Friday, October 7, 2011

Asus K53TA-SX026V (Fusion) Notebook Review

Economical. Low energy, the heat does not bother to get, and good battery life. In addition to these advantages, the dual-GPU system and quad-core processing power of appeal for fans of the game. This is a budget media rounder, the masses?

After AMD APU Llano shows success in our review of the Samsung Series 3-305V5A S01DE, we look excited for this 15.6-inch Asus K53TA-SX026V with almost identical hardware. Have GPU Crossfire system provides a good gaming performance, as is the case in the model of Samsung? Discover all you need to know about the laptop AMD Fusion 500 euros in this review.
Specifications Asus K53TA-SX026V :
  • Processor : AMD A-Series A6-3400M 1.4 GHz
  • Mainboard : AMD Hudson-3, AMD K12
  • Memory : 4096 MB, 2x 2048MB
  • Graphics adapter : AMD Radeon HD 6720G2 - 1024 MB, Core: 600 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, HD 6520G & HD 6650M Crossfire, 8.861.0.0
  • Display : 15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, CMO N156BGE-L2, glossy: yes
  • Harddisk : Seagate ST9500325AS, 500GB 5400rpm
  • Soundcard : HD Audio
  • Connections : 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: line out, microphone, Card Reader: SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro,
  • Networking : Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (bgn)
  • Optical drive : Matshita DVD-RAM UJ890
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 35 x 378 x 253
  • Weight : 2.425 kg Power Supply: 0.372 kg
  • Battery : 56 Wh Lithium-Ion, 5200 10.8V
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 0.3MP VGA, 24 Months Warranty
The case of K53TA is equally suitable for the job as it is for the bedroom of a teenage gamer. The interior surfaces are comfortable and slip, please type that office, the boss on the wrist may be a little smoother, but it does not pick up fingerprints.

The case gives a high quality laptop, and not parts at irregular intervals. But as soon as we take a 15.6-inch machine, find its weak points: the cover and frame. We can do both sides of the flex significantly, we have two hands. Wrist rest remains stationary, as well as the keyboard.

The hinges are tight and keep the lid firmly in place, it is not a tendency to skate after adjustment. The hinges are stuck in their installation. The maximum opening angle of about 145 degrees is more than enough to use on your lap.

The bottom of the laptop of a molded plastic, can not flex a finger over the DVD player. Two removable to give you the opportunity to replace the hard drive, RAM, or a WLAN module.

Asus K53TA-SX026V is a limited number of ports for connecting peripherals. E-SATA and ExpressCard K53TA luxuries that can not provide - but in reality do not really need it, because the notebook has a USB 3.0 port, so the user is well equipped for the coming years.

There are only three USB ports altogether. Two doors on the left are too close together. USB flash drives or wider angle connectors are another way. It 'a shame that the laptop hinges are inserted so deeply that would prevent the use of the rear edge of the door, it would be theoretically possible. Bulky connectors like VGA or HDMI are the toes to the left side (visible area).

The Atheros wireless card (AR9285) supports the fastest Draft-N WiFi standard. The producer decided to do without a built-in Bluetooth module. The appropriate Ethernet card in the form of Realtek Gigabit Ethernet is provided for anyone who wants to connect the laptop to a gigabit switch at home.

The manufacturer does not contain Windows Recovery CD or DVD driver in the box. You're supposed to burn discs using the same relevant recovery tool AI.

A factory warranty of 24 years is commendable in the case of this laptop budget. Manufacturers such as HP, Lenovo and Acer only offer 12 months for this price.

Input Devices

The keyboard is a success, with the exception of crushed-up use the arrow keys. The numeric keypad is a standard form (four lines). Keys provide sufficient information and travel. The writing looks like the company, because the area is firmly in almost every area.

The only exception is a small area above the DVD drive. This place has the keyboard to bend a little '. We did find the keys to "the lack of curvature to be annoying. It causes some inaccuracy in the time of writing, because the fingers is difficult to navigate.

