by Akhil Parujanwala, Canada
Asus V2Je Introduction and Overview
The Asus V2Je is a new high-end business 14” notebook. The V2JE offers a sleek design with silver accenting. The Asus V2JE reviewed here comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz processor (T7200), 14” WXGA+ (1440x900) screen, ATI Mobility X1450 256MB (512 hypermemory) graphics card, 8x DVD-RW Super Multi drive, 120GB hard drive spinning @ 5400rpm and 1GB DDR2 RAM @ 667mhz. The laptop is pre-installed with Vista Business, it also comes with a 2-year Asus Global Warranty and Zero Bright Dot Guarantee for 30 days. The notebook offers many features which will be described in the review.
The Asus V2JE is a 14” notebook that is targeted at business users looking for great features and flexibility. The notebook has a great screen with a higher than normal resolution (1440 x 900) compared to other 14” notebooks. This allows you to fit more on the screen, albeit graphics and text will be slightly smaller than with an XGA display. The price of the V2JE is $1,800 USD and $2,150 CAD. It is expected that a 3.5G version of the V2 will be released in the future at a ~$500 premium.
Here is a list of other similar competing notebooks one may look at when shopping for business notebooks:
The Asus V2Je can be purchased from any Certified Asus retailer. The V2JE is one of the top business notebook contenders for the performance, price and quality.
Specs for the V2Je as reviewed:
What's in the Box?
The packaging of the V2JE is nice, just like most other Asus laptops. Asus decided to use a basic V2 box, instead of a box with a colorful design like other Asus laptops have. There is no rattling inside the box, everything is tightly packed. The overall weight of the shipping box is good, not too heavy, but also not light.
The Asus V2JE has a very clean design, it will appeal to business users. The color of the laptop is primarily a dark grey and a carbon fiber black which gives the notebook a contemporary look. The laptop has silver accents which mimic the similar Asus V1JP model. There is a silver trim around the lid, the edge of the chassis and around the touchpad.
My initial impression of the laptop was that it would be fit for a business user looking for styling, good performance, and a swivel webcam and fingerprint reader. The design is very inviting, and once you open the laptop, you see a very clean design. The webcam draws you in, and also the silver accent around the touchpad with the fingerprint reader in the middle of the buttons.
The screen on the Asus V2JE is quite nice and is glossy. It is 14” and widescreen with a resolution of 1440x900 (WXGA+) which is great, because this allows users to have more real-estate compared to other laptops that only come with a 1280x768 resolution. I ran Everest Ultimate to find out the screen manufacturer is AUO, model number AUO1247. I feel that this screen is pleasant to use.
The lid does not have a latch; it does take 2 hands to open the laptop due to the stiff hinges. This is just like the W3 series, it closes shut and stays that way, and it will not open on its own.
The horizontal viewing angles are very wide. I am able to see text, icons and images from roughly 145 degrees from the center. The vertical viewing angles are not so good, they only allow for a little leeway before they wash out. Probably offering around 100 degrees of decent viewing up and down.
The brightness of the screen is good, there are 16 levels of brightness total. The lowest level does not turn the screen black, and I feel comfortable using the lowest screen brightness for work and optimizing battery life. At the highest brightness, I also felt comfortable; it is great to use it when watching movies and doing some gaming.
Maximum Brightness <---------------------------------------> Minimum Brightness
When considering the backlight there is some light leakage at the bottom of the screen. The contrast levels look good. Overall I found the screen to perform quite well under all situations, gaming, movies and regular use.
Asus provides a spill proof keyboard that can withstand a small spill of your drink. One of the things I really like is that Asus placed the FN key to the right of the CTRL key. So now the CTRL key is on the far left corner. This is how keyboards are supposed to be in my opinion, thumbs up for that!
The keyboard is black with white lettering that is slightly grey. The sizing of the keys is great. I felt comfortable typing on the notebook. The keys have a good amount of travel and the sound of the clicking is soft, I would feel comfortable typing in a class or library setting without disturbing others.
