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Review Asus X51R Notebook

Close to the Limit. Currently the demand for notebooks is in general high, but, especially the market for reasonable beginner notebooks booms. Of course all manufacturers intent to put effort into this market segment, and place really reasonable notebooks in this segment, because the sales volume is high. This is also true for the well-known manufacturer Asus, who offers the X51R at a retail price of about 600,- Euro. Read here, how this low-cost notebook differs from the rest of the Asus series.

Asus X51R Logo

Case

Asus notebooks are characterized by a rather flat, angular, and geometric design. However, the design is also used to draw the outline of single lines.  They do not only differ in means of color, but also regarding used materials.

How does the X51R differ from Asus' current product range? Simply, by not following any of the mentioned aspects. Neither the color choice nor the used materials give the X51R any individual outlook.

This might sound heavy, but, it does not harm the X51R. Its silver gray design lets it appear rather decent, and also its pleasing design well classifies it as low-cost model. If there weren't multiple Asus logos, this notebook could be easily mismatched another manufacturer.

Nevertheless, the case appears to be very stable and compact. If you think that it is impossible to get a sound case for 600,-, you'll be disabused. Neither does the X51R's case have special anomalies regarding deflections nor regarding pressure and bending force resistance. It's even possible to pick up the notebook at its front edge without any creaking noise. Regarding this aspect the only weak region can be found at the bottom side of the notebook next to the optical drive. Here, the case clearly yields under pressure.

The X51R's display is moderately robust. Regarding flexural rigidity it rates  generally well. However, it is not really able to counter applied forces at the display's outer side. Still, we reviewed already a couple of clearly sensibler cases.

The size of the hinges subjectively appears to be sufficient, furthermore, they are well capable of holding the 15.4 inch WXGA panel in the chosen position. A slight, nearly negligible see-saw can still be observed. The ramshorn hook secures the closed display absolutely tight, so, there is nothing left to criticize here.

The ports of the notebook are partly at its back side and partly at the right side. The number and variety of ports provided is rather short: Besides 4 USB ports, only a VGA out, both audio ports, a modem, and a Lan adapter are provided by the notebook.

Front Side: No ports
Asus X51R Interfaces
Left Side: DVD drive
Asus X51R Interfaces
Back Side: VGA-out, 2x USB, Lan, Modem, Power connector, Kensington lock, fan
Asus X51R Interfaces
Right side: Audio Ports, 2x USB 2.0, PCCard, Card reader
Asus X51R Interfaces

Input Devices

The Asus X51R's keyboard is not especially structured in any way. Guided by the American archetype, the available rectangle was segmented into sub-rectangles and filled with keys. Only the cursor block does not totally follow this strict order.

The key size is generally alright. Nearly all keys (again except of the cursor keys and the F-keys) are well and user-friendly dimensioned. Although the F-keys and the cursor keys are made smaller, you won't face any negative impact on use.

During typing, you'll detect that the total keyboard somewhat yields under pressure and is only rather loosely attached. At forceful typing, a clear clatter can be heard.
Typing feels comfortable and is characterized by a well recognizable point of pressure. Typing very fast, might feel uneasy, because the pressure point is somewhat overemphasized.

The  color of the Asus X51R's touch pad goes well with the rest of the case. Furthermore, it has a comfortable surface with good sliding properties and it precisely reacts to user actions.
Both of the touch pad buttons react at their total extend and can be used be applying a comfortable amount of force. However, its comparably loud clicking noise somewhat annoys.

In the center above the keyboard there are the Asus typical hot keys, which can be used to, e.g., switch between different energy/performance profiles or to (de)activate the wireless function. The volume is controlled by the key combination Fn F11/F12.

Touch pad
Asus X51R Touch pad
Keyboard
Asus X51R Keyboard

Display

Color Diagram
Asus X51R Display measurement

The display, too, keeps a potential for saving. Surprisingly the reflecting 15.4 inch display with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels did not really rate bad during our review.

The maximum brightness was measured in its center and is very good at 175.7 cd/m². The average brightness of also well 151.3 cd/m² and the acceptable illumination of 78.6% can hardly be criticized, too.

The color diagram depicts a lowered blue color curve and a slightly raised red color curve. In total red colors dominate and let the colors appear warmer. Therefore, we recommend to rather not use this display for image editing.

138.1
cd/m²
147.6
cd/m²
142.9
cd/m²
151.7
cd/m²
175.7
cd/m²
158.2
cd/m²
148.3
cd/m²
147.3
cd/m²
151.5
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 175.7 cd/m²
Average: 151.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 79 %
Black: 0.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 293:1

The relatively low black value together with the very good maximum brightness also lead to a good result regarding contrast ratio, which is noteworthy 293:1 and therewith exceeds clearly many of the comparable 15 inch displays.
The display's speed of reaction is average, it rates grade 6 of the Pixperan test of legibility.

