Skip to navigation

Asus A8Js review


A fast and well-designed notebook, but let down by an average screen and poor battery life

Review Date: 10 Nov 2006

Reviewed By: Dave Stevenson

Price when reviewed: (£1,199 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
3 stars out of 6

Notebook GPUs don't get the same amount of attention as their bigger, more powerful desktop cousins. But while Nvidia is making plenty of fuss about its latest desktop range, the GeForce 8800, there's plenty of movement on the mobile side too. As well as the introduction of the all-powerful GeForce Go 7950 GTX, there's the more modest 7700 card, seen here for the first time in the Asus A8Js.

The chip is a slight variation of the existing GeForce Go 7600, the technical difference being the reduction from a 90nm to 80nm manufacturing process. Plus, there are 12 pixel pipelines compared to the 7600's eight. In practice, the chip proved more than capable in our 3D benchmarks: at our lowest benchmark settings, Far Cry ran at an average of 43fps, while Call of Duty 2 managed 33fps. Upping the resolution of the screen to its native 1,440 x 900 resolution and running the games at their medium settings resulted in averages of 27fps and 18fps in Far Cry and Call of Duty 2 respectively.

Based around a T7200 2GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, there's plenty of processing power. In combination with 2GB of RAM, running at 667MHz, the overall benchmark score of 1.20 makes the A8Js fast enough for almost anything. The Hitachi hard disk also pushes the boat out with its 100GB capacity. It comes split into two partitions - one 56GB and another 37GB, presumably intended as a separate repository for documents and media libraries.

The optical drive will prove useful for offloading smaller amounts of data, as it caters for all formats of writable DVD including DVD-RAM. The A8Js complies with Intel's Centrino Duo branding, and as such has 802.11a/b/g WLAN, backed by wired Gigabit Ethernet. The back left-hand side of the chassis is home to a memory card reader, providing compatibility with SD card, MMC cards and Memory Sticks. A TPM chip from Infineon is a useful tool that will prove itself if you intend to adopt the A8Js as a laptop for business use, although the bundled software isn't as user-friendly as we'd like. The webcam in the top of the bezel is a more useful inclusion, despite its low 0.3-megapixel resolution.

Unfortunately, the A8Js has a couple of notable faults. One of these is the 14in 1,440 x 900 resolution screen, which suffers from being particularly reflective. We found that even in rooms lit by normal household incandescent bulbs reflections were distracting. There's also a noticeable amount of grain on the screen - another distraction while typing documents, as the page doesn't appear white but more a mottled grey. The screen isn't quite bright enough either. The "Splendid" video button, supposedly to improve "image contrast, brightness, skin tone and colour saturation" only proved a qualified success, boosting brightness minimally at the expense of colour accuracy.

We aren't big fans of the trackpad either, which has a distinctly sticky feel to it, while the mouse buttons are too soft. The keyboard is more of a plus, offering a good level of feedback and making typing comfortable. The only drawback is the slightly odd layout, transposing the Ctrl and Fn keys, and making the Enter key single height.

Battery life isn't a strong point - with minimal activity, the notebook lasted for 2hrs 50mins, which dropped to 1hr 1min when we pushed the machine to its limits. That's disappointing, as the 2.5kg weight makes the A8Js an otherwise practical choice for travellers - large enough to work comfortably at wireless hotspots, but light enough to be reasonably unobtrusive in a bag.

1 2
Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
Be the first to comment this article

You need to Login or Register to comment.


Latest Category Reviews
Apple iPad Air 2 review

Apple iPad Air 2

Category: Tablets
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £399
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro review

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

Category: Laptops
Rating: 3 out of 6
Price: £1,300
Asus Transformer Book T200TA review

Asus Transformer Book T200TA

Category: Laptops
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £350
Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 review

Fujitsu Stylistic Q704

Category: Tablets
Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro review

Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Compare reviews: Laptops


Most Commented Reviews
Latest News Stories Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Features
Latest Real World Computing


Sponsored Links


Your email:

Your password:

remember me


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.