capsule review

Asus A6Jc-Q029H

At a Glance
  • Asus A6JC Notebook (1.66GHz Core Duo, 1GB DDR2, 100GB, DVD?RW DL, Windows XP, 15.4

    PCWorld Rating

    This notebook has loads of quick-launch keys and a good mix of consumer and business-focused features.

Asus A6Jc-Q029H
Photograph: Chris Manners

The Asus A6JC combines business and entertainment features with impressive pep and battery life--all for a reasonable price of $1299.

With a 1.66-GHz Core Duo T2300 processor and 1GB of 533-MHz DDR2 RAM, the A6JC produced a superior WorldBench 5 score of 90, edging two similarly configured notebooks--a WinBook T230 that scored 86 and a Sony VGN-FE570G that scored 82--for top performance honors in its class. The eight-cell 4800-mAH battery endured for 4.5 hours on a single charge.

The keyboard on this 7-pound laptop includes a number of useful shortcut keys. Slim silver keys arrayed at the top of the keyboard launch e-mail and browser apps, activate a touchpad lock, and toggle through seven battery-saving modes in the unique Asus Power4 Gear+ utility. (We didn't use Power4 Gear+ in our battery tests.) At the bottom of the keyboard, a second set of silver buttons remains visible even when the big, bright 15.4-inch screen is closed. These serve as CD controls for listening to music with the notebook turned off. The forward and back track buttons double as volume controls. Unfortunately, the speakers aren't very loud, and there's no quick-play button for DVD movies with the notebook turned off.

Other features involve unmistakable trade-offs. On the one hand, the A6JC 's memory-card reader is modest, accepting only variations of SD and Memory Stick cards; but on the other hand, the multiformat DVD burner and 100GB hard drive are above-average options for the price. Plus, the A6JC comes with S-Video, DVI, and VGA ports for connecting to a variety of display devices. Like many Asus notebooks, this one has a 1.3-megapixel Webcam. Unlike the lenses on some other Webcams, the one on the A6JC can't rotate, but it's an appealing extra for instant messaging and other video-enabled applications. Our only serious complaint relates to the location of the USB ports: All four are on the back.

Although aimed at consumers, the A6Jc has what it takes to be a good small-business notebook as well, especially if you need a notebook that can accommodate multiple monitors.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This notebook has loads of quick-launch keys and a good mix of consumer and business-focused features.

    Pros

    • Peppy performance
    • Lots of keyboard buttons

    Cons

    • USB ports are on the back of the case
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