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148 Reviews
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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works fine so far!
I bought this laptop after a few months of longing, a few weeks of research, and a few days of price hunting. My requirements were fairly simple. I wanted Windows 7 with an i3 or better, at least 4GB of RAM (upgrade-able to 8) and a 320GB drive or bigger. I also wanted to spend no more than $500.

The system arrived within a few days and I excitedly opened it...
Published on April 15, 2012 by kellyzdude

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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars key feature missing
I ordered this laptop based on the positive reviews on amazon as well as an associate's regular business purchases of a different Asus laptop model. While the machine works well, the problem is that the optical device driver won't write to any disc-dvd or cd. I found this out by trying to make the recovery discs. Asus online support had me try several different fixes...
Published on June 15, 2012 by amym


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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works fine so far!, April 15, 2012
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I bought this laptop after a few months of longing, a few weeks of research, and a few days of price hunting. My requirements were fairly simple. I wanted Windows 7 with an i3 or better, at least 4GB of RAM (upgrade-able to 8) and a 320GB drive or bigger. I also wanted to spend no more than $500.

The system arrived within a few days and I excitedly opened it and read through the instructions (this is out of character, but I understand the importance of first start up). The first step was running the backup (4 DVDs later..) and then I worked on removing the bloat. ASUS, like so many others, ships with a bunch of crap you don't need, though in this case it was less than I expected.

The system itself is nice and quick. I have had it playing Need For Speed Hot Pursuit (the new one) and it performs nicely. I've also had it running a Folding@Home client (see [...]) which nets around 2000 points per day. This compares to about 200-300 on my old Athlon64 Desktop machine.

Other notes:
- The power socket is on the left hand side about halfway between the front and the back, and the connector itself is a right-angle. This is a weird place, but is convenient. My wife's most recent Dell had a side connector and it was still damaged through leaning it on things it shouldn't be. I feel the design and location on this laptop would prevent a lot of those issues.

- The laptop feels very cool, even while pumping out very hot air through the vent. It's warm on the legs, but by no means hot like I've experienced with older laptops.

- The numeric keypad is nice, but is a little weird if you're used to the separated keypad on larger laptops or desktop keyboards. More than once I've hit the right-arrow while trying to tap zero. It can feel very crowded in that area also, with the keys from the left arrow all the way over to the ./delete key being the same size (along with those around them) so it can be difficult to place fingers without looking.

- HDMI works and carries sound with it. I had it hooked in to a 55" LCD TV a few days ago playing Need for Speed quite nicely. I didn't think to check what resolution it was at (I suspect the native resolution of the laptop's panel as it was mirroring), but it looked really nice. Others may be more picky about this than I..

All things considered this seems to be a fine machine, especially for the price, and I expect it to last for quite some time into the future.
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent general purpose laptop..., April 27, 2012
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The ASUS A53-AS31-RD is a very good general purpose laptop. It works well with productivity applications, web browsing and basic photo editing. It multitasks well (playing music and working on Office applications). The area around the keyboard and touchpad and the top are each textured; that and the dark red color keep this machine from being a fingerprint magnet: good design!

Ports include an SD media slot, a LAN connection, three USB ports and HDMI out. Battery life is average; around 3 hours out of the box, although you can probably coax more out of it with adjustments in the Windows 7 control panel or the included ASUS desktop power management gadget. Out of the box it was relatively free of unwanted bloatware or trial versions of programs (kudos to ASUS for that).

This computer does not ship with recovery media; you'll need four DVDs when you run its built-in utility to create your own recovery kit (do this first!).

Overall, this is a solid laptop that should serve well for all but the most demanding computing needs. The color breaks it from the packs of black, silver and white machines out there! Watch for deep discounts to make this unit even more attractive.

Note: this machine's default hard drive configuration includes two logical partitions, with about 75% devoted to a "D" drive for data. I used Windows disk management tools to shrink that volume and restore all the free space to the "C" drive. This is just my preference, but it can help avoid issues with applications that struggle to remember "non-C-drive" locations for storing data files.
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110 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i5 Review, May 31, 2012
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This item comes in i3 & i5 versions. The i5 isn't always available, though.

