Home / Opinions / Asus A7S - Santa Rosa - First Look / Asus A7S – Santa Rosa - First Look

Asus A7S – Santa Rosa - First Look

Getting a precise explanation out of Asus for this proved difficult but it did imply that it was to do with the fact that it was still working on optimising the technology to get the best performance. It has to be said, though, that its absence is quite disappointing as this is a feature that promised real benefit to end users. Asus did say that we could expect it to appear soon via a notebook refresh, but would not commit to an exact timeframe.

The latest version of CPU-Z however, did reveal the presence of the new CPU, running on an 800MHz front side bus. The Pre-N wireless also present and correct with an Intel 4965AGN listed in Device Manager. Unfortunately, we are also not able to test this fully at present as we are not Wireless–N equipped in the office.

We also can’t make any judgements about the performance of the new graphics chip as this notebook actually features nVidia’s new GeForce 8400M G - a new mid-range part bringing Direct X10 support to the notebook market. This is the lowliest of the chips though with only eight stream processors, so it’s basically not going to be very fast, which is a shame as in theory the new chip can support 16x FSAA, though at this setting I wouldn’t as you’ll be lucky to get a slideshow with any recent game. The chip also supports PureVideo HD, which means that it offloads decoding of H.264 and VC1 from the CPU, such as from Blu-ray or HD DVD. This notebook doesn’t actually feature either of these drives, but I would imagine that as this is an entertainment range this will be an option soon. The chip also supports output to dual-link DVI with 2,560 x 1,600 resolution but this is moot as there is no DVI on this notebook.

What this notebook does have then is a Santa Rosa chipset, with Draft-N wireless, Gigabit Ethernet, and a new T7500 2.2GHz CPU with dynamic over-clocking and deep sleep. Hopefully Turbo Memory will be able to join this little group soon.

In the meantime the notebook we have here is the A7S, which Asus told me would be selling for around £1,300. And it has to be said, it’s a bit of an ugly machine. It's big and imposing but doesn’t have any pleasing lines and the black and dull silver colouring is, well, dull. With the lid closed it’s even more uninspiring; just a slab of silver. Buy this, and you will not be the envy of your friends, at least when it’s off. The one ray of light, literally, is the small power switch with blue backlight at the top right.

comments powered by Disqus