Customer Reviews: ASUS V551 15-Inch Laptop [OLD VERSION]
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on August 25, 2013
I am wondering if the reviewer who gave the one star is knowledgeable at all about computers. I design them and I have to say the low power cpu, 15 w compared to one using much more translates into long battery life. Face it if you just use a base number and say it is terrible, you dont understand that the cpu speed scales with need. most time in a computer the cpu does little and its response is not required to be fast for those tasks as it is wasting power. this cpu can run from 1.8 to over 3 ghz depending on the need and allowing lower power consumption. The new Haswell processor also has a number of features that make it more efficient at lower speed meaning to accomplish a task it does not need to run as fast as an older processor to do the same work. Maybe the person giving only one star works for apple, or maybe is just computer illiterate but either way it is saddening to see ranting rather than facts in reviews.
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on January 5, 2014
*****A note: After several months with this laptop, I am happy with it, and the current price ($845) is just a bit higher than acceptable, but is perfect if bought used. HOWEVER! There is a new version of this laptop with a better graphics card and MUCH better CPU: the N550JK-DS71T for $1100 ($1000 used.) It has a touchscreen, but STILL NO BACKLIGHT! When will they learn?? Anyway, for that same price, the Levono 59425944 laptop has the same $1100 price tag, with the same specs (sans touch screen,) BUT with a solid state cache, and most importantly, a BACKLIT KEYBOARD!! The speed of an SSD, and the usefulness of a backlit keyboard are two vital things that I've been missing from my old hulk of a gaming laptop. In my honest opinion, the Levono is the best deal of the three right now, with this laptop being good as a "budget" priced PC. I've found that, over the months of owning this laptop, the touchscreen has been useful (I love the picture passwords,) but not critical to the function of the computer itself. I take back what I say below about the touchscreen being essential to the "Windows 8 experience." The original review and updates are as follows:********

This is more or less a first impressions review. I've put it through its paces, and I feel I can accurately review its performance. The review may change if the laptop falls to pieces over the next few months. ***EDIT AT THE BOTTOM, NEW INFO***

I'm perfectly happy with this laptop, and if the price I had paid for it ($750 used including a gift card) been the standard price, or $50 more, I would give it 5 stars. Unfortunately, for close to $1000 new, it is lacking a lot of features for a laptop of its price. Its hard drive is slow (which i'll fix with a hybrid drive,) the keyboard is not backlit (which should be a standard feature in my opinion,) and the wireless card is not dual-band (and I KNOW you can get those cheap. I bought an intel card WITH bluetooth AND dual band wifi for $25 for a friend, here on amazon.)

But on the other hand, the performance and touchscreen almost make up for it. It games great (for reference: plays Bioshock Infinite on medium or high depending on if your want 60 FPS or not,) and is otherwise speedy at everyday tasks.

A note for the gamers: I had trouble playing games initially (games defaulting to VERY low settings,) and I found out that the computer also has integrated Intel graphics in the CPU as well as the Nvidia GPU. The Nvidia control panel defaults to the intel graphics (good for most things that aren't video games,) and is supposed to switch automatically to the Nvidia chip when it needs it, but it never does. You have to open the control panel, go to 3D settings, and either set up a rule for every game/program you have, or do what I did, and set the default to the "High performance NVIDIA Processor." This will probably take a toll on your battery life, but so far, my battery still lasts at least 4 hours when I'm not playing games. I also recommend going to the Nvidia website and installing the GeForce Experience program immediately. It does a good job of changing settings for games to get the most out of them, and in my case, fixed the driver updater, which was broken on my computer.

Along with that, I find the touchscreen functions vital to the Windows 8 experience. being able to swipe the edge of the screen to swap between active apps/windows is very useful, along with the multi-touch functions of the touchpad (mainly the 3-finger swipe down to minimize all windows.)

So all in all, this laptop is AMAZING for the price I bought it, but they are using the touchscreen as a marketing gimmick to jack up the price. If you want this laptop but you don't feel like wasting your money, BUY IT USED from one of the Amazon Warehouse resellers. I bought a "used-very good" one, and it arrived in all but brand new condition. I bought one that had "all original accessories" and came in the original box, but the accessories were a user manual and a hand-sized microfiber cloth, so you could probably get away with one of the repackaged ones with just the AC adapter, which would bring the price below $800.

Oh, and ONE LAST THING: This thing puts out an incredibly small amount of heat! My last laptop was a gaming one from about 4 years ago, and was on about the same performance level as this laptop. This laptop gets "mildly warm" when I play games, as apposed to my old one, which PHYSICALLY HURT you when you put your hand over the exit vent (as in, you can't hold your hand there for more than a few seconds or else you start cooking your fingers.) It puts out an insanely small amount of heat in my opinion, and has hardly risen above the ambient room temperature until I load up a game (which you will definitely need a cooling pad for.)

I see now that the price has gone down to $750 new, and now I think the price is acceptable. Some things have been fixed, and some new problem have arisen. I'm fairly sure the issue with graphics switching has been fixed, which is good, but I'm having a time with the touchpad. It is at the same time too sensitive and not sensitive enough, usually with the 2-finger scrolling. sometimes I have to move my fingers around for a while before it registers that they are there, and sometimes it registers my scrolling as pinch-zoom halfway through and the page size goes all over the place. That doesn't happen TOO often though, so I can overlook it.

