Asus K55VD

The K55VD gives decent performance for the price, but the clickpad and battery life are left wanting.


7.0
CNET Rating
4.6
User Rating

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About The Author

CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


Asus has long played well in the affordable laptop sector, bringing generally good build quality to an end of town that has traditionally tried to cut a few more corners than it should have.

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0: 2
  • USB 2.0: 1
  • Optical: DVD±RW
  • Video: VGA, HDMI
  • Ethernet: Gigabit
  • Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n

Things are changing though, as prices trend ever downwards, with greater competition in the quality-for-affordable-price stakes. The K55VD still manages to hold its own, with a mix of bronze, faux-brushed metal, dark brown and black plastic that's worked well for it for quite some time.

Asus usually does a good job of balancing specs for price, and the K55VD is no different, featuring a Core i5 3210M @ 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, a 750GB HDD and a GeForce GT 610M. You get a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, VGA, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks, an SD card reader and a DVD± drive for your money, with 2.4GHz 802.11n but no Bluetooth. Only Acer's offering gives more bang for buck, and it's afforded extra wiggle room by using a last-generation CPU.

Keyboard use is pleasant enough, but the top-hinged clickpad on our sample was a little loose, bouncy and clacky, even when simply tapping. Right clicking, in particular, is annoying, as you have to make sure your finger is at the very bottom of the pad for it to actuate. Good thing, then, that the Elan pad included supports simultaneous double finger tapping as a substitute.

The TN, SEC-supplied, 1366x768 15.6-inch screen isn't anything special, lacking the vibrancy of the competing LG panels. That's not to say it's bad, just that, much like the audio on the K55VD, it doesn't rise above the pack. The latter is certainly serviceable, but you'll get better quality out of headphones.

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

  • 352
    HP dm4 3114TX (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7570M)
  • 353
    Asus K55VD (Intel Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 610M)
  • 378
    Acer Aspire V3-571G (Core i5 2450M, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 630M)
  • 380
    Toshiba Satellite C850/02D (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7610M)
  • 386
    Sony Vaio E SVE14A15FGB (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M)
  • 541
    HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 4GB SSD cache)
  • 763
    Dell Inspiron 13z 5323 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
  • 766
    Dell Inspiron 14z 5423 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 8GB SSD cache)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)


Thanks to the third generation Core processor inside, Asus' laptop tussles with HP's Pavilion dm4 for pole position in the sub-AU$1000 category.

Gaming performance

Batman: Arkham Asylum
NOT
PLAYABLE
FPS
Max Avg Min
71 55 22
1366x768, 0x AA, Detail level: Very low, PhysX off.
Metro 2033
NOT
PLAYABLE
FPS
Max Avg Min
82 35 8
1366x768, DirectX 9, 0x AA, Quality: Low, PhysX: Off.
The Witcher 2
NOT
PLAYABLE
FPS
Max Avg Min
15 11 7
1366x768, low spec.
Skyrim
NOT
PLAYABLE
FPS
Max Avg Min
46 31 24
1366x768, low detail.

The GeForce GT 610M is most certainly not a gaming chip — even for, usually, forgiving games. Given that gaming only starts becoming feasible at the GeForce GT 630M level, there may as well be just Intel's HD Graphics in here, to save on cost.

Battery life (time)

  • Heavy battery test
  • Light battery test
  • 4h 15m6h 11m
  • HP dm4 3114TX (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7570M)
  • 3h 34m5h 10m
  • HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 4GB SSD cache)
  • 3h 25m5h 0m
  • Sony Vaio E SVE14A15FGB (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M)
  • 2h 37m4h 9m
  • Acer Aspire V3-571G (Core i5 2450M, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 630M)
  • 3h 13m4h 7m
  • Dell Inspiron 13z 5323 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
  • 2h 51m4h 3m
  • Asus K55VD (Intel Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 610M)
  • 2h 54m3h 49m
  • Dell Inspiron 14z 5423 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 8GB SSD cache)
  • 2h 36m3h 32m
  • Toshiba Satellite C850/02D (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7610M)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)


While application performance is hot, battery life is dead ordinary on the K55VD. Sony and HP still look good though, riding the top of the charts.

