Monthly Archives: January 2010

Asus W5 Notebook Computer Review

Asus W5 Notebook Computer

The Asus W5 is not longer available but I recommend the Asus UL20A as an even-better replacement for the Asus W5.

This laptop was quite expensive at the time and is now well above the price of most 12.1 inch notebooks. The standard set of features hasn’t changed that much, but are now available at lower price levels.

Here are some the features:

  • 12.1 inch screen
  • 1280 x 768 resolution
  • 4.2lbs

Check theĀ Asus UL20A for a newer, slicker Asus alternative to the ASUS W5.

Asus UL20A-A1 12.1 Inch Notebook Review

ASUS UL20A Notebook Computer

This popular “sub-notebook” us the best value for money offering of all the 12.1 inch screen ASUS notebooks. It offers less battery life than the more expensive models, but makes up for that in the slightly lower price.

The Asus UL20A hits that spot between a full notebook and the ever-popular netbooks. It costs the same as a high-end netbook, but offers a larger screen, and performance and specifications that are more typical on a notebook computer.

Here’s some of the features:

  • 1.3GHz Intel SU7300 Core2 Duo CPU
  • 2GB of memory
  • 250GB SATA hard drive
  • 12.1 inch WXGA LED LCD display
  • Wifi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Webcam and built-in microphone and speakers
  • Windows 7 Home Premium

The weight of the Asus UL20A is a little high. Netbooks come in at less than 3lbs, whilst this model weights 5.4lbs. Not a major setback, but a little heavy for a computer of this size. UPDATE: this model comes in at 4.18lbs which is much more reasonable and pretty standard for this size. Not too much effort to lug it around. Will give you a bit of workout if you drag it around all day. The ultra-thin design is very appealing however, so despite the weight it still fits comfortably in a big bag of backpack.

The speed will not disappoint; with a processor that is pretty well specced. The memory is what helps the most and the system will be able to handle as many of the standard programs you care to throw at it: web browsing, instant messaging, typing documents and even doing graphics will all be fine. As with all notebooks, fast 3D games will not handle very well.

The not so technical features are worth noting too. The battery lasts for up to 8 hours, which is most of the day. There’s an accidental damage warranty which covers against some common things like spilling coffee on the keyboard and touts a 3 business day turnaround time for repairs.

Overall a decent amount of power in a very thin package.

Good:

  • Very thin
  • Long battery life
  • Large hard drive
  • Powerful

Not so good:

  • A little heavy

Asus P4P8X Pentium 4 Motherboard Review

Asus P4P8X Motherboard

Here’s a golden oldie. Released over 4 years ago this board is still available for those who want to add a new motherboard to a Pentium 4 system.

Old computers can last for a very, very long time and often get disposed of long before their capabilities run out and the components give up the ghost. This board solves one particular problem with very old boards, and that is the lack of upgrade capabilities.

But before we look at those, here’s a list of features:

  • Pentium 4 support
  • Two port SATA RAID
  • 3 x PCI expansion card slots
  • 1 x PCIe x16
  • 8 x USB
  • Onboard audio
  • LAN port

I can honestly admit that I still run a Pentium 4 processor on my primary (and only) computer. It has been in service for 7 years. And still going strong.

I upgraded primarily to take advantage of SATA RAID. After my hard drive crashed and I lost all my data I realized that I needed some sort of RAID solution for safety’s sake. The upgraded motherboard had this as a built-in feature.

For an older P4 system this motherboard will allow the addition of a RAID setup and upgrade to a decent graphics card. The built-in features like audio and LAN can be some nice added extras too.

The pricing is not too low, but this product has been through the paces and come out a winner. With years of proven performance behind it, it’s guaranteed to work well.