There is a considerable amount of flex on the right side of the keyboard. I don’t feel that it hinders my ability to type. The middle of the keyboard has some flex and the right side of the laptop has little to no flex.
The touchpad area is aesthetically pleasing, and using it is even more enjoyable. I am able to glide my finger across the touchpad as if it was silk. You can really feel the quality of the touchpad.
The touchpad buttons are also good, they have an ergonomic shape and the pressure required to press them is decent. The buttons are not as soft as with the Asus G2, but not as stiff as the Asus V1JP.
The Asus V2JE is equipped with a 1.3-megapixel swivel camera located above the screen. The quality of the camera is decent; I would feel comfortable using it for video conferencing. There is a flash included so that if you're taking a picture of something close up, then it will brighten the picture, here’s an example below.
Without Flash-------------------------------------------------With Flash
Spill proof keyboard
Asus integrated a spill proof keyboard for those users who may accidentally spill a small amount of liquid on the laptop. This is a great feature -- no I have not tested this, nor do plan to!
This is an optional feature on the V2JE which costs an estimated $500 to integrate. This will allow you to connect to the internet wirelessly using a special service, and it is much faster than the previous 3G technology. This is a great feature for those people who need to be on the internet at high speeds on the road.
The docking station is something new to Asus laptops, and fortunately the V2JE has a docking station port located at the bottom of the laptop. The docking station has a variety of ports that allow users to connect more devices.
The V2JE has a nice toggle switch at the front of the laptop which turns on and off the Bluetooth and WIFI. Bluetooth technology allows users to connect up to 8 wireless devices such as a mouse, keyboard, headset, cell phone and more.
Many business users are looking for additional security, and Asus offers the fingerprint reader so that it can further protect the data on the notebook. It is located in between the touchpad buttons and is easy to use after a few tries.
The V2JE has a toggle switch in which you can turn the WiFi and Bluetooth on and off at the same time. If you want one or the other, turn on the switch and then use the software, FN + F2 to change which wireless connectivity you want. The WiFi worked great, it was very fast around the store I was testing this in.
The speakers are located at the front of the laptop and face slightly downward, the sound emanates to the user in front. The treble sounds good, the loudness of the speakers is good, however there is an evident lack of bass. The sound card is a Realtek High Definition Audio.
The sound quality using headphones and ear buds is excellent, just as expected. The treble and bass are clear and crisp .Overall I found the speakers to be good, since this is a 14” laptop you really can’t expect much more than this.
Input and Output Ports
Front Side Ports
Asus is known for making quality products, let’s look into how the V2JE performs under certain stress tests of quality. Firstly, the lid and screen section is one of the most used parts of a laptop aside form the keyboard. The bottom of the lid is strong, where the hinges are located, I am able to apply a considerable amount of pressure to the lid. When I am applying pressure to the middle of the lid there is some flex and evident rippling. At the top of the lid where the webcam is located, there is a considerable amount of flex, and the entire top portion does move.
The hinges are very sturdy; they hold the screen up very well. There is only a little amount of wobbling, and there is no creaking sound. I feel very comfortable using the laptop in any position and remain confident the screen will hold its position.
As previously mentioned, the keyboard has a considerable amount of flex in the right and middle, but little to no flex on the left hand side. Overall the quality of the keyboard is good, and having the extra feature of a spill proof keyboard keeps me from worrying.
The wrist pads, also known as palm rests, are indeed very strong, giving very little flex when excessive amounts of pressure is applied. I am very pleased about this.
I feel comfortable carrying and holding the laptop in my hands and in different positions. Overall I find the build quality to be good, it does share similar flex issues with the V1JP, however I feel confident that this will not be a problem.
Size and Weight
The length of the V2JE is 13.5”, the width is 10.7” and the thickness is 1.3”/1.5” (front back). The weight of the laptop is 5.1 pounds with the 6 cell battery. When placing the 9 cell extended battery into the laptop, it weighs roughly 5.4 pounds. The 9-cell battery protrudes about half an inch outwards from the back of the laptop.
