Best budget laptop for browsing and light weight tasks in 2017


I have just spent few of the last days searching for a budget laptop which will meet my basic needs of web browsing, playing videos of base quality and a little programming. I have shortlisted an ASUS laptop which comes at around 25,000 and can handle most of my daily mundane requirements for my laptop

Just like many other B.Tech college students, I have been a lover of the old PC games like Counter Strike, NFS, and Fifa. From that time I have come a long way now and my requirements from my personal laptop have changed. Now my needs just revolve around browsing the internet, writing articles like this one, watching a few TV series and a little programming since I am an IT engineer now. So the laptop I have finally shortlisted is Asus X540LA-XX596D. The reason why I shortlisted this I will describe below but I before that I would like to mention that you can also look at other variants of the Asus X540LA series because all of them fall in the same price range and have almost the same features.

Spec highlights


  • Screen size: 15.6 inches
  • RAM: 4G DDR3
  • Processor Name: Core i3 (5th Generation)
  • Hard disk capacity: 1 TB
  • Operating system: DOS
  • Base Clock Speed (in GHz):2
  • Warranty: 1 year

Looks and design


Nothing to harp about here. The design is basic, the one I am reviewing is silver in color with the weight at around 3.5kg which is actually on the higher side with latest higher end laptop weighing around 2.5 kgs. The body outside is of plastic make but looks aluminum matte and doesn't attract fingerprints. The aluminum look is over the whole laptop, near the touchpad and keyboard too. The keyboard is basic with no back lightening. The touchpad is of just the right size and fits perfectly between my two hand palms when I am typing. There is a left and right click button below the touchpad. However, the touchpad doesn't have scroll ability. The keyboard keys are not as perfect as on the higher end laptops of Asus but will do for most of the mundane tasks not involving a lot of typing. The keyboards have space beneath them where dust and small objects can accumulate endangering the keyboard itself. The screen size as mentioned is 15.6 inches or 39.62 cm. The resolution of 1366x768 pixels gives you HD quality images with blur-free experience although not with great viewing angles.
Screen Front coverkeyboard

Hardware Connectivity ports


On the left side of the laptop, you have two USB ports- a 2.0 and 3.0 USB port just after the 3.5mm audio port. After that, you have the VGA port and the Ethernet port followed by the exhaust fan. The last 2 ports are the USB Type-C and Power port.
On the right side of the laptop, you have nothing except the CD/DVD optical drive. So this is a downside that on the right you don't have any USB port which not only limits your USB port numbers to 2 but also can be uncomfortable sometimes to not have USB port on both sides of the laptop. In the front lower end of the laptop you have 2 LED lights showing the Battery power state and ON/Standby state. In addition to the LED lights, the card reader port is also located at the front. At the top of the LED screen, you get a VGA camera with 2 microphones on either side of it.

Processing Power and Storage


It comes with an Intel Core i3-5005U processor which is known for its temperature control mechanism to keep the temperature down even under heavy processing load in addition to being energy efficient. It can easily run Windows 10 Home edition without any lag on it. It has a 4GB DDR3 RAM alongside to support all its memory transactions.
It has a storage of 1TB which is quite nice when considering the price point of the laptop.

Other features


The laptop has got the usual Wifi (Integrated 802.11 b/g/n ) and Bluetooth (v4) wireless connectivity. The sound quality is good, it has Sonic Master sound technology inside it which is an ASUS offering. There is no unused RAM slot so you can't expand the RAM quantity but take it from an old user of such ASUS laptops, 4GB is sufficient for these laptops and in fact, 8GB is not going to give you any actual advantage. There is no removal battery where so in case you want to replace the battery you have to actually open the back compartment and do the change. This is quite similar to what is available in Macbook laptop.

Wrap up


Asus X540LA-XX596D is not a high-performance laptop and is largely aimed at students and people who have basic requirements from their laptops like MS Office software and web browsing. If you are a graphic designer or even a gamer with high-quality games then this laptop is definitely not for you. Otherwise, a great piece of hardware in the price range it is available. If used carefully can easily run 3-5 years and provides a great return on money.

Cons
1. No backlit keys
2. There is a gap in the placement of the keyboard fit and you can actually press down the touchpad to see the keyboard going down.

Pros
1. Great catch for people looking for entry level laptops like students, journalists, and moms & pops.
2. Provides 1 TB hard drive storage and 4GB RAM which is quite great for this price range.
3. Screen quality is good at this price.


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