15.6-inches strong: Asus X55U dual-core laptop, $249

Michael Santo's picture
Asus laptop

B&H Photo has a laptop on sale for $249 -- and it seems as though it would be a service model for many uses, though don't get y our hopes up about video encoding, ripping DVDs, or anything CPU or GPU intensive -- including video games.

The deal is available here, for a ASUS X55U-EH11 15.6" Notebook Computer.

It is hardly a powerhouse, but it does have a dual-core processor, though AMD, not Intel.

Some specs:

  • 1GHz AMD C-60 Dual-Core
  • 2GB of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM
  • 320GB Hard Drive
  • Integrated ATI Radeon HD 6290 Graphics
  • 15.6" Widescreen LED-Backlit Display
  • 1366 x 768 Native Resolution
  • SuperMulti DVD Burner
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Integrated Webcam, Microphone & Speakers
  • Windows 8

We'd hate to mock Windows 8, but Windows 8 might be the biggest negative to the laptop. Another issue is the memory. It only comes with 2GB of RAM, which is miniscule considering that it has a 64-bit processor.

Although the screen is larger than you might expect on a netbook, NotebookCheck says:

The processor speed is somewhere between a single core 1.6 GHz Atom N455 and a dual core Intel Atom N550 depending on the benchmark. Therefore, the performance is still in netbook regions and only suited for low demanding tasks.

In addition:

The power consumption is rated with a TDP of 9 Watt by AMD and therefore a bit higher as the single core Intel Atom CPUs at 1.6 GHz.

Looking at the graphics side of things, this notebook features an integrated AMD HD 6290 GPU. NoteBookCheck says:

The 3D performance of the HD 6290 is located in the low end above the integrated chipset graphics card of the 880M chipset (e.g. Radeon HD 4250). Due to the slow processor, the gaming is however very restricted. Only very old and low demanding games run fluent in low-medium detail settings (e.g. Half Life 2). Even non demanding games like Trackmania Nations Forever can only be played in low details. However, compared to the integrated graphics card in Atom processors (GMA 3150), the HD 6290 clearly wins.

Most customers commented that the computer was slow, but suitable for low-intensity tasks such as browsing the web, word processing, and the like. In particular, most felt that the low price made the laptop a good buy, even with slow performance.

B&H's price is normally $324. It's unclear how long this deal will last. B&H charges sales tax in only one state, New York.