Operation Outdoors
Asus X51R Outdoor

Although the good brightness and illumination would make this display fit for outdoor usage, its reflecting surface causes heavy reflections especially in bright environments. So working in the sunshine is rather difficult.

Horizontally, the stability to the vantage point is mainly limited by reflections at acute angles. Otherwise its picture is stable to the vantage point.
Vertically, you can observe the usual whitening or darkening, depending on whether you move your vantage point down or up, outside an adequately big area of operation.

Asus X51R Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus X51R Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus X51R Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus X51R Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus X51R Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus X51R Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus X51R Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus X51R Stability to the Vantage Point

Performance

Up to here, besides a poor equipment with interfaces, we did not face any heavy saving measure. Performance is another exciting aspect, also, because of the provided Windows Vista with its high demands on system resources.

The review verifies this. The Asus X51R is equipped with an Intel Celeron M 520 processor, an new Celeron brand with 64Bit capability, which also allows the use of Vista. Well, allows, but doesn't make it joyful.

This notebooks is also equipped with an integrated Intel 950 GMA video chip which fulfills the minimum requirements of Vista, but there are hardly any reserve capacities for 3D multimedia applications.

But, the main bottle neck of the hardware equipment is the available main memory. Only 512MB RAM are hardly sufficient for Vista, even more, if also the video card uses a part of it.

This does not mean, that Windows Vista cannot be run on this notebook, however, you'll face clear limitations compared to fitter systems. After Vista finally booted after a while, a you'll notice a delay when starting and executing programs.
It took up to 2 seconds to open a simple .txt file. Although this does not sound too much, this seems to be a long time during a working process.

Fortunately, neither technically nor financially big efforts are necessary to fix this main problem. You can get another 512MB bank for clearly less than 50.-, and even an untrained user is able to put it into the free memory slot. All you need is a crosstip screwdriver.

With a total of 1GB main memory even Vista should run more smoothly without big problems and the notebook should be fit for office and internet applications. However, don't even think to play games with the  Asus X51R, except you should consider very old games at Amiga level...

The provided 80GB hard disk rated average regarding transfer rates and access times. Also the capacity should be alright for standard use.

Further information about the video card can be found here or in our comparison of mobile video cards. Detailed information about the Celeron M CPU can be found here.

Please also look at our benchmark list of mobile processors or at our benchmark list of mobile video cards, in order to compare this notebook to other configurations.

Benchmark Comparison 3DMark
Asus X51R Benchmark Comparison
Benchmark Comparison PCMark
Asus X51R Benchmark Comparison
3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE4127 points
3DMark 031100 points
3DMark 05399 points
3DMark 06
 
71 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B (min)
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
54
   ...
Asus Eee PC 1101HA
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
68
Asus X51R
 520, Radeon Xpress 1100
71
Asus Eee PC 901
 N270, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
73
Acer Aspire One 533-13Drr
 N455, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3150
89
   ...
Clevo Clevo P157SM (max)
 4930MX, GeForce GTX 880M
29955
PC Mark
PCMark 051845 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Asus Eee PC 1015T
 V105, Radeon HD 4250
1749
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
1839
Asus X51R
 520, Radeon Xpress 1100
1845
Dell Inspiron duo
 N550, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3150
1857
Samsung N510 black
 N270, GeForce 9400M (G) / ION (LE)
1859
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
80 GB - 5400 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 2.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 45.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 30.6 MB/s
Access Time: 18.7 ms
Burst Rate: 90.1 MB/s
CPU Usage: 7.7 %

Emissions

Loudness

During idle mode the fan frequently changes its revolutions. A maximum noise level of 35.0 dB is  well acceptable and hardly disturbing, however, the unsteady noise level draws attention.

Even the maximum noise level under load of 38.1 dB is alright.

Noise Level

Idle 32.4 / 41.3 / 41.3 dB(A)
HDD 37.9 dB(A)
DVD 36.5 / dB(A)
Load / 41.3 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Similar to the noise emissions also the heating of the Asus X51R is rather limited. A maximum of  34.7°C at the top side and of 42.1°C at the bottom side are unlikely to disturb at all.

Upper side

palmwrist: 30.8°C max: 35.1°C avg: 32.6°C

Bottom side

max: 42.1°C avg: 38.0°C

Speakers

Both of the speakers at the front edge provide you with a rather acceptable sound at limited maximum volume. Whilst at normal operation only the basses are somewhat missing, at maximum volume the sound gets in total somewhat unclear.

