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Asus X555LA

Asus X555LA review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £320
inc VAT (as of 28th of May 2015)

Despite a fair few shortcomings the Asus X555LA is a good value budget laptop for those with modest demands

Sub-£400 laptops don’t typically excel at specific tasks but are perfectly capable of basic web browsing, document editing and multimedia playback. The Asus X555LA is one such machine, with a reasonable set of specifications that should suit most everyday needs very nicely – exactly what you want from a laptop at this price.

Build quality is a mixed bag, which should come as no surprise to anyone that’s used a budget Asus laptop in the last few years. The concentric circles surrounding the Asus badge on the lid is a nice touch, as is the lightly dotted texture on the silver keyboard tray, but it all feels distinctly cheap, with a lot of flex in the lid.

Input devices

There’s a fair amount of flex from the keyboard tray too but, it’s nowhere near as bad as some of the finger trampolines that could be found on some of Asus’ older laptops. We actually found ourselves building up quite a bit of speed on the black Chiclet keys. We had no problems with missed keystrokes and were also pleasantly surprised by how quiet the keyboard is. The touchpad is reasonably responsive too, although Windows 8 gestures such as pinch-to-zoom are a bit clunky and don’t feel particularly precise. This isn’t exactly out of the ordinary for a budget laptop though. The touchpad makes a loud and hollow-sounding noise when you click it, which could be irritating if you’re working in a quiet place such as a library.

Ports and slots

Two USB3 ports on the left of the laptop and a third USB on the right, there should be ample space for peripherals and external storage. HDMI and VGA video outputs make it easy to hook up to a desktop monitor or office projector, and you also get a DVD-RW optical drive in addition to an SD card reader, so you’ll be well served if you have a collection of movies or take a lot of photos. Finally, a single 3.5mm combined audio in and out jack is par for the course at this price.

The speakers are also exactly what we would expect from a budget laptop; they might be reasonably loud and there’s a tiny hint of stereo separation from the two down-firing tweeters, but music sounds tinny and speech suffers too, somehow sounding significantly quieter than music at the same volume. You’ll definitely want to use a pair of headphones with the X555LA.


The screen is a little bit disappointing too. The glossy display suffers from glare and reflections when working in direct sunlight or under bright overhead lighting, and there’s a noticeable amount of colour shift from the top to the bottom of the screen, even when you’re viewing it straight-on.

The 1,366×768 resolution means objects onscreen appear larger than they would on a 15.6in Full HD panel, but it lacks the fine details you’ll find on a higher resolution screen. You also can’t comfortably put two windows side-by-side for speedy multitasking.

The screen only covers 63.7% of the sRGB colour gamut, leaving most colours looking a little washed out. This, paired with 373:1 contrast ratio, means that detail in photographs is left a bit washed out, and the high 0.52cd/m2 black levels leave a distinct hint of grey on black onscreen items such as text.

Performance and benchmarks

At least performance was otherwise fairly sprightly. The X555LA uses a 4th generation Intel Core i3-4030U processor, a dual-core chip running at 1.9GHz. There’s only 4GB of RAM on board, but seeing as this isn’t a laptop aimed at video editors or multitaskers that shouldn’t be a major issue. If you do want to add more memory, a removable panel on the underside of the laptop lets you access a single empty RAM slot. This is the only easily accessible part of the interior, and the battery isn’t removable either, meaning almost complete disassembly to replace the 1TB hard disk.

Running the X555LA through our benchmarking tests yielded results of 46, 32 and 7 respectively in the single-core image conversion, video rendering and ultra-challenging multitasking test, giving us an overall score of 22. For the purposes of this laptop you should ignore the rather harsh 7 in the multitasking test as you’re unlikely to ever subject this machine to such intense usage. Actual performance in day-to-day tasks will be just fine.

The X555LA also put in a reasonable result in our moderate usage battery test for a budget laptop, lasting five hours 18 minutes. However, it means you won’t be able to rely on it for an entire day of working off the grid.


In the end, the Asus X555LA’s shortcomings are to be expected for a laptop with such a low price. If you have modest demands and want to spend around £300, it’s a great Windows-powered choice. Toshiba’s Chromebook 2 is a viable alternative, costing £50 less with a Full HD display, if you don’t mind being restricted to Google’s Chrome OS. If that doesn’t suit your needs either then check our regularly-updated Best laptops and buying guideBuy Now from Amazon.

Core specs
ProcessorDual-core 1.9GHz Intel Core i3-4030U
Memory slots (free)2 (1)
Max memory8GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio (3.5mm headset port)
Pointing deviceTouchpad
Screen size15.6in
Screen resolution1,366×768
Graphics adaptorIntel HD Graphics 4400
Graphics outputsVGA, HDMI
Graphics memoryShared
Total storage1TB hard disk
Optical drive typeDVD+RW
Ports and expansion
USB ports2x USB3, 1x USB
Networking802.11n Wi-Fi, gigabit Ethernet
Memory card readerSD, SDHC, SDXC
Other portsNone
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionWindows 8.1 restore
Asus X555LA review
Gaming Laptops

Despite a fair few shortcomings the Asus X555LA is a good value budget laptop for those with modest demands

£320 inc VAT (as of 28th of May 2015)