Review Asus F551MA-SX063H Notebook

Sascha Mölck (translated by Martina Osztovits), 05/12/2014

Frugal. The F551MA does not bring much processing performance. But, it scores with low power consumption and low emissions. Is this sufficient to stand against the competition in the lowest price segment?

For the original German review, see here.

The F551MA is another model of the Asus F550/X550 series for the lowest price segment. Asus incorporated a Pentium processor with four cores here. Learn in our review whether the computer is attractive.

We compare the notebook to the Acer Aspire E1-532 (Celeron 2955U, HD Graphics (Haswell)) and the Lenovo G500s (Pentium 2020M, HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)).

Since the F551MA has a lot in common with other members of the F550-/X550-series, we will not cover connectivity, input devices, and speakers here - unless there are differences. Information about these is, for example, available in our test of the Asus F550DP-XX022H.

Case & Connectivity

The whole case of the F551MA is made from matte-black plastic. In addition, the surfaces are textured. The case stability is on par with its siblings' from the F550-/X550-series. Alike the Asus F550DP-XX022H, the F551MA does not have a maintenance hatch and the battery is fixed. The interface layout of the two computers is slightly different.

The Asus F551MA (image: Asus).
The Asus F551MA (image: Asus).
Asus uses matte black (image: Asus).
Asus uses matte black (image: Asus).
Lid and palm rests have a ripple texture (image: Asus).
Lid and palm rests have a ripple texture (image: Asus).
Left: power-in, Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, audio combo (image: Asus)
Left: power-in, Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, audio combo (image: Asus)
Right: DVD burner, Kensington lock slot (image: Asus)
Right: DVD burner, Kensington lock slot (image: Asus)
Front: card reader (image: Asus)
Front: card reader (image: Asus)

Display

Asus incorporated a glossy 15.6-inch display with a native resolution of 1366x768. We appreciate the average brightness of 240.7 cd/m² since we are used to worse values in the low-price segment. Contrast (301:1) and black value (0.8 cd/m²) are not particularly good. More is to be expected here nowadays.

247
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
231
cd/m²
251
cd/m²
241
cd/m²
238
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
234
cd/m²
236
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 251 cd/m²
Average: 240.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 244 cd/m²
Black: 0.8 cd/m²
Contrast: 301:1

We are used to Asus notebooks delivering good color values. This is not due to the fact that Asus incorporates high-end displays, but they preinstall color profiles. This is also the case with the F551MA. The average DeltaE 2000 deviation is 4.7, which is not far from the target range (DeltaE smaller than 3). The display is not bluish.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - gray levels
CalMAN - gray levels
CalMAN - color saturation
CalMAN - color saturation
The Asus F551MA outdoors.
The Asus F551MA outdoors.

It is difficult to impossible to use the laptop outdoors because of the reflective surface. At best, the notebook can be used in the shade. The viewing angles are usual for cheap notebooks: they are very narrow.

Performance

The Asus F551MA wants to be a simple 15.6-inch office notebook. It is suitable for simple tasks like surfing, Skype, and typing. Computer games are not a strength of the computer for about 350 Euros (~$481).

Processor

Asus equipped the F551MA with a Pentium N3520 processor. The quad-core CPU is based on Intel's Silvermont architecture, and so it is a relative of the Atom processors. The Pentium clocks in at 2.17 GHz. Thanks to Turbo, the clock rate can increase to 2.42 GHz. The CPU does not need particularly much energy. Intel specifies a TDP of 7.5 Watt.

The processor works with full speed in mains operation and on battery during the CPU tests of the Cinebench benchmarks. Neither the F551MA nor the Aspire can keep up with the G500s, which features the fastest CPU.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.44 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.75 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
6.53 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
38 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
128 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
4.08 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit
Asus F551MA-SX063H
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
0.44 Points ∼24%
HP Compaq 15-h024sg
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
0.23 Points ∼12% -48%
Medion Akoya E6239T
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3510, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
0.38 Points ∼21% -14%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.61 Points ∼33% +39%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2020M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1 Points ∼54% +127%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus F551MA-SX063H
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
1.75 Points ∼10%
HP Compaq 15-h024sg
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
0.46 Points ∼3% -74%
Medion Akoya E6239T
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3510, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
1.47 Points ∼8% -16%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.14 Points ∼6% -35%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2020M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.94 Points ∼11% +11%

System Performance

The notebook mostly runs smoothly. However, installations take a lot of time. The result of the PCMark 7 benchmark is fair. The F551MA cannot keep up with the G500s again. The latter profits from its faster processor.

