At work I am sometimes given new items to use and take home and one of them recently was this laptop which was there to help me whilst my other Sony laptop was being repaired. This was over 10 weeks ago so I am now going to tell everyone how well it has done for me thus far.
~~~ Design ~~~
This laptop brand is not a huge name for me Asus are always in my eyes deemed as cheap and not that great in terms of what they offer but I have found them quite good for design.
The laptop has the standard black look which I find more appealing then coloured laptops and straight away you're given a nice glossy finish when you open the lid.
The main surface is done with the glossy coating and this covers everything except the keypad which is done in a solid black colour to give it more appeal and to stop this very shiny surface from being over the top.
On the right hand side of this thick looking laptop is where you will find 2 USB connectors which is very handy and also the destination to insert headphones and speakers as well as a cable for plugging in another monitor perhaps a television or a LCD screen depending on which suits you best.
On the left hand side is another two USB connectors and the DVD drive which is pretty big and has a nice thick area to come in and out and it is not flimsy in any way.
There is the battery underneath and to charge the laptop the connection is situated on the right hand side so there are lots going on down the right hand side which might be a problem for some people.
There is no HDMi connection point to this laptop which should be noted for all potential new buyers. The design is fairly good but as mentioned above there may be an issue plugging in so many items down the right hand side.
~~~ What Has It Got? ~~~
The weight on this laptop is 2.6kg which sounds pretty good but in all honesty it feels so much more because it is so thick and well put together you believe it is heavier than it is.
The screen is 15.6 inches which is a good size for anyone who wants to do studying or perhaps just play games so the screen size is pretty standard for most laptops in my view.
The screen resolution is 1366 x 768 and with the back lit screen and colour shine technology it makes everything seem much better especially videos.
This laptop does have 500 GB hard drive which is an excellent amount of memory to have because if you're like me and like to keep things stored on a computer such as pictures and music you could very easily with this laptop.
The processor is 2.1 GHz which is kind of disappointing because I would have hoped maybe for 3 GHz or more with a laptop which has a good amount of memory and storage capabilities.
There is 4GB memory with this laptop is pretty good as well so with that again you might expect the processor to be better.
The laptop has 4 USB ports which is fantastic because you can plug in various items and with me and a wireless mouse and maybe mobile broadband as well you sometimes need this USB ports and the more the merrier for me.
The battery life is 3 and half hours and that is very good but it might not last that long when you're playing various high graphic games so this is not ever likely to stay 3 and half hours.
The graphics card sadly is a bad point for the laptop with 128Mb graphics card which could be a lot better and needs to be.
~~~ Key Areas ~~~
This laptop has a 1.3 mega pixel camera which is pretty much the same for all laptops but the camera when you turn it on has little to offer. If you're perhaps using this to chat to friends on social networking sites or chat systems the graphics are bad.
This might be reflected in the fact it is a 1.3 mega pixel camera but you would hope for something to happen and that does not happen unfortunately.
The keypad area has got a special feature which means that if you're using the key pad a lot you will not end up with burnt hands. Sometimes laptops can get heated up quickly when using the key pad and you end up with hands which are warm but this laptop has a cooling system in place.
The wireless on this laptop is very quick and when I went searching for my home network it discovered it within seconds so that was pretty good. I also found it was not easy to turn on and off and it meant unless I wanted it off I wouldn't accidentally do it myself.
The mouse pad has got a nice feature to it because most mouse pads have got nothing there so if you're sat around using your fingers to glide over various areas you will eventually get all sorts of grease and stuff there which could influence the speed. The mouse pad has tiny holes which can create pivots and helps you have more control over where you're going on the laptop.
The DVD drive is very good to when it comes to copying discs and trying to create various other ideas onto a disc. I put on some clips from a recent wedding and the speed was perhaps average but you didn't have that constant sound you get sometimes with a DVD drive so that was nice.
~~~ Pros ~~~
There are many good points to this laptop the first would be the setup because although it comes with Vista on the system if you wish to upgrade like I did to Windows 7 you will find this so simple to do and is done quickly that is a huge good point for me.
The laptop is very good when it comes to watching movies and I was perhaps surprised by that due to the graphics card but it was movies you watch on disc which show up very well. The sound mixed with the screen resolution created a very good overall image which was very good.
The buttons are very hard to start with because I think the laptop being new this is likely to happen but it stayed this way for a few weeks and then eventually everything went much easier to touch. I would say that if your someone who touch types this laptop would suit you because the keys are very evenly spread without being so close together which would create mistakes.
I like the fact there is so many USB connections all over the laptop and they have split them up by putting a couple on one side of the laptop and some of the other side because you do need to make sure you have not so many altogether because it would create some problems.
I think the design of the laptop in terms of the mouse pad and also the colour with the glossy finish very nice and it makes the laptop look much more expensive then it is and that is a great benefit overall.
I like the fact you cannot feel much heat in the laptop because sometimes on other laptops if you're using them often you can sometimes have problem with feeling the heat through the keys so it means you're sat there having to remove your hands before they get to warm.
~~~ Cons ~~~
There are a few issues which I think shouldn't be there for a laptop like this and the first is no HDMi connection which I have seen on many laptops recently and to be honest is a more common need for people so this not being there is a problem.
I think the graphics card is a problem because I was playing some high energy games recently and the graphics were poor and although they do suggest on the game using a useful graphics card you would still expect some sort of graphics which would suit your playing needs and this laptop fails.
The battery life does suggest it can last for over 3 hours which has never happened for me yet and I have tried everything to make it last but it does not. If you're using the internet and turn down the screen contrast it can last perhaps 2 hours but never ever have I come close to making it last over 3 hours.
The final problem for me would be the fact that you have to many connection down the right hand side of the laptop. If you were to plug in your speakers, 2 USB connections and try charging the laptop up and your right handed you will have major issues.
I think they should have put the power connection at the back of the laptop and perhaps put the speakers and headphone connections elsewhere as well to make sure people who use this laptop can actually use all the features on offer.
~~~ Final Thoughts ~~~
I think this laptop is a cheap option for people and because it has Vista on there you might be able to find it really cheap online. I was left annoyed by the graphics card most of all because when I played a few games the results were poor.
I think perhaps there is more good than bad with this laptop with the amount of connections available to you and the fact the video results are so good it does mean you have a decent laptop.
I would say that although my original feelings towards Asus as a company was cheap substandard products I have now been left with a better overall impression of them and this laptop is good but could very easily be much better.
Purchase price when my company got this I am not sure but online it seems it can be brought on Ebay and other sites if people go searching.