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Customer Review

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous and Powerful Laptop, November 5, 2012
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This review is from: ASUS A55VD-AB71 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black) (Personal Computers)
The ASUS A55VD-AB71 is simply overall an EXCELLENT laptop once you get past one or two minor inconveniences. I bought this to replace my one year old Gateway NV55S04u 15.6-Inch Laptop that I also got from Amazon in 2011. My personal policy is to replace laptops within two years of usage but after seeing this ASUS A55VD and the specs it had I decided to break my custom and make it a one year deal. This is my very first time purchasing an ASUS product as I was skeptical about the brand at first since the name is never really mentioned in regular advertising campaigns in comparison to its rivals such as Acer, Gateway, HP-Compaq, Dell, etc. I have only had it for roughly a week but so far so good.

The good parts about the ASUS A55VD are the blazing fast Core i7 processor, the large 750GB hard drive and the IceCool Palm Rest. I was a little perturbed when I saw that the hard drive was split into two parts, a C: drive and a D: drive; the latter being for data only. While I understand this is for protective means in case of data loss or corruption I didn't find it necessary in my case since I don't believe in filling up laptop hard drive spaces as it causes eventual slowdowns. That being said I used the Windows 7 in-built Computer Management tool to merge the partitions together. I prefer it that way overall.

The memory of 6GB that it came with normally would be sufficient for the average user in conjunction with the Core i7 processor but my personal rule of thumb is to ALWAYS max out computer memory....or get as close to the maximum as one can comfortably afford so I purchased the Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Laptop Memory (CMSX8GX3M2A1600C9) kit at the same time and installed it. The system works like a dream no matter what task you "ask" it to do with this boost.

I usually have the laptop on for 8 or more hours plugged in a day so far and the heat levels are pretty moderate. I can keep it on my lap for quite some time and it doesn't get noticeably hot at all. Even at the bottom of it so kudos to ASUS for an excellent dissipating design. The lower right side of the laptop adjacent to the touchpad does get slightly warm when it's on for several hours but it's not enough to be an issue of discomfort for the right hand when resting on it.

There were two things I were disappointed with however - the volume of the Realtek HD in-built speakers and the hybrid graphics of Intel HD4000/Nvidia 610M. Firstly, the speakers were allegedly to be Altec Lansing according to the info on the Amazon website but that is not the case. The speakers also sound so low even at their maximum that you'd swear something was wrong with your hearing and that you were prematurely going deaf. Even with adjustments made with the Realtek HD Audio Manager the sound increase was next to negligible. Thankfully, however, my years of gained pc skills reminded me that I could use external software to enhance the sound quality. For all those interested you can purchase DFX Audio Enhancer and SRS Audio Essentials. The combination of both have my volume levels for both music and movies operating at desired output far as laptops go at any rate.

Secondly, in regards to the graphics card, in no way was it mentioned on the Amazon site that the graphics would be a combination of Intel HD4000 and Nvidia 610M. It only lists the Nvidia. This disappointed me as I prefer dedicated graphics over embedded ones since the latter eats up part of the ram. Fortunately it seems to only consume 115MB of my 8GB ram. This isn't a deal breaker by any means BUT buyers should always know EXACTLY what they are getting before making a purchase. I will accept no excuse in regards to this from Amazon or ASUS.

Overall the ASUS A55VD-AB71 is a raging beast of a laptop. Just keep in mind that some tinkering has to be done to get it to perform at the optimum levels most enthusiasts and/or gamers are looking for when making a purchase of $700 to $900. Personally I got it at $729 which for a laptop this powerful is a real bargain.

UPDATE December 7, 2012: I decided to test the waters after doing some searches online about it and put in two sticks of 8gb each Corsair 16 GB (2x8 GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800) Laptop Memory CMSO16GX3M2A1600C11 and they took. The ASUS A55VD-AB71's Intel Core i7-processor and chipset can take 16GB of ram as indicated on the Intel website DESPITE the fact the ASUS website says a MAXIMUM of 8GB only. COMPLETELY INCORRECT!!! This will be a welcome update to those who are music, video and graphic artist professionals. I am loving this laptop more and more now.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 26, 2012 4:32:45 PM PST
Evan says:
Friend, you absolutely do want the Intel HD 4000. The major boost in battery life is well worth the minimal consumption of RAM.

The only problem that could arise is if you were to install Linux. I know some onboard/dedicated graphics combos are not supported, making the laptop just have both cards on at all times.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 4:35:13 PM PST
I've gotten used to it actually Evan although I must say when I had a Dell Vostro some years ago that had dedicated Nvidia graphics in it, I didn't even notice any problems with battery life. I was still able to get about 3 to 4 hours of battery runtime.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2012 12:07:45 AM PST
G. Frank says:
This also isn't some run-of-the-mill Intel integrated graphics on the motherboard like everyone is used to hearing about for the past decade. This is a GPU built on the same chip as the CPU. The implications of that are truly remarkable compared to any previous generation "integrated graphics." On a related thought, laptops need to start getting the Virtu treatment to marry the two GPUs like some newer desktop motherboards have.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 11:53:55 AM PST
Istvan says:
Thanks for the info about max memory capacity. I have a i5-2450m and according to intel it can handle up to 16GB RAM, so I'm ordering some extra sticks to increase memory. Currently I only have 8GB as per asus recommendation..

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 2:00:19 PM PST
You are welcome Chris. I have found that despite the recommendations of the manufacturers there are times when the computer can actually withstand greater memory limits. I'll have to keep that in mind for future laptop purchases.

Posted on Jan 30, 2013 4:12:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2013 4:13:11 AM PST
Great review, especially the info on the speaker enhancement software and RAM capacity.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2013 9:37:05 AM PST
Thank you Sweet SYRN. I also discovered and purchased another Audio Enhancing software called Breakaway that can also be used to increase the sound output of the speakers. In many ways it is even better than DFX Audio and SRS Labs.

Posted on Apr 7, 2013 5:29:18 PM PDT
K.Long says:
Thanks for the update. My only draw back for getting this labtop was the memory. 8GB is fast but i wanted more. Didn't want to pay over a $1200 for an i7 16GB labtop with this size screen. Now when i read you updated and it worked, i bought more memory. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2013 5:32:49 PM PDT
You are welcome K. Long. Maxing the memory out to 16GB has been a GREAT help for me so I'm sure it will be to you as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2013 10:21:33 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 7, 2013 10:22:00 PM PDT]
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