The first thing that strikes you about this sleek and practical notebook is that it means business, both for the travelling professional who wants to keep in touch with base and clients, and for the more serious gamer who wants to see the fear in the eyes of the opposition!
Powered by an Intel Pentium M 765 processor (available in speeds up to 2.10GHz) with 1GB RAM and hard drive capacities from 40-80GB, this laptop range has a 15.4-inch TFT display. It comes with a built-in BisonCam and microphone to make instant contact as simple as falling off a log. Picture quality is remarkably sharp compared with others of the same range and will be the principal reason for buying this model.
There are no fewer than four USB 2.0 ports for peripherals and a DVD/CD-RW drive for burning those crucial files or presentations. The stereo speakers produce audio clarity and separation of a high quality. Windows XP Pro is installed as standard and the bundled software includes Asus DVD, PowerDirect Po (for video editing) and Medi@Show (to create, show and share multimedia presentations).
As is increasingly common these days, there are coloured hot keys to enable a range of quick functions, such as wireless activation for the PCI onboard LAN, brightness and sound variation and LCD/Monitor toggling (some models have an optional TV-out). There’s also a set of CD player control buttons at the front of the base, though they could have been designed slightly further set back as there’s a tendency to brush against them accidentally.
In addition, there are four launch keys for e-mail, Internet, Pad-Lock and power saving. The power saving key is especially useful for when the AC adaptor is unplugged. There are seven settings to enhance general performance as well as optimal DVD, gaming, presentation and audio listening. The main keyboard has decent sized keys on a standard layout and this is managed by having the number keys embedded in the centre.
There are separate Mini-PCI and RAM compartments in the bottom of the unit so you can expand your memory and add other cards. One useful feature is the supplied Flash memory card reader that can read Secure Digital and Multi-Media Card as well as five types of Memory Stick. It’s also faster than most memory cards because it uses the high-bandwidth PCI bus.
There’s no Bluetooth facility but there is a built-in infrared device and a supplied digital mouse. With a reasonable weight of 2.85kg (2.65kg for the 15.1-inch display model), this should be an ideal choice for the modern exec.
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