This A53e might be reasonably priced for what you get, but it's not quite what I think of as a 'budget' device.

A budget laptop has an i3 processor. I'm reviewing the i5.
A budget laptop has around 250-500gb memory. This has 750gb
A budget laptop doesn't have HD screen. This does
A budget laptop doesn't usually come w/HDMI or USB 3.0. This does
A budget laptop doesn't usually come w/face detection. This does

That said, the 4gb of onboard RAM is definitely budget, but also upgradeable to 8gb for only $23. The 0.3 megapixel webcam is also pretty low-rent. So, it's obviously not the top-shelf model either.

The i5 processor is the 2nd gen variant which is a significant step-up from the 1st i5, plus it has 'turbo boost' which variably kicks in. So, it's not a mid-range i5. It's closer to an i7 than an i3.

This is the coolest-running PC I've owned. The white version has a subtle design to it. I was happy to find little bloatware.

CONS
The description is inaccurate. This is an LCD laptop, not an LED. There is no onboard bluetooth. There is no dial volume control. Instead, you must click on-screen volume control & slide or use the function & f12 keys repeatedly which is less than convenient. You can't just lower the sound immediately. That *really* bothers me. Something to consider if you sneak peaks at porn in heavy rotation. The same applies to the brightness adjustments - 2 clicks & it doesn't always respond. The mouse clicker is too loud which seems kind of cheap. The speaker could be a bit louder. The webcam is below par. The screen started out bright, but seems to have gotten dimmer, even with brightness adjustment all the way up.

CONCLUSION
As with most things, I have a few gripes. Why 5 stars? A 15.6 inch, HD, 750gb, 2nd gen i5 w/turbo, stylized, dependable notebook, that comes with this type of warranty is hard to find, particularly at $560. You could pay twice as much for a Macbook that would be smaller, slower and less dependable (according to Gizmodo's 'Laptop Reliability Study'). The A53e is a steal. It has the looks and many of the specs of a more expensive model.

EXTRAS
For $23, I purchased an additional 4gb of RAM (for a total of 8gb). The 4gigs works okay, but if you're apt to have 4 or 5 programs running at once or you're into video editing, you might want to bump it up. Even if you don't work your laptop so much, adding the extra 4gb is an easy, affordable way to future-proof your computer. Get it outta the way now. Kingston ValueRam 4GB PC3-10600 L9 204-Pin SODIMM Notebook Memory KVR1333D3S9/4G is compatible & fits perfectly. (See my review there) If you're not a techie, you needn't worry about ruining your laptop. Asus makes it very easy to understand by providing a second empty slot to add 4gb. All you need is a small Philips screwdriver & 5 minutes tops. There are brief, simple tutorials on YouTube as well. Adding RAM is the most affordable way to give some extra speed and extend your computer's relevant life. If you're strapped for cash, the 4gigs will serve you fine for a while.

A word about Windows 7. You can no longer click-drag to re-order files in a folder. You can only rename them alphabetically or numerically. I downloaded IrfanView to work around this. If you want MS Office, but wish to keep your costs under $600, download Open Office at openoffice.org. It's free and offers all the functionality.

This computer doesn't come with recovery disks, so you will need 5 dvd-r disks and an hour & fifteen minutes of your time to create them. The laptop will remind you to create them every time you turn the device on.

I made out like a bandit. I can't believe I nabbed a reputable Asus with 750gb, 2nd gen i5, 8gigs of RAM and 15.6 screen for under $600. Go ahead, shop around. You'll end up right back here for this steal. For the record, Asus & Toshiba make the most dependable laptops. HP, some of the worst.

Got any questions? Lay 'em on me.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ASUS A53E-AS31-RD, April 29, 2012
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This is my first laptop and I was a little nervous shopping. Luckily I got some good advice from friends that recommended that I look at ASUS as they felt that they were the best quality in the lower price range.

