Asus F3Sc £749
2nd Aug 2007 | 23:00
Cheap, but lacking in features
Asus has often impressed us with the performance of its machines, and has also been forging a name for itself as the maker of stylish and uniquely designed laptops.
With this in mind, the conservatively styled Asus F3Sc (£749 inc. VAT) is somewhat disappointing, especially in comparison with more flamboyant rivals.
Open the silver lid and you'll find a 15.4-inch display. The glossy Super-TFT panel impresses, offering colourful and bright images. Like other such screens, it suffers from reflections in brighter conditions. Our review model came with a particularly high resolution - 1680 x 1050 pixels (WSXGA+) - which looked stunning.
Unfortunately, production models will feature a 1280 x 800 pixel (WXGA) display, and the resulting images will not be as sharp. Still, the widescreen aspect ratio makes it ideal for watching movies.
Featuring an entry-level graphics card - the Nvidia GeForce 8400M G - we expected the Asus to be able to handle tasks with ease. However, we found performance to be a little disappointed.
Although the featureless chassis may lack style, ergonomically we have no complaints. The wide display creates plenty of space for a good-sized keyboard, and the keys are firmly attached and move with a nicely weighted action.
The F3Sc's 1024MB of memory is less than average, but thanks to an efficient design, applications ran smoothly, and Windows Vista booted quickly.
However, as with the display, our review model featured a better processor than the production machine. With Intel's Core 2 Duo T7300 in place, as opposed to the slightly slower Core 2 Duo T7100 chip, performance may be less impressive than our review sample.
On average, we struggled to get two hours between charges, limiting mobility.
As a desktop replacement machine, there are enough features to keep most users happy. A 1.3-megapixel camera is neatly integrated into the screen surround, along with a microphone. There is a range of ports on the right of the chassis for connecting an external display, including a DVI port offering a digital output.
The F3Sc is not a bad machine, giving comfort, a decent screen and enough performance for everyday use. However, it lacks the style and quality expected of a machine costing over £700.