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Asus K60I-RBBBR05 review: Asus K60I-RBBBR05

Asus K60I-RBBBR05

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
7 min read

Editors' note: This review is part of our spring 2010 retail laptop and desktop roundup, which covers specific fixed configurations of popular systems found in retail stores.


Asus K60I-RBBBR05

The Good

Solid build quality; stylish or at least slightly different design; big, bright, and energy-efficient LED-backlit display; big hard drive; decent battery life; multitouch touch pad.

The Bad

A lot of bloatware; no HDMI; stiff, uncomfortable mouse buttons.

The Bottom Line

The Asus K60I-RBBBR05 is a well-built budget laptop with enough power for most mainstream users. It has a decent battery life, a huge hard drive, and roomy 16-inch display. You get a lot for your money, but buyers will have to wade through a sea of bloatware.

The Asus K60I-RBBBR05 is among a group of $500 laptops at Best Buy vying for your attention. Along with the $529 Dell Inspiron i1545-4266iBU and the $499 Toshiba Satellite L505-ES5018, the $529 Asus K60I is among the cheapest laptops to have a dual-core processor. The Intel Pentium T4400 is the preferred CPU of the three laptops listed. Though it's not the most current chip on the market, the T4400 provides enough oomph for the majority of mainstream laptop buyers.

We prefer the Dell Inspiron i1545's design, but the Asus K60I boasts a unique look with a subtle houndstooth pattern on the lid and keyboard deck, Chiclet-type keys popularized by the Apple MacBook, and a multitouch touch pad. It also offers double the hard-drive capacity of the Dell, Wireless-N Wi-Fi to the Dell's 802.11b/g wireless connectivity, and has better battery life. Also, it boasts a feature set superior to its competition from Dell; however, along with those features, Asus installs a sea of bloatware on the laptop.

Price $529
Processor 2.2GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T4400
Memory 4GB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz
Hard drive 500GB at 7,200rpm
Graphics Intel GMA 4500MHD
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium
Dimensions (WDH) 14.6x10.1x1.7 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 16 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 5.9 / 6.7 pounds
Category Mainstream

Opposed to the piano black, faux-brushed-aluminum surfaces, and chrome edges common to most laptops these days, Asus opts for a deep brown and black color scheme for the K60I. The glossy lid features a subtle houndstooth pattern, which repeats on the textured plastic keyboard deck. Asus kept its branding to a minimum on the K60I, it only has a small logo centered on the lid and another in the top-left corner of the screen bezel. Overall, the chassis has a solid feel to it. The wrist rest below the keyboard is wider than usual, but the large plastic expanses to either side of the touch pad feel rigid, with little to no flex. The hinges, too, are sturdy and hold the display firmly in place.

The K60I's display measures 16 inches diagonally, making it a smidge larger than the more common 15.6-inch panels found on mainstream laptops. However, it has the same 1,366x768-pixel resolution as your typical 15.6-inch screen has. The screen uses LED backlighting, which is more energy efficient than traditional fluorescent tubes and creates a brighter image. The display is glossy, but it has an antiglare coating that seems to help minimize distracting glare and reflections. The laptop has a low-end 0.3-megapixel Webcam above the display.

At 5.9 pounds, the Asus K60I weighs a few ounces more than an average 15.6-inch laptop does, but it still feels more like a mainstream laptop than a hulking desktop replacement. We'd happily make a regular commute with it in tow.

One reason we like the Asus K60I as a productivity machine is its spacious keyboard. The Chiclet-style keys are wide-spaced and provide a comfortable typing experience. Those who spend hours each day entering data into Excel or another database will appreciate the K60I's dedicated number pad. The rest of us will rue the fact that Asus' narrowed the arrow keys to accommodate the number pad. Another side effect of the included number pad is that the keyboard is off center from the display, which will take some getting used to for touch typists.

The touch pad is on the small side, which isn't necessarily a bad thing since it cuts down on the number of accidental cursor movements from a finger or a palm. The touch pad supports multitouch gestures, such as two-finger scrolling, which any MacBook user will tell you is an easy and natural way to scroll through long documents and Web pages. The two mouse buttons have a chrome finish and are very stiff.

The Asus K60I features a pair of Altec Lansing speakers, which emit average sound. They don't sound as full as the Dell Inspiron i1545's speakers do, nor are they as loud at max volume. They'll suffice for movies and YouTube videos, but music playback is best done with a set of headphones.

