Asus UX50V laptop review

Asus has been focusing on the design of its products of late and the UX50V is certainly a looker, but does it have the brains to match this beauty?

There's little else inside to excite corporate buyers either, with no TPM or ThinkVantage software that you'd see in the average Lenovo ThinkPad.

While the low-power CPU may conserve energy, the 2,800mAh battery could only provide mediocre battery life. In our light use benchmark the Asus lasted for three hours and 22 minutes, with this figure dropping to just under two hours in our heavy use test. It's an average result, especially when the Lenovo ThinkPad X301 lasts for longer in our heavy use benchmark and it can also be equipped with additional, higher-capacity batteries.

And it's here where the UX50V's main problems lie. Its dimensions and weight mean that, when stacked up against its 15in-screened competition, the Asus looks like a welterweight. But it's the 15.6in screen that hinders this machine's chance to be the ideal travelling companion.

That's because 12in and 13in laptops of similar price such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X301 and Toshiba Portg R600 offer more power than this machine in smaller, lighter packages and, while they may not look quite as good, are far more suited to the job in hand.

The Asus UX50V also can't compete, aside from on the style front, with other desktop notebooks: the Sony VAIO VGN-FW31J is far more powerful, better in almost every way and has a slightly larger screen, and the HP Compaq 6730b is a corporate notebook that's far more powerful and capable.

This leaves this new Asus languishing, perhaps unfairly, in an uncomfortable niche; one where its lack of power means that it's not ideal as a main computer and its relative bulk makes it unsuitable as a travelling laptop.

While its position in the market is up for debate, the UX50V's numerous benefits can't be disputed: it's a supremely good-looking laptop that, if not for its lack of power, is comfortable and intuitive to use. It's just a shame that its awkward size and lack of power and battery life hamper its chances of success.

Verdict

It’s an incredibly stylish machine but, unfortunately, the UX50V is neither portable enough to please frequent travellers nor powerful enough to satisfy the demands of those who use a laptop as their main PC.

What's more, in every possible area, it’s beaten by better competition.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Solo U3500 1.4GHz

MEMORY: 4GB 800MHz DDR2 RAM

STORAGE: 320GB hard disk

GRAPHICS: Intel GMA 4500

CONNECTIVITY: 802.11a/g + draft-n WLAN, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth

OS: Windows Vista Home Premium

WARRANTY: 2yr RTB warranty

DIMENSIONS: 385 x 257 x 29mm (WxDxH)

WEIGHT: 2.6kg

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