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A Glimpse @ ASUS K43SA – Stylish and Powerful Notebook

Last Christmas I was able to get a great gift from my wife – The Asus K43SA. I will be sharing mostly the specifications, pictures and my personal experience about this notebook.
The laptop came from Singapore and comes with some freebies that I will also show later. But frankly, I do not know if sellers in the Philippines are also giving away the same free stuff like the ones I got.

Out of the box we will see a very stylish notebook in a metallic color. Just by merely looking at the item you can know that you are getting one high quality product from ASUS.

Top View :

Specifications
Processor Intel® Core™ i7 2670QM/2630QM Processor¬¬
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
Chipset Intel® HM65 Express Chipset
Memory DDR3 1333 MHz SDRAM, 2 x SO-DIMM socket for expansion up to 8 G SDRAM
Display 14.0″ 16:9 HD (1366×768) LED Backlight
Graphic AMD Radeon® HD 6730M
Storage 2.5″ SATA
640GB 5400rpm
Optical Drive Super-Multi DVD
Card Reader 3 -in-1 card reader ( SD/ MS/ MMC)
Camera 0.3 Mega Pixel Fixed web camera
Networking Integrated 802.11 b/g/n
Built-in Bluetooth™ V3.0+HS (Optional)
10/100/1000 Base T
Interface 1 x Microphone-in jack
1 x Headphone-out jack
1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor
3 x USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
1 x HDMI
Audio Built-in Speakers And Microphone
SonicFocus
Altec Lansing® Speakers
Battery 6Cells : 5200 mAh 56 Whrs
Power Adapter Output :
19 V DC, 4.74 A, 90 W ((Dual Core)) , 120 W ((Quad Core))
Input :
100 -240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
Dimensions 34.8 x 24.2 x 2.95 ~3.48 cm (WxDxH)
Weight 2.44 kg (with 6 cell battery)

Here are some more pictures and descriptions to further show how beautiful the laptop is.
There are a couple of USB 2.0 slot, mic input and headset connector at the lower right part.

The DVD writer is located in the upper right part of the laptop

A usb 3.0 , HDMI, VGA and gigabit LAN connector can be seen in the lower left part of the laptop.

The laptop is using speakers from Altec Lansing.

The laptop is using a Chiclet keyboard and very comfortable to use.

Some sticker – Bragging rights 

Testing the laptop (daily usage):

Installed some of our most commonly used software – Photo and Video Editing software and Office applications. I edited some pictures and have done some video encoding using in this laptop and it did not show any signs of stress. It was able to perform all the necessary tasks without any problems.
Tried installing and playing some games and again, it flawlessly executed games like NBA 2k12, Need for speed, Super Street Fighter 4 with no lag during gameplay. Well, what can we expect with a dedicated 2GB video card!
Entertainment mode! I tried watching my favorite NCIS episode in this laptop and everything went pretty smoothly even while running on batteries alone. The speaker is descent enough at around 75-80% of the volume slider. If you go beyond that, the sounds are less than impressive especially if there are scenes involving car crashes, shootings and explosions.
Even with just the ordinary 6 cell battery that came with the laptop, I was pretty impressed that it actually lasts around 3 hours unlugged with LED at around 60% illumination and wifi is ON.
My review will not be complete without some benchmarks, so I decided to run a couple of them and the results are below. Testing conditions are at stock only. The AC adapter is also plugged-in during benchmark testing.
Aida64
Memory read

Memory Write

Memory Copy

3D Mark11

One thing to note when running 3DM, the gpu core went up from 300 ( normal operation ) to the specified 725Mhz along with the Memory Clock that went up to 900Mhz. The temperature while running 3DM11 is around 53-55 C. I do not know also how accurate it is but I noticed that when running the benchmark, the GPU load is just ranging from 5% – 8%.
I cannot made any comment if the 3dM score is high or low as this is the first laptop that I ave run the 3D mark test.
I was able to strike a pretty good deal and was able to secure a 128GB SSD. I confirmed with the local ASUS office and they said that replacing the HDD will not void my warranty so I decided to plug it in and re-installed the necessary software. Boot up time improved and the system will boot up around 10-15 seconds as compared to 30-40 seconds when using a hard disk drive. Also with no mechanical HDD, the battery now lasts around 4.5 hours before it triggers you to plug in your system at around 10% battery left.
Freebies from Asus

First of all, I am informing my readers that the freebies I got were from the store in Singapore. Freebies will vary from country to country and will also depend on the store. So better practice your haggling before buying.
First freebie was an 8GB RAM upgrade. My laptop now comes with 2 x 4GB ram as compared to the stock 4GB ram.

The laptop also came with an optical mouse and a headset. But it is not an ordinary headset! It is actually an ROG (Republic of Gamer) headset made by SteelSeries for ASUS!





Overall on the headset, I would say it is very comfortable to use, even for several hours while watching movies or playing games. The sound quality is very good.
Conclusion

Overall, I am very impressed with this laptop from ASUS. It can be considered as an ALL in One machine. Speed step technology is kicking in when I am just using this laptop for browsing, office applications and downloading. Power of the core i7 will kick in once you use it for gaming, photo editing and video encoding. LED display included is a very good addition. The Chiclet keyboard is pretty amazing and comfortable even after using for extended hours. The included windows 7 Home Premium is good enough for your everyday use – no need to go ultimate!

Be sure to also check with the stores on the warranty provided. My laptop comes with 36 months warranty! Some stores are giving one year, some are giving 2.

Ratings
Build Quality – 9/10
Ergonomics / Keyboard – 9/10
Ergonomics / Weight – 7 /10
Battery Life – 8/10
Performance – 9/10