ASUS has been lately producing impressive range of laptops and netbooks. I see one common thing in ASUS products: amazing built quality. There is a fierce competition in the category where the ASUS F80s wants to compete in. Is it able to offer some good competition to it’s fellow competitors? With a ATI Radeon HD 3470 graphic card with 256MB RAM and 4GB RAM under it’s hood, it would be interesting to see how it performs.
Design and Build
As said earlier, the Asus notebooks always are build from great materials especially when it comes to the plastic. It has a basic black body and a glossy cover with a nice modern pattern. ASUS claims that the glossy surface is scratch resistant and it does seems so. Although, I won’t like to do any tests to prove myself wrong.
On the left side, you can find the power adapter, Ethernet port, hdmi port, two USB 2.0 ports, audio and video ports.
The right side is port less. It has DVD super drive.
On the front of the F80s, one can find the wifi on off switch. Although the wifi can also be toggles via fn+f2 key, but the extra way to toggle it is appreciated. You will also find the SD slot.
On the back, you can one more USB port and VGA output port.
Build quality is very good. The chassis feels rock solid and can take the average beating easily everyday. The keyboard area shows no flex, which is adds to it’s build quality.
The 14.1-inch display on the ASUS F80s is above average in terms of color and black levels. The resolution is 1280 x 800. Colors look nice and vivid. The screen is glossy and is great to look at from all the angels.
The keyboard is easy to use. The keyboard in ASUS F80s is spill proof, which does gives the user a piece of mind.
The keys in ASUS F80s are easy to type on. Even after typing on it for prolong durations, I did not suffer any pains. Individual key presses were soft and make very little sound, which is nice especially when you are typing in a quite room.
The touchpad is big and easy to use. No multitouch, but I’m myself not a big fan of multi touch yet. This is plainly due to the fact that the multitouch is not yet properly implemented in Windows XP or Vista. May be the Windows 7 will handle multi touch better and will actually be useful rather than being a novelty like it is right now.
The ASUS also includes a USB optical mouse in the package.
The ASUS F80s is powered by a core 2 duo processor running @ 2.2GHz processor. On the RAM front, it has 4GB RAM. It has a HDD of 320GB capacity @ 5400rpm, which is pretty normal. It also has a nice graphic card, ATI Radeon HD 3470 graphic card with 256MB VRAM.
The ASUS F80S got 1783 overall score in 3DMark06 (SM2.0 score=585 and HDR score=710), which is great for a notebook. Benchmarks aside, what also matters is if the ASUS F80S really feels that fast. Well, I guess there is no doubt that no matter how much power you cram into the system, Vista will bog the system down. Like other Vista machines, it will cause occasional slowdowns, but not that much. Aero works great and great to look at on F80s.
Boot up time
It takes nearly a minute to boot up it’s Vista, which is not bad for a vista machine. Here is a video of it:
The speakers are located beneath the keyboard. They are certainly not the loudest ones you would come across in notebooks. They do have good bass output, but the overall volume is quite low. My 3 year old Acer aspire 3620 makes louder sounds with it’s tiny speakers than the F80s. On the other hand, the audio via headphones was just fine.
The laptop needs to remain cool even after prolong use. Most of the netbooks and notebooks I’ve used so far become quite hot after an hour of use. ASUS has done some serious engineering in the F80s. It remained quite cool even after watching some hi-def movies.
The ASUS F80s ships with a 6-cell 4400mAh battery. With the powerful GPU and processor along with 4GB RAM, it does not promise to break any records in terms of battery life. It gave me approx 2 hours and 15mins before it completely died. This involved normal web-surfing connected via our office WiFi hotspot. I used the balanced power plan, where I kept the brightness at 50% settings and CPU at 70% settings.
The ASUS F80s is a nice portable 14.1″ notebook. It does not weighs much at 2.39kg. It has a pretty nice GPU and can handle Vista well. The keyboard is great for typists and does not get hot even when placed on the lap.
Makes Vista experience enjoyable
Easy to upgrade
Poor battery life
The ASUS F80s retails at $900-$1000 depending on the location.