PC Mark
PCMark 71790 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
Asus F551MA-SX063H
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
1790 Points ∼27%
HP Compaq 15-h024sg
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1051 Points ∼16% -41%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1484 Points ∼22% -17%
Medion Akoya E6239T
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3510, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
1678 Points ∼25% -6%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2020M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2343 Points ∼35% +31%

Storage Devices

The F551MA is equipped with a hard drive from Western Digital's Scorpio Blue series with a capacity of 500 GB and a revolution speed of 5400 rpm. The transfer rates recorded by CrystalDiskmark are overall good. The hard drive can shine with its 4k-read-/write values. Conventional hard drives are usually not able to deliver such values.

Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
Sequential Read: 106.3 MB/s
Sequential Write: 104.1 MB/s
512K Read: 40.69 MB/s
512K Write: 57.13 MB/s
4K Read: 0.531 MB/s
4K Write: 1.593 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 1.33 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 1.605 MB/s

Graphics Card

The F551MA features Intel's HD Graphics graphics core of the Bay Trail generation. It supports DirectX 11 and works with clock rates between 400 and 820 MHz. The Asus performed worse than its competitors in all 3DMark benchmarks. The Aspire achieved the best results, since it features the fastest graphics core.

3D Mark
3DMark 11261 points
3DMark Ice Storm20652 points
3DMark Cloud Gate1515 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance
Asus F551MA-SX063H
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
261 Points ∼2%
Medion Akoya E6239T
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3510, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
240 Points ∼2% -8%
HP Compaq 15-h024sg
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
369 Points ∼3% +41%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2020M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
390 Points ∼3% +49%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
480 Points ∼4% +84%

Gaming Performance

The F551MA is a completely wrong choice for those who also want to play computer games with their notebook. At best, it is able to smoothly run several games with low resolution and low quality settings.

low med.high ultra
Dirt 3 (2011) 36.913.3fps
Counter-Strike: GO (2012) 46.623.9fps
Dishonored (2012) 14.311.2fps
Dead Space 3 (2013) 23.69.7fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 15.58.1fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 7.3fps
Thief (2014) 5.13.3fps
The Elder Scrolls Online (2014) 25.29.2fps
Asus F551MA-SX063H
Intel Pentium N3520, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
Acer Aspire E1-532
Intel Celeron 2955U, Intel HD Graphics (Haswell), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Lenovo G500s-59367693
Intel Pentium 2020M, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Tomb Raider
86%
43%
1024x768 Low Preset15.530.3
95%
23.1
49%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x8.114.3
77%
11.1
37%

Emissions

System Noise

Since the F551MA features a CPU with a TDP of 7.5 Watt, it is to be expected that the computer does not produce much waste heat. This is proved by our measurements. The fan is often disabled while idle. Under load it gets slightly louder, but the system noise is still moderate.

Noise Level

Idle 30.4 / 30.4 / 30.4 dB(A)
HDD 30.6 dB(A)
DVD 36.3 / dB(A)
Load 31.7 / 36.2 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The Asus F551MA during the stress test.
The Asus F551MA during the stress test.

The case temperatures of the F551MA do not increase much whilst either idle or during the stress test. The values are in the green in all measurement segments. The same is true for the Aspire. Although the G500s gets slightly warmer during full load, the temperature remains within limits.

The F551MA performed the stress test, where both Prime95 and Furmark run for at least one hour, in a similar manner in battery and AC mode: The CPU runs at full speed (2.42 GHz) and the graphics clock rate is 820 MHz most of the time and sometimes falls to 400 MHz. The CPU temperature hovered around 95 °C during the stress test.

