Asus is quickly becoming a household name in the computer industry. Earlier this year , they launched their new Notebook, the ASUS X551MA Notebook. The notebook but is found at most retailers as a very basic system. This is not the laptop for hardcore gamers or those who store an excessive amount of media. It is a great alternative for students, light use, light gaming or general use such as data processing or light browsing and social media.
The typical specs found on the retail offered version of the
X551MA Notebook is as follows: a 15.6” screen with Intel HD Graphics, a Pentium N3520 Processor, which translates into a 2.166 GHz. It comes equipped with a Windows 8 Operating System [64-bit], 4 GB of RAM, which translates into a 1600 MHz memory speed, a 500 GB Hard Drive, Quad Core with approximately 2 MB of cache. It has HDMI capabilities, headphone/microphone jack [since it comes equipped with SonicMaster Technology and ASUS Audio Wizard, it makes an external microphone an unneeded addition], USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 capabilities, only offering one of each USB port. It also has a 2 in 1 SD Card, Ethernet or wireless data link protocols and an Ion Lithium Battery. The model is only offered in black.
This basic system does not have an optical drive. Also, with its limited memory, it is not intended to store large amounts of data, without another source or hard drive upgrade. If purchasing this model from a retailer such as: Office Max, Staples or even Amazon the ASUS X551MA Notebook is typically only offered with only the basic operating specs and is typically listed in or around the mid two hundred dollars ($200-$285) range but can be found for well under two hundred dollars, as well on Amazon. You may purchase other upgradeable options via the manufacturer’s website, or chose to do the upgrades yourself. Upgradeable features include, but are not limited to, a larger Pentium Processor, Optical Drive, and CD/DVD Player, built-in webcam, Bluetooth capabilities, Windows 8 Pro and more. These upgraded versions of the X551MA Notebook can range anywhere from the mid three hundred dollars (approximately $356) to the mid to upper five hundred dollars ($586) price range. Which was a price that was established when I customized the notebook directly on the ASUS.com website? The price will depend on the modifications made to the original specs.
The ASUS X551MA Notebook is being sold as a general use Notebook, with most retailers. With the price at a very generous moderate range this model is great for students as a take along Notebook for note taking and class work, the light gamer, the occasional Facebook user or just to do general tasks. It is also great for general data processing [even though it does not come with the full version of Windows 8, but merely a trial version]. Reviews posted on Amazon.com, have it ranked at a 3.7 average star value and it is listed as the #8 top sold Notebooks of 2015, thus far. Out of 58 reviews on Amazon, over 45% gave it a 5 Star rating, while a meager 33% gave a 1 Star rating.
Confirmed purchasers of the product, who was aware of the standard operating specs, stated they were quite happy with their purchase and found it easy to set up and use. There were some issues noted about the mouse track and the fact that the keyboard was not backlit, as well as the basic specs of the model and lack of an optical drive when the model was received. But generally, there were great reviews from students and older, less technologically dependent, users. It is not recommended for heavy data or media storage without the benefit of a hard drive upgrade or external storage device. With those who had chosen to do the fairly inexpensive upgrades, they expressed that it was an easy enough endeavor. The most rave reviews were, of course, the price. The standard retail offered model is selling nationally well below three hundred dollars($300) at retailers such as Office Max, Staples, and Amazon.
This is a very basic notebook with very little bells and whistles. If you are looking for something that is for general household use or easier lighter tasks, the reviews of this product reflect that this is, indeed the right choice for you. It is priced fairly and does not give false hope to consumers. If, however, you are looking for a notebook with more capabilities, quicker processing, something you can multi-task on or need a large amount of storage for media or documents than the ASUS X551MA is not the best choice.