Asus K50 review
A mediocre machine with an overly glossy display and questionable ergonomics
Review Date: 12 Oct 2009
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £522 (£600 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
To use a trackpad, you have to slide your finger across it. That may seem an obvious point, but it's apparently escaped Asus, as the K50's trackpad is covered in little indentations that add friction. You have to get used to moving the cursor with an extremely light touch.
The insubstantial keyboard, meanwhile, bends inward every time you press a key, and the numeric keypad and cursor keys are weirdly undersized.
The most glaring problem, though, is the glossy 15.6in widescreen display. To be sure, it's large and bright, but it suffers from a pinkish colour cast. Tweaking the graphics driver reduced the effect, but a truly neutral tone proved impossible to achieve.
If you can get past these issues, what's left is still pretty unexciting. The high point of the specification is probably the Nvidia G102M GPU, which helped the K50 achieve 24fps in our low-quality Crysis test. It's partnered with a 2GHz T6400 CPU, which yielded only a middling benchmark score of 1.02.
Battery life was slightly on the low side: its smallish 4,400mAh battery delivered 4hrs 9mins of light use, but only 1hr 12mins of heavy use.
Of course, the K50 is powerful enough for everyday use, and its 4GB of DDR2 RAM certainly doesn't hurt (even though 32-bit Windows wastes around half a gigabyte of that). Performance-wise, you can certainly do worse for £522.
And in a few ways the K50 does better than most at this price. Its 320GB hard disk is comparatively generous; and the Altec Lansing speakers aren't bad. They're not very loud, and predictably lacking in bass, but they do have a pleasing clarity.
You could even - if you were feeling charitable - call the K50 stylish. The shiny chassis sports a tasteful dotted pattern that changes subtly depending on your viewing angle. The interior is pleasingly uncluttered by superfluous stickers and buttons.
For all this, though, we can't recommend the Asus K50. It has too many foibles, without any real technical distinctions that might excuse them.
Author: Sasha Muller
- Microsoft reveals Windows 10... no, really
- eBay and PayPal split up
- iOS 8.0.2: old problems remain, new bugs added
- Technopop: London sci-tech festival is just for kids
- Windows 9: release date, features, free update and cloud version
- Chromebooks get version of Photoshop
- Retina display iMacs "coming soon"
- Apple patches ShellShock Bash bug
- Should the UK be a sharing economy?
- Want free Wi-Fi? It'll cost your first-born child
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Smartphone benchmarks 2014: what's the fastest smartphone?
- What is Kindle Unlimited and how does it work?
- BlackBerry Passport release date, UK price and specs
- OS X Yosemite release date, price and key new features
- How to change keyboard in iOS 8: customise the iPhone 6 keyboard
- The 7 best Chromebooks of 2014
- Apple iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: is the new iPhone 6 better than the Galaxy S5?
- How to install iOS 8 without deleting apps and data
- The best smartwatches of 2014: what's the best smartwatch?
- Nexus 6/X release date, specs and rumoured UK price
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office