If retailer Harvey Norman’s $477 price for a Core i3 laptop is a good deal for a computer that brings you the basic specs for acceptable computing performance, $596 for a 15.6in ASUS K55A-SX005S laptop is equally good because it gives you the specs for the kind of comfortably powerful performance previously not available for under $600.
If we compared laptops to cars, the $477 laptop has a 4-cylinder engine while this one has a V6. They both get you there, but the K55A-SX005S does it much more quickly and comfortably. And since the Core i5 processors have things like Turbo Boost, it means that whenever they come up against an unusually demanding computing task, they can ratchet up the speed of their "engine" temporarily deal with it, whereas a Core i3 will struggle.
Even better, the Core i5 processor inside the ASUS K55A-SX005S is a 3rd generation Core i5 (3210M) , which means you get all the benefits of Intel’s latest processor technology, launched in May this year. This includes superior battery life because these chips are more efficient (our labs tests at sister publication APC showed roughly a 20% improvement over gen Gen 2 processors) and better graphic performance.
The rest of the specs are quite basic for a Core -5-powered machine: you get 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, while the screen is the standard 1366x768 resolution, but, hey, it's all about the 3rd Gen Core i5 for under $600.
In all, the ASUS K55A-SX005S means you can now can buy a powerful, current technology laptop at a budget price. If you can afford the extra $119, we’d definitely choose this laptop over the cheaper Core i3 special, although, for what it is, the cheaper laptop is also a good deal.
Note that Harvey Norman has advertised it around the country but unusually has removed details of the laptop on its website, asking users to check with their local Harvey Norman store if it's available. The sale ends COB Monday (Sep 24).
See the deal below