Asus V550CA review

An affordable laptop, but has Asus cut too many corners to keep the price down?

Asus V550CA-CJ106H
Asus budgets for compromise

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

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.

Side-view of the Asus

The brushed aluminium lid keeps things stylish

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.

We 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.

Final verdict

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.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.