Review Asus P550CA-XO522G Notebook

Sascha Mölck (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 04/28/2014

Entry-level business. Asus puts not one but two operating systems (Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) + Windows 8 Pro (64-bit)) in the P550CA-XO522G's box. Dedicated Windows 7 fans can use the laptop right away. Windows 8 first has to be installed via the included recovery DVD.

For the original German review, see here.

Asus has been trying to get its fingers on a part of the business-laptop market from the top dogs (Lenovo, Dell, HP, Fujitsu) for quite a while now. The corresponding models are labeled "AsusPro." They are usually consumer laptops that have been slightly modified. That is also true for the P550CA-XO522G. This laptop is no stranger to us since we have tested the identically built X550LD-XX023HR510CA-CJ862H, and F550CA-XX078D. Our report reveals whether the P550CA is compelling.

We used the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 (Core i3-4000M, HD Graphics 4600) and HP ProBook 450 G1 (Core i7-4702MQ, HD Graphics 4600) to classify the laptop.

Since the P550CA's build is identical with the X550 / F550 series from Asus, we will not go in-depth about the casing, connectivity, input devices or speakers. The relative information can be found in the reviews of the X550LD-XX023H and F550CA-XX078D.

Case & Connectivity

The P550CA uses the same casing as the X550LD-XX023H and F550CA-XX078D. There is, however, a slight difference in the chosen colors. The upper side of the P550CA's base unit is black, in contrast to the silver-gray of the X550LD/F550CA.

Asus P550CA-XO522G
Asus P550CA-XO522G
The lid's back is patterned (Picture: Asus)
The lid's back is patterned (Picture: Asus)
The entire device is black (Picture: Asus)
The entire device is black (Picture: Asus)

Display

Asus equips the P550CA with a matte, 15.6-inch screen with a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The average brightness of 211.3 cd/m² secures a place in the lower midfield. Both the ProBook (202.8 cd/m²; HD) and the ThinkPad Edge (217.2 cd/m²; HD) are also in this range. The contrast of 259:1 and black level of 0.82 cd/m² of the P550CA's screen are not exceptional either. However, neither the ProBook (211:1; 1.08 cd/m²) nor the ThinkPad Edge (289:1; 0.8 cd/m²) offer much better rates.

226
cd/m²
200
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
224
cd/m²
212
cd/m²
206
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
199
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 232 cd/m²
Average: 211.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 212 cd/m²
Black: 0.82 cd/m²
Contrast: 259:1

Since Asus pre-loads a color profile, the screen's color rates are quite good. The average DeltaE 2000 shift is 5.3 in state of delivery. Thus, the screen misses the target range of DeltaE less than 3 only marginally. The screen at most exhibits an insignificant bluish cast.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
The P550CA outdoors
The P550CA outdoors

It is quite possible to use the P550CA outdoors. However, overly bright surroundings should be avoided. The screen's viewing-angle stability is as can be expected from the price range: very limited.

Performance

With the P550CA, Asus has a 15.6-inch, office laptop in its product range that is aimed at both small and medium-sized businesses and private users alike. The laptop cannot offer typical business features such as a docking station port or Trusted Platform Module. Our review sample is sold for approximately 480 Euros (~$665). Buyers who do not need either operating system can purchase the laptop for 380 Euros (~$527, model: P550CA-X0522D; note the "D" at the end of the name).

Processor

The P550CA is powered by a Core i3-3217U processor. This dual-core CPU comes from Intel's former Ivy Bridge processor generation. The processor clocks with a speed of 1.8 GHz and does not feature Turbo. It is a ULV model with a TDP of 17 watts. The CPU processes the CPU tests of the Cinebench benchmarks at full speed in both AC and battery mode. The P550CA cannot keep up with the scores of the ProBook or ThinkPad Edge. Both contenders sport stronger processors.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.75 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.8 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
12.48 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
65 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
160 Points
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit
Asus P550CA-XO522G
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
0.75 Points ∼27%
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.25 Points ∼9% -67%
HP 250 G2 (F0Z00EA)
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3510, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.26 Points ∼9% -65%
HP ProBook 455 G1 H6P57EA
Radeon HD 7420G, A4-4300M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.68 Points ∼25% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
0.84 Points ∼30% +12%
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1 Points ∼36% +33%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 20C60041
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.06 Points ∼38% +41%
HP ProBook 450 G1 E9Y58EA
HD Graphics 4600, 4702MQ, Seagate Momentus ST750LM022 HN-M750MB
1.42 Points ∼51% +89%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus P550CA-XO522G
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
1.8 Points ∼10%
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.47 Points ∼3% -74%
HP ProBook 455 G1 H6P57EA
Radeon HD 7420G, A4-4300M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1.03 Points ∼6% -43%
HP 250 G2 (F0Z00EA)
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3510, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1.48 Points ∼8% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
2.19 Points ∼12% +22%
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2.49 Points ∼14% +38%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 20C60041
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2.55 Points ∼14% +42%
HP ProBook 450 G1 E9Y58EA
HD Graphics 4600, 4702MQ, Seagate Momentus ST750LM022 HN-M750MB
6.3 Points ∼36% +250%

System Performance

The system ran smoothly without problems. The PCMark 7 benchmark score was also very good. However, Asus' laptop cannot compete with either contender because both sport stronger processors.

