Its not often that a jaded old hack goes “Wow!” when opening a box, but Asus’s Lamborghini VX2SE seems to make everyone do just that, including us. Maybe it’s the bright yellow lid of our review sample (don’t worry, it’s also available in carbon fibre black) or maybe the fact that it is presented in its own lockable box. Or perhaps it’s just the apparent build quality of this 2.4kg, 15.4-inch notebook that does it.
If you are used to the piano black finish that comes with many notebooks and PC cases these days, then imagine the same quality and depth of finish but this time in yellow: that’s the VX2SE. The yellow finish is enhanced by the black charging bull Lamborghini emblem and a black honeycomb grill (the same design of grill that you find on the rear of a Gallardo) on the lid. Opening the lid reveals a 15.4-inch screen, good sized keyboard and leather, yes leather-clad palm rest complete with contrasting stitching.
The attention to detail will make you smile. For instance, turn the VX2SE over and you will see a cooling vent, only instead of a plain grill you will find a replica of the wheel rim of a Gallardo. The 1.3-megapixel camera in the screen is built into a swivelling bezel with a carbon fibre finish and the whole thing is built into a brushed metal housing.
Asus’s Lamborghini range has been around for a little while and the VX2SE is the latest incarnation of the series, powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 processor clocked at 2.5GHz, with an 800MHz FSB speed and 4MB of L2 cache. This is backed by 4GB of PC2-5300, 667MHz, DDR2 memory, the most the motherboard supports, so it should see you through all your daily office needs comfortably.
Powering the graphics is Nvidia’s 9500M GS chipset with a 475MHz core clock and 512MB of dedicated GDDR2 memory clocked at 400MHz, which gives it some useful gaming potential. When tested at a 1,024 by 768 pixel resolution with 3DMark06 it produced a reasonable score of 3,834. Using a real life game test it gave a frame score in F.E.A.R of 38fps; barely playable, but this was with all the game detail settings set to maximum, so by dropping the details down a notch you should get playable frame rates.
The graphics output feeds a good quality 15.4-inch screen with Asus’s Color-Shine coating, a high contrast, high brightness layer. The 1,680 x 1,050 pixel native resolution is akin to that of a 20-inch desktop monitor, giving enough space to view two documents side by side, but the downside is you may have to lower the resolution or enable large font options for the sake of your eyes, as text tends to appear very small at the native resolution.
Storage is provided in the shape of a 250GB, 5,400rpm SATA hard drive and there’s a Blu-Ray drive as well. You also get an Express card slot and an 8-in-1 flash card reader. One of the four USB ports also doubles as an e-SATA port so you could attach an external hard drive to back up your data. Communications-wise the VX2SE offers no surprises: 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N WiFi, Gigabit wired Ethernet and a 56Kbps modem.
Battery life isn’t that great – around two and a half hours watching a DVD – but given its weight, the VX2SE will spend most of its life plugged to the mains, so it’s a little academic.
Of course the extras supplied with the VX2SE are a little special; an optical mouse finished in the same yellow and black finish of the notebook, complete with the Lamborghini logo and a little bag to carry it in, a leather mouse pad and a rather plush carrying bag.
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