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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2012
After spending a week and many hours with the Asus A55, here's the skinny.

Build quality is pretty good, nothing twists or was loose. All the keys worked. The screen resolution, as has been mentioned, is probably not the right one for the screen, but it's no worse than my previous Toshiba Satellite and is quite fine. The screen works without any "frizzes" or "jiggles" (important for previous HP laptop owners).

One warning on the listing on Amazon... the rebate is listed for this model under K55, but it's only to re-imburse you for the Win8 $14.99 upgrade special... you don't get $14.99 off the machine price.

Now to brass tacks. THE KEYBOARD... key islands, but not back-lit. There seems to be more space surrounding the keys than is really necessary, so I would strongly recommend getting a keyboard cover to stop dust, etc., from getting inside. The Delete key is in two places, both inconvenient: a half-sized key in the Function row and in the right bottom corner of the number pad. They've placed the insert key right beside it so it's nearly impossible to use it without looking which is more than a bit annoying. Home and End cursor buttons are at the 7 and 1 on the number pad and one wonders if the designer had ever used a keyboard before. Not intuitive at all and it's still tough even after extensive use to get used to Home, "up", End of line "down." Ugh. The feel overall is fine albeit a tiny bit mushy on the downstroke, but it springs up positively on the upstroke. Several here have noticed the sensitivity of the touchpad when typing... ASUS placed a toggle combination (Fn+f9) in the Function keys to disable the touchpad while typing (yes the touchpad has a special feature that senses when the pad is being touched and when it's just your palms touching to stop cursor travel. It works, but only if your palm is flat on the panel with pressure, a light touch of the palm will move it). The Function key disable is a great feature, but it would be FAR better to have a dedicated key just for that feature, since typing is a big use of the keyboard (!). Incidentally, the touchpad also has a gap around it that likes to collect the schmutz as well. As for the feel of it, it's not glass like Apple's, a little rougher to the touch, but it works as well if not better than Apple's. You will have to adjust the sensitivity of it though - use the Mouse adjustment in Control Panel to access it under "Elan". I had a problem with pop-up boxes being magnified whenever I scrolled using the touchpad which was fixed by adjusting it.

One more slight annoyance is the placement of the function lights. The on/off switch has a top-side white LED that is several magnitudes brighter than a full Moon and a red or green would have much better. The status lights are located on the side front with the icons on the palm-rest. It would've been more convenient to have the lights with the icons, but that's a minor.

THE GUTS: First, if you plan on having 40 Gigs of programs or more, you'll definitely need the additional 4GB RAM. I have 40GB in use on the C: and 5GB on the D: and am at over 40% on the RAM if I have just two or three programs running simultaneously. To correct the one Commenter who indicated that the Hard Drive wasn't the advertized 750GB... well, the drive is partitioned into a C: and D: (which ASUS labels "Data"), which is normal procedure these days... so, it's there.

THE BATTERY: Seems great so far... I've used it on battery and it's comparable at this point with my wife's Apple.

THE VERDICT: You know, overall, this machine is quite fine. I like having the Apple-like functionality of the touchpad (always found myself running two fingers down the Toshiba touchpad after having used hers for awhile!). It seems to take a bit longer than I'd expected in boot-up - even in sleep-mode it's no Apple, but that's more Windows fault than the hardware, of course. I like the blue case and the mottled look as well. I'm not sure the dedicated number pad is necessary, but it would've been better if the "5" had a dimple on it for tactile use of the keyboard. There's nothing that makes you go "wow", but there's nothing that makes you cringe either. It's got a decent factory warranty, still has high grades in durability (which was my main selling point), and even has a USB3 connection as one of the 3 USB ports as well (plus an SD reader). I searched for hours to find this machine after a sudden HD crash on the Toshiba and can honestly say that I'm glad I found it and didn't go with any of the others I'd had an eye on. The quality and price are just right. Four stars out of five for the key annoyances.

[as an aside, I'm running Libre Office Suite with an HP Deskjet and the ASUS runs them all perfectly.]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
I've been happy with other Asus products that I've purchased (an eeePc netbook and a eeePad tablet), so when my wife decided she wanted a new laptop, we naturally started looking at Asus products. She really liked the red A55A, so I dove into the reviews here at Amazon. I noticed a couple of complaints about the spacebar not working, but I figured they were rare defects and that my unit would be fine.

I figured wrong - as others have reported here, the space bar on the Asus A55A won't register a keypress unless you hit it *hard*, dead-center. We immediately returned the unit for credit and purchases a Lenovo z585 instead.

Other than the space bar, we did like everything about this laptop - the style and color were great, the screen was wonderful, and the machine seemed to be very fast. But the space bar was a show stopper.

Maybe the space bar problem really is a rare defect and I'm just one of the unfortunate few affected by it, but hey, it happened to me, so I'm putting this out there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2012
This laptop was purchased for my wife beginning graduate school in January. The specs and price point were what we were looking for, however, the keyboard is just not up to par. As mentioned in other reviews, the spacebar did not work except about 1/2 of the time. In general, the keyboard felt cheap, with lots of flex. This is just not acceptable for a laptop that will be used for school and we have just returned it.

