Top positive review
63 people found this helpful
For $250, It's a STEAL. For $400, it's a good buy
on December 1, 2012
I bought this for Black Friday at Best Buy for $250, and it's the best $250 laptop I've ever seen. Build quality is very good. Yes, it's plastic, but it's solid, and not cheap feeling at all. The screen is decent, nothing special. The keyboard is almost as good as an Apple Macbook Pro. It has good response and good feedback. The trackpad is pretty good, and doesn't stray too much from what I expect.
As for power, it's plenty good for almost everything you'll do. 4GB of RAM and a Pentium B980 (Sandy Bridge) at 2.4 GHz is good for almost anything except 3D gaming. Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope work fine on this thing, as do all business apps. It comes with Windows 8, and can be upgraded to Pro for $60, but you only need to do that if you're joining a Domain at work.
The downside for this laptop, and the 1 star ding, is it's a PAIN to upgrade. You basically have to snap off the keyboard and trackpad to get to the hard drive, and you have to remove the logic board to change the RAM. I changed the hard drive out for a SSD and that's it. That made my fresh boot time just under 10 seconds, and now I have a computer that really screams.
Some tips I discovered as I experimented with OS Installs:
1. You don't need a product key for a fresh install of Windows 8 64-bit. Get a Windows 8 64-bit ISO (easily obtained) and just install it. If you use a USB drive for installation, make sure to format the USB drive in FAT32, not NTFS for UEFI compatibility. Or, use an external DVD drive. The product key is embedded in the UEFI firmware, and Windows 8 automatically detects it and activates without any user interaction.
2. If you want to Install Windows 7, you need to enable "CSM" in the UEFI BIOS screen. Press ESC before the Asus logo comes on when you power on, and go in to the setup. Then, under "Boot" enable "Launch CSM". This turns on BIOS compatibility for Windows 7 and Linux. After a reboot, press ESC again before the Asus logo and you can choose CD and USB boots without UEFI.
3. Drivers are available at support.asus.com for Win 7 (32 and 64) and Win 8 (64).