The F555LA-AB31 is a simple looking but well built general-purpose laptop that costs under $500 but delivers great value for money and has a Full HD (1080p) display. Considering the price point, it has no fancy features that a lot of laptops today feature. But let that not fool you into thinking low of its worth.
In fact, consider the price point and see what all this thing can do. It’s sort of like a big fish in a small pond. Let’s take a closer look and see why the ASUS F555LA-AB31 is a steal of a deal for a laptop.
- Snappy performance for the price point
- Full HD (1080p) display
- CD/DVD Rewritable Drive
- Great audio output quality
- Easy upgradability of RAM (and RAM upgrade is highly recommended for this laptop)
- The display panel is a TN panel, and not an IPS panel, so viewing angles are limited
- Decent & durable keyboard, but there’s a bit of keyboard flex
- No dedicated graphics card
- Hard Drive swapping/upgrade is a pain, even for the pros
The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM rivals the ASUS F555LA-AB31 in this price range. The Acer machine (we’re already feeling dizzy with that crazy model number Acer has) features the latest 7th Generation Intel (Kaby Lake) Core i5 processor clocking at 2.4GHz and a battery that can easily last for about 8 hours (twice that of the ASUS F555LA-AB31’s battery life). Thanks to the 7th Generation processor, the Acer laptop has some performance optimizations over the 5th Generation Broadwell processor in the ASUS laptop.
Key Specs of the F555LA-AB31 15.6 Inch Full HD Laptop:
- CPU: 5th Generation Intel Broadwell Core i3-5010U 2.1 GHz processor
- RAM: 4GB DDR3 RAM
- Graphics Card: Intel HD 5500 (integrated) graphics processor
- Display: 15.6″ Full HD Matte Display with 1920x1080p resolution
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)
- Weight: 5.1 Pounds
- Storage: 500GB Hard Disk Drive (5400 RPM)
Below you will find how we rated the Asus F555LA AB31 laptop.
Hands on Review
Design & Features
The ASUS F555LA-AB31 looks simple yet elegant, and the simple texturing on the lid helps prevent fingerprint smudges. The build quality is decent, but there’s some keyboard flex you’d experience. It’s not a problem per se. ASUS probably had no choice as they’d need to cut costs to provide everything else that’s good in this very reasonably priced laptop. The keyboard isn’t a backlit one by the way. The ASUS AB31 is an inch thick and weighs 5.1 pounds, which may feel heavy for some users, but it’s actually quite portable. Upgrading the RAM is super-easy. You just unscrew in one place, pull the flap, add a RAM card in the empty slot, close the flap, screw it back on, restart the machine, and you’re done. The same can’t be said about the hard disk drive though. There’s no separate slot for an SSD or another HDD, so swapping is the only option, which is also a pain and can easily take up a couple of hours or so.
Ports & Connectivity
The AB31 features two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, a 2-in-1 audio jack, an HDMI port and a VGA port. Connectivity-wise, it features Wi-Fi 802.11ac ultra-fast band and Bluetooth 4.0. Uncommon in laptops now a days, this laptop has a CD/DVD Rewritable Drive for those who still need one.
Display & Audio
The screen on the AB31 is a Full HD (1920×1080 resolution) 15.6” anti-glare matte display. The display is on a TN panel though, which limits the viewing angles. Anything at up to 45° tilted viewing angle is still visible but not great. Viewing angles above that are a total washout. ASUS has included the SonicMaster package as an audio output enhancement resulting in surprisingly good quality audio for a laptop in the price range.
The 5th Generation Intel Core i3 processor on the ASUS F555LA-AB31 is clocked at 2.1GHz (no turbo boost). There is 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM with an empty slot for upgrading requirements, which by the way is highly recommended for significantly improved performance, especially when multi-tasking, something this machine is darn good at. You can add an 8GB RAM card for about $30-40 pretty easily. There’s no dedicated graphics card, so games like GTA-V or Call of Duty Black Ops will not run well, even at low settings. But games like League of Legends, Minecraft, and Tomb Raider work pretty smoothly at medium settings. On the general-purpose side of things though, this laptop offers a ton of performance for a very reasonable price. There are cheaper laptops no doubt, but they don’t match the performance this one doles out. And expensive machines offer just about 20-30% improved performance over this for general purposes such as browsing with multiple tabs open, video streaming and using Office applications… all the same time. And you won’t really notice that 20-30% difference during such use.
The battery life is just good, and not excellent. Averaging at slightly over 4 hours, it’s certainly nothing to complain about.
The Asus F555LA-AB31 is competitively priced in the
The ASUS F555LA-AB31 has been a laptop of choice for thousands of users, and for good reason – it is far more capable of great performance than most people would expect from a sub-$500 laptop. Like we’ve noted above, it’s got nothing fancy in terms of technical/hardware specs, but that didn’t compromise what this laptop can do. There’s also an entire year of accidental damage protection offered with this laptop for free, for which most other laptop manufacturers charge $100-120 extra.
The screen doesn’t support wide viewing angles, and the display isn’t very bright either but it gets the job done. The same applies to playing games – casual games that aren’t high on graphics work really well and some high-end games work well too in low or medium settings. If you want a laptop for hardcore gaming, then this is not the one. But if a general-purpose laptop suffices your needs, the ASUS F555LA-AB31 is a great value for money.
Is this laptop right for you?
The ASUS F555LA-AB31 Full HD general-purpose laptop is right for you if you’re on a tight budget (or simply want something under $500) and you also want a good balance of performance & portability. It also looks elegant on the outside and has a decent battery life.
However, if you don’t care much about the complimentary 1-year accidental damage protection, then the weirdly named Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM is a great option to consider as it offers almost double the battery life and optimized performance, plus easy upgradeability of both the Hard Disk Drive and RAM.