* Prices may differ from that shown
This is based on my Amazon review with a few tweaks.
What can £600 get you these days? In the case of this Asus laptop I brought my sister as a replacement for her knackered HP laptop, quite a lot. First thing worth mentioning is that you get a 2 year guarantee which is pretty good considering a lot of other manufacturers offer a miserly 1 year guarantee.
The chassis is well built with an attractive black finish (not the brown one shown in the Amazon photograph) but it is a magnet for finger prints. The power adapter is surprisingly small (the laptop only uses 65 watts compared to the horrendous 180 watts my sis' old laptop consumed). So, what happens when you switch it on? Be amazed by the picture quality of the screen. It is truly breathtaking but you only get to appreciate this after the extensive installation set-up - and have some blank DVDs handy to perform a factory backup as you don't get the original installation disc but you receive the Asus Utility disc.
Space wise, there is a 500GB hard drive but it's actually nearer to 476GB after formatting. The hard drive is split into two sections - one for the factory restore data and the other for your use. Quite a bit of space lost which is a shame but that's Windows for you. The DVD-RW drive is pretty fast as well.
Battery life - about just over 2 hours. Not really fantastic but with such a big screen, what else would you expect?
Speed - considering this has an i3 processor running at 2.26ghz, it is fast. Supplemented by 4GB of RAM (which is shared by the Intel graphics video card), Windows 7 runs on the 64 bit platform so not an ounce of RAM is wasted.
The keyboard is a 'chicklet' style isolated one - looks strange but it is surprisingly comfortable to type on. The mousepad has Palm proof technology. Basically when you're typing and your palm rests against the mousepad, it won't move the mouse around - but it will register finger presses. The web cam is pretty good with a decent built-in microphone and has a nifty feature for recognising your facial features so you can log on to Windows and other web sites without having to remember passwords but it's easy to circumvent - hold a photograph up in front of the webcam and it can't tell the difference. The sound produced by this laptop is loud and clear - not the puny efforts produced by other competing laptops.
Connectivity is generous with 4 USB ports, RJ45, VGA, Flash memory slot (for SD/MS) and of course a HDMI port. Shame there is no bluetooth support.
Graphics wise - the laptop produces fantastic results on the equally amazing screen. Colours are vibrant and realistic. However, don't expect to play the latest games on this laptop. It's designed for entertainment and simple games. You'll need a separate video graphics card to meet the requirements of newer games.
Noise - the laptop is extremely quiet. When it's busy you can barely hear the fans.
The wireless adapter is b/g/n compatible.
All in all, this is a fantastic laptop that can fulfil general entertainment requirements without slowing down to a grinding halt. Of course, it is not a gamer's machine nor does it have bluetooth which I think is an oversight on Asus' part as they cost next to nothing to install. However, I'm still inclined to give this 5 stars thanks to the 2 year guarantee and build quality - in my opinion it can't be beaten.