Asus W2W review

A media-friendly laptop with an HD DVD drive

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Our Verdict

Powerful, stylish and comprehensive media centre that packs all you need

For

  • Looks good

    Good multimedia credentials

    Decent graphics

    Strong performance

Against

  • Limited portability

    Pricey

Asus has produced many high-quality multimedia laptops, and the Asus W2W (£1789 inc. VAT) is no exception. With its strong performance, stylish design, TV tuner and high-definition compatibility, this is an impressive home media centre.

The brushed aluminium finish adds a contemporary look, and is one of the best looking laptops around. With its sleek blue lights and angled design, it looks just as stylish in the office as it does as the centrepiece of a home living room.

Travel use is restricted to short journeys, due to its 17-inch screen and 3.4kg weight. The 127-minute battery life limits travel use, but will keep you working between meetings. The resilient metal chassis also provides ample protection.

Media centre

With a built-in HD DVD drive and TV tuner, full media centre usability is provided. High-definition movie discs can be played back, and you can record data to standard DVDs and CDs. Analogue and digital television broadcasts can also be received and recorded to the hard drive.

With its sharp screen resolution, high-definition (HD) content is shown in all its glory. Unfortunately, brightness and colour levels aren't as impressive and look a bit washed out. Images can be easily fed to external HD displays using the included HDMI-out port.

Gaming power is provided by a high-performance ATi graphics card. Most games run with decent speed and there's enough power for capably editing home videos and photos.

Equally notable is day-to-day office performance. Using one of Intel's most powerful processors, with 2048MB of memory, a strong performance is ably delivered. No matter what task you perform, the Asus consistently runs quickly and reliably.

For storing all your HD content, work and media files, the 300GB hard drive is spacious. It is also quick, so data can be accessed and saved quickly. For transferring data from your digital camera, a 4-in-1 card reader is also included.

An integrated camera above the screen, and both a remote control and headphones round off the media centre features. For fast access to all your media content, Windows Media Center is preinstalled, and quick-launch keys are located on the right side of the chassis.

Packing a comprehensive specification and good multimedia features, the Asus W2W is a complete media laptop. While its high price may put it out of reach of many home consumers, for an all-in-one mobile media centre it's hard to beat.