ASUS K450CA-BH21T

14-inch Budget Class Laptop with a Touchscreen Display

ASUS K450CA 14-inch Budget Laptop PC
ASUS K450CA. ©ASUSTek

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The Bottom Line

Apr 3 2015 - For those wanting a full size laptop with a touchscreen, the ASUS K450CA-BH21T is probably the most compact one on the market currently. Beyond the touchscreen display though and its size, there is not much remarkable about it. If you don't need a touchscreen, there are more powerful options out there with better battery life.

Pros

  • Touchscreen Display
  • More Compact Than Typical Budget Laptops

    Cons

    • Reflective Display Makes it Hard to Use Outdoors
    • Touchpad Has Multitouch Issues
    • Below Average Battery Life

    Description

    • Intel Pentium 2117U Dual Core Mobile Processor
    • 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
    • 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
    • Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Burner
    • 14.0" WXGA (1366x768) Touchscreen Display with 720p Webcam
    • Intel HD Graphics Integrated Graphics
    • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
    • One USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, SD Card Slot
    • 13.7" x 9.5" x 1.3" @ 4.6 lbs.
    • Windows 8.1

    Review - ASUS K450CA-BH21T (90NB0279-M03670)

    Apr 3 2014 - The ASUS X552 series of laptops did extremely well thanks to their low overall pricing. The big problem with them is that they have not really been updated much recently and they lack some other features. The ASUS K450CA is another budget class laptop that offers an affordable alternative in a slightly smaller package. The system is an inch narrower and half an inch more shallow but retains the same 1.3-inch thickness.

    Weight has been dropped to just 4.6 pounds making it lighter than most 15-inch budget laptops.

    Powering the ASUS K450CA-BH21T is an Intel Pentium 2117U dual core mobile processor. Now this is essentially a scaled back version of the Intel Core i3 ultra-low voltage processors found in many ultrabooks.

    It may not be as fast as the Core i3 processors found in other systems but it does provide sufficient performance for those doing the most basic computing tasks like browsing the web, streaming media and productivity applications. The processor is matched up with 4GB of DDR3 memory which runs smooth enough in the operating system but will limit the ability to multitask.

    Storage features for the ASUS K450CA-BH21T are typical of your average budget class laptop. It uses a 500GB hard drive rather than many other laptops that are starting to move to solid state drives for improved performance. This means boot times and application loads are slower but you do get more storage space for applications, data and media files. If you want to add additional space to the system, there is a single USB 3.0 port for use with high speed external hard drives. The system does still feature a dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD or DVD media which is being removed from many new laptops.

    The big feature for the ASUS K450CA though is the display. Rather than a standard display, it has a multitouch panel that allows for easier navigation of the Windows 8 operating system. The 14-inch size does make it a bit smaller than many other budget systems but it uses the same 1366x768 native resolution meaning that it has a slightly sharper image.

    One downside to the multitouch panel is the highly reflective coating that makes it more difficult to use outdoors. The graphics are powered by a scaled back Intel HD Graphics that are built into the Pentium processor. This is suitable for basic tasks but it is not really recommended for those that want to do 3D graphics unless you want the most basic graphics settings at the lowest resolutions. It does support Quick Sync for improved encoding performance with compatible applications but it is still slower than the full Core i series processors.

    With the smaller display making it a little less wide than 15-inch laptops, the ASUS K450CA uses a keyboard layout with a numeric keypad.

    This gives it a bit more room for larger size keys but some of the keys were moved to the right of the enter, backspace and shift keys which can take some time to get used to. It is an isolated layout design that offers a good deal of space between keys and a high level of comfort and accuracy even if it does not have as nice of a feel as some other ASUS systems. The touchpad is a nice size that uses integrated buttons. Tracking on it for single touch works without any issues but the multitouch does seem to have issues with some of the gestures. This is not as much of a problem with the system having the touchscreen.

    ASUS packs the K450CA laptop with a 37 WHr capacity battery pack. This puts it slightly below the roughly 40WHr average for this price range and style of laptop. In digital video playback testing, the laptop was able to run for just over three and a quarter hours. This is below average for this class of laptop and is likely the result of the touchscreen that tends to use more power. For instance, the Acer Aspire E5 is able to run for an hour and a half longer but it does have a much larger 48WHr capacity battery and no touchscreen.

    Priced just below $500, the ASUS K450CA is affordable for those wanting a full sized laptop with a touchscreen display. The primary competition to the ASUS is the HP 150-g200 laptop. There are many differences between the two but they primarily come down to size and performance. For instance, the ASUS is smaller with its 14-inch display compared to the 15-inch HP. The HP is also based around the AMD A6 quad core processor which provides it with a slight edge when it comes to performance and graphics.

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