Overall the laptop feels very nice to carry, it is light and the size is just right. I would feel comfortable taking it to school in a backpack with other books inside, or to work in a briefcase with a sleeve.
Heat and Noise
I have used the notebook for very long stretches of time -- installing applications, running benchmarks, browsing the internet and typing. Only the right side gets mildly warm, the right palm rest and keyboard area. The touchpad also gets warm. The left side of the laptop is cool and only gets as warm as your skin is touching it. Overall I am happy that the vent is on the left side since I use mouse on the right hand side. During gaming the heat remains at reasonable levels, but there is warm air coming out of the vent, and the right side of the laptop.
Overall the noise is only evident when you place your ear near the left side of the laptop, then you will hear the vent blowing out air and some clicking sounds. These sounds are not easy to hear and I would feel very comfortable using this in school and in work.
Processor and Performance
The Asus V2JE is equipped with a fast 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo, and using it in Vista, I don’t feel any slow downs. Overall the notebook performed well in Vista while doing light to medium tasks. I also had Aero Glass running the entire time. To further see how well the notebook performs, please check out the benchmarks and gaming portion of the review.
I normally test battery life under the following settings to maximize battery life for real life usage. Using the 9-cell battery, the screen brightness will be 1/16, in Vista the power mode is battery saving. The battery life under these conditions is 3 hours and 35 minutes . When I changed the brightness to 100% (16/16) the battery life fell to 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Using the 6 cell battery, the screen brightness will be 1/16, in Vista the power mode is battery saving. The battery life is2 hours and 05 minutes under these condistions. When I changed the brightness to 100% (16/16) the battery life becomes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The 9 cell battery has 7800mah, 11.1V, which results in an 85whr battery which is really nice and big. The 6 cell battery has 4800mah and 11.1V, which results in a 53whr, which is a normal sized battery.
I found the battery life to be poorer than I expected. I was expecting closer to 2 hours and 45 minutes on the 6 cell battery, while I was expecting 4 hours and 15 minutes using the 9 cell battery. I do find that this to be one of the negatives to the Asus V2JE, and we can not only blame the laptop, but Windows Vista may have contributed negatively to the battery life.
Here are some comparison picture of the Asus V2JE beside an Asus V1JP. As you can see, the V2 is smaller than the V1. Also, the V2 is about them same thickness as the V1, there is only 1-2 millimeters in difference.
When I compare the V2JE to the Asus W3 series and A8 series notebooks you can see that they are similar in size and dimensions. The V2 weighs less than the W3 and you can feel it. The V2 and W3 are roughly the same in thickness only 1-2 millimeters in difference.
Super Pi Comparison Results
Super Pi forces the processor to calculate Pi to 2 million digits of accuracy and gives an idea of the processor speed and performance:
|Asus V2Je (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz)||1m 05s|
|Apple MacBook Pro (2.16GHz Core 2 Duo)||0m 58s|
|HP dv6000t (2.16 GHz Intel T2400)||59s|
|Asus W3H760DD (2.0 GHz Pentium M)||1m 33s|
|Dell Inspiron e1505 (2.0GHz Core Duo)||1m 16s|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo)||1m 18s|
|Toshiba Satellite M100 (2.00GHz Core Duo)||1m 18s|
|Samsung X60 (1.66GHz Core Duo)||1m 29s|
|Dell XPS M140 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)||1m 41s|
|Sony VAIO FS680 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)||1m 53s|
|IBM ThinkPad T43 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)||1m 45s|
This tests the graphics and performance of the laptop. I had the laptop plugged in and using High Performance as the power mode during this test.
