of glory! You can at least now setup to run in a mode that at least resembles older versions for those wishing to stay with the previous look.

I'm going to give this 5 starts as overall it does represent good value, does better than expected and was delivered very quickly into the bargain. I may revisit my allegiance to tier 1 manufacturers if this laptop continues to perform as it has set out to do!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Such good value that you can accept the cons!, 12 Aug 2014
By 
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Paid about 295 (deal of the week) for the Intel Core i3. Excellent value as you would normally get the ‘lesser’ Intel Celeron or Intel Pentium for this price! Secure packaging.

Pros: Such good value that you can accept the cons! Light weight, quick start, great screen resolution, good battery life, made out of good quality material, quiet and full keyboard.

Cons:
- Expect to leave fingerprints all over your laptop because the material is a hard plastic type; the natural oils from your skin will transfer.
- If you touch type fast, there is a slight bothersome 'hollow' sound from tapping the keys (not as noticeable if you type slowly).
- Upgrading to Windows 8.1 can take at least 6 hours because you need to do about 93 Windows updates first before you can upgrade to Windows 8.1.
- No indicator light when caps lock or num lk are on/off.
- Your DVD player may not play DVDs, you’ll have no idea why and no indication of what to do! Try downloading codecs for your DVD player (mine only worked after downloading Windows 8 codecs AND K-Lite codecs combined). Also, remember to set the DVD Region.
- The Windows 8.1 sliding ‘charm’ window will keep opening up when you’re working which can be irritating. To my knowledge, there is no way to stop it except to avoid using the far right hand side of your mouse pad (mouse pad has shortcut qualities).
- If you’re working from a USB stick, expect Windows Explorer to work slowly and stall frequently.
- There may be quite a few pointless pre-installed programmes that you’ll want to remove.

Many people complain about Windows 8.1; it’s not great but if you approach using it slowly and logically, you just need time to find your way around the operating system. This laptop doesn't come with MS Office installed (no surprise given the inexpensive price) but offers a trial version of Office 365 and paid upgrade option.
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90 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exclellent VFM, 16 Jan 2014
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For the money, this has to be one of the best low-priced laptops around. It's been in use for two months now, and has performed flawlessly. It's quite lightweight, charges fast, runs fast, shuts down and starts up fast, and generally does everything needed. The i3 processor and memory combo is more than man enough for everyday use, while the 15.6" screen is really crisp and sharp. As far as I'm concerned, it was a brilliant buy.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My views about ASUS X551CA, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Though the performance is as expected, some features are missing which are standard in many laptops - like no caps lock indicator, no number lock indicator ( these are irritating when typing passwords)and only two USB ports. Also since the battery is built in I might have to take the pc to a service centre when the battery life runs out. Though I was happy about the price the non availability of some of the above features were not mentioned in the product description.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laptop, 13 Jun 2014
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Very pleased with my purchase. I am finding it really easy to use which is good as I am a complete novice.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A budget laptop with nearly everything I need of it, 11 Aug 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm going to start by stating I am not an overly technical minded person, so will not be able to give you detailed info about the ins and outs of the workings of this laptop, but there are excellent reviews already that can give you this. My review is more based on my experience so far with this product, and the few technical aspects I do understand that I feel are good general user info to have.

My overall impression of this laptop is of good quality for its price. The build of the laptop feels like it is a more expensive laptop. I bought the one with an 'intel i3' processor as I was told it was much faster than the cheaper model which is the intel celeron model (whether for general use it makes much difference I don't really think it does). I have found this processor to be able to handle everything I have thrown at it very well. It handles me playing games on the laptop well (both older games and new-ish games like Civ 5) and also seems to flawlessly multitask.

As for the mentioned 2 second start from sleeping which it states in the product description, my experience is that it does indeed start up from sleep within 2 seconds every time.

The computer has one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port. (Both can be used for any USB device). The USB 3.0 port is new to me, and my external harddrive which had USB 3.0 capability gave me a chance to try this function out. Whereas on my old computer it took me 6 and a half minutes to transfer about 6GB of data onto my external harddrive, transferring this onto my new computer took around 45 seconds. I'm really happy and impressed with that!

When I play games I tend to connect the laptop to my tv for a bigger screen, and this laptop can do this with its HDMI port. It also has an older port for connection to standard monitors and also to projectors, so this comes in handy when I give presentations at work.

Windows 8 requires some getting used to if you are coming from an earlier version of getting used to (and is a whole contraversial can of worms to open if I am to start talking in detail about it!). The trackpad of the laptop seems to have some gesture technology, which sometimes (rather frustratingly) makes me open menus on the screen when I had no intention to do so. I'm sure if I searched a bit more I would find a way to turn this off.