Also, invest in a screen protector. Not really to protect the screen, but because the protector feels a better to use than the flat glass, and the glare filter helps a lot. I bought this one, and it does well: PcProfessional Screen Protector for Asus 15.6" Vivobook/ X550CA/ N56VZ/ G55VW/ N550JV/ K53U/ X501A/ K55 Matte Finishing Anti Glare Anti Scratch filter radiation+ high quality microfiber cloth

I finally got around to buying a hybrid drive, and loading times for many things have improved significantly. Because I have the laptop loaded down with so many running programs (I usually run between 3 and 4GB of RAM usage at idle,) shutting down, restarting, and even waking the thing up was taking about 10x longer than it did when I first got it. Several programs I use frequently also start much faster, which is exactly what I was hoping for. After 10 hours (I have a lot of stuff on there,) I got my files copied to the new SSHD, and LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU SOMETHING ABOUT WINDOWS 8 BIOS's: they do NOT LIKE to boot from things that aren't windows 8.

I cloned (1:1 exact copy, so I can replace the old hard drive and the computer will immediately work like nothing happened,) my old hard drive to the new one, which means I had to boot the computer from a CD or USB drive running cloning software (since you can't clone Windows while you're using it,) and I had to jump through hoops to get my USB stick to even show up in the BIOS: First you have to disable Secureboot, and a few other UEFI features, THEN you have to save, reboot, open the BIOS AGAIN, and enable legacy BIOS features. THEN you can boot from other media. AND DON'T FORGET TO CHANGE BACK AFTERWARDS! Or else Windows 8 won't boot!

I also bought a 64GB SSD to move windows onto, so the computer boots even faster, and I like how easy it was to install it. I just popped it in, and it showed up in the Disk Management utility. After reinstalling Windows 8.1 onto the SSD, the computer boots MUCH faster, and the touchpad issue I mentioned above has gone away. I've had the SSD for about a month now, and the problem hasn't come back, so I can only assume it's fixed.

So in conclusion: Laptop still works great, runs like new after SSHD+SSD upgrade, I want to have some *ahem* words with whoever wrote the UEFI/BIOS.
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on August 21, 2014
I have an older ASUS laptop and this one is certainly an improvement in some ways. I have had the laptop for a little over a month now. I bought it online without testing it/seeing it first. First, it is much faster upon start up and waking back up from "sleep." It also has more storage, which is nice.

The reason I am giving this computer only 2 stars is the touchpad is extremely sensitive and keeps randomly zooming in and out. Maybe it's user error and there's a way to keep it from doing that, but I haven't figured that out yet. It's to the point where I am now using a mouse and hate using the computer unless I'm at a desk or table which partially negates the purpose of having a laptop. Ironically, I also find the touchpad less responsive at the same time! I am generally very frustrated with this computer right now and regret buying it before testing it out first. If I find a way to fix the issues with the touchpad, I will post a revision.
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on April 6, 2014
I love this laptop. It took me weeks to choose a laptop to replace my dead one, and I am so glad I chose this one. The cons I saw on the other online reviews mostly talked about crappy speakers, that it's heavy, and the keys aren't backlit. I didn't care about any of these things, so I bought it anyway. The non-lit keys are not even an issue for me, so that ceased to be a con. The speakers are more then sufficient (and I paid extra for my first laptop to have superior speakers. So far these seem equal to those.) so that becomes a pro. Then as far as the weight goes, I don't think it's heavy at all. I carry it to class with me either in my backpack or my laptop case, and it is a non issue. Is it "light"? Probably not, but it's certainly not heavy. The most difficulty I have had is with the Windows 8 OS, but I'm getting used to it. It's not as different as it seems. The touch screen is a godsend with Windows 8, though. It's so intuitive, but it also works fine if you don't use it. You will have full operating capabilities either way, but it's way easier to have the touch screen there. The battery life is awesome too. It can easily last me through my classes. I'd been using it unplugged for about 3 or 4 hours, and it's been sleeping unplugged for about 9, and I still have over an hour left, while I'm multitasking. It's worth the money!
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on February 12, 2015
This is very unreliable notebook. During the first year I sent it for repair 3 times! Display, motherboard, power button were replaced. Finally, after many negotiations with the ASUS rep, it was replaced for a refurbished one. Three month after, one of the buttons on keyboard fell off and I do not really want to contact ASUS again for repair as it takes so much time to move all programs and documents out and then re install them. Moreover, I will be without a computer for at least 18-30 days again. So, I use it without down arrow key. This unit costs much to expect a proper functioning and decent quality. I stopped keeping files on the notebook's hard drive as I worry it will quit one day again and I will loose my files. It is my first negative feedback in my life and unfortunately it is for the ASUS product. I could have bought a better notebook for this price.

