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Steveness
His Royal Whiteness


Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 1581
Location: Slower Lower... Maryland?

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 1:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Asus Z71V Review

Intel 2GHz/533FSB Pentium M Centrino
1GB (2x512) DDR2 533MHz RAM
Nvidia Geforce Go 6600 PCIE 128mb
80GB 5400rpm SATA Fujitsu 8mb cache
DVD +-RW Dual Format drive
Intel 2915a/b/g Internal Wireless
Windows XP Pro SP2

Purchased from http://geared2play.com

Disclaimer:
Before you read this, please understand that this is my first notebook. I custom-build desktop computers and modify parts and accessories, but I can't really compare this with other laptops or notebooks.

Screen:
Beautiful! The graphics are amazing, some have told me that the screen looks more 3D and lifelike than many desktop CRTs and LCDs. A unique feature is the Ambient Light Sensor (ALS), which adjusts the screen brightness gradually. I figured it would get annoying and I would have to turn it off, but I like it and keep it active.

Noise:
What noise? This notebook is extremely quiet - the only time I can really hear the fans at all is when I quit a game and the CPU is still hot, but still hardly noticable. Even the DVD +-RW drive is fairly quiet!

Audio:
Speakers have a good range of sound and definition, impressive stereo separation, and great volume! I haven't used the Audio DJ buttons on the outside front of the case.

Keyboard and buttons:
Keyboard is comfortable (and I have large hands), and buttons are generally well-placed. I do have a bit of a hard time when I want to crouch while gaming - the CTRL key is between the Function and Windows keys, so I occasionally hit the wrong one. Also, the Function button is too far away from the audio adjustment buttons. I can't mute or adjust the volume with one hand.

Case Quality:
Sturdy and well-engineered, but not as attractive as other Asus models. The case looks like plastic, instead of brushed aluminum like some of its kin. No squeaks, rattles or loose parts. The hinges for the screen look strong as well.

Design and Aesthetics:
Blue LEDs for power, orange for battery - very cool. ALS and microphone are on the top of the screen, which is nice. Heat isn't really a problem - just don't block the fans on the bottom. I love the multitude of ports and connectors for USB 2.0, firewire, S-Video, etc. - they make it more functional. Memory card slot is fantastic, and much faster than connecting via USB cable into my digital camera. I like the touchpad with integrated "seamless scroll bar," especially for websites and documents.

Gaming:
I play HalfLife 2 (set to widescreen), and run at high resolution with no problems. Loading times for levels take slightly more time than my desktop (3.2GHz P4, 2GB RAM) - but that is expected. I use an external mouse to play.

Battery life:
Haven't fully tested, but running in Game mode with HalfLife 2, I think it lasted about an hour and a half before the battery light started blinking.

Problems:
1. Windows XP SP2 - I plugged the notebook into the network, and downloaded 17 security updates. OS was supposed to be "Licensed/Installed/Tuned", so I expected all the security patches to be installed. Easily solved though.
2. Hard drive - I was supposed to get the 80GB Toshiba 16MB cache, but I got the 80GB Fujitsu 8MB cache. This really isn't a big deal either, I was torn between these two drives because the 8MB cache is SATA.

Overall:
I am extremely happy with this notebook's quality, price, and performance. My only regret may be that I didn't get 2GB RAM, but that gives me an excuse to keep my desktop for now.
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