PC Mark
PCMark 71905 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
Asus P550CA-XO522G
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
1905 Points ∼29%
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1083 Points ∼16% -43%
HP ProBook 455 G1 H6P57EA
Radeon HD 7420G, A4-4300M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1586 Points ∼24% -17%
HP 250 G2 (F0Z00EA)
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3510, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1604 Points ∼24% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
2025 Points ∼31% +6%
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2373 Points ∼36% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 20C60041
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2538 Points ∼38% +33%
HP ProBook 450 G1 E9Y58EA
HD Graphics 4600, 4702MQ, Seagate Momentus ST750LM022 HN-M750MB
2736 Points ∼41% +44%

Storage Devices

Our review sample sports a hard drive from Western Digital's Scorpio Blue line. It has a capacity of 500 GB and spins with 5400 revolutions per minute. Asus divides the hard drives of its laptops into an operating system partition (186 GB) and a data partition (258 GB) ex-factory. CrystalDiskMark recorded a read speed of 103.3 MB/s. That is a decent rate for a 5400 rpm hard drive. We have to positively note the above average 4k read/write rates.

Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
Sequential Read: 103.3 MB/s
Sequential Write: 102.5 MB/s
512K Read: 32.56 MB/s
512K Write: 46.27 MB/s
4K Read: 0.349 MB/s
4K Write: 1.083 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 0.907 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 1.103 MB/s

Graphics Card

The graphics card in the P550CA comes from Intel and is called HD Graphics 4000. It supports DirectX 11 and clocks with speeds ranging from 350 to 1050 MHz. The 3DMark benchmark scores are as we expected. Asus' laptop cannot match the rates of either the ThinkPad Edge or the ProBook because both devices sport stronger GPUs.

3D Mark
3DMark 11555 points
3DMark Ice Storm28013 points
3DMark Cloud Gate2853 points
3DMark Fire Strike407 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance
Asus P550CA-XO522G
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
555 Points ∼4%
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
372 Points ∼3% -33%
HP ProBook 455 G1 H6P57EA
Radeon HD 7420G, A4-4300M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
501 Points ∼4% -10%
Acer TravelMate P255-M-54204G50Mnss
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
665 Points ∼5% +20%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 20C60041
HD Graphics 4600, 4000M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
828 Points ∼6% +49%
HP ProBook 450 G1 E9Y58EA
HD Graphics 4600, 4702MQ, Seagate Momentus ST750LM022 HN-M750MB
1042 Points ∼8% +88%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545-20B2000PGE
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
1802 Points ∼14% +225%

Gaming Performance

Asus classifies the P550CA as an office device for professional and private use. Consequently, the ability to render computer games is secondary. Nevertheless, a few games can be played smoothly in a low resolution (1024x768 pixels) and low to medium quality settings. A few extra frames can be extracted from the laptop via an extra working memory module. The additional module allows the working memory to operate in dual-channel mode, which maxes out the GPU better. This should make a higher frame rate of up to averagely 20% possible.

low med.high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 31.215.89.5fps

Emissions

System Noise

An office laptop should be as silent as possible. The device does not disappoint in this point. Only a very quiet noise from the fan is heard in idle mode. That is different during load: The fan spins faster and produces more noise. However, it is still within a moderate range.

Noise Level

Idle 31 / 31 / 31 dB(A)
DVD 36.3 / dB(A)
Load 34 / 38.4 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Asus P550CA-XO522G in the stress test
Asus P550CA-XO522G in the stress test

The installed ULV processor does not produce excessive waste heat. Consequently, the surface temperatures of the P550CA are within an acceptable range on every measuring point. The ThinkPad Edge shows a similar behavior. The ProBook exceeds 40 or 50 °C at two measuring points in the fan's area during the stress test.

The CPU in the P550CA ran the stress test, where Prime95 and Furmark run for at least one hour, at full speed in both AC and battery mode (1.8 GHz). However, the GPU works with 900 to 1000 MHz (AC mode) and 350 MHz (battery mode). The CPU temperature settled to approximately 70 °C during the stress test (AC mode).

