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Asus X59GL review

Barry de la Rosa
16 Apr 2009
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
440
inc VAT

The X59GL has a big advantage in coming with a two-year collect-and-return warranty

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Asus's X59GL is a new model in an old case and, while it's not ugly, it looks outdated.

Liberal use of matt black plastic is offset with a few glossy highlights, but the control strip above the keyboard looks a bit clumsy. It does hide a surprise, though: if the laptop is turned off, the Media Center button launches ExpressGate, which is a small version of Linux that launches quickly and gives you access to the internet, email and instant messaging.

The design may be pass??©, but build quality is superb and the X59GL feels sturdy. The keyboard is firm and the keys have definite feedback. Asus opted not to use the full width of the case, but hasn't crammed in a number pad so there are no annoying half-width keys and no surprises in the layout, except the Fn key to the left of the Ctrl key. The touchpad is large and responsive, but we don't like the one-piece button assembly, which is too stiff to press.

An HDMI port is useful for connecting the laptop to an HD TV as it carries video and audio signals over one cable. The X59GL also has four USB ports, and there's a full-size ExpressCard slot and a 1.3-megapixel webcam. There's no Draft-N WiFi or Bluetooth, but you do get Gigabit Ethernet.

The 15.4in screen has a 1,280x800 resolution and is reflective, but helps overcome this by being bright. Colours are accurate, but there's light leakage along the bottom edge of the screen. Don't be fooled by the Nvidia graphics chipset - the X59GL isn't powerful enough for playing 3D games. It had one of the slowest scores in our Windows benchmarks, but with such a narrow spread of performance this month it's largely a moot point. The battery lasted just over two hours, which is around half that of the Samsung R510 battery. Still, if you'll mainly use your laptop while connected to the mains, battery life won't be an issue.

The X59GL has a big advantage in coming with a two-year collect-and-return warranty. This in itself makes it good value, so it wins a Budget Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T5800
Processor clock speed2GHz
Memory3.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size42x367x261mm
Weight2.6kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle28W
Power consumption active52W

Display

Viewable size15.4 in
Native resolution1,280x800
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce 8200M G
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory256MB

Storage

Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive modelTSSTcorp TS-L633A
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54
ModemYes
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedCyberlink DVD Suite

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years collect and return
Price£440
Detailshttp://uk.asus.com
Supplierhttp://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk

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