To start off, you may be wondering why the ASUS L210 I’m reviewing today costs so little. Especially since it shares some design similarities with the brand’s more expensive models. Make no mistake, this is no ZenBoook. Far from it, actually. The ASUS L210MA-DB01 is a more spartan device in terms of performance, but not so much in terms of features. It will work just fine if you will be aware of its limitations and won’t push it too much.
However, its qualities stretch far beyond only one generic user base. That’s why I think this inexpensive ASUS model is a fantastic choice if you’re on a tight budget, if you plan on buying a laptop for your child to use for school, or simply want a hassle-free device to carry around everywhere you may go. I’ll explain myself further down.
At the time this review was originally posted, the ASUS had a price tag between $200 and $240. It’s affordable alright, but how will it fare in real life scenarios? I know from experience not to expect much from such an aggressively priced notebook. However, it would seem that you’ll actually get much more than you’d expect in return from this small ASUS. Let’s start!
The ASUS L210MA-DB01 is equipped with a rather sluggish Intel Celeron N4020 processor. This CPU has a base frequency of 1.1 GHz that goes up to 2.8 GHz when boosted, a 4-megabyte cache size and a thermal design power of just 4.8 Watts. All these numbers mean that the N4020 is a non-sophisticated processor, with the sole benefit of not drawing too much power from the battery pack.
You shouldn’t expect too much from it. Benchmark results are rather poor. It will work fine when paired with lightweight programs you’d use on a day to day basis. For example, using the ASUS for document editing, keeping up with friends on social media is OK. Using it for advanced photo editing or to watch 4K content over the internet, not so much.
System memory is capped at 4 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM. You won’t be able to further extend it, as it is soldered to the mainboard. In today’s computing oriented world 4 gigabytes are not what they used to be not so long ago.
Sure, this amount will get you through a day’s worth of lightweight work. Just don’t expect the ASUS L210 to lift too much. Any heavy multitasking is out of the question, as well as fluently running other memory intensive software, such as Photoshop.
The ASUS L210 also comes with limited storage space. More precisely, with 64 gigabytes on one eMMC flash drive. Despite great loading times and low latency, this is not a solid state drive. However, considering that the ASUS doesn’t have much more going for it in terms of other hardware choices, I’d say this drive is fairly well adapted to overall performance.
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If you need more storage space (you probably will), you can easily expand it. This laptop has a micro SD card slot. These are relatively inexpensive nowadays, so I’d recommend purchasing a 128 or 256 gigabyte micro SD to permanently insert into the notebook and use it as a storage drive for all your files, while leaving its native drive dedicated only to its operating system.
Display and graphics
As expected, display quality is subpar when comparing it with more expensive laptops. Still, I’d only judge a device in a much larger context. So, if we take price into account, the ASUS L210 offers about as much as other similarly priced models. It features an 11.6 inch LED screen and HD resolution (1366 x 768 pixels). You won’t need more than that, especially considering how small the actual display is. Viewing angles are not that great, and neither are the colors. But you won’t actually need a splendid display for office use and daily tasks.
This model’s graphics capabilities are somewhat laughable. Forget about rendering, video editing or gaming. The Intel UHD Graphics 600 integrated GPU the ASUS is equipped with is one of the most weak ones out there. It will get your through, but not if you don’t know its limitations. For example, 4K content is out of the question. So is gaming, as even lightweight titles will struggle with the CPU-RAM-GPU combo of the L210. Having said that, you’ll be good when using this notebook for emails, documents, chatting, social media and other similar tasks.