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3.7 out of 5 stars
ASUS 15-Inch D550MA Laptop (OLD VERSION)
Price:$319.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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173 of 179 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
Verified Purchase
Don't listen to all the negative comments unless the computer was a lemon. Someone even had the audacity to say the are going to return their's and buy a mac. If you have money to buy a mac, why would you consider this computer anyway. By the way, I have 3 Mac computers and needed extra computers for my kids to surf, play simple flash online games, do homework, etc. and this is an excellent buy!

I also build computers and you can barely build a desktop computer (including case w/ power supply, HD, MoBo, Ram, DVD and with monitor) in this price range. Yes, the keyboard doesn't have the feel or power of my MacBook Pro, but I spent $1,800 for my mac. So is a fair comparison? No, because they are two different machines with different purposes. However, it is durable and if you have concerns, do what I did. I bought an inexpensive usb keyboard and mouse and let my kids use that without touching the actual laptop keyboard to preserve it.

I bought two and the are serving me and my family well and remember, ASUS is one of the top motherboard manufacturers in the world and I trust them. Also, it has 4 gigs of ram, a 500 GB HD, DVD burner, camera, Intel Dual core processor (and I know it isn't a i3, i5 or i7) and it is 15.4. screen...It's a steal and I don't know how they are making money.

Now, if you are a serious online gamer, do video rendering, audio recording/mixing, etc., then you will bring it to it's knees. But that's why I have my Mac Book Pro which has the i7 processor with hyper-threading which doubles my cores to 8, with 8 gigs of ram and no matter what I throw at it, it handles it with no problem.

Nevertheless, if you are considering a good computer for yourself, kids, significant other, etc.; and they just need to surf, do homework or use Microsoft office, then this is an EXCELLENT buy. I highly recommend this computer!!!!!
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2014
I bought this laptop this weekend for my daughter in college as a replacement, after setting it up I had to learn the win 8 OS as I am more accustomed to win 7.

What I found with this pc was

It is slow, do not expect to go fast, this does have a celeron chip which is dependable but is a little dated.
There is 4 gb of ram, now this is probably minimum to run win 8
The hard drive is adequate at 500gb however the rpm is 5400, again this can be a slow factor.

I have read the reviews here and the positive reviews are on target, it is a great starter pc or inexpensive laptop to get the job done as long as you are not in a rush.

In the end I think if you are looking for performance, pony up the bucks, if however you are looking for something that's light in the wallet and you don't need the speed, this is the one for you.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2014
Verified Purchase
I got this for my sister who is not very computer savvy. Nice screen, fast, lots of memory and big HD for the price. If you have never worked with Windows 8, I would download one of the 99 cent Kindle books for reference as it is quite a bit different in look and feel than windows 7.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2014
Verified Purchase
It's a nice laptop for everyday usage. It won't do any heavy computing or play games that require dedicated graphics, but it's not built for that. Surf internet, check e-mails, use facebook, put an office package on it for school or office - it will do all that just fine. Great that it has DVD-RW when a lot of new laptops go away with it. You buy laptop for mobility, why would you want to carry external dvd-rom with it???
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2014
Verified Purchase
My Acer laptop died from a graphics processor meltdown (2.4 ghz quad core processor, 8gb ram, and I believe integrated intel graphics) and being an in engineer in college I needed something in a hurry to replace it with but I didn't have the spare money to buy something fast and fancy (again I'm in college...) So I found this, it was pretty cheap and I saw that it said it's memory was expandable to 8gb ram. I figured, dual core computer, up to 8 gb of ram, hopefully decent graphics, good enough for me. For now it certainly is good enough. I misinterpreted the expandable ram to think that it had 2 bays. It does not, it only has one bay for memory, and it comes with a 4gb stick installed and all I had were 4 gb sticks, I swapped out to a slightly better one and got a bit of improvement.

Pros:
*Cheap
*Runs surprisingly cool and quietly. Granted it's a new laptop, but I can't remember hearing the fan at all, even when playing graphics and processor heavy games (Well heavy for what this computer is packing) and I've never had it heat up to the point it was uncomfortable.
*Decent battery life
*Not too much bloatware on it preinstalled.
*Office comes preinstalled but unactivated, meaning you have to buy a copy, which is a pain if you're only allowed to use the code you have once and that computer crashes and it's impossible to deactivate that computer to activate office on your new computer.

Cons:
*Video playback sucks. Netflix is choppy and when loaded first the voice and video get out of sync (-Edit- After updating to Windows 8.1 this isn't as much of an issue. I still experience slow out of sync video occasionally but that can be attributed to any number of things)
*Slow. It certainly experiences more than its fair share of slowness (-Edit- Again, 8.1 does a bit to fix this)
*Only one memory bay, which is located underneath the motherboard, meaning the entire computer has to be disassembled to change the RAM.
*Rather short charging cord.
*The track pad is something I also do not like, but this is a personal thing, I'm very picky with my track pads which is why I usually try the computer in store and then buy the same model online.

------------------------------*Edit*-------------------------------------------------
I originally rated this 3/5 stars with the title not the best. But after doing some of the suggested things in the comments, I was able to speed up the laptop a bit.

A few months after reviewing this product the graphics processor fried. This is a bit ridiculous, either I'm doing something wrong or I just have really bad luck with laptops. So in this case I noticed that when I would close my laptop, I'd open it up an hour or two later and it would still be on the desktop (So it never hibernated/went to sleep like it should have). I checked my settings, they were all fine. And it would go to sleep probably 60% of the time. So I think this is what killed the graphics processor in this case.
I'm not sure if that is an error caused by something I installed (I lean more towards something I installed since it usually worked and had been working for quite awhile), or if for some reason it stopped detecting that my screen was closed. So this may or may not be a con. Once I get it back from the repair shop I'll know.

