Asus X550C - 3 Years On... A User Review
by Lindsey Muscat
Three years ago, after having been let down by my first love of a laptop – the Acer Aspire AS5560 -, I decided to set off on a new path and pursue the Asus X550C. I purchased my Asus, in 2013, by CTS Computers located in Gzira, Malta. Nowadays, I look back to the day I purchased this PC and wonder if my choice was based on all the wrong reasons…At the time, I knew the Laptop didn’t suit my needs as a high school student, and ultimately a teenager, but its aesthetics and price were particularly irresistible and truly my downfall.
BATTERY LIFE AND CHARGING
The specifications that accompanied the PC at the time of purchasing, along with the online reviews, granted the laptop with having 4 hours of battery life. I, personally, found the laptop’s battery to last around 3 hours during the initial purchasing period. This was more than enough since my lectures usually run for a maximum of 2 hours at a time. When the battery ran out, the laptop would easily charge up to its max in a matter of an hour which was fair when my classrooms had a plug close-by but quite inconvenient when I was out, studying in cafeterias. With time, the battery life started deteriorating and nowadays I am forced to keep my charger on at all times. I am currently looking into buying a new battery, but the prices weight heavy on me, being a student.
PERFORMANCE & DESIGN
One thing no one could ever fault the Asus X550C for is its weight. This model of laptop is particularly convenient for students due to how light it is and easy to carry. In fact, I personally carry it in a hand-held laptop pouch throughout the school day. The laptop’s design in sleek. Its keys are relevantly flat, allowing little to no space for dust to seep through. It’s multi-functional touch pad is ergonomic and allows for multi-tasking. What has let me down though, is how slow the PC has gotten with time. My constant saving of assignments and articles has over-loaded the system and my installing of Photoshop for work has only made matters worse. Hours into a day at school or work, the laptop does get over-heated, to the point where your hand might get scalded if placed in line of defense but I guess it makes for a good heater in the winter period.
STRENGTH & DURABILITY
Up until now, I have only been to the repair-office twice, once due to a broken key that my cat pulled off while seeking for attention and another time due to a broken motherboard after my laptop fell off the bed. But that doesn’t mean the PC is void of any minor breakage. A strikingly bad break the laptop carries is to its side vent. Its plastic covering has totally broken off, leaving the vent exposed which has led to further heat escaping the sides of the laptop. This breakage was most probably caused by my laptop being shoved into my school bag on a constant basis. My Asus, though, has survived numerous falls after which the screen has remained surprisingly intact
The only reason I haven’t exchanged my laptop for another model is because, although not suitable for my situation, the laptop offers advantages which cannot go unnoticed. To start with the sleekness of the keyboard is ideal for me, especially when typing out my blog posts or assignments. The keys are placed in the traditional QWERTY format and are easily located. As mentioned above, the lack of space between the keys and their placing truly helps keep the dust at bay which makes the whole typing process a whole lot smoother and faster. A second selling point to this laptop is its aesthetics. The laptop slightly looks like a Mac and has been, in fact, mistaken for one by Mac users before. The black and gray finishing is very attractive and the webcam perfectly blends with the structure leaving a superfluous finishing. But ultimately, this laptop has an attractive pricing point. If you are an individual looking for a temp laptop, the Asus X550C may be the one for you.
A downside to this laptop that gets my blood boiling is its plastic finishing. After shoving my laptop into my school bag for the 100th time, I must say that its finishing has become covered in scratches and dents. Its paint is starting to chip off, leaving the inside looking messy and uncared for. This laptop is definitely not one for the tough handed. Another factor which we have already touched upon is the laptop’s battery life. Few cafeterias offer charging slots in Malta which makes it very hard for me to meet my friends up for study sessions or to work on group projects outside of school. It is also very inconvenient for me to have to unplug my laptop and re-plug it, every time I move rooms in my house. And lastly, the laptop’s storage space has got to be the most annoying flaw of them all. Having to use Photoshop at work and being a Steam addict in my spare time, my ideal laptop has to be one that has a large enough storage to be able to save all of my projects and hold all of my installed games and unfortunately my Asus fails dearly with that…
Overall, the Asus has potential of being a worth companion but unfortunately our paths crossed at the wrong time. At the moment, with being a student, I don’t have time to package my laptop slowly and safeguard its body which is unfortunate.With my current job especially, I find my laptop to be very frustrating and opt to make use of the Apple desktop at the workplace. Although its battery has failed me, I won’t consider investing in a new one as I am not ready to part ways with my laptop just yet. At the end of the day, my Asus may have uncountable flaws but I can’t deny that its light weight and sleek design has helped me greatly when travelling from school to work and typing out assignments and tasks. And still, its aesthetics do attract my youthful soul. Up until this very day, I doubt I would settle for a laptop that suits my every need but doesn’t please the eye. At the end of the day, coming from a Marketing background and being a University student, style is still quintessential to me.