Conclusion

The K55VD gives decent performance for the price, but the clickpad and battery life are left wanting.



Add Your Review 6


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Post comment as
danstern
6
Rating
 

"important feature"

danstern posted a review   
Belgium

The Good:design

The Bad:sound

The most stupid or dishonnest thing are the speakers located at the bottom, not on the front, as you might thing, fooled by the altec lansing logo.

KireH Facebook
1
Rating
 

"Very disappointing lap top"

KireH posted a review   
Netherlands

The Good:Nothing

The Bad:Touchpad, screen, performances, speekers

Very poor laptop ! The touchpad is awful, the speakers are on the bottom, it has the worst architecture I have ever seen, for its core i7 it's working worse than Pentium 4. I don't recommend this laptop to anyone, neither I would buy anything else from aces again.

JViv44
7
Rating
 

"Good general computing but usability flaws"

JViv44 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:design, battery, speed

The Bad:USB position, sound

Just a quick review on some design and operational flaws with the K55VD.

USB 3.0 ports are positioned so close together that 2 standard USB sticks or anything and a USB stick cant be put in without them bending and pushing against each other, which is not only annoying but cant be good for the computer or USB.

Speakers are located under the computer, not on top above the keyboard as it would appear in pictures or without close inspection. The holes are there above the keyboard with the Altec Lansing logo, but the holes are merely perforations in plastic. Sound is muffled and lacks volume as experienced when the laptop is tilted back and the sound allowed to escape and decent volume can be heard.

CD drive open button is so flat and without differentiating feel, meaning to open the drive, you have to physically look for the button.

SD card reader position makes it more difficult that it should be to remove the SD card.

Personally, I hate 'F' key volume control that requires the function (fn) key to operate...made even worse when the volume is so far away that one hand cant be used to push fn and volume.

Still cant get the USB 3.0 port to charge something when computer switched off. A function ASUS promotes.

 

JViv44 posted a reply   
Australia

i retract the CD drive button comment

BarbaraB Facebook
1
Rating
 

"piece of crap"

BarbaraB posted a review   
Germany

The Good:nothing

The Bad:everything

Asus K55VD has the shittiest touchpad in the whole universe! Keeps disabling itself and it's going on one's nerves. I will brake it into the smallest pieces as soon as I can afford a Mac.

StephanieP2 Facebook
8
Rating
 

"Love it."

StephanieP2 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Fast, nice screen, good design, thin

The Bad:Could be a bit lighter, clickpad is a little sensitive

The K55vd was a great buy. Design is excellent, and feels well made; it's nice and thin, not the lightest but not overly heavy, and has a responsive clickpad (not loose at all like in the review), but I've noticed a couple of times when I'm typing that brushing the clickpad can accidentally click out of the window.

The best thing in my opinion is that It's FAST. I don't try to play any cpu-intensive games on it, but it's able to run Photoshop CS6 reasonably well, and is super quick to resume from sleep and for general use which is important to me. Screen is vibrant and clear, laptop stays cool and battery to me seems pretty good.

I paid about 2 x for a Samsung laptop about a year ago, and despite the premium price, it's super slow and lags. I'll stick with Asus!

 

ShivaS posted a comment   

gr8 lapy




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User Reviews / Comments  Asus K55VD

  • danstern

    danstern

    Rating6

    "The most stupid or dishonnest thing are the speakers located at the bottom, not on the front, as you might thing, fooled by the altec lansing logo."

  • KireH

    KireH

    Rating1

    "Very poor laptop ! The touchpad is awful, the speakers are on the bottom, it has the worst architecture I have ever seen, for its core i7 it's working worse than Pentium 4. I don't recommend this ..."

  • JViv44

    JViv44

    Rating7

    "Just a quick review on some design and operational flaws with the K55VD.

    USB 3.0 ports are positioned so close together that 2 standard USB sticks or anything and a USB stick cant be..."

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