One of the fastest-growing and consistently reliable laptop manufacturers, the Asus range covers all segments of the market. Its first attempt at a Tablet PC, the Asus R1F (£1399 Inc VAT) provides one of the most powerful solutions yet seen.

Despite limited consumer interest, Tablet PCs remain popular with corporate users. The touchscreen and handwriting recognition functionality make it simple to take notes, and with Wi-Fi connectivity, sharing information is made all the more efficient.

The design of the R1F retains the familiar Asus style, with a corporate yet eye-catching appearance. Weighing 2.4kg, the chassis provides comfortable mobility. Under test conditions, the battery ran for 261 minutes, suiting it to life on the move.

Screen size is kept to 13.3-inches. Using a standard 1280 x 800 pixel (WXGA) resolutions, space is limited, but suits tablet use. Image quality is less impressive. The thicker panel of the digitised screen means colours lack vibrancy, but this is common of Tablet PCs.

Screen accuracy is excellent. When using the included stylus with Windows Journal software, it's simple to take notes and convert them to text. Rotating the screen 180-degrees for Tablet PC use, the screen can instantly switch from landscape to portrait mode.

Outstanding performance

The R1F sets itself out from the crowd with impressive raw performance. With an Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 processor, and 1024MB of DDR2 memory, a score of 273 points from MobileMark 2005 tests was produced. Posting the highest score yet seen at WL, power is comprehensive.

Data storage is just as impressive. A 100GB hard drive and slot-loading DVD rewriter let users store files locally and back up to external disc. A 4-in-1 card reader allows use with portable media, as well as cameras and peripherals.

Strong network connectivity is provided by Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11a/g Wi-Fi, ensuring the Asus connects at high-speed wherever your travels take you. A fingerprint reader is also built into the panel, for implementing biometric data protection.

With effective Tablet PC functionality, standard laptop usability is equally efficient. The keyboard and touchpad are well designed. With strong responsiveness and broad, spacious keys the R1F makes it easy to type in comfort for long periods.