As with other laptops in this price range, the Asus V550CA-CJ106H has an unenviable task of balancing power and price, but it doesn't do too bad a job. There are some nice features, such as the generous 1TB of disk space included and the touchscreen, but there are also some trade-offs.
Thankfully none of the latter are deal breakers, and they help keep the laptop on the right side of £1,000. The processor might not be from Intel's latest and greatest generation, but it's still a fine processor that, due to it being last year's model, knocks a fair bit of change off the asking price.
Going for 6GB of RAM instead of 8GB is another compromise that, while disappointing, won't be too much of a problem for day-to-day use. However, if you're going to be photo or movie editing, or using hardware-intensive programs, than that missing 2GB of RAM will soon be felt.
The biggest disappointment is the low resolution of the screen. It might give the on-board graphics a bit of breathing space, but it means items on the screen aren't as crisp or clear as we'd have liked.
The outside design of the Asus V550CA-CJ106H is sleek and stylish, with the brushed aluminium case giving the laptop a suitably premium feel. When closed, the laptop is thin and easy to carry. While the processor isn't particularly cutting edge, it does its job well, and is better than other processors we've seen in similarly priced machines.
We didn't like
The low resolution screen is a shame, and the Intel HD Graphics 4000 just doesn't cut it for games. While the lack of an optical drive keeps the body of the laptop nice and slim, it is sometimes a bit of a hindrance, especially when trying to install older software where a download option isn't readily available. Battery life is also disappointing.
If you're fine with the compromises we've listed in return for a more wallet-friendly price tag, then the Asus V550CA-CJ106H is a decent laptop. For most tasks it will be absolutely fine, and the good processor and capacious hard drive space makes this a reliable business laptop. However, for the asking price it may be worth shopping around or spending a little more to get a laptop that's future proof for the next couple of years. The additional outlay could well save you money in the long run.