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
- Google suggests legal alternatives to dodgy downloads
- Trolls face two years in jail under new laws
- Nexus Player pre-sales halted after certification troubles
- Microsoft smartwatch coming "within weeks"
- ISPs ordered to block six websites for trademark infringement
- Free voice and video calling coming to Firefox
- Police take aim at child abuse with image database
- New iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and 5K iMac specs (at a glance)
- Citrix lets you conference call on your Android Wear watch
- PC Pro Awards: products of the year
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- 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
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- Smartphone benchmarks 2014: what's the fastest smartphone?
- 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