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Asus Lamborghini VX3 12.1in Notebook review

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8/10

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Around a year and a half ago we looked at the Asus Lambourghini VX2 and we were pretty enamoured with it. For a start, it gave us some actual justification for the usual TR habit of populating our reviews with more car analogies than a Bugatti Veyron has horsepower. Moreover, while the styling didn't really pay homage to the Lambo's namesake, it was still distinctive enough to persuade us it would appeal to supercar aficionados.

As any supercar owner knows, there's always the risk of a new, more powerful, spec coming out and supercar name-sharing notebooks are no different. In this case more horsepower is equated with a faster processor, more RAM and a bigger hard drive. Better yet, while the VX3 is eminently going to be faster than its predecessor, it manages to do so while not also carrying an inflated price.

Of course a direct comparison isn't really fair because the VX3 is also a much smaller Lamborghini than the VX2 was. While the older model sported a 15.4in screen, this system has a smaller 12.1in panel. That's not a bad thing, though. As the success of the Sony Vaio TZ and, more recently the Eee PC, has proved, small, light, sleek notebooks (and netbooks) are the new black - so to speak.

Also importantly, while it's still the case that Acer and its Ferrari line of laptops did the whole "performance-car, performance laptop" name-share thing first, that company hasn't really stayed true to its routes. The Acer Ferrari line isn't anything special these days. The systems look okay, and the performance is acceptable but there's no longer the same air of about them. Asus, thankfully, hasn't fallen into the same trap.

Despite its relatively small size, the VX3 is still a very shouty notebook. The lid is the same glossy, piano lacquer yellow as the VX2 and features the same black "grille" near the display's hinge. Likewise the Asus logo usually predominant on the company's laptops is relegated to the lower left corner to make way for an "Automobili Lamborghini" badge, rampant bull and all. Understated, it is not and that's exactly what we'd expect to see - so it's nice to see Asus hasn't been tempted to dull down the aesthetics to appeal to a wider audience. Of course the U2E is there for those customers now.

Opening the lid up and it's a similar situation. The touchpad isn't shaped to match the screen, like just about any other notebook, but in this case, it's trapezium shaped. It's not going to help with usability, but it does look rather cool. Even the keyboard isn't content to look normal and instead has keys made from a sparkly and slightly glossy black plastic. Again, just because it looks good.

Below the keyboard and surrounding the touchpad is a leather wrist-rest trimmed with yellow thread. It's a small, nearly-unnoticeable touch but, when you do spot it, it's the kind of attention to aesthetic detail that really shows just how much Asus has thought about the aesthetics of the VX3. Sadly the leather is spoiled by the addition of various "Windows Vista", "Graphics by nVidia" and "Intel Inside" stickers, which when removed leave a slight sticky residue. They're a small blemish on an otherwise flawlessly good-looking chassis, though.

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Luan Bach

July 8, 2008, 3:13 pm

Can you peel those product labels off without leaving marks ? They are ruining the looks.

Andy Vandervell

July 8, 2008, 3:28 pm

You can and it's nothing a little wipe wouldn't solve.

Hugo

July 8, 2008, 3:35 pm

As I said, they leave a small bit of 'stickiness' when peeled off, but a little warm water solves that just fine.

Luan Bach

July 8, 2008, 4:17 pm

Ah, missed that bit of text, too busy looking at the pictures :-)

Ben

July 8, 2008, 5:08 pm

Supercar-branded laptops make Ben a sad panda.

Mikko Lahti

July 8, 2008, 5:44 pm

Please, if you claim to do something like this: "...the usual TR habit of populating our reviews with more car analogies than a Bughatti Veyron has horsepower."


I would expect you to at least get the name of the supercar right.

Andy Vandervell

July 8, 2008, 5:50 pm

Cheers, fixed.

Petrov

July 8, 2008, 7:39 pm

Could you possibly have a nice front-on picture of the screen - all these suggestve side/rear shots would be nicely complemented by being able to see what it actually looks like from face-on... Many thanks.

Andy Vandervell

July 8, 2008, 7:58 pm

Done.

Riyad

July 9, 2008, 12:34 am

I should have spotted Hugo's Bugatti typo when I edited the review, but I was reading it at about 1am this morning! But then it could have been because I'm not a fan of the Veyron, the McLaren F1 is a far more impressive car in my opinion. The F1 achieved its power using a naturally aspirated engine, whereas Bugatti just kept bolting turbos onto the Veyron until it was faster than the McLaren!

Norbury

July 9, 2008, 2:06 am

Quick tip, stickers don't leave residue if you heat them up a bit first. A hairdryer is hot enough.