Touchpad large (10.4 cm in diameter) is flush with the palm rest and is made of the same material (but smooth). The difference between texture means that you will find the touchpad without looking. Touch Pad (Smart Pad Elan) feel slippery to use, and is sometimes a little 'fuzzy. Some may think that lack of grip.

And the 'multi-touch option recognizes two fingers, such as zooming or scrolling, for example. Alternatives to vertical and horizontal scroll bar (one-finger scrolling) was stopped! The touchpad buttons provide little feedback, and make a very strong, economically-sound 'click' when pressed.

So the input devices Asus K53TA have set the bar pretty low. It's the same story when it comes to the screen. The panel reflects OCM (type N156BGE-L2) has a resolution of 1366 x 768 WXGA resolution This is still the standard for 15-inch machines. The 1366 x 768 pixels is very close to having a ratio of 16:9.

CMO panel, the weak point is its contrast ratio of 181:1 down. Buyers of high expectations for color fidelity - they want color, simply put - is to invest this much money, because good shows are few and far between. Gloss finish seems to improve a poor contrast, but this is really a superficial effect that fools the eyes.

It would be desirable to have better contrast, color reproduction of movies, photos and games. Small color space is a Sony Vaio EB4X shows that even high-end machines with full HD resolution does not necessarily have a large color space.

The 15.6-inch LED-backlit assistance to an average brightness of 201 cd / m². This is sufficient for indoor use, but direct sunlight, it is natural that it is difficult or impossible for the screen to obscure the thoughts that appear.

The pictures we took was a day with only mild sun, so you can still make the image of the test very well in some places. The distribution of brightness is only moderately, even. The darker areas are separated by shiny, about 35 cd / m², which is not visible to the naked eye.

The notebook needs a good viewing angle, so that users can continue to develop clear and colors of the text when viewing the page or the top of constant brightness. Of multimedia notebooks, this is a crucial question, but is rarely satisfied. K53TA of viewing angles are poor. Horizontally eyes differ only by 40% before the screen begins to darken, and the colors reversed. Vertical, the effect starts after only the slightest change in angle.

Inside the K53TA Asus A6 series is AMD Fusion APU-3400m (1.4 to 2.3 GHz) processor with four cores. Energy Efficient HD 6520G is an integrated system that recognizes only HD 6500 (series title), a hardware tools. A laptop is also HD 6650M (Tools HD 6500), which deals with the graphics unit. The combination is called Dual Graphics HD 6720G (data sheet).

The K10 processor cores can be overclocked, therefore, the specification of a bandwidth GHz (Turbo Core 2.0). For more details see AMD officially unveiled Llano APU and specifications of the processor. Compared to the A6-3410MX APU (1.6 to 2.3 GHz), also four cores, the TDP is lower: 35 Watts (instead of 45). Above all, you get a 5400 rpm Seagate hard drive (500 GB) and four GB of RAM (4 GB 1x).

CPU performance
R11.5 Cinebench CPU (multicore) ended 1.79 points. Sister-AID A6-3410MX (Samsung 305V5A) managed 2.0 points (13%). This means that the CPU of the APU is even worse than the smallest Core i3-2310 m (2.0 points). I5 is even faster, for example, 2410M (2.3 GHz, Turbo Boost), in which scores of 2.6 points. Try R11.5 is fairly typical, CPU tests (wPrime, R10), also suggests the level of performance, slightly below the current Core i3.

The CPU speed to 2.3 GHz Turbo is, according to data sheets. But with all the fusion systems, the priority of the GPU, which means that when the GPU is under stress, is the CPU speed is limited to the advantage of GPU TDP. It can be reduced to the vagueness of the tools, but the speed of a single core did not exceed 2.0 GHz in our tests. Even this figure is only touched on a fraction of a second (it would be better to say to 1.8 GHz).

Screenshot shows CPU usage with / without concomitant use of GPUs. It is interesting to note that during the game, the speed is limited to 800 MHz R11.5 Cinebench CPU benchmark, as well as the game was not able to increase speed. Even when the game was over, Cinebench had to start all over again before he could enjoy the use of 1.5 GHz. Test results of the game, however, showed no change in performance, in fact, sometimes the opposite.

