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If you’re aiming to buy your child the best i3 laptop and the best laptop, something lightweight and affordable, here’s our suggestion: the Asus X540LA. It has a bunch of ports and legacy features to play with, like a CD player and HDMI. It also has just enough performance to play titles like Roblox.
The Asus X540LA is by no means a workhorse—it doesn’t have the specs for that—but what it does have is a 5th Gen Intel Core i3 and Intel HD Graphics to play Roblox on a comfortable 15.6-inch display.
When you strip away the plastic chassis, the Asus X540LA doesn’t have much to offer—nothing an adult would want, even for general use. Its Intel Core i3-5020U only runs two cores, which doesn’t allow for much multitasking. And gaming? Its Intel HD 5500 Graphics doesn’t run much other than Roblox and similarly low-spec titles. Check out our ASUS Vivobook S14 review if you want a laptop with a fingerprint scanner.
Compared to the HP 17.3 Laptop, the Asus X540LA has an abysmal battery life. On a single charge, it gets as much as 4.5 hours. If you tweak your power settings, you might hit that mark consistently, but it isn’t worth the effort.
There’s a hefty number of ports and features running along the sides of the Asus X540LA SI30205P. For example, you get legacy features such as: optical drive for CDs and VGA, in addition to HDMI, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 and 2.0 USB ports, and USB-C port. The HP 15.6 Laptop doesn’t offer nearly as much. You can upgrade the RAM, maxing out at 8GB, and expand the hard drive via SD card reader. For a great PC all around, you need to read our ASUS Zenbook 13 review.
A symptom of a low price is usually lower build quality, and you can see that with the plastic used to house the hardware. It isn’t bad, with only a slight amount of flex, but otherwise gets the job done.
The Asus X540LA-SI30205P 15.6-Inch Display Premium Laptop Intel Core i3 is about as basic as you can get. Its value comes from being a general usage laptop, a jack-of-all-trades, but hardly a master of any. If anything, it’s a solid option as your kid’s first laptop. It runs Roblox and can stream media. For all around better i3 performance, without spending too much more, get the Asus Vivobook 15.
Compared to current average laptops, you could say the Asus X540LA is “bad,” but that’s not entirely fair. It would be more accurate to say the X540LA is just old. But there are a bunch of ports to use, plus USB-C, and the screen size is a comfortable 15.6 inches. It’s best off in the hands of a kid.