I was looking for something I could use to read and chat online, work on office documents, and that could handle playing things like The Sims 2. After weeks of research I decided on the ASUS A53E-AS31-RD.

It arrived quickly and in perfect condition. I found it easy to set up, fast, and it runs quietly. I have had no problems using it for anything I need it to do. I do wish it had came with things like word preloaded, but a quick download from OpenOffice.org fixed that.

Over all I find this to be a fast, easy to use machine, and would gladly recommend it to my friends.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HANDS DOWN THE BEST - ASUS A53E-AS52-WT 15.6-Inch Laptop (White), May 23, 2012
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I own a Gateway 15" i3, I also own a Sony Vaio 15" i5, I also have Alienware i5...and HANDS DOWN this Asus outpreforms them all! It NEVER gets HOT, it's hibernation mode works perfectly, shuts down, open it, hit the space bar key and up it goes just where you left off. YOU WILL NOT FIND A BETTER PC FOR THIS PRICE ANYWHERE! I am now sending back my Sony and buying another Asus from Amazon!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, May 15, 2012
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I really purchased this laptop based on reviews and specs. I only had it for five days so I`ll give my initials impression. I got the black newer Asus. It is black with graphic design. Amazon had previous one listed for $20 less but that one comes with a 500gig hard drive versus 750gig. Fit and finish is great. Nothing feels cheap. Volume is sufficient enough for me. The aluminum trim around the keyboard is a nice finish. It does keep the palm cool. I like that the track pad is closer to the middle so your palm is not accidentally touching it. Laptop is really quiet even under demanding application. Can barely hear a whisper from the fan. Hard Drive noise is very low also. You can hear a hint of it. No vibrations. Screen is nice and clear with different mode settings like; Movie. Battery can last upward of five hours on saving mode. Compared to my two year old Acer Aspire 6930, this thing is really quiet and better Windows Index score. Windows index are:

Processor:6.7
Memory:5.5
Graphic:4.7
Gaming Graphic:6.2
Primary Hard Disk:5.9

There is an extra slot available for memory(Ram) which I will add soon so I will see a higher score. But nothing is slow about this laptop. P.S I don`t play games so I can`t answer that but based on the Gaming Graphic score I`d say it can handle some.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than most budget laptops, April 27, 2012
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have bought and used several brands of laptops over the years, but Asus has come a long way in terms of quality and price, this laptop performs well for watching videos, editing, and web surfing, but would not recommend for gaming, quality of screen is better than any other I have personally viewed, build quality is very sturdy, slight keyboard flex if you push hard on keys, only complaint is bloatware, but removed in about 30 min.,battery life is decent, almost 4 hours of watching movies, no other manufacture offers a better warranty, 24/7 support for one year, and one year accidental breakage where Asus will replace it free
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works for my school needs, June 30, 2012
By 
DanMan (Kenosha, WI) - See all my reviews
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I'm attending The University of Phoenix and I needed a laptop to stay on top of class and assignments when I go out of town. It had to have some decent specs at a low price and this one fit the bill nicely. I bought the i3 version.

I don't understand why all these people have trouble with ASUS quality. I own several ASUS products now including motherboards for some home build desktops and I've never had a single problem with any of them. This laptop is no exception. At least for me....so far.

There are only a couple things I could gripe about this laptop. One is they should have added a second 4GB RAM stick for a total of 8. And the HDD could be at least a 7200RPM drive. Generally the higher RPM, the quicker the drive. The worst bottleneck for any system is the data transfer rate from the HDD. I installed a Corsair SSD in my desktop and everything loads in seconds, including windows boot time. I guess you can't expect more RAM and an SSD in a notbook PC for under 500 bucks though (if only a Zenbook were under 500 bucks). You might want a pair of headphones too for when you want to watch a DVD or listen to some music.

