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Asus Lamborghini VX3 12.1in Notebook - Asus Lamborghini VX3 - Design & Features

By Hugo Jobling

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

The Lamborghini VX3's 12.1in LED-backlit screen features a glossy coating, which makes colours suitably vivid and blacks deep. Unfortunately it also has the downside of increasing the display's susceptibility to glare. The probable buyers of the VX3 aren't likely to be using it in an office environment, so perhaps this won't be e problem, but it's worth noting that Sony has perfected this type of screen, with the latest TZ range sporting arguably the finest notebook screens out there. The resolution is a slightly disappointing 1,280 x 800 which is made all the more so when you remember the smaller U2E has a 1,366 x 768 panel. However, it does help keep costs down and many users will prefer the larger pixels, which do make text and icons easier to read.

Viewing angles are, frankly, pretty poor. For a single user that isn't a problem and at least there's no chance of anyone reading over your shoulder. As already mentioned, Sony has been providing far superior LED-backlit screen for a while now, so it would be nice if Asus could catch up sometime soon. Luckily the webcam embedded above the screen has been angled so that when you do have the panel angled to its optimum position said camera is pointing at your face. Good news for potential VX3 buyers into their web-conferencing.

Asus includes a software suite, triggered by an Fn hotkey, which switches between different screen modes, changing the gamma levels, colour profiles and so forth. Given that all but the Normal mode look awful, though, I'd recommend leaving that feature well alone. It's a perfect example of value-add software that doesn't really add anything.

Overall though, when angled correctly the screen is absolutely fine. A quick play of the latest office-favourite trailer, Tropic Thunder, saw lush green jungle foliage, vivid reds and yellows from the numerous explosions and blood spatters and good black levels. For occasional film watching and office work - what we consider the VX3's likely principal diet - it's more than adequate.

Looking below the screen, the lower half of the chassis houses a button at each side (by the display's hinges), a tiny hole labelled as the built-in microphone , and a set of blue LED indicators in the centre - power, battery, WiFi on/off, hard drive activity and numlock. The rightmost button controls power while the left button controls Asus' Power4Gear software, switching between power states. These include, Performance, Battery, Quiet Office and Entertainment. Asus isn't the only manufacturer to offer this functionality, but we certainly appreciate the addition and having a dedicated button at least adds some symmetry if nothing else - and I'm a sucker for a pretty fascia.

Speaking of buttons, it seems prudent to discuss the keyboard, which for a small system is perfectly acceptable. All the important keys are a decent size, the left Control is in the correct place, to the left of the Fn key and while there are a few half-sized keys, notably the apostrophe and right shift, they aren't a hindrance as they still rest in a good position to get up a decent touch-typing pace.

The keys' feedback is good too, with a decent amount of travel, no sponginess and while there is some aural feedback it isn't clackity. As well as looking very elegant, the leather wrist-wrest is also very comfortable to use and is large enough that unless you have god-like hands you'll be able to find a typing position to suit you.

As with previous models of the VX-series Asus again bundles a wireless, Bluetooth mouse decked out in Lamborghini livery with the VX3. A quick look on the base reveals that this is in fact made by Logitech and thus should be pretty good. Unsurprisingly it is, if maybe a little small for some tastes. Coupled with the (also bundled) leather-clad mousepad it makes the prospect of using the VX3 at a desk for longer periods of time that much less daunting a proposition. Of course, we'd almost always recommend using a ‘real' mouse over a touchpad - the fact that this one matches the chassis is just a bonus.

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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