by Aric W., Toronto Canada
ASUS had created various 17" models, such as Apple's PowerBooks, and perhaps, even some of SONY's 17" laptops. But in their own line of ENSEMBLE and Built On units, they vary from the 12" z33a to the 15.4" z71v, but that was as high as it goes. Now -- ASUS has two 17", two mobile media centers, with a bright 17" screen, slim and attractive design and very powerful specifications. They are the Asus W2V and ASUS Z83v, an ENSEMBLE and a Built On, respectively.
ASUS's new 17" laptops (view larger image)
As a 17" laptop, they are considered as a Desktop replacement. With specifications as as a Pentium M processor and the latest "Sonoma" chipset, with up to 2gb of DDR2 533mhz, a built in TV tuner, 17" Glossy Screen and even an ATI x700 128mb video card, they are two very powerful computers. Not aiming at a certain crowd, both are light desktop replacements with the ability to travel, a lot!
With prices starting at $2999 USD for the W2v and $2000 USD for the customizable Z83v, they are considered mid to high range laptops.
The specifications of the two ASUS models, provided by CanadaSys -- One of Canada's leaders in ASUS laptops, are as shown below according to Everest.
Build and Design
The box. A sexy laptop deserves to be in a sexy box (view larger image)
The W2v features a solid brushed aluminum and carbon fiber chassis, both the lid and the area surrounding the keyboard and touchpad, as well as the touchpad buttons are brushed aluminum. The rest are very firm carbon fiber. It is very PowerBook-like, but ASUS was the one's behind the PowerBook, and just like they did with the v6v -- it's a masterpiece. The whole laptop chassis is very much created as one, there are NO removable parts, as in all the buttons are fused with the chassis, including the hotkeys and the touchpad and buttons. Very classy and slick. There were no signs of flex on the laptop at all, it was built like a brick but felt like a feather.
Ooohhh, shiny! (view larger image)
The Z83v is much more 'plastic' then the W2v, if at all -- at first I would of guessed it was carbon fiber! The lid is a tad flimsy. It is very similar to the z71v and the z81sp's lid, a bit of flex was found there. The keyboard area was firm and overall, an 'okay' feature, pressing hard would result in flex but regular use, by placing a palm there, would not result in any flex.
The Z83v isn't a bad looking laptop itself (view larger image)
The size of the two laptops are very slim compared to other 17" laptops. The W2v is only 1.2" thick, and the Z83v being 1.5", and the weight of the W2v is what impresses me a lot. With the specifications as listed above for the W2v, it comes to a weight of 7.4 lbs, while the z83v comes at 8.3 lbs. Note that the lightest 17" before would have been the Dell i9300 at 8lbs. The W2v is about half a pound lighter!
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