Asus 15.6" D550MAV

Pros- 4 gigs of RAM, Good Processor

Cons- Video Card, and Windows 8.1

Verdict- A great introductory computer, but without a touch screen the computer will be frustrating with 8.1 preloaded

Design

The D550MAV like most Asus computers, looks extremely sleek and stylish. This computer only weight 4.7 pounds, and thus is going to be great for those on the go. When you are looking for portability, you will want to look for a thin PC, and this Asus machine is only 1.4" thick. The screen on the machine is a 15.6" display that has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. This will allow you to play your favorite movies on Netflix at stunning 720 p HD, it will not support full 1080 p HD, but for sub $300, this is not very surprising. The machine comes with a number of ports for all kinds of connections. With 1 USB 3.0 port and 1 USB 2.0 port, you will be able to complete quick data transfers and still have your mouse plugged in. As well, the D550MAV comes with an HDMI port, VGA for those good old presentations and an SD card reader. The built in speakers on this machine are amazing, utilizing Asus SonicMaster technology the stereo speakers outperform all other budget laptop speakers we have tested. They truly are an amazing set of speakers for a sub $300 laptop. Last but not least, the webcam on the device looks good, and with the built in microphone you will not have to worry about buying an external!

Internals

The D550MAV comes with a decent internal set, that will make it possible to do word processing, we browsing and some light gaming on the device. It is powered by the Intel Dual Core Baytrail N2830 that emits an unheard of 2.16 GHz, at least in budget laptops. This processor will make it easy for you to handle most tasks that you are looking to accomplish on this machine, it will not be playing the latest and greatest video games though. With standard HD Intel 4000 HD graphics, the machine is going to be able to play those 720 p HD videos without any concern. One nice surprise in this Asus, is the amount of DDR3 RAM in the machine. With 4 gb of RAM, you are going to be able to fully optimize the N2830 and push this computer to be a great overall machine. The D550MAV does come stock with a 500 gb hard drive, which is always a plus.

The Final Word

The D550MAV is a great little machine that is going to be able to handle practically anything you want to do at work, or in the classroom. It looks great, and is a great buy if you are looking for a budget machine that has a little substance under the hood. We do recommend this machine for both professionals and students as it is a good machine, and the build quality it second to none.