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ASUS X550CA

Introduction

The ASUS X550CA laptop works properly with Linux. Laptop tested is an ASUS R510C, but is an ASUS X550CA as reported by dmidecode. Tested on Debian Jessie with UEFI booting enabled, in addition to Ubuntu 14.04. Windows 8 / 8.1 dualboot works fine, as along as grub is installed correctly into the efi partition (usually the first partition on the hard disk) through the 'something else' option in the installer.

Specifications

For full specifications see the ASUS X550CA specifications page.

NameASUS X550CA
ProcessorIntel Core i7 3537U Processor
Intel Core i5 3337U Processor
Intel Core i3 3217U Processor
Intel ULV Pentium 2117U Processor
Intel Celeron 1007U Processor
Screen15.6“ 16:9 1366×768 Glossy Display
RAM6GB
HDD320GB HDD 5400
500GB HDD 5400
750GB HDD 5400
1TB HDD 5400
500GB HDD 7200
750GB HDD 7200
Optical DriveSuper-Multi DVD
GraphicsIntegrated Intel HD Graphics 4000
Network10/100/1000 Base T
Integrated

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorCompatible Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3337U CPU @ 1.80GHz
ScreenCompatible
HDDCompatibleSeagate 750GB
Graphics ChipCompatible Bug in Intel driver causing periodic GPU hangs see below for workaround!
VGA OutNot Tested
HDMI OutCompatible May use NTSC color space 16-235 per channel vs PC RGB 0-255, workaround noted.
Display PortNot Tested
Optical DriveNot Tested
SoundCompatible
MicrophoneCompatible
Headphone PortCompatible
Microphone-In PortNot Tested
EthernetCompatible Realtek chipset
WirelessCompatible Ath9k based 1×1 card. RFkill issues: asus_nb_wmi kernel module needs wapf=4 option
BluetoothCompatible Ath3k
USBCompatible 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0 Ports, Located on LH side of laptop
FirewireNot Included
Card ReaderCompatible Tested with 3.15 kernel
WebcamCompatible
KeyboardCompatible
TouchPadCompatible Clickpad
Suspend/ResumeCompatible No issues with suspend/resume, nor hibernate

Notes

Wifi Rfkill issues:
By default the wifi PHY is hardware disabled by rfkill. Fn+F2 does not enable it. Fix it, by executing the following command as root:

echo “options asus_nb_wmi wapf=4” > /etc/modprobe.d/asus.conf

Intel GPU Hangs:
A bug in Mesa 10.1 periodically causes the GPU to freeze, followed by graphical corruption. An argument is needed on the kernel commandline to enable a workaround.

Set the following variable in /etc/default/grub (debian/ubuntu systems).

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=“quiet i915.i915_enable_rc6=0”

Then run update-grub as root, then reboot.

Intel HDMI using wrong colorspace, run this command. Root not needed:

xrandr –output HDMI1 –set “Broadcast RGB” “Full”

Summary

One the RFkill and Intel GPU bugs have been corrected, this laptop runs well on Linux and is stable.

The major drawbacks of this laptop are the clickpad which is very annoying and is impossible to middle click for paste, the single spatial stream 2.4 Ghz wireless N card is limited to 72 Mbps, and the lack of integrated bluetooth.

Clickpad mouse buttons are on the sensor area, which can be problematic as the synaptics driver prevents the mouse being moved if a finger is resting on either button, as of this bug. This patch resolves the problem.

Sound quality is mediocre and hollow sounding due to the lack of front facing speakers.
Occasionally, sound will fail to output through the headphone jack (at least, in Ubuntu 14.04) though continues to work through the speakers. Rebooting into Windows and back into Ubuntu again resolves it temporarily. The cause of this problem is unknown.

Wifi card can be upgraded to something decent like an Intel 7260 which is fully compatible with this laptop and may add bluetooth support if the right model is ordered. Warning: Wifi card is located under the keyboard on this model, and changing it may void all warranties.

Suspend/Resume and hibernate works perfectly. No UEFI related issues noted.


Discussion

Thierry, 2014/05/24 14:30

The touchpad doesn't work properly on my X550CA laptop running with :
- Ubuntu 14.04 64bits (kernel 3.13.0-24-generic)
The cursor doesn't move at all or just barely from time to time. Rigth or left-click doesn't work. The touchpad is not properly recognized by the OS. The OS sees it as “PS/2 Logitech Wheel Mouse”, as shown by :

$ xinput --list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                    	id=2	[master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer              	id=4	[slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech USB Optical Mouse              	id=9	[slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ PS/2 Logitech Wheel Mouse               	id=13	[slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                   	id=3	[master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard             	id=5	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                            	id=6	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                               	id=7	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Sleep Button                            	id=8	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ USB2.0 HD UVC WebCam                    	id=10	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Asus WMI hotkeys                        	id=11	[slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard            	id=12	[slave  keyboard (3)]

In addition, the mouse click (right and left) also is erratic, working properly sometimes and not working at all at other times. However, by disabling the touchpad in the BIOS, the mouse works flawlessly.

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asus_x550ca.txt · Last modified: 2014/09/19 19:38 by joshun
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