  Asus K60I-RBBBR05 Average for category [mainstream]
Video VGA VGA and HDMI or DisplayPort
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone/ microphone jacks Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks
Data 4 USB 2.0, multiformat media card reader 4 USB 2.0, SD card reader, eSATA
Expansion None ExpressCard/54
Networking Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional mobile broadband
Optical drive DVD burner DVD burner

Asus K60I is sparse for connectivity options. There are two USB 2.0 ports on either side of the laptop, but no eSATA. There is a media card reader, but no ExpressCard slot. A VGA port is your only video-out option. We would have liked to have seen HDMI, which can be found on only slightly more expensive laptops such as the Gateway NV7915u and the HP Pavilion dv4-2145dx. Wireless-N Wi-Fi makes the cut, which Dell left off the Inspiron i1545.

What's not sparse on the K60I is the amount of preinstalled trial offers and apps. The supposedly pristine desktop is littered with icons for trial offers and shortcuts to apps you likely don't want, including a number of second-rate Asus utilities that duplicate many of those that Windows itself provides. However, Asus' FastBook utility does speed the boot process; Windows 7 Home Premium booted in 52 seconds on average, or about 15 seconds faster than the Dell Inspiron i1545 did.

The Asus K60I features the Intel Pentium T4400 processor, a 2.2GHz dual-core chip. The T4400 is found in many systems since it's an affordable, excellent performing, entry-level dual-core processor; it's just a rung below Intel's venerable Core 2 Duo processor line. Budget buyers will find that the processor delivers more than enough muscle for general use, including heavy multitasking scenarios. It finished within a percentage point or two of the Dell Inspiron i1545-4266iBU and the Toshiba Satellite L505-ES5018 on CNET Labs' application benchmarks, which is not surprising since all three have the same Pentium T4400 processor. The Asus has 4GB of memory compared with the 3GB in the Dell and Toshiba; however, the Asus uses the 667MHz variety of memory while the Dell and Toshiba use the faster 800MHz DDR2 memory. The difference in speed offset the Asus' extra GB memory in labs testing, lowering the Asus laptop's score.

While we have no trouble recommending a Pentium T4400-based budget laptop for general use, we would also point out that laptops with the Core i3 processor, one of the successors to the Core 2 Duo, cost less than $100 more. For example, the Gateway NV7915u costs $599 and uses the Core i3 330M CPU. The Gateway finished our multitasking benchmark with a 31 percent faster score than the Asus K60I did. That score is significant when you consider the laptops are only $70 apart in price. The performance difference on single applications is less drastic; the Gateway finished the Photoshop and iTunes benchmarks 9 percent and 5 percent faster than the Asus K60I, respectively.

Juice box
Asus K60I-RBBBR05 Average watts per hour
Off 0.35
Sleep 0.99
Idle 9.88
Load 38.13
Raw kWh number 41.04
Annual power consumption cost $4.66

Annual power consumption cost

The Asus K60I uses a standard six-cell battery and turned in an impressive time on CNET Labs' demanding video playback battery drain test relative to other laptops in its class. It outlasted the Best Buy budget pack, running for 3 hours 25 minutes on the test.

The Asus K60I-RBBBR05 is backed with a standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty. Unfortunately, Asus' accidental damage warranty does not apply to laptops purchased at Best Buy, which protects you against damage from fire, electrical surges, drops, and spills. You'll find the typical online help--FAQ and troubleshooting pages, driver downloads, and user forums--on the Asus support Web site, but we couldn't find any mention of this particular retail model.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Dell Inspiron i1545-4266iBU

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:
Acer Aspire AS5532-5535
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 64 TF-20; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200; 160GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Asus K60I-RBBBR05
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4400; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 64MB (dedicated)/1,695MB (total) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 500GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Celeron 900; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 64MB (dedicated) / 797MB (total) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 250GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron i1545-4266iBU
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4400; 3,072MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 32MB (dedicated)/1,292MB (total) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Gateway NV7915u
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.13GHz Intel Core i3 M330; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 128MB (dedicated)/1,755MB (total) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

HP Pavilion dv4-2145dx
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz AMD Turion II Dual-Core M520; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 320MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200; 320GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Toshiba Satellite L505-ES5018
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4400; 3,072MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (dedicated)/1,341MB (total) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm


Asus K60I-RBBBR05

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Performance 7Battery 8Support 7