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ASUS K52F - Aimed at the Average User
Notebooks are not only meant for professional users. There’s a large chunk of people who are looking at notebooks for some very simple use like surfing the internet, watching movies, playing less-demanding games and so on. While people might be turning to Compaq, HCL or Acer for entry level notebooks, the K52F seems to be ASUS’ first entry in this segment.
Design and Build Quality
The K52F looks pretty big and that’s because it accommodates a 15.6-inch LED backlit screen. While it cannot be called bulky, at about 2.6 Kgs. the notebook definitely weighs quite a bit. The design is pretty standard and the model that came to us is black in colour and has a glossy finish on the lid making it a smudge magnet.
Opening the notebook, the screen also has an attractive glossy finish and the bezel around it doesn’t waste space, giving it a pretty sleek look. The keyboard has a Chiclet design and all the keys are well spaced out. An extra Fn key on the right part of the keyboard would be a good addition for single handed operation. However, on a whole the keys are well sized and easy to type on.
What adds to the comfort of typing on the K52F’s keyboard is the spacious palm rest. Also, the palm rest unlike the lid or the screen for that matter has a non-glossy finish and doesn’t attract smudges. At the centre of the palm rest lays a small depression for the notebook’s touchpad which wasn’t very impressive. While it responds well to touch, the single key for selection is not that good. The left and right side of the key work well but the centre also ends up registering a click, something that can be a little irritating at times.
ASUS claims that the touchpad has Palm Proof technology which means that while you’re typing on the keyboard, any accidental contact with the touchpad won’t result in the cursor going haywire. That unfortunately wasn’t the case and we noticed that it didn’t work too well. We rather recommend that you keep your palms away from the touchpad while typing on it.
comfortable keyboard but touchpad's button not so good
Build quality of the notebook on the whole is good, including the ports, the screen, keys and touchpad, as well.
There’s nothing special that the notebook has to offer apart from an HDMI port, ability to play HD videos at the standard laptop resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels and speakers from Altec Lansing. The Intel Core i3 350M has two cores and clocks at 2.26 GHz. Also there’s 3 GB of DDR3 SD RAM and a 320 GB HDD which is somewhat sufficient but many notebooks nowadays offer 500 GB of disk space as well.
In terms of connectivity, there are three USB 2.0 ports and the K52F being an entry level notebook, even the Intel HM55 chipset doesn’t support USB 3.0. There’s an RJ45 port to connect the notebook to a wired network and the K52F also has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth. Apart from those, there’s a line-in port and a headphone jack, as well.
Air vent keeps the notebook cool
That pretty much sums up the features of the K52F, which – as we mentioned earlier, was nothing extraordinary.
Like all notebooks, the K52F was also made to run through our regular set of benchmarks. Real world tests like transferring a single 4 GB file saw an average speed of 49.93 MB/s and the assorted set of the same capacity saw a drop to 34.71 MB/s. The video encoding task was done in about 1 minute 41 seconds, which is about 15 percent lower than the U36J. The HDD recorded a drive index of 51.78 MB/s which is also about 20 percent lower than HCL’s ME54 Notebook. Graphics performance was quite poor with the Cinebench R11’s OpenGL test seeing only 1.91 fps.
Real World Tests
The K52F has a 6 cell battery which lasted for only an hour and 8 minutes, which although mediocre for notebooks, is not the worst we have seen. Even after running heavy benchmarks, the air vent at the left side of the notebook did a good job in keeping temperatures under control. After a very long duration, the base of the notebook feels a little warm but that’s it.
A bit on the heavier side
The viewing angles of this notebook are very poor. Viewing from the sides is okay, but the view from the top and bottom is not good at all. However, the screen ran an HD 1080p clip without any glitches or stuttering of any sort. While it’s not the best for gaming, the K52F will handle very basic, low-end 3D games.
The Altec Lansing speakers for one were quite loud for laptop speakers. Very obviously you won’t feel any kind of bass whatsoever, but the mids and trebles sounded quite clear and distortion was apparent only when you crank the volume up over 85 percent. The trackpad features multiple gestures using two fingers and works pretty well.
An average notebook at a decent price
Looking at the K52F’s performance, it’s safe to say that this notebook is not the best performer among the entry-level notebooks that we have seen. Scores are pretty average but that is only if you’re comparing the K52F with other expensive notebooks. At Rs. 28,399 the ASUS K52F definitely offers quite a lot in comparison to many notebooks that are priced at a similar range like the Lenovo IdeaPad Z570. You can get an entry level desktop PC with a little better specifications at this price, but for those looking for a low-budget portable notebook, the K52F turns out to be a good option.