That instant impression of luxury extends to the capable, powerful components. An Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 is a superb processor that’s been included in four other laptops this month, and 2GB of RAM is enough to help the U6 motor through our 2D benchmarks – a score of 1.34 is evidence of that.
There’s plenty of storage thanks to a 250GB hard disk. A GeForce 9300M GT-dedicated graphics chip is a nice inclusion, although it’s more suited to video editing and encoding than gaming.
And business users will be pleased with some of the more considered additions. Draft-n wireless is joined by an HSDPA modem, a TPM module and Windows Vista Business.
While the Asus may sound good on paper, it’s less impressive up close. The 12.1in panel exhibits alarming amounts of flex when the lid is placed under pressure, while the display itself has mediocre image quality thanks to colours that are slightly too dark and washed-out. The wristrest is sturdier, but not by much.
There are other annoyances, too. The mouse buttons offer far too little travel, which makes them difficult to press, and several keys – including the cursor arrows and function buttons – have been shrunk horizontally, which makes them tricky to hit without making mistakes.
Battery life is another low point. In our light-use test, the Asus managed just over an hour and a half, dropping to 1hr 15mins in heavy use. A larger battery is included, which adds an hour to battery life, but that still isn’t a stunning result.
So, while the Asus makes a luxurious first impression, it isn’t the ideal small luxury laptop: the poor battery life and lacklustre build quality offset its performance and business features.
Great performance, but variable quality and poor battery life harm the U6’s business ambitions
• ASUS: www.penta.com.au
• Price: 2542 • CPU model/brand: Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 • CPU speed: 2.5Ghz • Memory capacity: 2GB • Hard drive capacity: 250GB • Graphics type: Nvidia GeForce 9300M G • Graphics: 256MB • Screen size: 12.1" • Screen resolution: 1280 x 800 • Weight: 1.6kg • Dimensions WDH: 301 x 220 x 26mm • Battery type (cells): 2400mAh • Ethernet: Yes • Wi-Fi: Yes • USB ports: Yes • Speakers: Yes • Operating system: Windows Vista Busines • Manufacturer: Asus • Supplier: Asus • Warranty: 2 yr RTB