The rise of software distribution over the Internet and content streaming services have greatly reduced the value of optical disc drives for the average consumer. At the same time, the trend towards thinner laptops persuaded PC makers to remove ODDs from notebooks. As a result, it is now rather uncommon to find a new mobile PC with a BD or DVD drive, a pity for those with large collections of discs. But optical drives aren't entirely dead quite yet, and to address the market for customers who still need a drive, ASUS Japan this week introduced its X545FA laptop, an Intel Comet Lake-based machine that includes a DVD drive.

The ASUS X545FA notebook is equipped with a 15.6-inch Full-HD display and comes in a "Slate Gray" or "Transparent Silver" body that is 23 mm thick. In line with other machines in this class, the laptop weighs 1.9 kilograms. At the heart of the mobile PC are Intel's 10th gen quad-core Core i3-10110U and Core i7-10510U processors with built-in Intel UHD graphics, accompanied by up to 8 GB of DDR4 SDRAM, and a 512 GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x2 SSD.

The system comes with a Super Multi DVD drive that can read and burn various types of CD and DVD media. Meanwhile, DVD playback software is not included. Yes, you read that right, it's just a DVD drive in 2020, lacking support for more modern Blu-ray discs. We're not too sure what ASUS' rationale here is - it's possible DVDs are still very popular in Japan?

On the connectivity side of matters, the X545FA notebook supports Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth, GbE, USB, HDMI, microSD, and an audio jack. As for multimedia, the laptop features a webcam, stereo speakers, and a microphone array. In addition, the machine has a fingerprint reader.

ASUS says that its X545FA notebook can work for 6.7 ~ 6.8 hours on one charge. This is below what you expect from a modern 15.6-inch class machine, but which may indicate that the manufacturer largely positions the notebook as a cheap desktop replacement machine rather than a PC for work on the go.

Depending on exact SKU, the ASUS X545FA costs from ¥77,556 to ¥99,818 ($705 – $908) without tax.

The ASUS X545FA Notebooks
  X545FA-BQ140T
X545FA-BQ075T
X545FA-BQ139T
X545FA-BQ138T
Display 15.6-inch 1920×1080
CPU Intel Core i3-10110U
Intel Core i7-10510U
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics
RAM 8 GB
SSD 512 GB PCIe 3.0 x2 SSD
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
USB 1 × USB 2.0 Type-A
2 × USB 3.0 Type-A
GbE GbE
Card Reader microSD
Other I/O HDMI, microphone, stereo speakers, audio jack
Battery 6.7 ~ 6.8 hours
Dimensions Width: 360.2 mm
Depth: 234.8 mm
Thickness: 23 mm
Weight 1.9 kilograms
Additional Information Slate Gray or Transparent Silver body
Price Fom ¥77,556 to ¥99,818 without tax
From $705 to $908 without tax

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Source: ASUS (via PC Watch)

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  • sheh - Monday, February 10, 2020 - link

    It sure is nice to be able to use two drives. Reply
  • rocky12345 - Monday, February 10, 2020 - link

    Poor layout? Are you talking about the number pad on the right side? If so there are actually a lot of people that use the number pad even in 2020...:) Reply
  • sheh - Monday, February 10, 2020 - link

    No. I'm talking about the key sizes and locations in the area that includes the 4 arrows, RCtrl, keypad 0. Reply
  • sheh - Monday, February 10, 2020 - link

    And the Menu key (which is missing here). Reply
  • sheh - Monday, February 10, 2020 - link

    ...and keypad Enter, Plus, and the rest. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, February 10, 2020 - link

    The 3 column pseudo-numberpad. For people who don't use it, having it means the useful keyboard is off center. For people who do use a numberpad, changing the layout like that breaks touch typing and is somewhere between a random western European layout and Dvorak layout in brokenness. Reply

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