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Asus UX50V 15.6in CULV Laptop - Preview

As with many 'slim' laptops, the optical drive used is a slot-loading model. Unlike most though, which are operated by either a keyboard shortcut or dedicated button at the notebook's top, the UX50V's eject button is located beneath the drive, making it awkward to get to and meaning your fingers can be in the way of the ejecting disc. Also there is no Blu-ray option available, but maybe this will be a future upgrade.

To maintain the laptop's sleek edges most of the connectivity can be found at the back, where we have chromed headphone and microphone jacks, two USB ports, HDMI and VGA for video connectivity and finally a Gigabit Ethernet jack. As with the 1008HA, the only connectivity to be found on the UX50V's side (a memory-card reader and third USB port) is hidden behind a small plastic flap. Because this is something you'll likely be using a lot, there is some concern about the flexible plastic hinges wearing, but we guess that's the price you pay for style.

Moving onto the laptop's audio performance, it's surprisingly impressive considering the Altec Lansing SRS speakers are so well-hidden they're difficult to spot. In fact, the sound this slim laptop produces easily beats most 'fatter' machines, offering good depth and distinction, pure trebles, no distortion at high volumes and even an acceptable level of bass.

Despite being pre-production, the 1,366 x 768 15.6in LED-backlit screen also makes a good impression. Slightly above-average greyscale performance combined with decent horizontal viewing angles makes entertainment mostly a pleasure.

Its only failing is one common to frameless displays. While enhancing perceived contrast, the transparent layer also markedly increases reflectivity, meaning that in a lit environment you can easily use the UX50V's display as a mirror.

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