 24.6 °C25.3 °C23.4 °C 
 26.3 °C27.6 °C24.2 °C 
 26.1 °C27.6 °C28.8 °C 
Maximum: 28.8 °C
Average: 26 °C
24.3 °C28 °C28.7 °C
24.7 °C27.7 °C27.6 °C
31.7 °C26.6 °C25.6 °C
Maximum: 31.7 °C
Average: 27.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  22.5 °C | Room Temperature 21.8 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The P550CA's idle power consumption ranged from 8.6 to 10.6 watts. Both the ThinkPad Edge (5.4 to 7.9 watts) and the ProBook (6.3 to 8.8 watts) proved more energy efficient, although they - unlike the P550CA - sport standard mobile processors (no ULV). The reason is easily found: Both the ProBook and ThinkPad Edge are powered by Haswell CPUs. The Haswell architecture is generally more frugal than the Ivy Bridge architecture. The P55CA has the lead in medium load via 3DMark06 and during full load in the stress test via Prime95 and Furmark). Here, it can use the advantage of its lower operating voltage in contrast to the processors in the contenders. Naturally, the ProBook has the highest power consumption since the laptop sports a quad-core processor.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.0001 Watt
Idle 8.6 / 10.6 / 10.6 Watt
Load 27.7 / 36 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

Websites are automatically opened every 40 seconds in the practical Wi-Fi test. The energy-saving profile is enabled, and the screen's brightness is set to approximately 150 cd/m². The PC550CA achieves a runtime of 3:01 h. That is short for a laptop based on a ULV CPU, and that has additionally been conceived for professionals. Both the ThinkPad Edge (4:23 h) and the ProBook (4:48 h) run longer. The batteries in both laptops have a higher capacity (Asus: 37 Wh; HP: 47 Wh; Lenovo: 48 Wh) than the model in the P550CA.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
3h 01min

Verdict

Asus' P550CA-XO522G offers good application performance and mostly a quiet operating noise. Furthermore, the laptop comes with two operating systems and features a matte screen. However, the screen only has a low contrast, and its viewing angles are limited. At least the screen's colors look quite natural. The battery runtime in the practical Wi-Fi test is not convincing. We expect considerably more nowadays.

Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E540 and HP's ProBook 450 are characterized by stronger CPUs, better maintenance options, longer battery runtimes, and superior input devices. The ThinkPad Edge model 20C60043GE (Core i5-4200M, no Windows operating system) is available starting at 520 Euros (~$720). Approximately 580 Euros (~$804) is demanded for the least expensive E9Y49EA model from the ProBook 450 line (Core i3-4000M, Windows 7 Pro + Windows 8 Pro).

Comment this article:

In Review: Asus P550CA-XO522G, courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de
In Review: Asus P550CA-XO522G, courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de

Specifications

Asus P550CA-XO522G

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM76 (Panther Point)
:: Memory
4096 MB, DDR3, memory soldered directly to the motherboard, one empty memory bank
:: Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 4000, Core: 350-1050 MHz, 9.17.10.2963
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, LP156WH3-TLT1, TN LED, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX, 500 GB 5400 rpm , 394 GB free
:: Soundcard
Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combo audio jack, Card Reader: SD,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR9485WB-EG Wireless Network Adapter (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GUA0N
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 32 x 380 x 251
:: Weight
2.3 kg Power Supply: 0.233 kg
:: Battery
37 Wh Lithium-Ion, 14.4 V, 2500 mAh
:: Price
499 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit) + Windows 8 Pro (64 Bit)
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD-Webcam, Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Cyberlink LabelPrint 2.5, Cyberlink Power2Go, McAfee LiveSafe - Internet Security (trial), Microsoft Office 365 (trial), Windows Essentials 2012, 24 Months Warranty

 

Similar Laptops

Similar devices from a different Manufacturer

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

Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Amazon: Invalid XML response.

Amazon.com

Show results on Amazon.com

Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Matte screen
+Windows 7 Pro (64 bit) + Windows 8 Pro (64 bit)
+24 month warranty
+Quiet operating noise
+Screen does not have a bluish cast
+Screen delivers good color rates
 

Cons

-No Haswell processor
-Poor battery runtimes
-Low-contrast screen

Shortcut

What we like

The low operating noise and two operating systems.

What we'd like to see

A brighter, higher contrast screen.

What surprises us

Asus at least includes a separate installation DVD for Windows 8. We don't see that very often nowadays.

The competition

HP ProBook 450, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540, HP ProBook 455, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E545, Acer TravelMate P255-M, HP 250 G2, HP 255 G2.

Rating

Asus P550CA-XO522G
04/22/2014 v4
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
74 / 98 → 76%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
60%
Weight
61 / 67 → 87%
Battery
76%
Display
75%
Games Performance
57 / 85 → 67%
Application Performance
54%
Temperature
93%
Noise
93%
Audio
55%
Camera
38%
Average
68%
76%
Office *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Asus P550CA-XO522G Notebook
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-04-28 (Update: 2014-04-29)