The laptop came pre-installed with a 30 day trial of Mcafee internet protection, so I had no issue connecting to the internet immediately, and it has given me a 30 day period to decide whether to purchase further protection with them or to install another antivirus.

The keyboard area also includes a number pad on the right, something I have missed on other laptops.

Build downsides are that the battery is fully encased in the bottom (and so when it needs replacing in a few years time as they inevitably do, it will not be as easy as just removing the old one and plugging the new one in). 2 USB ports is ok, but I would prefer 3 or 4, as once I have my wireless mouse connected I am only able to connect one other device at a time. Also the plastic casing looks smart and the brushed effect around the keyboard is smart, however expect fingerprints all over it as for some reason it just seems to attract finger marks on the plastic no matter how many times you have washed your hands. When you have caps lock on, there is no light to say this (this is only a minor irritation, a few strokes of the keyboard and you realise if its on or off anyway).

Taking the above points into consideration, as well as the excellent price I want to give this laptop overall a score of 4 stars. It is easy to use and easily handles my medium usage (both work and play).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A basic laptop for office work only, 7 July 2014
By 
Mr. Richard The book boy "Book boy" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus X551MA-SX030H 15.6-inch Notebook (Intel Celeron N2815 1.86GHz, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB HDD, DVD-RW, Wi-Fi, Webcam, Bluetooth, Windows 8 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
Asus laptop X551MA-SX030H

What’s in the box?
------------------------
The laptop and UK mains transformer and warrantee card.

Set up.
----------
This is typically driven by Windows 8. You have to set a few parameters like time, date, password if you want one etc. It’s pretty straight forward to get going. You are also asked if you want to connect to the net and it is handy to have your router key and password handy for this.

In use.
---------
The laptop comes with Windows 8 which I have always found a pain to use on a non-touch screen laptop. Microsoft allows you to do a free upgrade to Windows 8.1 which is far more laptop friendly so worth doing.
Update problems and how to over come them.
This is where problems start. The version of Windows 8 supplied on the laptop was many months out of date so there were over 100 Windows updates to install before the upgrade to 8.1 could be done. It took about two hours to download everything but several of the updates failed and the machine reverted back. This is very frustrating but typical of Microsoft updates, some have to be set up and running before other can be loaded correctly. However, the update process does not seem to know about this. In order to get the machine up to date a second run of Windows updates was needed and this went in fine but took over two hours. After this I could update to 8.1 and it took another hour to do this.
SO this is not really Asus’s fault but an inherent problem with Windows. However, it is worth persevering as Windows 8.1 is much better on this laptop.

Tasks.
---------
I was not expecting this low power machine to run Windows 8.1 very well but I was quite surprised when I found that it does a decent job. It’s no speed freak but for web browsing, emails and office work it is fine. If you want to play games or do photo editing I would get something a bit more powerful but for general computing this is fine.

Quality.
----------
This machine is obviously built to a low price but don’t forget it is not much more than the average tablet but allows you to do much more for the money. The back is a one piece affair with not hatches to access the drive or memory, to do this you have to take the while underside off. This is cost cutting but unless you plan to upgrade this machine it is not a problem.
The screen quality is fine and the colures about right. The keyboard is not very tactile but fine for what I am going to use it for.
It has a built in DVD rewriter, one USB 2.0 legacy socket and one USB 3.0 socket. This is fine as I will only ever use the USB 3 socket for backups so don’t need more. The mouse pad is a but hit and miss but works when you get used to it.

Overall.
----------
A clear budget offering from Asus but it does surprisingly well out of the box. The update process is a pain but this is more down to Microsoft than Asus. I bought this on one of Amazon’s daily offers for under 200 delivered so it is quite a bargain if you want to do office work only. This is what I wanted it for and it works well and is much more useful and flexible than a similarly priced tablet. Recommended with a few reservations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 which is much better but the laptop is very good & I'm on ..., 9 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus X551MA-SX030H 15.6-inch Notebook (Intel Celeron N2815 1.86GHz, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB HDD, DVD-RW, Wi-Fi, Webcam, Bluetooth, Windows 8 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
Very fast ,only problem is the operating system Windows 8.
I have downloaded Windows 8.1 which is much better but the laptop is very good & I'm on my
desktop in less than a minute.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for money, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a silver surfer this laptop is everything and more that I need for home use. Every programme works really fast which a a great improvement on my previous laptop.
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