A great display, two-year warranty and decent battery life make the K50IN-SX025C an excellent choice.
15.6 in 1,366×768 display, 2.6kg, 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium
Asus’s K50IN is quite a chunky laptop, with rounded edges and a thick screen bezel that houses a webcam on its top edge. It has a shiny, metallic finish, with a dotted pinstripe pattern that looks different depending on the viewing angle and light.
Asus has fitted a numberpad with smaller keys, which means the main keys are a sensible size and the layout isn’t compromised. Keys are flatter than normal but have a slightly concave upper surface that helps to centre your fingertip. They have a light action, and there’s just enough feedback to make touch-typing comfortable.
The touchpad has the same glossy surface as the case, but it’s covered in dimples, like a grid of tiny holes. If your fingertips are even slightly moist – on a humid day, for example – they won’t run smoothly over the pad. This isn’t a major problem in most situations, though. The pad is sensitive and easy to use, but the large buttons aren’t very sensitive.
There’s no HDMI output, which is a bit strange on a modern laptop, so you’ll have to use the VGA output if you wan to connect this computer to an external display.
This is the first laptop we’ve seen with Nvidia’s new G102M mobile graphics chip, but a score of 7.2fps in Call of Duty 4 indicates this will be able to handle only older 3D games.
The K50IN’s 2D benchmark scores were above average, however, and we were impressed by the 1,366×768 screen, which has vivid colours and good contrast, plus an even and bright backlight. There’s even a control to change picture mode, which is useful for switching between office use and watching movies, for example. Battery life, at almost four hours, is very good and provides plenty of time to use this laptop around the house. At 2.6kg it’s light enough to make the occasional journey, too.
The excellent screen, along with Asus’s two-year collect-and-return warranty and decent battery life, make this an excellent laptop and our Best Buy.
|Intel Core 2 Duo T6500
|Processor clock speed
|Memory slots free
|Realtek High Definition Audio
|Power consumption standby
|Power consumption idle
|Power consumption active
|Nvidia GeForce G102M
|Total storage capacity
|Optical drive model
|Optical drive type
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PC Card slots
|Supported memory cards
|SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
|minijack audio output, minijack microphone input
|Windows Vista Home Premium
|Operating system restore option
|Cyberlink DVD Suite
|two years collect and return