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Asus U50VG review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 910
inc VAT

Not a terrible laptop when viewed on its own, but with no Blu-ray drive or decent gaming performance, the U50VG looks overpriced here.

Specifications

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

http://www.morecomputers.com

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.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo P8700
Processor clock speed 2.53GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 33x385x262mm
Weight 2.5kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 21W
Power consumption active 40W

Display

Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Nvidia GeForce G 105M
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive model Matshita UJ862AS
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11a/n
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/34
Modem No
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
Other ports 1x eSATA

Miscellaneous

Carrying case No
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included CyberLink Power2Go 6
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty two years collect and return
Price £910
Details http://uk.asus.com
Supplier http://www.morecomputers.com

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