Asus M51T review

An entertainment laptop that falls short of HD prowess

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Our Verdict

A decent specced laptop that sadly falls short of our expectations

For

  • Blu-ray Drive
  • Decent Hard drive

Against

  • Poor HD performance
  • Weak Graphics

The remit for Asus's M51T is extremely clear.

With features such as a 15.4in widescreen display, a built-in Blu-ray drive, Hybrid CrossfireX graphics and a 320GB hard disk, this is clearly designed to be a killer multimedia machine.

Unfortunately, the overall experience is extremely disappointing. The biggest problem is the awful screen.

It suffers from catastrophically bad viewing angles, poor brightness and contrast and a low 1,280x800 native resolution. Add in a glossy surface that does nothing to improve image quality, but much to add distracting reflections and attract dirt and smudges, and you have a thoroughly compromised tool for HD video playback.

The other major issue is the AMD Turion X2 Ultra CPU. In situations where the Radeon HD 3200's hardware decode support is not available, it doesn't have quite enough raw performance to handle high-bit rate video streams in CPU mode. Simply put, you cannot count on this laptop to smoothly decode any HD file you throw at it.

What's more, even the Hybrid CrossfireX graphics are a let down. The Radeon HD 3650 GPU is weak for a discrete chip, making the complication and expense of the hybrid setup rather redundant.

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