Asus W90 £2399
9th Jun 2009 | 08:00
Asus' W90 produces staggering amounts of performance and plenty of features
Although not typically known for its gaming laptops, Asus has become more of a face in the gaming market of late, and it's W90 (£2399 inc. VAT) is the fastest laptop we've seen yet.
The 18.4-inch screen is great for both gaming and movies and is the largest in the group. It features a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, natively supporting high definition (HD) video, and colour reproduction is excellent. Multimedia use is aided by the inclusion of five speakers, including a subwoofer, producing clear and defined sound.
This machine offers a staggering amount of power, its dual ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4870 graphics cards helping to make it the most powerful laptop we've seen to date. As such, you'll be able to run all of the latest games with ease, and we found it ran the most demanding titles in better detail than its peers.
Not surprising considering its size, this is one of the heaviest laptops you can currently buy and weighs 6.1kg. It's not a machine we'd want to move very often. That said, you'll find a stylish laptop rucksack included in the box.
Nearly every component is configured for power. You'll find a high-end 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and the 6144MB of memory is the most we've seen in a laptop. To take full advantage of all this, the machine uses a 64-bit version of Windows Vista and we found it carried out tasks with no sign of lag, booting and shutting down quicker than nearly every laptop currently available.
Battery life is predictably compromised, however, lasting for just over an hour between charges.
The chassis is clad in brushed aluminium, creating a premium feel that's head and shoulders above the other laptops within this performance range. But the overall feel is let down slightly by the keyboard which, although offering great usability, features a shallow keystroke and feels cheap to the touch.
MULTIMEDIA ACCESS: The Asus W90's keyboard is its only letdown, but it doesn't matter when it's all about the performance
Asus has placed a bank of media hotkeys to the left of the chassis. Although they make it easy to control your music and videos, they're too close to the main keyboard, making it easy to accidentally clip them when typing.
Features are comprehensive. It includes a Blu-ray drive and you can also copy files to blank DVDs and CDs. Online gamers will be pleased by the inclusion of 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, and you'll be able to connect to other digital devices using Bluetooth or by one of the four USB ports.
While it is an expensive choice, if you are after the ultimate gaming machine then Asus' W90 must surely top the list. It's simply the most powerful laptop we've seen to date.
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