Both laptops have ASUS’s ColourShine, which is a glossy screen enchancement for brighter and more vivid colours. The two are different in resolution though, the W2v has a WSXGA, 1680×1050 with CrystalShine(ASUS’s version of IBM/Lenovo’s FlexView — basically adds higher brightness and rich color contrast to the screen), while the Z83v has a WXGA 1440×980 screen. I found that the W2v has a brighter and more vivid screen but the Z83v had more contrast.
The W2v in action in BF2 (view larger image)
The Z83v in action in BF2 (view larger image)
Comparing the screens of the W2v, Z83v and Z70va (view larger image)
The screens are ColourShine/CrystalShine, ColourShine, and regular Matte (view larger image)
Located at the bottom, there are two small speakers, and there are also two located right at the front. Yet there are another two, right underneath the screen, this makes 6 speakers. Oh, I forgot to mention the subwoofer located at the bottom — for that extra bass 95% of laptops are missing. A full speaker system on the laptop — a portable media center indeed. I played BF2 on the W2v, and the speakers were pretty awesome, as I felt a small amount of bass, which is often missing on most laptops. I also felt that booming bass while listening to ‘Give it away’ by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, mmm, gotta love Flea!
As for the Z83v, there are two at the bottom front corners of the laptop, and with two large speakers on the left and right side of the keyboard, for a full blast of sound when working on the keyboard, probably. But in reality, the side speakers works pretty well, when playing BF2, the speakers were loud and clear.
Processor and Performance
Both were very quick in installing and running programs such as 3DMark, Age of Empires III trial(yea, trial — but still) and during the boot up, both were within the 15-20 second range. Although the W2v had stalled for a few seconds on the screen right before the desktop loads up — probably a small issue. I then loaded up Battle Field 2, and played a few games, and using the touchpad, it was lagless, I turned up the AA and resolution modes, it ran very cleanly, I did not encounter any lag. Because both W2v and Z83v were so closely loaded up, with P-M processors, 1gb of RAM, x700, their results were very similar.
Guts of the W2v (view larger image)
The W2v in the AOE3 trial, the shiny casing is just the peelable sticker (view larger image)
The W2v and Z83v head to head in a game of BF2 (view larger image)
Also, both have built in TV Tuners, and included a remote and various tools for connecting a TV in and out. Windows Media Center is included with the W2v but is optional, as all barebones are, for the Z83v. I did not test out the TV tuner, and there seems to be some issues regarding thing topic within the W2v, not sure about the Z83v, so I can’t comment on the “Wireless TV” on the laptops.
3DMark05 running the W2v and Z83v hard! (view larger image)
W2V 3DMark05 Result
Z83V 3DMark05 Result
W2V PCMark04 Result
Z83V PCMark04 Result
W2V Super Pi Results
Z83v Super Pi Results
W2V HD Tune Results
Z83V HD Tune Results
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Z83v has the very sleek and sexy brushed aluminum creaseless touchpad just like 95% of the ASUS laptops — as always, I have no complaints and can only compliment this part of the laptop everytime. The keyboard however is very similar to the one I reviewed in the Z81sp — it had a tad of flex around the ‘D’ and ‘L’ keys, but only when I pressed it with more force then usual. Another problem would be the smaller then usually spacebar.
Eerily familiar looking (view larger image)
For the W2v, the touchpad is flat. It is as if it was a part of the face of the laptop, with a comfortable white halo surrounding the touchpad. The buttons are a very sweet looking ‘laser etched’ brushed aluminum, a part of the face of the laptop itself. It screams “I am professional looking!” 🙂 The keyboard is almost the same as the one on my z70va, it is flexless and a very good typing keyboard. No complaints there.
The W2v touchpad (view larger image)
The keyboard. Love the brushed aluminum casing! (view larger image)
Pretty regular looking. Speakers on the left and right side make it different though! (view larger image)
As always for both Z83v and W2v, or rather all ASUS laptops — the Function(FN) key is placed separately, so it will take a while to adjust to that. Also, it may be disappointing to some that ASUS did not add a keypad to the keyboard, but I personally didn’t mind.
The W2v has a Intel 2915 wireless card, a good card which picked up signals and was ready for the internet. A barebone the Z83v was, so the 2200, 2915, Broadcom, and Atheros cards would all be an option for this laptop. For both, they have a regular InfraRed sensor.
Both laptops have built in Bluetooth for that extra connection to your cell phone, PDA, etc. without a dongle. A very nice feature to have, even though one may not use it right away.
Listed as 3 hours for the W2v, and 2.5 hours for the Z83v, I ran them with WiFi on, Word open, and IE on, at full brightness, the Z83v lasted about 2 hours and 25 mins, while the W2v lasted about the same, but 15 mins less, surpisingly.
Note I did not install anything like CHC/RHC, speedfan, etc. anything that could effect battery life. With the laptop on, WiFi on, with screen at 50%, and surfing should be at least 3 hours.
The batteries(No, the W2v doesn’t take an AA battery!), W2v on top, Z83v on bottom, compared to an AA battery and a 2.5″ external HD (view larger image)
The power brick was surprisingly small, it was the size of a regular mouse but a bit thinner and longer. It was actually the same size as the z70va one, so its a definite plus for a 17″ laptop.
OS, Software and freebies
The W2v is an ENSEMBLE unit, so Windows MCE 2005 is included, as well as the regular ASUS program freebies, ASUSDVD, etc. The z83v, like all ASUS barebones has a option for its OS, Pro, Home or MCE. Also, on the Z83v, there is a built in 1.3 mega pixel camera and microphone located at the top of the screen. It was automatically recognized by Windows and it worked pretty well, the picture was clear(For a 1.3MP) and was fun to use. A definite plus, even though one may never use it, or once every few months.
No need for a external one! (view larger image)
Who’s taking the picture? (view larger image)
The W2v is loaded! (view larger image)
Also, both included carrying bags, which all ASUS laptops include, although the W2v bag was a lot more nice looking and built! The MCE on the W2v included a remote, lot5s of wires and a mouse.
With no experience with the ASUS CS, I can not comment here about the W2v, but I have not heard many complaints on the forums, so I would assume it is average, and overall — better then others 😉
Resellers are often the best in Customer service, and for the Z83v, with reputable resellers in customer service such as PROPortable, Geared2Play, StarTech and CanadaSys, I can’t help but praise them.
- Gets warm with excessive use
- Lack of vents
- Not much contrast on screen
- Ports in front(To some)
- Keyboard Flex
- Lid Flex
- Low resolution screen
- Fairly cool
Where to Buy
In the US:
With two exciting new 17″ in the market by ASUS, these two will definitely be good sellers, the W2v as a high end portable media center DTR, and the Z83v as a DTR media center, while being able to run games on the x700. ASUS has been making great laptops, from thin and powerful V6v, the thin and small but powerful W3v, the inexpensive but thin, portable and powerful Z70va and now, to add to its collection, the portable and powerful media center, the Z83v and the thin, portable, powerful media center W2v. Just think where ASUS is going with this trend!
In my final words of this review, the W2v is one of my favourite laptops in the market, if not number one, and without hesistation I would get it, but does anyone know anywhere that I can trade in my z70va and cash for one?
That and I hope ASUS doesn’t release more notebooks soon. Because everytime they do, I feel bad that its so much better then my Z70va!