ASUS has recently launched a new line of very affordable laptops, the L410 series, and today I am talking about the ASUS L410MA-DB02, which at the time of this review sold for about $250. The L410 is essentially an upgraded and updated version of the incredibly popular E406 series. In this review, I will answer the question of whether the price of this model should be considered a warning or a high price for any potential user.
ASUS L410MA-DB02 Overview
The ASUS L410MA-DB02 is an inexpensive 14-inch notebook designed for casual users, and is a direct competitor to the myriad of cheap chrome-plated computers. Its main advantage is its full-fledged operating system. It comes with Windows 10S installed. You can upgrade to an unlimited version of Windows 10 at no extra cost. It is also a free, fast and convenient upgrade that you can perform within minutes of unlocking.
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The L410MA-DB02 differs little from its little brother, the 11.6-inch ASUS L210, which I reviewed in a recent review. Both models have the same hardware options. However, depending on the size and possible usage scenario, each system offers a different experience.
In terms of price, you won’t find a laptop of the same price level that offers solid design and build quality. ASUS has proven that it understands its target market by adding some premium features to this series of affordable notebooks. It is obvious that the L410MA-DB02 will be used primarily for streaming media, document editing, chatting and home office lighting.
To this already great offering, ASUS has added a well-lit keyboard and touchpad, a 180-degree rotating hinge, their innovative ASUS NumberPad feature that turns the touchpad into a real numeric keypad for easy data entry, and a full HD screen for streaming your favorite shows, while the 11.6-inch L210 only has an HD-compatible screen. Additionally, the notebook’s fanless design helps create a quieter environment where you can always focus on your work.
The ASUS L410MA-DB02 is equipped with a rather slow Intel Celeron N4020 processor. This is a low-power dual-core processor with 4 megabytes of cache and a thermal output of only 6 W. Naturally, it does not have the power needed for multitasking or running advanced software. In terms of performance, the Celeron can’t even compete with Intel’s Core i3, but it doesn’t cost that much either.
That is, it will perform well if you don’t overload it. Tasks such as writing emails, editing documents and spreadsheets, making conference calls, random web browsing and streaming online content are not a problem for this empty processor. You are unlikely to have problems with the Celeron if you know its limitations and adjust your expectations accordingly.
System memory is limited to 4 gigabytes of DDR4 SDRAM. You might think that this is not enough, especially considering the processor’s shortcomings. It is true that ASUS has equipped the L410 with enough system memory to help you with your daily tasks. Heavy multitasking is out of the question, of course. I wouldn’t expect it to stutter when working on anything random.
Beware, if you open many programs at once or have multiple browser tabs at once, it becomes difficult to manage this particular CPU-RAM combination. Limit yourself to one or two tasks at a time if you don’t want the ASUS L410 to let you down.
Storage space is also quite limited. The ASUS L410MA-DB02 is equipped with 64 GB of eMMC memory. It is not as fast as a hard drive, but much faster than a conventional hard drive. With such a cheap laptop, it makes sense to install a cheap barebone storage solution. Programs run smoothly, Windows boots up in seconds, and you shouldn’t expect any significant lag.
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You will probably find that 64 gigabytes is not enough for your daily needs. If you plan to host your personal photo gallery or a large amount of large files, I recommend purchasing an additional 128 or 256GB microSD card so that you can permanently insert it into the ASUS L410 as secondary storage. They have become very affordable storage solutions. Keep your files on the SD card and leave the eMMC storage only for Windows and installed programs. This will make your life much easier.
Graphics and display
In terms of graphics performance, the ASUS L410MA-DB02 doesn’t leave much to be desired, as expected. The integrated GPU performs just as poorly as the CPU. For daily gaming, I would not recommend this notebook at all. You may be able to play older, less demanding games that should be offered, but that’s about it. Forget about working with 3D programs, design software, and other programs that rely on a robust GPU-CPU combination. Laptops sometimes struggle to adapt to modern image editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop due to hardware limitations.
The ASUS L410 is equipped with a 14-inch FHD LED screen. The quality is pretty standard, the viewing angles are not very good, but the screen is bright enough to work outside. Color distortion is somewhat present. In fact, I’m glad ASUS made this model a Full HD laptop, so users can stream their favorite programs without sacrificing image quality.
Interface and networks
Multiple interface options are available for all your devices. Next-generation interfacing or networking technology is not available, but a given given given the cost. The fact remains that you would want a Wi-Fi 6 wireless card instead of the outdated 802.11ac card that ASUS is equipped with. However, the general consensus is that Wi-Fi 6 may not have brought many real benefits to users. Here’s a rundown of all the available I/O and connectivity options:
- USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 1 port
- USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 1 port
- USB 2.0 Type A port
- HDMI output
- Combined audio connection
- Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
- Bluetooth 4.1 (1×1)
Portability and battery life
The ASUS L410 laptop really shines with its portability. It’s an affordable yet surprisingly lightweight device that weighs just 2.9 pounds. It also has a compact and slim chassis thanks to its fanless design and thin screens. So it works just like a laptop that you can take with you when traveling or on the go, although I think the lighter, 11.6″ L210, is a better choice if you’re more concerned about portability.
Battery life is also impressive: a full charge of the 3-cell lithium-ion battery (43Wh) lasts 8-9 hours under normal usage conditions (e.g., document editing, email, web browsing).
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All in all, the ASUS L410MA-DB02 offers an unbeatable value if you are looking for the most affordable mid-range notebook for everyday or occasional tasks. It’s a great alternative for home and home office users who don’t expect much from a notebook. If your daily work consists of light computing in the office, use of various productivity programs, communication via email or video conferencing, ASUS may be the smartest and most economical solution. A good choice for occasional users? Yes, I think so.
Graphics and display
Interface and networks
Portability and battery life
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