Pros: A solid machine all around. The bloatware isn't as bad as most make it out. I understand the perspective, as I always built my own towers, I can't stand the idea of anything on my computer that I didn't put there myself, but I've made decent use of the widgets, and the excess software is pretty easy to remove with the how tos that are out there.
Ever since I received my laptop, I've had it running on high performance, mostly playing SWTOR on high and it's handled it great. Obviously this isn't a high end gaming machine, but if it can handle a game that has been known to make even the best gaming machine get sloppy since Bioware hasn't optimized it yet, then it's a solid build.
Aluminum finish is a little slick, but has a constant cool touch, and the complaint that the power cable comes out the left side is actually a benefit. My old Sony was powered out the back (and cooled) which just led to rapid damage and a hot knee.
Cons: Battery life isn't anything to brag about, but it's still average for what's out there.
A little heavy for it's size, but with a full keyboard + numpad it's worth it.
Overall Review: I've been building my desktops since high school (100% with Asus mobos) so I was inclined to go Asus over Dell XPS or HP. This unit though beat out all the others with the features I wanted. I plan to replace the HDD for an SSD, and use the internal as another external.
The price on these models are great, but finding them on newegg have been difficult. When I was doing my research I found this unit, and I had to wait a week for my tax return. In that time, it went out of stock and was removed, and then was put back up just in time for me to buy. Within an hour after I placed my order, I was back on newegg and noticed it was sold out of stock again.
Pros: This laptop is an excellent buy for the price. Personally, you could spend $1500-$2000 and not be much more satisfied with overall performance. I'm not going to list off the specs, you can read that for yourself. So far, I've done virtualization, scripting and gaming on the system and it runs like a top.
For gaming, I've run Half-Life2, Fallout 3, X3: Terran Conflict, Mass Effect 1/2 and Duke Nukem Forever. All games ran on High settings with very little problem. Vertical Sync usually pushes most of the games over the top but if you really need it just turn down some other options.
Virtualization runs perfectly running Virtual Box and allows me to multi-task seamlessly.
Build quality is excellent, aluminum bezel feels sturdy and durable. The trackpad is very responsive but positioned VERY well, doesn't get in the way of me typing and I actually for the first time ever enjoy using the track pad instead of a mouse when I'm just surfing or doing email, etc..
Cons: I took one egg off for two reasons. First, the screen has VERY limited viewing angles. Alot of haziness if it's not tilted at the correct angle from how your sitting. It's more noticable in games, almost resembles backlight bleed but because it's an LED its more of a brightness/contrast adjustment. I've messed with the settings and it's improved somewhat but not perfect.
Secondly, was the obvious bloatware and the fact that NO OS disk OR recovery disk is included. Make sure you take your time and clean this thing off and set it up the way you want it (anti-virus, browser, etc) THEN make your recovery disks. There is a hidden 25GB partition that probably has the OS on but I wanted my recovery to not have all the bloat. Takes about 2 hours to do this.
Overall Review: I definitely recommend this laptop. It's great for productivity AND gaming. I'm usually the guy who spends over $1500 on a laptop just to have the best. I was more reasonable this time around and am not regretting it at all. This laptop is a joy to use and it's upgradeable, dont waste your money on the other A53SV models, this one can easily become one of the others just by upgrading the hard drive or adding more memory later.
Pros: Fast. Put a SSD in here and bootup time is about 20 seconds.
Runs cool -- with the SSD at least, during the entire setup process (Win 7, drivers, etc) the keyboard and area where palms rest stayed really cool.
Keyboard is setup well. I don't hit the wrong key often because they keys are too small or too close together.
Cons: 1 major in my option, 2 small issues.
The small ones first:
The 'mouse' pad keys are loud. You click them, everybody nearby will know it.
The layout of the USB and power connections are far more forward than they should be. Having devices in the USB slots can get in the way of other things, and the connector sticks out very 1-2 inches.
