Not a terrible laptop when viewed on its own, but with no Blu-ray drive or decent gaming performance, the U50VG looks overpriced here.
15.6 in 1,366×768 display, 2.5kg, 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8700, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium
Asus’s latest 15.6in laptop, the U50VG, is slightly lighter than other 15in laptops at 2.5kg, but it’s not ideal for travelling.
It lasted nearly three hours in our battery test, but we’ve seen laptops of a similar size and weight with even longer-lasting batteries. The glossy black chassis feels sturdy and well made, however.
The keyboard is illuminated, which is useful for working in dim conditions, but it doesn’t automatically adjust its brightness depending on how dark your surroundings are. The keys feel a little springy, but they’re still responsive and comfortable to type on. There’s a numeric keypad, but its layout can be tricky to use for touch-typists. Its keys are narrower than those on the rest of the keyboard, while the zero key is undersized. Finding the cursor keys by touch alone can be difficult since they’re wedged between the main keyboard and the numeric keypad, with little separating space.
The touchpad also illuminates when touched, but this looks like a gimmick. It supports multitouch gestures, but it’s too easy to trigger these inadvertently. Moving the cursor can be frustrating, since the pad was sometimes laggy and unresponsive. We didn’t like the single pivoting button, which doesn’t give enough feedback when pressed.
Although the U50VG has a dedicated graphics chip, Nvidia’s GeForce G 105M, it could manage only 8fps in Call of Duty 4. The Core 2 Duo P8600 processor and 4GB of RAM flew through our Windows benchmarks, though, scoring 77 overall. The 500GB hard disk is generously large.
The lack of a Blu-ray drive is surprising at this price, although the 15.6in screen, with its 1,366×768 pixel resolution, can’t display 1080p video natively. Images look bright and viewing angles are fairly wide, but whites looked a little greyish. The display tilts back until it’s almost parallel with the rest of the laptop, which can make it easier to use in cramped quarters.
Asus’ U50VG isn’t a bad laptop, but aside from its two-year warranty, it struggles to compete with other, better-value laptops here.
|Intel Core 2 Duo P8700
|Processor clock speed
|Memory slots free
|Realtek High Definition Audio
|Power consumption standby
|Power consumption idle
|Power consumption active
|Nvidia GeForce G 105M
|Total storage capacity
|Optical drive model
|Optical drive type
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PC Card slots
|Supported memory cards
|SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
|Windows Vista Home Premium
|Operating system restore option
|CyberLink Power2Go 6
|two years collect and return