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Asus K70IO review

Barry de la Rosa
21 Sep 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
555
inc VAT

The smart K70IO is great value, with a large, bright screen and a reasonably powerful graphics chipset.

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Specifications

17.3 in 1,600x900 display, 3.3kg, 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 4.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

The Asus K70IO's unusual 17.3in screen was the first thing that struck us.

Its 1,600x900 resolution isn't quite full HD but it's detailed enough to make such content shine. The screen uses an LED backlight, which improves brightness and helps reduce power consumption. Colours are vibrant and the backlight is even, although reds were a touch dull. There's also an HDMI output in case you want to hook it up to a home cinema system or HD TV.

At 3.3kg, it's surprisingly light considering its size, although we wouldn't recommend it for the daily commute. Our light-usage tests showed a battery life of only two hours and 37 minutes, so you'd better not stray too far from a power socket. Given its large display, it's more likely to be used as a desktop replacement or media centre anyway.

Despite placing a numberpad next to the keyboard, Asus hasn't used the case's full width. The numberpad has narrow keys and looks as if it has been squashed in. Thankfully, the keyboard has wider keys and a standard layout, with a double-height Enter key. The keys' travel is a little shallow but they have a light action and crisp feedback.

We were less impressed with the touchpad, however. Although the buttons are large, the pad itself is simply a depression in the glossy case with tiny bumps to mark the touch-sensitive area. While the bumps reduce friction against the glossy surface to a degree, it's still too sticky and makes fine control of the cursor frustrating. We'd recommend investing in a USB mouse for desktop use.

Once we'd peeled off the usual rash of shiny stickers, the case is pleasantly plain, with a subtle pinstripe on a metallic grey surface. This covers the lid and the keyboard panel, while there's a shallow recess for the keyboard and a glossy black bezel round the screen. A thin, black, brushed metal panel above the keyboard houses indicator lights and the power button.

There are no major surprises inside the case. The Intel T6500 processor and 4GB of RAM helped the K70IO to a respectable score of 59 in our benchmarks, while the Nvidia GT 102M graphics, despite an impressive 1GB of video RAM, scored only 20.9fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. This is adequate for casual gaming, but for decent frame rates, you'll have to turn down your game's settings. At 1,024x768 with no anti-aliasing, the K70IO managed a playable 35.6fps.

This laptop is similar to the Best Buy K50IN, but with a larger screen and a more powerful graphics chipset, yet it costs less. Its battery life is shorter, but overall it's better value and deserves our Best Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T6500
Processor clock speed2.1GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size40x420x279mm
Weight3.3kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle29W
Power consumption active55W

Display

Viewable size17.3 in
Native resolution1,600x900
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce GT 120M
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory1,024MB

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 support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
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£555
Detailswww.asus.com
Supplierhttp://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk

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