That being said, I own another model ASUS laptop that works flawlessly, along with an ASUS motherboard and graphics card in my desktop. This particular model is just not as well built as I have come to expect from ASUS.

Hope this helps. This computer may be great for someone that does not do much typing, but stay away if you are a student or otherwise do much typing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2013
My 3 year old Macbook was on its last legs for the past few months and finally died on Christmas Eve. I hesitantly ordered this laptop on Christmas day and Amazon/UPS was great in getting the order to me in just 2 days. Kudos again to Amazon for their service.

I was aware of the complaints about the laptop (touchpad sensitivity & space bar issues) and can concur with people on the touchpad but I have no issues with the space bar on my unit. The touchpad is extremely sensitive and the ElanTech software that is included with the laptop is even worse. The settings that I apply to the touchpad to turn it off (Control Panel > Mouse > Elan tab) do not work unless you fiddle with them for a while. I'm very close to just turning the touchpad off completely either in BIOS or uninstalling the driver and using the laptop with a mouse at all times it's so bad. -1 star off the review for the touchpad alone.

The laptop itself looks very nice with the color combo and the 'carbon fibresque' cover but the build quality is very plasticky. Now I completely expected that for a laptop of this price so I'm not complaining about it, just making an observation. The full size keyboard is a nice feature and the keys are very easy to type on but I really do miss not having the backlit keys like on the Macbook. Not a big deal but just a minor gripe, no fault of Asus though.

Laptop booted up fine and quickly and I was surprised to see there wasn't much bloatware from other vendors. I saw some McAfee anti-virus, Microsoft Office 10 trial, and some Cyberlink Media stuff mainly. The bloatware is only noticed when you look at the Asus folder in the start menu and see all of their own products loaded on the laptop. Googling the various programs I read that most of them could be uninstalled safely while not affecting the usage of the laptop (Fn keys, webcam, lights etc.) I uninstalled most shipped software and replaced them with my own preferred versions.

Once my warranty period is up I will eventually do a clean install of Windows 7 while repartitioning the hard drive. As it arrived the 750gb hard drive was separated into two drives of 279/393gigs each with a hidden recovery partition of 25gigs. There's still some unaccounted for space that I'm guessing is some hidden unpartitioned (i.e wasted) space.

As the laptop does not come with recovery discs be sure not to delete the hidden recovery partition. If something goes wrong with the laptop you'll need that or you'll have to pay $50 for a disc from Asus to recover. I understand Asus is a business and that $50 recovery disc is a very profitable practice with the laptops but not including a simple recovery disc just seems a little shady in my eyes. -1 star for that as well.

If you do pick up this laptop I highly recommend getting another stick of 4 gig DDR3 1600mhz RAM as it's very affordable at $20 on most sites and having 8 gigs of RAM is really the 'sweet spot' now for most users in a home environment. My laptop shipped with a stick of Kingston Value (which is a solid brand) but I replaced both sticks with G.Skill versions and it runs very smooth. You can Youtube a video of how to install the RAM as it's a simple snap in process.

So how is the performance? It's very good in fact for a sub $500 laptop. It handles all my daily browsing/email/video stuff more than adequately and surprisingly it handles some games very well to boot. I really didn't expect it to run the games tested but I think even the newest games on the market could run smoothly (albeit on lower graphics settings)

I've only had the laptop for two weeks so I'll obviously have to live with it for more time to give any comments on durability/customer service but I will update the review if something unfortunate happens to the laptop.

Overall I'm quite pleased with the laptop for the purchased price. Unfortunately checking the price now I see that it has gone up considerably from when I ordered. I would be hesitant to recommend the laptop at the current price without comparing other models from either Asus or other companies.

Again, I will update this review as needed in the future once I've spent more time with it.

Thanks for reading.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2012
Just receivedthislaptop today andasyou cansee I am havingbig problems withthe spacebar not workingproperly. I saw this mentioned in a coupleof reviews but most reviewers didnot mentionit so Ithought it wasafluke but as you can see thisspacebar is notworking as itshould. Iam not going tofightwith this every timeI wantto use keyboard so itisgoing back tomorrow. If not for this problem I would keep it and wouldhave ratedit 5 stars - but a nonfunctioning spacebar is unacceptable.

UPDATE ON REPLACEMENT LAPTOP(SAME MODEL)12/18/12:
Dear Tien: I am emailing you about the replacement laptop that I received a few weeks ago. I returned the first model due to spacebar problems. The spacebar on the new laptop works most of the time (but still sticks occasionally) but I have the following problems which will result in me either returning this one or requesting that it be repaired. I am hesitant to request repairs since it is brand new and should not need any repairs at this point. Here are the problems I have regularly encountered every time I use this laptop:

1. When on the internet I get a notice every single time that Internet Explorer has a problem and had to shut down. It will then shut down and come back up quickly so sometimes I am still on the page and continue what I was doing. However, my old laptop which I have still been using does not have this Internet Explorer shutdown issue so I know the problem is with this laptop and not my service provider.

