The Asus W2Pc (£1754 inc. VAT) is an excellent machine, offering a wide range of media capabilities within a surprisingly portable chassis. Brushed aluminium covers the chassis and back of the display, creating a luxuriant feel.
At 41mm, the W2Pc is very thin, and with a weight of 3.1kg, it's not particularly heavy either considering the specification and size.
The 17-inch display has a wider aspect ratio than many other machines, which gives plenty of space onscreen and is ideal for watching movies. The screen resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels (WSXGA) is pretty good too.
The resulting images are slightly softer, but it's still a good panel. With a Super-TFT coating, images are vibrant, and remain viewable from a range of angles. This is ideal for watching high-definition movies, taking advantage of the HD DVD drive.
The widescreen display creates a spacious and comfortable chassis, with plenty of room for the keyboard. The keys are large and precise, and typing is a comfortable experience.
Unfortunately, we found the touchpad to be located right where our thumbs were, making it too easy to accidentally move text when typing. Instead of using the wide chassis for a numeric keypad, you'll find a range of hotkeys that launch applications.
The performance of the W2Pc is excellent. You'll find a powerful 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 processor within the chassis, which is a reasonably fast chip and means this is one of the fastest machines we've seen so far in day-to-day use. The 160GB hard drive is par for the course considering the spec, offering plenty of space for your files.
A dedicated graphics card is fitted - ATi's Mobility Radeon X1700, which is an upgrade of the X1600 found in the Acer Ferrari. Like the Acer, resolution or detail levels may have to be turned down in order to get the best performance from the latest games.
As a Media Center, the Asus gives very little away. A digital TV tuner is integrated, and buttons above the keyboard let you control it with ease. Other features include a sub-woofer, an extra speaker on the bottom of the machine, which worked well, although sound quality wasn't exceptional.
Overall, the Asus comes highly recommended. It's matches portability with a large display, and it's crammed with features. It's just a shame the resolution isn't as high as it could be, and that you can't record on to HD DVD discs.