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Asus K52JC - Keyboard, Touchpad and Audio-Visual
Another underwhelming aspect of this laptop is its keyboard. One bonus is the presence of a number pad, and the basic layout is actually very good indeed. However, the key actions are shallow, lack definition, and - unlike the machine as a whole - the whole keyboard suffers from significant flex. Every keyboard normally has a little, but here it's enough to seriously detract from the overall experience.
By contrast the touchpad is pretty much flawless. It's well-proportioned, positioned to avoid contact when typing, and has a nice, low-friction surface. It has multi-touch, naturally, and all the various gestures work perfectly well. Its buttons, meanwhile, exemplify the kind of quality so sadly lacking in the keyboard.
At this price, one rarely expects great visual splendour from a laptop display, and so it proves with the K52JC. Its 1,366 x 768 resolution is pretty standard for the size and price, and it produces passable colour fidelity and dark detailing in videos. However, it's not particularly bright, and the viewing angles are characteristically shallow. It's no worse than many similarly priced laptops and is perfectly usable, but it lacks any particularly redeeming qualities.
It's a similar story for the speakers. They're not bad, managing decent clarity at high volumes, but they lack the bass and the mid-range richness to be anything more than a fallback for when you don't have some headphones or speakers to hand. It's also puzzling why, considering this is a fairly large laptop, Asus has shovelled them in beneath the front edge of the machine instead of in a more prominent position.
All-in-all, in use the K52JC is as middle-of-the-road as they come. To an extent this is to be expected given the price, but the flexing keyboard is a major disappointment.