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Asus K52JC review

Alan Lu
11 Aug 2010
Asus K52JC
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
700
inc VAT

The Asus K52JC is a well-equipped laptop, but it's overpriced at £700.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.7kg, 2.27GHz Intel Core i5-430M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The Asus K52JC is one of the first laptops we've seen to come equipped with Nvidia's Optimus technology. This automatically and instantly switches between the integrated Intel graphics chip and the dedicated Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics chip when appropriate. You should therefore benefit from the power-saving Intel chip when you're working on battery power and the faster 3D performance of the GeForce chip when you're playing games on mains power.

In our tests, the K52JC lasted just over four hours in our light-use battery test. This is a respectable length of time. However, the GeForce 310M didn't impress us, managing just over 15fps in Call of Duty 4, making us question its value. Windows application performance is good thanks to the Core i5 430M processor and 4GB of RAM.

We were quite taken with the K52JC's understated black and brown livery. The base feels very sturdy, although the lid doesn't tilt back especially far. This could make it difficult to get the optimum viewing angle when placed on your lap. As expected, the built-in stereo speakers lacked bass. They don't distort at high volumes but, as with most laptop speakers, are underwhelming when listening to music or watching programmes on iPlayer.

Asus K52JC

The glossy 15.6in widescreen display is good, though. Colours look accurate and it's reasonably bright. Viewing angles are fairly wide, too, so colours don't shift in appearance as much as on other laptops we've seen.

The keyboard is large and they keys are fairly responsive. Asus has insisted on squeezing in a numeric keypad, which there isn't quite enough room for. This means the keys are narrower than those on the rest of the keyboard while the zero key is half its usual size on a desktop keyboard. The slightly textured touchpad is large and accurate. It's accompanied by a pivoting touchpad button. The left button was more responsive than the right.

If the 500GB hard disk isn't spacious enough for your needs, it's easy enough to replace it or add an external disk using one of the three USB2 ports. There aren't any USB3, eSATA or FireWire ports for the fastest storage though. More importantly, one of the USB ports is quite close to the DVD writer, so a chunky USB flash drive could foul the path of the DVD tray. An unexpected bonus is the two year warranty, which is twice the length you get with most laptops these days.

The Asus K52JC is a good laptop and the automatic graphics chip switching works surprisingly well. However, the battery life and 3D performance isn't significantly better than cheaper laptops. In fact, Dell's Inspiron 15R costs £70 less yet has better 3D performance and lasts only half-an-hour less.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-430M
Processor clock speed2.27GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size39x381x255mm
Weight2.7kg
SoundConexant CX20671
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce 310M
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory1,024MB

Storage

Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive modelLiteOn A DS8A4S
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedCyberLink Power2Go 6
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years collect and return
Price£700
Detailswww.asus.com
Supplierhttp://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk

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