5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
$730 of Pretty Awesome,
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This review is from: ASUS A55VD-AB71 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black) (Personal Computers)Of all the Intel i7 laptops on Amazon, I felt this model was the best deal for the price versus features you get.
1. Appears well-made. At least, there were no flaws in the model I received.
2. Lots of RAM and HDD space, and Windows7 lets you repartition the HDD as you like in Windows7. Much easier than the old days of booting with a partition CD because the OS won't let you tamper with the OS partition of the HDD while it's in operation.
3. In spite of the picture, while the palm rest does have a "mocha" color, it is a BLACK laptop. I doubt ones labeled as "mocha" are actually that color all over.
4. While the photo of the keyboard would lead you to believe the keys might be smaller than usual (as they include the full number pad), the main keyboard sports healthy-sized keys with the number pad keys being 2/3 the width of the standard keys.
5. INCLUDES HDD IMAGING SOFTWARE FROM ASUS (WOOT!) Every PC/laptop I have I need to install HDD imaging software so I can rapidly recover from a system crash. ASUS includes a utility that will image the OS partition (C drive) either to DVD/BluRay or to another HDD partition. So, you set up a portion of your HDD for image storage, and you can create a set of ISO files whenever you want. This is a big bonus (although I suppose all ASUS laptops come with this).
CONS - (all of which are minor and relates to personal preferences)
1. Windows7 Home Premium. I wanted XP mode for some applications, and that means paying for the Windows7 Professional Anytime Upgrade for about $80 more. The only comfort is that any laptop with Windows7 Professional already installed probably would have cost much more and had fewer features.
2. No phone modem. I didn't notice it not being listed on the product specs. So, I had to buy a USB phone modem as an accessory. If you go someplace with no broadband or WiFi, you'll want this if you have a dial-up account. This is common with most "off the shelf" laptop builds. So, I cannot fault ASUS for this.
3. Moderate resolution display. It's clear and sharp, but I suppose the laptop makers discovered that high resolutions on 15.x" displays bother people with the tiny desktop icons. On this laptop, the icons (at the smallest size setting) are 200-300% larger than what I've been used to.
4. Non-latching lid. Just a feature I've become accustomed to.
5. Display is "glossy" and not "matte." In other words, you can see light reflected in it. Not a deal breaker, but if you really prefer the matte finish, you might want to pass.
Someone commented (on this model or another ASUS laptop) that the speakers were on the bottom of the laptop. There is a speaker on the bottom, but it likely is a system speaker (beeps). The sound speakers are on the top above the top row of keys.
For an i7, it seems to run slow...even on "performance" mode...especially when booting. I'm not sure what the cause is for this. It seems to boot not much faster than the Windows XP Pro laptop it replaced, but when I look at the size of XP versus Windows7, it is a much larger OS to load. On top of that, a laptop's components are designed to conserve power while my desktop PC (my only other i7 comparison with Windows7) is fitted with high-performance components, which may explain the difference in loading speed.
The wonderful thing of computers becoming so insanely powerful is now you can get an awesome laptop like this for under $800. My last laptop was in the ballpark of $2,000, and the features, compared to this one, are laughable.
Other than wanting a higher version of Windows7 or a phone modem port, there are no hardware deficiencies in this configuration.
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Initial post: Nov 4, 2012 8:15:19 AM PST
The speakers are on the bottom. Turn over the laptop and you will see two speakers, one above the battery (between the battery and the ASUS model label) and the other speaker is between the battery and the battery release slide on the right side. Play music or watch a movie and turn the laptop over and you will hear the sound is coming from the bottom. Put your finger over the speakers in the locations that I describe above and you will realize the sound becomes muffled. So when the laptop is sitting on your legs, the sound is muffled by your legs. Yes, there is a grill across the top of the keyboard that says ALTEC Landsing, but the speakers are on the bottom and the sound is directed downward into your legs. Sure, I have a high end home theater for great sound, but this is a poor acoustics design in my opinion with this laptop. Any potential sound quality is distorted by the speaker location of this very poor design.
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