Battery Runtime

The maximum battery runtime is rather poor.  At minimum energy demand the runtime of the X51R is only slightly above 2 hours. Under load only about 1.5 hours are possible. So the mobile use of this notebook is rather restricted.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 15min
DVD
2h 00min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 30min

Power Consumption

Idle 19.5 / 26.4 / 27.4 Watt
Load 39.0 / 36.7 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

Asus X51R
Asus X51R

In total we were surprised that a very reasonable notebook still rates passable in many aspects. Especially the display surprised us in a positive way. Only the performance suffers from savings. It's quite a difference regarding price and also performance, whether a Celeron or Dualcore CPU is built-in.

The Asus X51R's workmanship is besides some smaller weaknesses alright. Especially robustness and stability of the case stuck out. Although there is nothing striking regarding design, the X51R looks alright.

In general, the input devices are alright, small weaknesses regarding typing, especially that the keyboard is not attached to the case really tight, hints on the price class.

As already mentioned the display surprised us in a positive way. Despite it is a reflecting panel, its measurement values regarding brightness, illumination and contrast were altogether alright.

The performance is this notebook's main weakness. Not even the Celeron processor is the weakest part, no, it's clearly the main memory of only 512MB. This is hardly sufficient for Windows Vista (pre-installed per default). Well, you can run Vista, but you should definitely upgrade to at least 1GB.

Although the noise emissions were rather limited, the fan annoyed by rapidly changing its revolutions. On the contrary, the surface temperatures are totally alright.

The battery runtime is the second weakness for the benefit of a low price. A maximum of roughly 2 hours are clearly insufficient for a planed mobile use.

Reviewed: Asus X51R
Asus X51R

Specifications

Asus X51R

:: Processor
Intel Celeron M 520 1.6 GHz
:: Mainboard
ATI RS400
:: Memory
512 MB, DDR2 PC5300 SDRAM, max. 2048MB, 1x512MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
15.4 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, WXGA Color-Shine Glare Type TFT Display, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
80 GB - 5400 rpm, 80 GB 5400 rpm Hitachi HTS 541680J9SA00: 80GB, 5400rpm
:: Connections
PCCard, Mikrofon, Headphones, 4x USB 2.0, VGA-Out, Kensington Lock, LAN, Modem
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 36 x 365 x 264
:: Weight
2.74 kg
:: Battery
, 4400 mAh Lithium Ionen Akku
:: Price
600 Euro
:: Additional features
ATI RS400/RC400/RC410, HDD: 80GB, 5400rpm, Hitachi HTS 541680J9SA00, Realtek HD Audio, DVD +/-R (DL) Matshita UJ-850S,

 

[+] compare
The Asus X51R is a beginner's notebook, which basically attracts by its price.
Asus X51R Image
The maximum battery runtime of only 2 hours is the second main weakness.
Asus X51R Image
The sound of the speakers is also acceptable, but the maximum volume is rather limited.
Asus X51R Image
The surface temperatures were alright.
Asus X51R Image
Although the noise of the fan is limited, it rapidly changes the revolutions.
Asus X51R Image
By upgrading with another 512MB Ram even a layperson can improve the performance.
Asus X51R Image
Still, Vista runs on the X51R, even if it is troublesome.
Asus X51R Image
For the benefit of price, the performance is reduced.
Asus X51R Image
The 15.4 inch display surprised by good measurement results.
Asus X51R Image
Despite the keyboard is not attached to the case absolutely tight, it is comfortable in use.
Asus X51R Image
The first saving measures get apparent at the provided interfaces.
Asus X51R Image
...even if the notebook is out of plastics with weak haptics.
Asus X51R Image
On the contrary, the case convinces by compact and robust construction,...
Asus X51R Image
Surprisingly, the workmanship of the X51R won't allow to classify it as low-cost computer.
Asus X51R Image
The average non-striking design fits well to a low-cost notebook.
Asus X51R Image
Asus X51R Image

Pro

  • Nice design
  • Robust case, good workmanship
  • Bright display, good contrast
  • Very reasonable price
  • Moderate noise and temperature emissions
  • Contra

  • Poor interface equipment
  • Keyboard rickety
  • Performance just sufficiently powerful for Vista
  • Uneven fan
  • Similar Notebooks

    Bewertung

    Asus X51R
    08/31/2007
    J. Simon Leitner

    Chassis
    86%
    Keyboard
    84%
    Pointing Device
    86%
    Connectivity
    82%
    Weight
    79%
    Battery
    59%
    Display
    88%
    Games Performance
    48%
    Application Performance
    76%
    Temperature
    70%
    Noise
    88%
    Add Points
    86%
    Average
    78%
    81%
    Office *
    Weighted Average

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Asus X51R Notebook
    Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-05- 6 (Update: 2013-05- 8)