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Asus M50 Notebook Unveiled


Asus M50 Notebook Unveiled

It's nice to know that in all the excitement surrounding the Eee PC Asus hasn't forgotten that there other other types of notebook other than itty-bitty-teeny-weeny-ultra portable ones. Indeed, its latest offering, the M50, could be considered the complete antithesis of such sub-notebooks, focussing instead, as it does, on performance and multimedia playback.

A quick look at the specs confirms these thoughts, with the option of a Blu-ray drive being the big hitter. Unfortunately, the 15.4in screen lets things down slightly as the maximum resolution is only 1,680 x 1,050 (with 1,440 x 900 and 1,280 x 720 options also available), which is far short of the Full HD figures of 1,920x1,200. That said, assuming the screen is of decent quality, watching HD movies should still be a pleasure.

Adding to the media pretentions is a dual-function touch pad that doubles up as a set of multimedia controls - which incidentally glow when activated. Also on the plus side are speakers supplied by Altec Lansing, backed up by Dolby Home Theatre audio processing.

More internally, the usual range of Core 2 Duo processors is available, including T7-series (Merom, 65nm) and T9-series and T8-series (Penryn, 45nm) options. Memory wise, up to 4GB of 667MHz DDR2 is available and graphics options include the 512MB nVidia GeForce 9500M GS, 256MB AMD ATI Radeon HD 3450, or the 1GB Radeon HD 3650. All of these offer each respective manufacturer's video processing, which improve video quality and offload Blu-ray and other video decoding from the CPU - saving on battery life and system resources.

Availability and pricing information isn't known yet but Asus doesn't usually announce new products too far ahead of launch so expect the wait to be no more than a few weeks. Given the similar target market, pricing is going to want to be somewhere in the region of Acer's Gemstone Blue. We'll just have to wait and see, though.


Asus press release.

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November 5, 2008, 12:42 pm

I was very impressed initially by the performance specs of this notebook, especially considering it's price point. Picked mine up in August 2008. It is now November and it has been back to Asus for warranty repair 4 times. This notebook is a complete lemon. I have heard others having issues with this particular series of notebooks as well (two that I know of personally and I have read complaints online). My motherboard has been swapped out twice, brand new memory and hard drive as well. The core issue is, the hard drive controller or something closely related. After a couple of weeks, the hard drive light remains on completely solid (even more than the usual thrashing of HDDs that Vista is so famous for), and the performance is extremely sluggish. It never does recover and when a diagnostic tool is run, it shows all kinds of errors. This is one of the 15" laptops on the market with specs that are highat a reasonable price...so I thought. But just like everything else in life, there's a catch to everything that seems too good to be true. Pure garbage. Last time I ever purchase any product from Asus. Ithought they were much better than this. So, save yourself the greif and stay away from this one.

Looks good from the outside, but I can assure you, this laptop is far from good.

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