I have been a fan of Asus motherboards for a very long time. I have always built my own desktops from the ground up utilizing their components. When I started the search for a laptop I was looking for something powerful, light and portable and was drawn to this model. The key parts that pushed me to purchase this computer was the fact that it had the Nvidia GT520M and according to the specs a 8 hour battery life (I have yet to test this beyond the 3 hour point, but it does seem very good). Below I will hit a few bullet points on the good and the bad of this particular machine.
- The monitor is very thin, has pretty good color reproduction and is very bright. The native resolution fits very well with the size of the monitor. It is the shiny screen that most laptops have these days, and while I dislike this and prefer the matte screens it is becoming the standard and isn't as bad as some others I've seen. The viewing angles are decent but color definition drops off quickly from the sides.
- The chiclet keyboard is fantastic. The response and feel of the keys is among the best I've had in a laptop since my old HP laptop from 2002. The keyboard is not cramped even on such a small laptop and Asus has included a feature I have not had on a laptop in a while with the ability to disable the track pad while typing. You really just need to try typing on this keyboard to see if it fits your hand, but I think it does a wonderful job even as I type this review for you!
- This computer did come with some bloatware that significantly slowed it down when I pulled it out of the box. While there were not many extra programs installed it did have a ton of the programs there were installed running on startup that did not need to be. It took a considerable amount of time to tune the startup programs and services to achieve optimal performance. My recommendation is to plan on playing around in MSCONFIG and the uninstall programs for a bit when you get this.
- My final impression as nothing to do with the laptop. I must say I was extremely disappointed in the shipping from Amazon. I have ordered plenty of products from them before and my order this last time included an external DVD drive (since the laptop does not come with one) and a new case. They put these along with the laptop in a large box and put a couple pieces of crumpled paper in as well. Needless to say the box did not do well through the UPS shipping route and when I received all of the contents were moving around freely inside the larger box. Because of the movement all the packages of the contents inside had minor damage but fortunately the product packaging was good enough to protect the equipment. This is the first time I've ever had an issue with Amazon, so I hope it is not repeated, but I did need to state my extreme disappointment in this area.
Finally, if you are looking for a small, lightweight, powerful laptop that has exceptional battery life this is the one you are looking for. This is a fantastic price that beats both BestBuy and Newegg. I can say you will NOT be disappointed with your purchase of this computer if it fits what you are looking for.