I spent the extra 20 bucks on a RAM stick, 20 bucks on a Logitech wireless mouse (I hate touchpads), and 20 bucks on a case.

Kingston ValueRam 4GB PC3-10600 L9 204-Pin SODIMM Notebook Memory KVR1333D3S9/4G
Logitech M305 Wireless Mouse (Silver)
Case Logic VNA-216 16-Inch Laptop Attache (Black)

After I installed the second 4GB RAM stick, Windows Experience Index (for those who are curious) for the RAM jumped from 5.9 to 7.3. Like E.Brown stated in his review, the process for adding the RAM takes 5 minutes tops. Short tutorials can be found on youtube.

ASUS's included Power4Gear Hybrid power management software is nice for conserving the battery. I got the battery to last just shy of 6 hours while I was writing a paper and surfing the web. It does slow down the speed of the internet in battery save mode though. But not horribly bad. Speaking of included software, There isn't much preloaded software at all (a new smartphone has about 10 times more). Anything you don't want or need you can just uninstall it.

This thing is silent. I can't even hear the HDD spin at all. The optical drive is pretty loud but that's normal. Overall this is a great budget, all-a-round, general purpose notebook.

Oh one more thing. Make sure you have six blank DVD-R disks. The package doesn't contain a factory recovery disk so you are prompted to create your own. The process took an hour and 45 minutes but you'll be happy you spent the time if you ever have a critical system error.

I'll update this review if any issues arise but so far I couldn't be happier with my purchase.

::EDIT::7/1/2012::

I just notice one more thing that is a minor bummer: There is no eSATA port for hooking up an external HDD. Personally, I like to almost exclusively use eSATA for quicker and safer data transfer but USB 3.0 is pretty fast so it's not a big deal at all!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wise investment., June 30, 2012
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This review is from: ASUS A53E-AS52 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black) (Personal Computers)
As I type this review, I am using the computer. I've had it for a whole week now, and so far it has been working just fine as far as the hardware. I haven't went a single day without using it since I got it, so I would say I have had a fair amount of time to judge it. When I was looking for a new computer, I saw that this particular model had very good reviews, although there weren't a whole lot of reviews at the time. I watched as the number of reviews grew, and the overall rating was staying in the 5 1/2 star range. The previous Netbook that I owned was also a model from Asus, so I had a decent idea of the company which I was dealing with, and I expected fairly good quality for a lesser price. After waiting a week for Amazon to ship the computer, and then a few more days for it to arrive, I put it to use immediately.

Now, obviously some people wouldn't agree with me when I say that I find the top of the black model to be very attractive. It has this glossy look, and although it may collect a moderate amount of smudges, in my opinion, it really makes the casing look nice. Also the little graphic pattern that covers the top, I also find it easy on the eyes. I know some reviewers complained about the design, but I like it, and truthfully the pictures on Amazon don't really do it justice.

The keyboard is surrounded by an aluminum coating. This keeps the casing from getting scratched easily, but it also makes the palm rests feel very cool before you start using it. Thanks to "Ice Cool" technology, after prolonged use, the palm rests still stays below body temperature. Also, the keyboard, I like it as well! The keys are perfectly spaced out for me, and they're easy to push in, and provide a very satisfying sound. My only complain with the keyboard is that at times I don't hit the space bar as hard as I need to, and just because of how it's made, it occasionally doesn't register. It's just something that I'm going to have to get used to.

The touch pad is roomy, and sensitive. The finger gesture commands work well- a little too well. I turned them off because it would register things that I didn't intend for it to. As for the buttons, they were no more than I expected based on my last Asus computer. They're loud, and the plastic used feels likely to eventually wear down and basically appear as if it is corroded due to moisture in a fingertip. However, I am one who typically clicks by tapping the touch pad rather than pushing a button, so these issues do not bother me as much.

