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Asus K53S review

Barry de la Rosa
29 Apr 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
530
inc VAT

The K53J looks like a decent-value budget laptop at first glance, but the dedicated graphics card isn't up to much

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The last K-series laptop we saw from Asus was its K52JC, which impressed us with its smart design and switchable graphics - it was one of the first laptops we'd seen with Nvidia's Optimus technology. The K53S follows in its footsteps, with a new Nvidia graphics card plus a new Intel Core i3 processor.

Asus K53S

The i3-2310M may be the slowest of the new chips, but a score of 41 in our new benchmarks puts it on a par with middle-range chips from only a few months ago. With two cores and Intel's Hyper-Threading technology, it doesn't slow down much when multiple applications are running.

There's a dedicated graphics card in the form of an Nvidia GeForce GT 520M. Although it has 1GB of memory, it performed poorly in our Call of Duty 4 test, scoring only 22fps. This may be twice the speed you'd get from an integrated chip, but it's still not powerful enough to play most modern games unless you turn off most of the fancy effects. The GT 520M also supports CUDA, so it will speed up certain operations in GPU-accelerated programs such as Photoshop.

The glossy 15.6in screen has good image quality, although the backlight isn't amazingly bright and a slight blue cast makes flesh tones and reds lose impact. With fussy vertical viewing angles, you'll have to tilt the screen carefully to get the best picture. If you're planning on watching catch-up TV or movies, you may need some external speakers, as the internal pair is weak and tinny.

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