The A53U is a very competent 15.6-inch full-sized laptop that is not only on the mid-side -- for a laptop -- at 15.1 by 1.4 by 10.1, weighing in at only 5 pounds -- it is a laptop that is ready for the big time as its display is the AMD Radeon HD 6250, a graphics chipset that features not only standard laptop capability, but is also ready for the big time with the ability to display native 1080p high-definition video.
The A53U features three USB2 ports out, as well as the standard VGA port that you find on just about every laptop. With the right USB-HDMI cable, you should be able to display any high-definition video you may have shot with your own camera, as well as video from a blu-ray play right on the backlit 15.6-inch screen.
One thing you will notice about the screen is the great color saturation and rendition that is offered by the AMD chipset. You can control much of your video right through the control panel or just by using the standard right-pad key on the rather large laptop interface pad that's available. The pad has an interesting feature in that it rejects falses causes by hands sweeping across the display pad, if you choose to use it. A standard Synaptics pad and driver software handles this.
The A53U is a real competitor to watch not only because of the video display it uses but also because it takes advantage of the AMD C Series Processor. A dual-core processor, it comes equipped with 3 GB of DIMM RAM right out of the box. It will also support a maximum of 8 GB of RAM.
As equipped, the A53U is equipped with a fairly quickly SATA 5400-spin 320GB hard disk drive so you'll have more than enough disk space to handle not only the Windows 7, but also the three USB ports to which you can attach a variety of devices.
The A53U also features a 0.3 MP forward-facing camera so that you can use Skype or another video conferencing process right away. In other words, this is a serious machine, ready to do serious work, even though it may not have the name Dell or Lenovo on the case.
ASUS has had a long history of surprising people and most will be surprised when they realize that the A53U is not only equipped with a multi-speed RJ-45 connector on the side -- up to Gigabit level, but it also is equipped with WiFi that understands standards b/g/n. Most older home routers understand b/g because they wlll give you encrypted over-the-air networking at speeds up to 54 Mpbs. When you add the n, you suddenly have WiFi that can combined upstream and downstream channels so that speeds of 300 Mpbs are possible, using standards such as WPA, WEP, WPA2/WEP enterprise and more.
The A53U has a sunken edge design which means that it can keep an almost-full-sized keyboard design available that includes a standard numeric keypad which is something of a novelty on any laptop.
As it stands now -- and after using it for a few days -- we have to say we were favorably impressed by the ASUS and especially liked on feature called ICECOOL technology. The way the body is built the heat that is built up by the CPU is wicked away from the user and your laptop isn't unpleasantly baked as you finish up a last minute review or Project slide piece.