$750 15-inch Laptop That Packs In Some Surprising Features

ASUS K501LX 15-inch Lightweight Laptop

ASUS continues to produce its K series of laptops and it is possible to still find new K501LX models but the company has updated the internals with the newer K501UX laptops. If you are looking for a similar laptop, be sure to check out the Best 14 to 16-inch Laptops list for more current options.

The Bottom Line

Jul 10, 2015 - Looking for a lightweight 15-inch laptop that offers some solid performance thanks to a solid state drive and a high-resolution display?

The ASUS K501LX is an amazing value for those that might want more than budget system but still paying $750. The system did make a few compromises in the design that you should be aware of, though. After all, it may be a high-resolution display but it certainly could be better.

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  • Lightweight
  • Excellent Storage from Solid State Drive and Hard Drive Combo
  • Comfortable Keyboard with Backlight


  • Display Has Extremely Narrow Viewing Angles and Sharpness Issues
  • VGA Webcam


  • Intel Core i5-5200U Dual-Core Mobile Processor
  • 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 128GB SATA Solid State Drive and 1TB 5200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 15.6" WUXGA (1920x1080) Display with VGA Webcam
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M 2GB DDR3 Graphics
  • 802.11ac Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Two USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, HDMI, SD Card Slot
  • 15.03" x 10.04" x .85" @ 4.4 lbs.
  • Windows 8.1

Review - ASUS K501LX-NB52

Jul 10, 2015 - Many laptops have been getting lighter and smaller over the years.

Some people still want larger laptops for their screens, though. The ASUS K501LX is designed as an affordable and lightweight option with a weight of just 4.4 pounds and measuring .85-inches at its thickest. This makes it one of the lightest 15-inch laptops on the market especially if you are looking for one priced under $1000.

The system does not feel like a major budget system though thanks to its brushed metal finish. It would have been nice to have a single color finish though rather than a silver lower portion and bluish black back panel.

Like many laptops now, it is powered by an Intel Core i5-5200U dual-core mobile processor. This is a lower voltage processor that is common for may ultrabooks but it provides sufficient performance for most people that the power savings are actually beneficial. It may not be the best option for those looking to do something like edit desktop video but it still a solid choice. The processor is matched up with 8GB of DDR3 memory that provides a smooth overall experience in Windows.

The standout feature for the ASUS K501LX-NB52 is the storage. The primary drive is a 128GB solid state drive. This is not a huge drive but it is primarily used for the operating system and applications. This makes it extremely fast to boot Windows compared to just about any other in its price range. Since the SSD is quite small, ASUS also includes a 1TB hard drive for data storage. This is great for anyone that likes to keep a lot of digital media files on their system. If for some reason this combination does not provide enough storage, the laptop also features two USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external hard drives.

The display for the ASUS K501LX is a bit of a compromise. The 15.6-inch panel offers good 1920x1080 resolution which previously was not very common in a laptop that cost just $750. The resolution is certainly good but it does have its issues. The TN display technology is not as sharp when compared to others and it offers some very narrow vertical viewing angles that cause the color to drop off pretty poorly. Would it have been better to use a better display panel at a lower resolution? Maybe but the higher resolution is certainly worth it. The graphics are handled by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M graphics processor but be warned as this is not really a high-end gaming option.

It can play some games up to the full panel resolution but it will often need detail levels turned down to even achieve 30fps. Most games will probably be better played at lower resolutions. Those that use their laptop for web chats should be warned that the webcam is only a VGA model that lacks detail and clarity.

ASUS is known for their keyboards and the K501LX uses a layout similar to most of the previous K and N series laptops. It comes with an isolated layout that includes a numeric keypad on the right-hand side but they do use slightly smaller keys than the rest. The design works well with comfortable and accurate overall experience. It does feature a backlight on the keyboard that has three levels of brightness. The trackpad is a decent size but could have been a bit larger. It is slightly recessed into the keyboard deck and features integrated buttons. It offers a decent level of accuracy for both single and multitouch gestures.

ASUS claims that the 48Whr battery pack for the K501LX can last over seven and a quarter hours of video playback. In my digital video playback tests, the laptop was able to manage roughly six and a half. This is less than advertised but still quite good especially considering its size. It certainly does not last as long as the Apple MacBook Pro 15 that runs almost two hours longer but it also features a battery pack with almost twice the capacity and almost triple the price tag.

Pricing for the ASUS K501LX-NB52 is almost unbelievable. At just $750, it is extremely affordable considering it features the high-resolution display, dedicate graphics and a solid state drive. The primary competitors for ASUS are the ASUS Aspire E5-573G and the Toshiba Satellite S55. The Acer is a bit more affordable and offers higher performance from a Core i7 processor. It also has a slightly better 1080p display but the system does not run for as long from a smaller battery and weighs more. The Toshiba offers a bit better build quality and comparable running time. The problem is that the Toshiba uses a lower resolution display.

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