ASUS A4L

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ASUS A4L

Pros

  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • No DVD writer, integrated graphics

Bottom Line

This budget buy looks good and includes some nice options (FireWire, TV-out, card reader) and free extras (mouse, carry bag), but you don't get a DVD writer and the processor doesn't help with battery life.

Would you buy this?

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This notebook uses a 2.8GHz Intel Celeron D processor, which provides good performance for a good price, certainly, but doesn't really charge out of the gates. The graphics are integrated, which means the latest games are off-limits, but you can opt to borrow up to 128MB of memory from the main 256MB DDR SDRAM. Lastly, this model has a CD-writer/DVD-ROM combination--which burns CDs and plays DVDs, but does not burn DVDs.

So if all this, in addition the hefty weight (3.8kg) and relatively low battery life (64 minutes in our worst-case scenario test), isn't too much of a compromise, the A4L is worth a closer look.

Performance was about what you'd expect for this price--with a result of 57 in our productivity application benchmark (PC WorldBench 5) and a lacklustre 1659 in 3DMark 2001SE.

You can connect peripherals using the four USB 2.0 or single FireWire ports, network using Ethernet, 56Kbps modem or 802.11b wireless networking and output to an external monitor with the VGA-out, or to a television via the S-Video TV-out port.

Nice little extras include a seven-in-one multiformat card reader, Windows-independent CD playback and controls, free carry bag and optical mouse, and the same software bundle and warranty supplied with the more powerful ASUS V6000V.

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