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Quick look at ASUS X550VX / K550VX – affordable and playable

With the new Pascal GPUs from NVIDIA just around the corner, the second best thing is the decline in prices for the previous generation. And so with the components getting cheaper, the OEMs start to release some decent offerings for half the price. The ASUS X550VX is the living proof of this, although the company had to cut some corners to get the price right. Find out in this short article.

You can browse for more configurations here: http://amzn.to/2aNI0IE

Design

On the design front, the notebook doesn’t offer anything too special and also compromises on the build quality. Of course, plastic is the main and only material used for the making of the chassis and we have some complaints about the overall build but this was kind of expected given the price point and hardware inside the X550VX.


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Weighing 2.45 kg and having a profile thickness of 31.7 mm, the notebook isn’t one of the lightest and mobile 15-inchers we’ve seen, yet it’s not too far off the rest of the competition. And we also need to mention the healthy port distribution offering the usual set of connectors while most of them are placed on the left side. This makes enough room for the external mouse on the right even if space is scarce.


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As for the input devices, they are okay. The touchpad seems a bit stiff but registers all gestures and swipes accurately. We’ve had some problems with the drivers at first but after updating them all fell into place. Finally, the keyboard is rather comfortable with decent key travel and spacing but the bendable plate for the interior makes it a bit too mushy. We will go into detail about the keyboard in our full review.

Hardware

This is where the X550VX shines. The notebook is equipped with exceptionally powerful hardware for the asking price with configurations going up to Core i7-6700HQ (Core i5-6300HQ is also available) and up to 12GB of DDR4-2133 RAM. However, the most exciting part of the hardware is the GPU. ASUS is offering only one option but to be honest, that’s all you will need for more than decent gaming experience. The chip is NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 950M with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This is a huge difference between the standard DDR3 memory version because our tests indicate significantly better frame rates. And besides, you probably won’t find an entry-level notebook with this GPU. Storage options aren’t a lot too – just the regular 2.5-inch HDD makes an appearance with ASUS offering them in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB flavors.

On the contrary to the powerful hardware, ASUS had to downgrade the screen as well. Options include HD (1366×768) and Full HD (1920×1080) but none of them are with IPS panels. Probably budget TN displays are incorporated so if the multimedia or gaming experience is really important for your line of work or leisure time, we suggest pairing it with an external IPS display. And the whole show is run by a 4-cell 44Wh battery pack which should deliver just about the average runtimes at this price range.

Specs sheet

The specs below may not apply to your region.

ProcessorIntel Core i5-6300HQ (4-core, 2.30 – 3.2 GHz, 6MB cache) / Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-core, 2.60 – 3.50 GHz, 6MB cache)
RAMup to 12GB (1x 4096 on board memory + 1x 8192MB) – DDR4, 2133 MHz
Graphics cardNVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M (2GB GDDR5)
HDD/SSD500GB HDD @5400/7200 rpm / 1TB HDD @5400/7200 rpm / 2TB HDD @5400 rpm
Display15.6-inch (39.62 cm) – 1366 x 7680 (HD) TN, matte / 15.6-inch (39.62 cm) – 1920 x 1080 (FHD) TN, matte
Optical driveSuper-Multi DVD
ConnectivityLAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Other features
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • built-in webcam
  • built-in microphone
  • 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones and microphone
  • HDMI
  • RJ-45
  • VGA
  • SD card reader
Battery4-cell, 44Wh
Thickness31.7 mm (1.15″)
Weight2.45 kg (5.4 lbs)