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ASUS K53T Review: Mainstream Llano Offers Inexpensive Mobile Gaming

Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: ASUS
Tagged: llano, k53, asus, amd, a6

Introduction and Design

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Back in June of 2011, we reviewed AMD’s new Llano mobile processor line by taking a look at a testbed system. The overall review was favorable, but it was also based on the best AMD had to offer, a quad-core A8-3500M processor running alongside a separate Radeon discrete GPU. 

If you take a tour through your local electronics retailer, you’ll find that this is not the most common combination of parts on store shelves. The less expensive and less powerful A4 and A6 processors are more common. In our original Llano laptop review, I theorized that these would remain competitive at their respective price points, but we didn’t have the opportunity to test a laptop equipped with the less expensive hard. 

Now, via the ASUS K53T, we finally have a chance to thoroughly examine a mid-range Llano laptop.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS K53T Llano Notebook!!

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As you can see from the specifications, this is as mainstream as it gets. Priced at about $670 on amazon, this laptop is affordable, but at this same price point you’ll be able to buy some Core i5 laptops. Let’s hope the K53T has been eating its Wheaties, because that’s a high bar to jump.

Design

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ASUS has a tendency to heavily reuse a chassis among various different configurations, and the K53 is no exception. Search Amazon for “ASUS K53” or “ASUS A53” and you’ll find that this same design is used in a number of laptops ranging in price for $350 to as much as $750.

Although I’m sure this helps keep the accountants at ASUS in the black, it’s a tactic that sometimes bites the company in the rear. In our earlier ASUS K53 review, I concluded that the laptop’s high price wasn’t supported by the chassis, which was clearly suited for less expensive products.

That story doesn’t change with the K53T which, as far as I can tell, is simply a variant of the chassis used for the Intel-powered K53 we reviewed. The only significant difference is that the palmrest, once constructed with a thin layer of mocha-infused metal, is now mocha-infused plastic. Any luxury previously felt is gone as a result. 

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Connectivity isn’t incredible, either. While VGA and HDMI are provided, USB 3.0 is limited to a single port, with two additional USB 2.0 ports backing it up. Some competitors are offering two USB 3.0 ports, so ASUS is at a bit of a disadvantage. 

There are more attractive laptops in this price range - HP’s latest entries, even those in the sub-$500 range, are more attractive - but it’s not bad, either. Enthusiasts will enjoy the widespread use of matte materials, and consumers will enjoy the solid construction. Adequate is the proper word to use here - the K53T’s design won’t blow you away, but it’ll do.

 

December 29, 2011 | 03:15 PM - Posted by HSMagnet (not verified)

nice review

December 29, 2011 | 10:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I would suggest to anyone buying this laptop to turn off the crossfire feature. You actually loose performance in many games especially since there are no official regular driver updates for the gpu.

December 30, 2011 | 03:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Got a similar one with 4GB RAM for $450 at BB. At that price it was a no brainer though AMD could do a better job with crossfire and drivers though.

January 2, 2012 | 02:28 PM - Posted by Anoyingmouse (not verified)

If glossy screens and that fupid stawful ucking 1366 - 768 resolution (or all 16:9 resolutions) would just go away, these cheap, generic McNotebooks would be a lot more appealing.

Also, if Asus is going to give it discreet graphics anyway and harbor a pretense of gaming, would a faster clocked dual core A4 be a better fit.

January 6, 2012 | 02:28 PM - Posted by Matt Smith

"Also, if Asus is going to give it discreet graphics anyway and harbor a pretense of gaming, would a faster clocked dual core A4 be a better fit."

Maybe. The only potential problem is that the A4 has a less powerful IGP component. It's hard to say if the reduction in graphics performance from that would be made up for by a higher processor clock speed.

January 6, 2012 | 03:31 PM - Posted by Annoyingmouse (not verified)

"Maybe. The only potential problem is that the A4 has a less powerful IGP component. It's hard to say if the reduction in graphics performance from that would be made up for by a higher processor clock speed."

That's a good point. I guess I should be posing my question to AMD instead of ASUS as to why they are giving their higher clocked processors the worst GPUs,(160 or 240 SPs vs 400 for the A8) but I guess I already know the answer to that. The A4 is the binned processor that salvages any yield issues.

January 3, 2012 | 09:54 PM - Posted by Justin (not verified)

I Brought 10 of these laptops for use as rental laptops for my video production company and they have not faulted me yet.

January 18, 2012 | 01:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is a good computer I bought it for less than $500 at a local Best Buy Store. the one I have has the Same Processor but it came with a 1GB Video Card. Computer runs good but after 5 months of use the computer screen stopped working. I called the ASUS Customer service since they don't have help online. I explained them the problem and They asked me to take the computer to the Geek Squad for repairs. Geek Squad took care of fixing the screen, and now my computer runs like new once again and I'm happy of having purchased about 6 months ago for less than it costs now.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005OCBPX0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=...

April 13, 2012 | 09:04 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Uhh, you talk about the A6 yet use an e series cpu... That one's meant to compete with atom, of course it will be slow.

April 13, 2012 | 09:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

woops, re read. nevermind, my bad.

June 8, 2012 | 02:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

as far as the research iv dont including this page, it sounds like a decent laptop, im looking at one slightly used for $450

June 8, 2012 | 02:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

as far as the research iv done*

June 8, 2012 | 02:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Here are the specs:
Display: 15.6" 1366x768
CPU: AMD A6 - 3420M 2.2 Ghz
RAM: 6GB DDR3
Video cards: it has 2 videocards - one is Radeon 6520G , another one is Radeon 7670M with 1 Gb memory
Hard space: 750 GB

March 22, 2014 | 06:47 AM - Posted by Janice (not verified)

"What is the difference between DSL, IDSL, HDSL, SDSL, ADSL, CDSL, Ci - DSL, etc. I'm Roni"
( you might want to use your own name) off course, don't forget to look
directly into her "bridge" this will completely
create a subconscious breakdown in her mind.
I often equate the process of self-hypnosis as something that is as similar to driving a car.

December 18, 2012 | 07:37 PM - Posted by Deandrea Thoe (not verified)

Rattling nice design and wonderful articles , absolutely nothing else we want : D.

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