At a Glance
Stiff mouse buttons and subpar battery life spoil this powerful and distinguished-looking business laptop.
This Vista Business laptop has a distinguished look and performance to spare. It weighs in at a fairly portable 6.5 pounds, and includes a very sharp, very bright 15.4-inch screen. At $1749 (as of 5/9/07), it's reasonably priced for a 2-GHz Core 2 Duo T7200-equipped unit with such a large screen. It's powerful enough to double as a gaming notebook, but you'd better pack an external mouse: The built-in buttons are almost impossible to use. You must press quite hard to hold down the left button long enough to drag and select short sections of text with the touchpad. An external USB or wireless mouse is essential.
The Asus V1Jp-AK023E's sober black-and-gray case is limned in chrome-like accents. The system was all business in our WorldBench 6 Beta 2 speed tests as well, scoring a solid 70 despite a paltry 1GB of RAM. What's more, though the V1Jp-AK023E is not billed as a gaming rig, it cleaned the clocks of every other notebook we've tested in 3D shooters, running Far Cry at a silky-smooth 97 frames per second.
This laptop has lots of other nice features, including a 120GB hard drive, a Webcam, and plenty of ports, card slots, and connections for adding peripherals and exchanging data with other devices. Some online stores sell the system with a detachable docking station for a couple of hundred dollars more.
In our battery tests, the V1Jp-AK023E powered down 2 minutes shy of 2hours--middling performance for a 15.4-inch screen notebook. Because the dual-layer DVD drive occupies a modular bay and can be removed, you can hot-swap in an extra battery, but you have to turn over the notebook and wrestle with a difficult bottom release to do so.
The V1Jp-AK023E's battery may expire a little too quickly for some, and you'd probably want to pack a mouse on travels. With an external pointer, however, it would make a fine desktop replacement.