Review: Asus X541U is a big-screen notebook with very few equals
Asus has got most things right with its new mid-range notebook. At this price, it has very few rivals
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Big-screen notebooks have always been a little difficult to carry around, but the portability sacrifice means you have a bigger and more comfortable screen to use. Asus has tried to address this with a light notebook called X541U. Priced at Rs37,999, it runs Windows 10 Home out of the box and is cut out to handle both work and personal chores with ease.
Design: Colourful and lightweight
The Asus X541U is made of good quality plastic and comes in black, red, blue and white colours. It has a nice-looking brushed matte finish on the lid, which not only keeps it smudge-free but also makes it stand out in the crowd of plain-looking, mid-range notebooks. Its other unique selling point is its light form factor. It tips the scales at just 1.9kg, which is rare for a 15.6-inch screen notebook. Most big-screen notebooks weigh around 2.3 to 2.5kg.
Despite its slim form factor, Asus has managed to fit in a USB 3.0, USB 2.0, USB Type-C, HDMI, VGA port and LAN ports on the left side panel. There is a multi-format card slot on the front and an optical drive on the right side panel.
Keyboard: Small keys, no backlighting
The notebook offers a full-fledged keyboard embedded in a metal frame. The keys are soft and responsive but look too small. Laptops with this screen size usually have much bigger and comfortable keys. Mis-typing is going to be a recurring issue users will have to put up with, especially those with big hands and thick fingers. The touch pad also looks small and the right/left click buttons don’t respond very well. The keys are not backlit which means typing in the dark won’t be smooth. One of the reasons for the small keyboard is the dual speakers which are placed right above them. The speakers are quite loud and clear.
Display: Good with colours, non-reflective
The 15.6-inch LCD display has a resolution of just 1,366x768p. It is a low-resolution display and doesn’t look very crisp. However, it reproduces colours well, which makes watching movies an enjoyable experience. It comes with an anti-glare coating over it, which completely blocks out reflections and makes the notebook usable in all conditions. Wide viewing angles are good even with the display tilted backwards or propped up straight.
Performance: Steady on multi-tasking
Powering the notebook is Intel’s 7th Gen Core i3 processor with 4GB RAM and Intel HD620 Graphics. At this price point, most notebooks still run the slightly inferior 6th Gen Intel chipsets. It was able to handle multi-tasking and web browsing without feeling sluggish at any point. It has 1TB storage, which is a lot for your offline movies, music and photos. Battery backup is pretty impressive for a big-screen notebook. It can last 4-5 hours of continuous use.
The notebook impresses with its polished looks and steady performance. It is ideal for professionals on the move looking for a big-screen notebook which can handle most everyday tasks without slowing down or heating up. At this price point, the Dell Inspiron 15- Series 5000 (Rs39,990) with Intel’s 7th Gen Core i3 processor is the closest rival. It also offers 1TB storage, has a 15.6-inch display, but weighs 2.3kg.