Mikko Lahti

July 9, 2008, 8:00 am

Riyad, I suggest you go read a bit more about the Veyron's performance and about the engineering feats that it took to achieve such a vehicular pinnacle that is the Bugatti Veyron. Otherwise your opinions make you sound like a less educated person than you probably are (comparing the McLaren F1 to the Veyron is outrageous, not even the Koenigsegg CCR compares to the Veyron). No offence though, the McLaren F1 was the king of the hill for a good number of years.

Riyad

July 9, 2008, 1:48 pm

Mikko, I know exactly what it took to squeeze that amount of power into the Veyron. The point is that forced induction is, quite simply, the easiest way to increase power output. A naturally aspirated engine on the other hand, is far more of a challenge, unless you're just going to throw massive weight and displacement at it like the Dodge Viper.





The Veyron employs four turbo chargers in order to achive its power output, and despite the fact that the engineers have done an amazing job of keeping lag in check, it's still there. A naturally aspirated engine has no lag, and rewards the driver with instantaneous throttle response. I currently drive one turbo charged car, and another with a highly tuned naturally aspirated engine, and even though there's very little lag on the turbo car, the throttle response on the other just blows it off the road.





It's also worth remembering that the Veyron weighs two tonnes, and no matter how much power you throw at something, weight will always be detrimental to handling. The McLaren F1 weighs almost half as much as the Veyron, and even taking power to weight ratios out of the equation, that light structure will make the handling sharper. Oh, and let's not forget that the F1 is constructed from carbon fibre, thus making the body supremely stiff as well as loweing the centre of gravity - all of which improves handling even more. I never quite understood why Bugatti used aluminium for part of the Veyron body, but I'm sure it was done out of necessity rather than choice.





But the real beauty of the F1 is its simplicity. The fact that the V12 engine is basically two BMW E36 M3 lumps stuck together, makes it a very reliable power plant - I wouldn't necessarily suggest that you could drive an F1 to work every day, but it's a far more resilient beast than you'd expect it to be.





All that aside, I believe that a truly impressive performance car is one that's fast, handles supremely and can be driven every day. That's why the Porsche 911 has had such longevity and continues to dominate, and why the Audi R8 looks like a very attractive proposition.





Anyway, I apologise that I appear "less educated" to you Mikko, but I really need to get on with some work now.

BigBadDave

July 9, 2008, 4:07 pm

Interesting stuff. Did you drive the F1 and the Veyron on the same day?

Mikko Lahti

July 9, 2008, 6:20 pm

Okay Riyad, like BigBadDave suggested, it's clear that you've driven the F1 a lot and also the Veyron, so I can't argue with you it seems. This isn't really the place for it anyway, having a debate about supercars belongs to a supercar forum. So let's just agree to disagree about our dreamcars, the Bugatti Veyron is my thing, yours is the McLaren F1. Cheers

Riyad

July 9, 2008, 6:20 pm

I've never driven a Veyron, which is why the above comment doesn't mention personal opinion.





What I said about forced induction, weight, chassis materials and handling do not require personal driving experience to be valid.





And don't go thinking that I dislike turbocharged supercars, because I believe that the F40 is one of the greatest road going cars Ferrari has ever made. But again, the F40 had a kerb weight that was roughly half of the Veyron's.





Ultimately Bugatti set out to build the fastest road going production car in the world, something that it achieved at great cost to itself and parent company VAG. By contrast, Gordon Murray didn't design the F1 to be the fastest car in the world, that ended up being a by product of him creating the most accomplished, street legal racing car ever made.

Riyad

July 9, 2008, 6:30 pm

Mikko, I never said I'd driven a Veyron, which is why I didn't include any personal opinions on driving/performance/handling etc.





Also, the McLaren F1 is in no way my dream car, I was just making a comment. Given the choice of anything, I'd probably go for a mint 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS, but they're going for around 𧶀,000 these days :(



Jay 1

July 9, 2008, 7:06 pm

My laptop handles amazingly well and it weighs a tonne... ;)

Sigit

March 16, 2009, 1:30 am

WoW.. Asus Finally Specs Lambo Laptop


I will so impressed once many features one that will be presented by Asus Lambo it. And for Power4Gear's feature really helps immensely, I utilize Asus A8Series that just has 3 Power4Gear's features: Power4Gear Entertainment, Power4Gear Battery Saving, Power4Gear High Performance.


And I just like Power4Gear Battery Saving, over and above useful for saving my battery laptop, also so cozy for my sight... Bravo ASUS Lamborghini VX series.. must will really be happy to have it!

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