2. Every single time I turn this laptop on I get the following 3 error messages:

ATK0100 request: You have to install ATK0100 driver.

ERROR: Cannot open ACPI ATK0100 kernel mode driver.

P4G: This program can only be executed on the ASUS computer.

As I have typed this email I have had spacebar problems plus the cursor has jumped around so much that I had to undo and retype several parts. I am sure I will be returning this for a refund while I still have that window of opportunity but I would appreciate your reply to these problems. I am not a computer tech. and do not want to try any fixes myself. I feel that a new laptop should work correctly right from the start. Thank you for your reply to my original review and I look forward to your reply to this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2013
I have had my HP laptop for the last 7 years, along with a desktop pc, and a Dell laptop for work. I just purchased two different Asus products and am HIGHLY disappointed in both. The first was a case of not liking Windows 8 for a non touch pad laptop. But neither Microsoft or Asus was willing to help me downgrade to Windows 7 so I returned that laptop. Re-purchased another Asus with 7 to give them the benefit of the doubt. Spent the better part of 3 days trying to burn recovery disks. Why can't they just include them? The first disc burned fine, the subsequent 10 were chewed up and spit out by the computer. Another trip back to the store for a different kind of dvd's and $40 later, the computer ate those as well. After a call to Asus, they explianed that maybe the computer does not like that brand of dvd. Really?! So now, a 3rd trip back to the store, another $25 invested, and a full day of burning resulted in reovery dvds. That seems a little over the top. Two days later, the keypad locks, but I can't get on the computer to look up the problem, because its locked. Another call to Asus and they want to spend 30 minutes taking in all my info again so they can create a ticket. I have never spent so much wasted time with a computer. HP was always very efficient and helpful and I loved that computer. BIG mistake here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2012
I ordered this product because in the past I have had success with ASUS (Transformer Prime) and because it was competitively priced. I have not had an issue with the speakers although I do not watch many videos and mostly use my computer for school/to look up quick info or for sports. This computer is very fast which is what I wanted and has good graphics. I also love the Webstorage, my old Dell did not have this but now my tab, comp, and phone are all synced up.

The only negative I have about the product is that my computer has twice shut off at random in the 2 weeks since it was purchased. Once I was browsing and once I had just started a paper for school (it did not save the doc). If this occurs again in the next couple of weeks I will probably return the product for an exchange of the same item since no one else seems to be having these problems.

Bottom Line is if you are looking for a fast computer at a great price, at the very least this one should be considered.

UPDATE** Since my last post computer has not shut itself off at all and still works great
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2012
This laptop is great spec wise, until you receive the product. Right out of the box, it looks nice, comes in neat packaging, but then on start up I discover...

The spacebar is retarded, only working less than half of the time.

THEN, I discover the wireless card is broken, prompting an immediate return to Amazon with great service on Amazon's part

On the next laptop I receive, same problem, broken wireless card. I installed every driver, restarted my router, done everything to try to get the wireless adapter to work, but none prevailed.

In short, DO NOT BUY THIS LAPTOP!!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2012
I HAVE PURCHASED THIS LAPTOP ON SEPTEMBER26,2012 AND WHEN IT ARRIVED IT WAS THE BEST THING I HAVE PURCHASED IN 2012.

BOX AND PACKAGING WAS HANDLED AND MAINTAINED SAFELY
LAPTOP IS VERY THIN AND LOOKS STYLISH
WORKS GREAT ON WIRELESS IF YOUR INTERNET SPEED IS FAST
MOVIES,MUSIC STREAM AND GRAPHIC ARE VERY CRISP AND CLEAR
ICE COOL TECHNOLOGY KEEPS HANDS COOLER FOR LONG TIME AND BATTERY LIFE IS JUST THE BEST SO FAR

I RECOMMEND IT FOR ENTERTAINMENT, OFFICE USE AND PERSONAL DELIGHT
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2012
I was excited to get this new laptop. The brand was recommended by my IT guy. I am MONUMENTALLY disappointed. Even as I try to type this review my cursor goes off to never-never land and I have no idea why or what happened. Sometimes I even end up on another screen. It has something to do with the keyboard and mouse. The keyboard is smaller than normal because it has a number pad on the side. The keys are not very tall and my nails slip off easily. As for the mouse, well, it just doesn't work like any other laptop I've used. Very difficult to control. The spacebar makes the screen scroll in the middle of typing for no apparent reason. The speakers are still on the underside of the computer, which makes hearing the sound and listening to music nearly impossible. While I've got a browser window open the computer will shut down for no reason. Just lost the last sentence I wrote because of this keyboard. Aaaargh! What I'm trying to say is, do not order this laptop. There are many others that are better. I've had this for 2 weeks. RETURNING!
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