In PCMark Vantage benchmark, run by Fusion 3808 points. Sister 3410MX-AID (Samsung 305V5A) reaches 4873 points of speed a little 'more (1.6 instead of 1.4 GHz x 4) and a faster hard disk (HDD score: 3224 instead of 2733). As a pure CPU performance, this will bring our quad-core Fusion is a bit 'behind the Core i3 (Samsung-200B5B S01DE, 2310 m, 4874) and portable i5 (Asus X53E-SX082V, 2410M, HD 3000, 4887) .

In PCMark 7 Our test system scored 1542 points (Samsung 305V5A: 1562). Here is the latest test from Futuremark seems to be the most GPU performance into account, which offsets the hard drive and the slower clock speed. This means that competition i3 is not so far ahead more Compare Vostro 3350 (1751 points), Asus U30SD (1772 points) and ProBook 4530 (1921 points).

GPU performance
HD-6650M notebook in our merger can only partly be said to offer the same performance as the 6650M HD Packard Bell EasyNote LS11-HR-050GE (600/900, core / memory speed) or the Sony Vaio PCV- Z21Q9E (600/900).

The reason is the different speeds (600/900 here) and they were combined with powerful Intel processors. The Crossfire option in our review model makes comparison almost impossible. Some games / benchmarks have been compounded by it, while some end to its services.

We see then that the world standard benchmark, 3DMark06, which is to score 6186 points. Nvidia GT 540 results here in an average of 8000 points, and (rarely) 6650M HD 7250 makes its points (in the EasyNote LS11). Games and synthetic benchmarks, Crossfire was always active. Crossfire 3DMark06 tests without end identical to the 6145 / 2148 points (points / CPU-value).

The 3DMark Vantage (P) has completed its benchmark through the implementation of the 3864 points. HD-6470M Samsung 305V5A managed only in 3224 points. GeForce GTX 540 with an average of 4400 points (Intel). Incidentally, the review model works Catalyst 8.861.0.0.

3DMark 11 testing completed in P1, 404 / G1, 439 points, where the score without the Crossfire is about 40% less. This improves the Asus K53TA number equal to or greater than the portable units for powerful GPU: 550M GT (1107; Asus N53SN), 6770M HD (1407, HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg) or the GT 540 (1023, Samsung RF511). Faster GT 540m scheme scored 1,033 points just to help 2630QM quad-core 3DMark 11 (Sony Vaio VPC-F21Z1E/BI).

At the heart of AMD's vision of motor control, each application must be specifically allocated to energy saving 6520G HD or graphics more powerful unit (6550M HD).

The K53TA-SX026V has a 5,400 rpm hard drive from Seagate. The 500 GB hard drive 9ST9500325AS) drive with a speed of 65 MB / s sequential read data drive. This is relatively average. This is partly to blame for the relatively weak performance of the system as demonstrated by testing PCMark Vantage. Hard disk can be heard making noise and rattling heat for use.

Gaming Performance
Graphics GeForce 6720G2 double, the name given to this combination of HD and HD-6520G 6550M, very well in our tests of games. AMD put an end to the blue screen crashes seen earlier and strangled in a Crossfire HP Pavilion dv6-6110eg (Llano), which was caused by driver problems. The phenomenon of micro-strain in Crossfire should not stand out negatively in any of the test sets. However, the strain can be clearly seen in the 3DMark Vantage benchmark.

Verdict game
The game was tested with dual graphics system with no driver issues, Crossfire was always enabled (default). Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and StarCraft 2, we tested the effect of crossfire. Battlefield only 8 fps shows a further Crossfire.

The results are amazing games happy, the results of the AMD Radeon HD 6720G2 "package" is as good as (3 Dirt, rose), or better (Battlefield) "faster", one of the 540M GT from Nvidia. But Starcraft 2 (-10%) and Deus Ex HR (-34%) managed better with Nvidia GPU.

With these mixed results, players prefer a mid-range GeForce 540M GT. Here, the buyer is on the safe side, without Crossfire on / off. The 6720G2 is certainly preferable HD to HD 6680G2 (6470M) (Samsung 305V5A).

