June 30, 2011
- Attractive, solid design
- Strong, Intel dual-core performance
- Good graphics performance
- No USB 3.0 or eSATA
- Slightly below average battery life
The Asus K53SV-A1 is a 15.6-inch laptop that has decent portability without leaving out solid performance. It has an attractive design coupled with strong Intel dual-core performance and graphics performance. It does have below-average battery life and lacks the latest USB 3.0 connectivity.
The Asus K53SV-A1 measures 15.1 x 10.1 x 1.4-inches (wdh) and weighs about 6-pounds, which is a little heavier than some of the more portable laptops out there, but it's still somewhat manageable. On the laptop's lid, there is a pinstripe pattern that helps to reduce the visibility of fingerprints. The keyboard deck has a brushed-aluminum finish that is scratch-resistant and provides a nice solid feel.
The chiclet-style keyboard had a little flex, but with decent "clicky" feedback. However, some of the keys were a little undersized, mainly the right Shift and Enter key, but they weren't dramatically undersized enough to cause real typing errors. On the right of the keyboard, you'll find a numeric keypad that is also slightly reduced in button width. The recessed touchpad by Elan was very responsive and supports multitouch gestures. It was also adequately sized to allow ample room to perform these gestures.
The 15.6-inch LED-backlit widescreen display has a native resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels. We felt the screen displayed images with a good amount of brightness and images seemed to be crisp and vibrant.
In terms of connectivity and ports, there's three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, VGA mini-out, Ethernet, audio in/out jacks and a 5-in-1 memory card reader. Unfortunately, there is no USB 3.0 or eSATA ports on the Asus K53SV-A1, which was to our disappointment as USB 3.0 is rapidly becoming the standard. There is also 802.11b/g/n wireless connectivity as always and a DVD+/-RW optical disc drive.
Specifications of the Asus K53SV-A1 include the latest dual-core Intel Core i5-2410M "Sandy Bridge" (2.3GHz w/ TurboBoost up to 2.9GHz) CPU, 6GB of RAM (upgradable to 8GB), a 640GB 5400RPM hard drive and Nvidia GeForce GT540 graphics with 1GB of dedicated video memory. Unfortunately, the hard drive is 5400RPM and not the faster 7200RPM, but the performance doesn't seem to be too hampered by it. We found the performance with this laptop to be quite good, especially for watching HD streaming video from the Internet and even doing more intensive tasks, like video encoding. This is mostly due to the new "Sandy Bridge" Intel CPU, 6GB of RAM and strong video performance from the discrete video card.
3D gaming performance was also quite good, especially with today's demanding games. If you want a portable gaming machine, this one is a good contender.
The 6-cell battery provided only about 4 hours of battery life, which is about 30-45 minutes short of most other similar 15-inch laptops that we've reviewed in the past.