Joined on 06/30/08
You're doing it right, Asus
Pros: -Beautiful design, no screen flex or body flex this Ultrabook is very rigid. -Li-Poly battery(lighter, and can last longer than typical Li-Ion) -Great performance, and appearance. -Good processor speed, nice size SSD. -Wonderful packaging(safe & secure). -All metal design for protection, and security. -Accessories! You get a nice little pouch to carry the laptop in along with a velcro style cable tie, and a little bag for the Adapters. -Power supply can be easily adapted for other countries with its interchangeable adapters. Somehow, this design seems to slip under your arm perfectly for carrying around, even versus some slightly thinner, lighter UltraBooks. Again, with the 2nd generation due in a few months, if you really have something for Ivy Bridge you will want to wait, however it seems that you may only get 100Mhz more speed in the mobile Ivy's, GPU performance is where they will really differ.
Cons: -No backlit keyboard! So, I've read that the 2nd generation of ZenBooks with Ivy Bridge processors will have backlit keyboards. If you are patient enough to wait a few months (unlike me) then you may get one this summer. -USB adapter needed for Wired LAN connections (this could limit bandwidth in some cases) I understand why, as a big-ol RJ port would have messed with the nice look of the outside of the laptop case, but if you have any doubt about moving your music collection in minutes over gigabit, remember this.
Overall Review: For starters, this is a simply beautiful machine. From the packaging to the "Tags", ASUS thought of almost everything when building this. When you first open the box (+1 for Newegg and ASUS) the laptop is suspended by all corners by foam, and contained within yet another box for safety. The outside of the laptop is completely free of any branding stickers, which can be a problem for some laptops. I've read that ASUS got approval from both Microsoft and Intel to change the coloring of the tags to a monochrome, and it really adds to the "sleek" look. You will find merely 2 stickers on the inside, and one on the power brick and that is it. IT does come with some of ASUS' software, such as standby widgets and "performance mode" but these are not very annoying, and of course easy to get rid of if you don't like them. This is fast, has a great screen, is lightweight and gets good battery life. If they manage to get a lit keyboard on this, it will be a total Mac Killer.
Only gaming laptop I've seen you can actually game with, on your lap.
Pros: -75 hz monitor -Plenty of storage -Maintains decent, non chestnuts roasting airflow of previous generations -Nice large trackpad -Built in macro keys
Cons: -Soft touch rubber feels great, but is a PITA to keep clean -Air intakes are on the underside, previous generations had them top front but the screen -Power connector is a bit wobbly, concerns me of long term use/knocks
Overall Review: This is my second Asus gaming laptop, and I really don't have any major complaints. Every game I can play on my PC I can play on this laptop, albeit not always at Ultra settings. The thing I've always like about the Asus gaming laptops is that they blow the hot air out the back, and I've never had the bottom get hot on me. My only gripe with this model is they moved the intakes to the bottom of the laptop, where the last generation(G71) had the intake at the top, right by the screen. This made it very convenient because there were no intake ports to block when you used it it your lap. I will say I've had no issues using this one for true laptop gaming either, but I am more conscious to make sure the large intakes are not blocked by my legs, this isn't generally hard due to the size of the laptop. It can be easily positioned in your lap to have vents hanging off to the side, or in between your legs. Asus also really loves the soft touch rubber plastic, which feels great but loves to absorb oils from your skin and is impossible to keep clean. I feel like a carbon fiber or aluminum/magnesium keyboard top/screen top would be a welcome touch to future generations of this laptop. All in all a great laptop. Its larger than others but you can actually use it on your lap without cooking yourself.
Pros: -Price(I nabbed these at a GREAT price 69.99ea) -Performance, Sata II speeds on a 5400(5000?) rpm drive -Write speeds of 110 MB/s in a 4 disk RAID 5 -Quiet(honestly I havent run into a modern drive that isn't)
Cons: 2 of 5 were DOA, one had an internal issue (wouldn't get recognized by BIOS) the second look as if it had been drop kicked by someone. Beware if you plan on building a large RAID array with these disks and want to use a Windows OS. After plenty of research, it turns out you simply CANNOT install Windows (Even server 2008) on a RAID partition larger than 2 TB without a motherboard supporting UEFI.
Overall Review: I gave these a 4/5 simply because Newegg RMA'd my two DOA's without issue. Without that, I would say 3/5 is fair because I bought 5 drives, and only 3 worked. I've got 5 working drives, 4 of which are in a RAID 5 running Server 2008 on a virtualized environment. These don't seem to have any issue with access rates, I'm running 8 virtualized instances of various OS including XP, Linux (Ubuntu, SUSE) from a web server to several game servers.