Good news though! I can review this product from a tech support stand point. Tech support was fantastic. I called they got me hooked up with a repair number and all I had to do was mail it in (with my own money, they didn't pay for shipping there). It cost like $20 so it wasn't bad. It was cheaper than buying a new laptop. Since it was under warranty it was a free repair.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2014
Verified Purchase
Overall, I think the Asus D550 is a nice, lightweight, well-built laptop with a bright screen and a decent, but not fabulous, keyboard. The battery and other bits are secure inside the unit, which means you have to open it up should you ever have to disconnect its power for some reason.

My biggest problem with the D550 has been Windows 8, so read the following as a Win 8 review, and weep. I had avoided Win 8 as it has gotten terrible reviews. It's as if Microsoft was angry with tablet users and decided to create an OS that had the worst features of a tablet combined with whatever you don't like about a PC. However, this review is not to discuss the awful look-and-feel. What I wish to share is the horrible problems I had with Windows Update, right out of the box.

My usual habit with a new PC is to install all the bug and security fixes before really trying to use it. This had been painless with both XP and Win 7. Not so Win 8. My initial goal was to update it to the point I could go to the Windows Store and get Win 8.1. If you visit the store it will tell you that you must install all updates first. I went to Control
Panel/Windows Update/Check For Updates. It said there were 95 Important/Critical Updates (what happened to Service Packs?). Thinking this would all be pretty automagical, I pressed Install Updates and expected a painless experience. Wrong!

This is where I discovered the dreaded "Failure configuring Windows updates. Reverting changes..." error. As usual in these cases, I googled the phrase to see if others had shared this same experience. Yeah, lots of 'em. You can read more about this error at support.microsoft.com/kb/949358. What's worse, it became stuck in an infinite loop, i.e. every time it booted it would post this message and grind indefinitely (they say wait 30 minutes - you'll wait way longer with no result). So, thinking I could regain control by pressing F8 and going into Safe Mode, I tried it. Guess what - no more Safe Mode! After searching around I discovered that the features of Safe Mode had been subsumed into a general System Recovery option, which is found by pressing F9. Once there, choose System Restore and choose last update, or some such, it's in the upper left-hand corner. This should return you to the state of the system before you tried the Update. Then, reboot.

If you read article 949358 above, it will suggest you do the "Fix" they have. There is a Fix for Windows Update in the Control Panel, but the one they have a link to is more comprehensive. This probably won't fix things, but it's a good thing to do.

The next thing I tried was only installing one update. Failed again! I was amazed that while a chose only one update, it decided to do 87. How do you fix that? I figured you had to purge all the files it had downloaded previously. To do that, you have to remove files it downloaded. That requires you to delete the folder \windows\softwaredistribution (you must
do this as Administrator). Isn't this fun?

OK, so what did I finally do? Your experience will vary, but try this:

1) Run the Fix on Windows Update found in the Control Panel, or better yet, the one found in article 949358.
2) Do a "Clean Boot". This involves going into msconfig and disabling all non-Microsoft services. See support.microsoft.com/kb/929135
3) Instead of installing all updates, click on the update list and deselect all the Security and .NET updates, i.e. just do the kb updates, found at the end of the list.
4) Once the kb updates are applied, go to the Microsoft Store and click on Update to Windows 8.1. This will involve downloading 3.5GB of files and a long install time, but when you're done you'll have something that looks like a Win 7 Desktop, no ugly tiles. So far, it seems to be running well now.

Sorry for the long post, but I fear many users will blame Asus, when I really think it's Win 8 at fault. If you don't want to deal with all this, find a PC that runs Win 8.1 out of the box. All in all, the D550 seems OK, if a little cheap feeling, which is partly due to its being so light. But for a sub-$300 15.6" Windoze PC with HDMI and a DL DVD drive, I doubt you'll find a better value.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2014
Verified Purchase
This laptop works great! I did have a little bit of a problem at first. I think it was my error that caused the laptop to stop working and couldn't get windows to load up. But, I called ASUS and the very friendly tech walked me through the process to fix it. It has been working like a champ since then. Nice laptop especially for the price and ASUS has a patient savvy tech support.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2014
So far so good. Sound is wonderful. I'm not a huge fan of windows 8. But in general, I can't complain. Its a great buy for all it does, you definitely get bang for your buck.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2014
I've had this laptop about a week now. I didn't buy it from Amazon, but got it from a competitor for $225. Windows 8 can be a clunky and jarring experience, but that's not ASUS fault, it's the fault of Microsoft. It got a free update to 8.1 and I took it. I must confess I'm liking the experience better.

The laptop is a bit bulky and I'll knock a star off for that. I wanted the 15.6 in size (the smaller keyboards are impossible for me to type on) but it still feels like it could've been lighter. Battery life is not great, but again, you get what you pay for it. Performance wise, it works just fine for me. I can surf the web, run Word and do some writing with no problems at all. I'm never going to be able to do any gaming, but that's not why I bought the laptop. Can you get a better quality product for more money? Sure, but you can get get a better quality product than that one for more money too. For what you pay, you get what you expect. I knock a star off for the bulk, but beyond that, it does exactly what I expected at this price and works perfectly for what I need.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2014
Verified Purchase
I use this computer to run one single software program for my business. I lend the computer out to people on my team so I wanted something cheaper, that could run the program efficiently. I have noticed that the keyboard is a little "bouncy" when typing on it... it seems to be made of a pretty thin plastic. Again, I use this only to run one program and it is FANTASTIC for that I also love that it has the 10 key as part of the keyboard. I have not experienced an issue with speed like others have stated.
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