Like Asus' motherboards and some of its notebooks, the U80V will also ship with its ExpressGate boot OS. This is accessible via a dedicated button on the left, which when pressed launches a splash screen where you can choose your desired application to then launch.
This slightly obfuscates the 'instant on' credentials, since it still takes around 25 seconds to launch the web browser. Moreover, this is probably the only application you'd want to use, since the various music and photo viewing applications are a bit ugly. Arguably, launching directly to the web browser would be more useful and more instant, eliminating as it would the necessity to choose your application first.
Moving toward the audio visual side of things, the U80V comes out above average. Its display, a 14in, 1,366 x 768 effort, is LED backlit and is very bright and sharp. Viewing angles are decent by laptop standards, while colours are quite vibrant and rich.
For this model Asus has teamed up with Altec Lansing, so one would expect the speakers on the U80V to be better than most. This is pretty much the case, too. While hardly high fidelity, the U80V does deliver a punchier and more wholesome sound than most laptops in its class. Good enough for a little casual music listening.
Overall, the U80V is an odd beast. There's definitely potential here, but much will depend on how it is priced as to whether it'll be worth investing in. We also rather wish Asus showed a little more attention to detail in its design.