 32.7 °C28 °C27.7 °C 
 31.8 °C28 °C27.2 °C 
 30.9 °C29.1 °C30.6 °C 
Maximum: 32.7 °C
Average: 29.6 °C
28.8 °C28.5 °C33.6 °C
28.6 °C28 °C31.6 °C
30.7 °C27.7 °C30.2 °C
Maximum: 33.6 °C
Average: 29.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  38.2 °C | Room Temperature 23.7 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The F551MA features a frugal processor. As a result, the computer does not need much energy. During the stress test, the power consumption increases to up to 21.6 Watt. While idle, it is below 10 Watt. The Aspire only needs slightly more energy under load. The G500s generally needs more energy since it features a standard volt mobile processor.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.3 Watt
Idle 5 / 8 / 8.6 Watt
Load 16.5 / 21.6 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

In our realistic WLAN test, websites are automatically loaded in 40-second intervals. The energy-saving profile is selected and the display brightness is set to about 150 cd/m². The F551MA achieves a battery life of 4:16 h here. This is a fair result. The Aspire (4:30 h) keeps running slightly longer, while the G500s (3:14 h) shuts down earlier.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
4h 16min

Verdict

With the F551MA-SX063H, Asus offers a simple office notebook, which is only suitable for simple tasks. The notebook only needs little energy and always works quietly. In addition, the battery life is good in our realistic WLAN test. The display surprised us: It is quite bright and its colors are good, but it is low-contrast and has narrow viewing angles.

If price is an important criterion, the Aspire E1-532 is the better alternative: Its CPU performance is better in single-thread applications, and it features a more powerful GPU. In addition, its battery life is longer, and it works just as quietly as the F551MA. Furthermore, the display is matte and the warranty is two years. The Acer is currently available for about 270 Euros (~$371). If you add the cost for a Windows 8.1 license, the price of the Aspire is about 350 Euros (~$481), too. So, the price-performance ratio of the Aspire is significantly better than the Asus'.

The Lenovo G500s is the notebook of choice if you are looking for the highest possible CPU performance. It currently costs about 300 Euros (~$412, without Windows OS).

static version load dynamic

Comment this article:

In Review: Asus F551MA-SX063H. Test model courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de
In Review: Asus F551MA-SX063H. Test model courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de

Specifications

Asus F551MA-SX063H

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Bay Trail Host Bridge
:: Memory
4096 MB, DDR3, single channel, soldered, no RAM slots
:: Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Core: 400-820 MHz, 10.18.10.3355
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, ChiMei N156BGE-L21, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX, 500 GB 5400 rpm , 408 GB free
:: Soundcard
Intel Valleyview SoC - HD Audio Controller
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Audio combo, Card Reader: SD,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8102E Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet (10/100MBit), Realtek RTL8821AE 802.11ac (), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ8E1
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 36.6 x 380 x 251
:: Weight
2.15 kg Power Supply: 0.137 kg
:: Battery
33 Wh Lithium-Ion
:: Price
379 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD web cam, Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, AsusDVD, Microsoft Office 365 (trial version), Windows Essentials 2012, 12 Months Warranty

 

Similar Devices

Similar devices from a different Manufacturer

Devices from a different Manufacturer and/or with a different CPU

Devices with the same GPU

» Acer Aspire E3-111-C6LG Notebook Review
Celeron N2930, 11.6", 1.29 kg

Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Amazon: Invalid XML response.

Amazon.com

Show results on Amazon.com

Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+works quietly
+low power consumption
+runs relatively cool
 

Cons

-only 12 months warranty
-low-contrast display

Shortcut

What we like

Low energy consumption and quiet system noise.

What we would like to see

A matte display.

What surprises us

Asus only gives a 12-month warranty, while buyers of the Aspire will appreciate a two-year warranty.

The competition

Acer Aspire E1-532, Lenovo G500s, Medion Akoya E6239T, Lenovo G505s, HP 255 G2, HP 250 G2, HP Compaq 15-h024sg.

Rating

Asus F551MA-SX063H
05/01/2014 v4
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
62 / 98 → 63%
Keyboard
67%
Pointing Device
67%
Connectivity
60%
Weight
62 / 67 → 89%
Battery
84%
Display
72%
Games Performance
34 / 85 → 40%
Application Performance
53%
Temperature
92%
Noise
93%
Audio
50%
Camera
35 / 85 → 41%
Average
64%
72%
Office *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Asus F551MA-SX063H Notebook
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-05-12 (Update: 2014-05-13)