The speakers, they're decent. As others have already said, they could be louder, but it's not really the volume that's the issue, it's the fact that they sound a bit muffled. Granted, Asus provides a program called "Sonic Focus" on the computer that helps improve the sound. I will say that the speakers were and upgrade from my netbook, so I'm satisfied, yet still not impressed.
On the day I received the computer, I was freaking out because at one point, I couldn't hear a thing. I thought my speakers were messed up and that I would have to send my computer back. Then, I discovered that it was not a hardware issue. I believe the problem lies within Windows 7, because even with headphones I was getting no sound output at all. After a few updates and a couple of restarts, I haven't had any problems with it anymore, but I assume that it was not because of this particular model of computer that it happened in the first place. I also found that there is a mode setting on the computer that you can change to called "Quiet Office" and as long as your computer is in this mode, it cancels all sound output. Other modes include "Battery Saving", "Entertainment", and "High Performance". Each of these modes do make a difference on how the computer performs. On battery saving mode with the brightness of my monitor on the second highest level, I get an average of about 4 hours of constant use.

When I transferred my files from my old computer to this one, all I had available to use was an 8 gig flash drive. I had around 40 gigs to transfer, and I was convinced that It was going to take forever. This computer has 3 USB ports, but one of them is a version 3.0 USB port, which is approximately ten times faster than your standard 2.0 USB that most computers have. Basically, data that was taking about 25 to 30 minutes to copy to my flash drive on my old computer and were being pasted to my new computer in about 3 to 5 minutes, because I was able to use the 3.0 USB port located on the left side of the device.

Video quality is very nice, and on the 15.6 monitor, HD videos show up beautifully. I can thoroughly enjoy all of my videos, and the large screen gives me plenty of space to organize my desktop and windows. I am able to play some games flawlessly on this computer; games like Trackmania or Alien Swarm on Steam (for those of you who know what I'm talking about) run perfectly fine. Even so, I don't use my computer to play a lot of games.

The performance of this computer is as expected, and I'm not saying that is a bad thing. It runs very well, and it's probably the quickest computer I've ever used, considering that we don't usually hold the latest technology in my house. I haven't had it freeze up on me yet, and I can run many programs at a time. The computer is able to connect to my internet very quickly. When I put it in standby, I can always start right back up where I left off, even in the middle of a Youtube video. I want to buy extra ram for it, and upgrade to 8 gigs, that's a fairly inexpensive way to make it even faster.

Overall, I think this computer is well worth the price! People make me nervous when they talk about how theirs messed up after a couple of weeks, however I have not noticed anything in particular that seems to be working incorrectly so far, and I hope that this device will give me a few years of good use like I feel like it will. I fully recommend this computer, and I know that if this one is does get messed up, I would only settle with another one of the same model. I like it that much!
If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them, just leave a comment.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars key feature missing, June 15, 2012
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This review is from: ASUS A53E-AS52 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black) (Personal Computers)
I ordered this laptop based on the positive reviews on amazon as well as an associate's regular business purchases of a different Asus laptop model. While the machine works well, the problem is that the optical device driver won't write to any disc-dvd or cd. I found this out by trying to make the recovery discs. Asus online support had me try several different fixes including downloading a new chipset and updating the bios. Unfortunately, nothing worked. The link to the bios update had me trying to update with an older version of bios-error message came up "build date too old" when I tried use the update. For some reason support would not listen to me telling them that it was a problem with the device, they kept focusing on the AI Recovery program that you use to create the recovery discs. They had me update that program but that link ended up downloading a blu ray version that wasn't on my laptop to begin with. When online support ran out of answers, they told me to call the US service center. A half hour on hold and they wanted me to do a complete recovery of the operating system which means that I lose everything I have created since I got the laptop 4 weeks ago. This makes me not happy. Once I finally convinced them that the problem was with the ODD and not the recovery program, their only solution is to send the laptop back to them. Not happy again. I am guessing this not only means losing the use of the laptop for weeks but I imagine all my stuff will not be kept private or they will do the recovery and I lose everything anyway. No good solutions and a lot of aggravation. After this experience I doubt I will buy any other Asus products.
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