System Noise
To measure the amount, we selected the Power4Gear quiet office. But it had no effect on fan speed at idle, the fan spun down all the time and will not die. The 32.8 dB (A) we measured, however, was not caused by the fan, but was the result of relatively high background noise from the hard drive. When you surf the web, copy or write e-mails, the fan rotates at a speed clearly differentiated. These range from 33 to 35 dB (A).

With a constant load on the processor (multi-core), the CPU benchmark, and speeds up the cooling system can be as loud as 40 dB (A). The fan speed is consistently chosen. Only when we moved the computer games do not get the cooling system up to 44 dB (A). Stress testing standards, in which both the GPU and CPU to run at full load, at the same time, it can not produce more than 40 dB (A).


ASUS Q-series notebooks have one thing in common: IceCool base station design. The substrate should be a special structure, which holds the palm rest and keyboard cool. We could confirm in this review model, the touchpad warmed up to 34 degrees.

When we measured during the heavy system requirements (stress testing), we found an average of only 29 degrees at the top of the laptop. The bottom too can only feel the heat directly to the area around the opening of the outlet. This area is just a warm 37 degrees.

Stress Behavior
Energy consumption during the stress test is much less than in a computer game. The reason for this could be the drivers that are optimized for gaming.

CPU speed via the variable TurboCore 2.0 allows all four cores A6-3400 to adjust its speed according to need. The screenshots show two intensive scenarios. Our conclusion: stress GPU at the same time, the speed of individual cores briefly sinks to 1000 MHz Four cores working simultaneously fluctuate between 1.0 and 1.4 GHz (solo) or relatively constant work at 1.5 GHz ( multi-core Cinebench test).

The two speakers above the keyboard for high frequencies, while neglecting the medium and low tones. For gamers or music lovers, these speakers are useless, and it will be important to use external speakers. The maximum volume is sufficient, but not very high. The sound quality is free of scratches or distortions throughout.

Battery Life
The duration of the battery much downtime (no stress, lower the brightness) indicates low power consumption. Our measurements confirm this. Using less energy at rest varies from only 10 watts to 16 watts (minimum and maximum idle without recharging).

The stress test (Prime95, Furmark), not to the fusion system in the shell, as mentioned above in the behavior under pressure from the article: 45 watts. However, during the matches of the energy demand of the system can reach 50 to 66 watts. The 90-watt AC adapter (372 g) is an appropriate design. It even allows up to 30 watts of room to recharge the battery.

The six-cell lithium-ion 56 Wh capacity for excellent battery life. It lasted five hours K53TA of WLAN surfing. If you want to watch DVD movies while you're on the road, it will last until 3:36 hours. But the recharge time required is extremely long at 4 hours (Samsung 305V5A: 02:00 hours).

Llano 305V5A Samsung notebook lasted only 3:26 hours of testing (WLAN dual-GPU, but the 45 W TDP). HP Pavilion dv6-6110eg (dual GPU, Llano) administers the hours 4:38 to 55 Wh battery. Intel-based machines like the Asus X43SV, 3:34 hours to reach the i5 540 and GT (56 Wh battery).

AMD Llano APU series (A6-3400m, dual GPU HD 6720G2) lives up to its promise of a good gaming performance for $ 500 laptop. Our gaming tests was performed quickly, often with great accuracy, and native HD resolution. ATI Radeon HD 6680G2 in the Samsung Series 3-305V5A S01DE (AMD Llano 6470M HD) was either stabbed or beaten half to the edge.

AMD project is combined with a good battery life (5:00) and low power consumption (standby: 10 watts). But because of the bad Glare-type screen with its viewing angle and low contrast, low-quality input devices and the relatively small number of ports (USB 3.0, but!), The ultimate character that we can price is only a small "good."

A $ 499 at the time, game performance K53TA-SX026V is commendable, but not unique. Nvidia GeForce 540M, which has already broken 500 million barrier in a few laptops. One of these is the Acer Aspire 5750G Core i3 latest (variations).

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