|Notebook||3DMark 05 Results|
|Asus V2Je (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz, ATI X1450)||2,010 3DMarks|
|Apple MacBook Pro (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo, ATI X1600)||3,870 3DMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad Z61t (2.0GHz Core Duo, Geforce Nvidia 6600 256 MB PCI Express Card)||1,332 3D Marks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad Z60m (2.0GHz Pentium M, ATI X600 128MB)||1,659 3DMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400 128MB)||2,092 3D Marks|
|HP dv4000 (1.86GHz Pentium M, ATI X700 128MB)||2,536 3D Marks|
|Acer TravelMate 8204WLMi (2.0GHz Core Duo, ATI X1600 256MB)||4,157 3DMarks|
This tests the overall performance of the laptop. This score is on average compared to other notebooks with similar specifications which is good.
|Asus V2Je (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz, ATI X1450)||4,158 PCMarks|
|Fujtisu Siemens Amilo Xi1554 Review (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo, ATI X1900, Windows XP)||5,066 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook N6420 (2.00GHz Core 2 Duo, ATI X1600)||4,621 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook N6410 (1.66GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400)||3,487 PCMarks|
|Sony Vaio SZ-110B in Speed Mode (Using Nvidia GeForce Go 7400)||3,637 PCMarks|
|Asus Z84Jp (2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, Nvidia Go 7600)||4,739 PCMarks|
|Asus V6J (1.86GHz Core Duo T2400)||3,646 PCMarks|
|Alienware M7700 (AMD Athlon FX-60, Nvidia Go 7800GTX)||5,597 PCMarks|
Windows Experience Index
The overall gaming experience was good, I found the ATI Mobility X1450 to be a decent little graphics card. I was able to play many games, but as we know Windows Vista is not optimized for gaming yet, so these results in games may have been hindered. Unfortunately I was unable to play STALKER, it installed but I couldn’t get playable FPS mainly because the lowest resolution was locked at 1024x768, which is too high. You can expect more performance gains all round by using XP Pro.
The overall experience was fine, the graphics were decent.
This game ran pretty well with decent graphics and resolution.
Overall Oblivion is fun game to play and the X1450 256mb did a good job.
Despite low FPS the game was something new, and unfortunately the game locked the lowest resolution at 1024x768.
Asus provides Windows Vista Business; it is preinstalled on the laptop with a vast amount of other programs. There are some programs you may not want to have, such as Norton, Asus Live Update and there could be others that many would want to remove. By removing these programs it will free up resources and will make your laptop run smoother and faster. I would recommend people who are keen on doing a clean install to do so, in order to get the maximum performance out of the laptop.
Asus support in North America is excellent, many have used it and they have been satisfied with their experiences. Another factor to consider is who will be your reseller, even it if it an Asus ensemble unit or ASMOBILE (Barebone) laptop. Overall you can expect good service from both Asus and your reseller, especially from the resellers in the NotebookReview.com forums who obviously care about their customers.
Accessories and Miscellaneous
The V2JE comes with a few goodies that are packed with the laptop. The first thing you will see is the Asus bag made by Targus. It is quite nice with good lining, quality and looks. I would use it from time to time depending on the situation.
Asus also provides a wireless mouse made by Logitech, it is not Bluetooth, instead comes with a USB dongle for wireless connectivity.
The other accessory that stands out is the cable holder, which is a small strip of fabric with Velcro to hold your cables when you take your notebook for travel. This is nice since my cables often get tangled with each other.
The Asus V2Je is a great notebook and it was a pleasure to use. The price is $1,800 USD and I find it to fit that price well for a business notebook. It offers so many features and flexibility. The overall design and quality is good, I would feel confident in using this notebook daily for school or work and even some graphic demanding tasks.
When comparing this notebook to other business notebooks in the market, I found this notebook to be amongst the top 5 contenders; however battery life is poor. If you require more battery life and do not mind carrying 2 batteries then this may be an option for you. On the other hand, the battery life is did not live up to its expectations and this is one major flaw for this laptop; however Asus provides both 6 cell and 9 cell batteries.
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