The main issue is the monitor is 'grainy'. It looks like a fine screen has been placed over the monitor. This makes images look blurry and dull.
Overall Review: System is quiet, fast, bright, but I'm not sure if I can stand the grainy look. I'll give it a few days and see if this is just something I need to adjust to, but if you are doing some photography work or photo editing on this, you may need something with a better screen.
Pros: -Incredibley fast quadcore processor (3.1GHz with Turbo Mode)
-6GB DDR3 RAM
-HD LED display
-Aluminum on the rest pad/top panel area
-Cleverly designed touchpad. It doesn't react to accidental swipes by your rist. Only your fingers initiate movement of the cursor.
-USB 3.0-this is a huge plus for me. Even though it only has one, I can still connect a USB 3.0 hub, which is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0/1.1 etc.
-The bundled software is not bloatware; ASUS provides software utilities that you will actually use!
-640GB HDD that is partitioned in 3 sections; C drive for OS and applications, S Drive for your personal files, and a 25GB recovery partition (see other thoughts on this).
-12 month warranty, that includes ADH!
-Battery life is excellent. With 4 USB devices connected and brightness at normal, my battery life is at or above 5 hours on a full charge. Not bad considering there's a quadcore CPU inside.
-2 GPUs. The Nvida GT540 engages only during 3D apps/games; sav
Cons: None really.
For me, I would have preferred an Esata input, but USB 3.0 will do. I tend to use Esata for transfering large files from my external hard drives, but to be honest, it's something I can live without. My USB 3.0 transfer rates for larges files is about 60Mbs on a Western Digital 500GB 5400RPM HDD. I dig it.
Overall Review: One thing you should know about if you plan on using a SSD.
The fastest and simplist way to clone your new SSD is by using software like Acronis. However, the hard drive in this laptop has a 25GB hidden system partition. As a result, the total space required to clone the original HDD in this laptop is 59.63 GBs. I tried using a 64GB (59GB actual)Crucial M4 SSD and the transfer would not work. I then purchased a new 128GB SSD and the cloning went as planned. I now use the 128GB SSD as the main drive and the 640GB HDD that came with this laptop as a backup and external hard drive.
NewEgg sells external HDD enclosures by Mascool that are USB 3.0 compatible for $15! I have the 640GB HDD installed in this enclosure.
Finally, I installed a 16GB SD card that I use to backup "my documents." No hard drive is meant to last forever, and we don't know when they will fail. Therefore, the SD micro card gives me piece-of-mind, and cost me $15 as well.
Overall, this is great value for $7
Pros: I got the k53svxr1 model, same specs but with a 2.0 ghz quad core i7, instead of 2.2ghz.
For the money this is a great laptop. Well made, not too heavy, decent battery life (considering the specs), fast, pretty good at gaming however not the greatest. I run counter strike source at 50-70fps on ultra settings, havent tried any newer games yet. Runs all of my music applications flawlessly.
The palm rests stay cooler than an average laptop, but after 15 minutes of use become warm. The aluminum finish is solid. The keyboard is awesome. Screen looks great. my temperatures never go above 67C when gaming.
Cons: Sometimes the DVD drive makes random noises, and checks to see if there is a disc even though it is empty. this happens randomly and do not know how to fix it, it is annoying and i believe will lead to disc drive death early.
NO WINDOWS DISC. What happened to pc/laptop makers providing a windows disc??? I had to waste 6 DVDs to burn a "recovery" disc, not even a brand new windows disc. Tisk tisk asus, this is a must have for any semi-nerd.
Overall Review: I picked this up from a different retailer for $680, definitely a steal compared to the $100 more newegg is asking for it, but still neweggs price is pretty good.
Pros: This thing is a monster if you are not looking for just a gaming machine and want something for school and gaming pick this up.
Runs all games on high with smooth frames
Cons: Only thing I don't like is the 5400rpm hard drive
If your going to be gaming I would pick up a SSD