Update 08/19/15
It's already 5th time it stops working for the same reason - it does not turn on. ASUS support is not going to repair it for free as it's out of warranty.
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on September 12, 2014
Now this is my first windows 8.1 computer, and my first Asus as well. Yes, it is made of aluminum-like plastic. But I can hardly consider that a complaint. For a computer its size, its pretty light, and feels sturdy enough. This laptop is fast, holds charge pretty well, and is visually appealing. Read the specs, it packs a wallop of features. I use it for business purposes, and recreation while traveling.

I rarely use the built in speakers, but no one should expect good bass (which is the common problem) from speakers this size. I have a Creative D100 to use as portable speakers.

The one real complaint I can summon is that doesn't have the best screen resolution. Its not bad either, but I'm used to better. That could be a problem if you are into photography editing. It also should have been antiglare, but then again I think that wouldn't feel nice on a touchscreen.

Oh, and I could do without the Asus bloatware though. None of it is useful to me.

I was going to give it 4/5 because of that, but the DVD drive is a very rare feature in computers this size.

I needed a portable computer with an SD card, slot, camera, bluetooth, and DVD Drive. This baby has all I asked for. Nice looks. Light. feature packed and out performs most. I definitely love this laptop.
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on October 9, 2014
I'll be honest this laptop could be a lot better. It's fast, but could be faster for the price. The keyboard isn't backlit but it should be at this price and the screens colors are dull; also the brightness is mediocre at best. I keep trying to turn up the brightness thinking it's down when it is all the way up. Then there is this stupid asus help button next to the backspace button that I constantly hit. It's super aggravating! To top it all off, not sure if it's a hardware issue or what but the HDMI stopped working. It's not my cord or tv because I tested it on my now six year old sony vaio and it works fine. I want to return but at this point I just don't think I am going to find a decent sized touchscreen asus or lenovo laptop an with i7 core in it. Definitely disappointed. Wish vaio didn't sell it's name.
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on December 13, 2013
Thank you all who answered my questions. There was an issue with the first laptop they sent me, the camera didn't work. My first reaction was get in touch with Asus and try to fix it, since I thought it was a missing driver. But after several attempts we came to the conclusion it was hardware malfunction. I, then, wrote to Amazon and amazingly as always they sent me a new one right away. I have already sent my old one back and I have been working in this new one for days and it's fantastic. I am not a computer literate, but features I like are based on: the looks (since it so slim and yet it has an optical drive), the touchscreen, the keyboard (I work a lot with numbers and the numeral pad was a must for me, plus keys are really easy and comfortable) the trackpad (I was not quite sure it would work as the one on the Macs, but now I know better, and if you are not a big fan of smart gestures, it's way easy to change the settings and keep it as a regular trackpad). Speaking of performance is not something i would feel confident to comment, I will only say it is really fast. I have never been a real fan of windows but I'm getting to like this new concept the 8 has thrown out there (8.1 since yesterday, but I have not had time to play around with it).

Completely satisfied with my purchase. And those out there not wanting to be a part of the apple herd, buying Apple products just because, (I don't mean any disrespect, I am writing from my iPad, it's just that sometimes we buy something because almost everyone else does, without doing any research or weighing our options), this is a laptop, shoulder to shoulder with the Apple Laptop (even with some additional features not offered on the Mac) and for half of the price.
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on December 31, 2013
I have only had this for about a week now, but so far it is great. The touch screen is a must if you are going to have Windows 8 operating system. The graphics are good and the speed is excellent. I am not much for gaming, but my son is and he put a couple games on here and they are smooth and clear. This is a great buy.
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on December 28, 2013
The first one I received had faulty wireless. I expect the wireless antenna was disconnected from the connector as the adapter worked but was very sporadic in being able to connect. Having disassembled many laptops, I know the wireless antenna connector is very touchy, and not having it connected securely would likely cause this kind of an issue. In any case, I returned the defective one for a new one, and am writing this review using that one right now.

Let's get a few facts straight. Having read the other reviews... It absolutely is a touch screen, and the screen works flawlessly.
The 5400 RPM disk may be governing the overall "snappiness" of the machine, but the CPU is a 3rd generation i7 with a max speed of 3.8GHz. It will throttle down to 1.8GHz **:
Version: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4500U CPU @ 1.80GHz
Voltage: 1.2 V
External Clock: 100 MHz
Max Speed: 3800 MHz
Current Speed: 1800 MHz

The 8Gb of RAM is furnished in two 4Gb DDR3 1600 MHz SODIMM, with maximum RAM of 32Gb using 4 x 8Gb SODIMM.

As I have little use for Windows, I opted to reload the laptop with Linux Mint Petra 64-bit, and found the installation and configuration to be absolutely turnkey. The wired and wireless networking is flawless, as is the dual-screen capabilities, as I am using an Asus VS247 connected via the HDMI as my second display. I've just done some scanning using my Epson perfection v700 photo scanner, and have found that a 4800 DPI large format transparency scan completes in less than 3 minutes. These scans were taking upwards of 12 minutes each on my old desktop, so this is a vast improvement and very portable to boot!

I am absolutely delighted with the V551LB-DB71T, and have only taken away 1 star due to the defective initial unit.
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