A generic monitor not specifically designed for photography isn’t going to deliver the colour quality we seek. Processing images on the BenQ SW271 gives the user a stunningly vivid colour range.
ASUS Lamborghini VX2s (AK039G)
- Lamborghini paraphernalia, HDMI, e-SATA, Blu-ray player
- Price, speakers not up to Blu-ray standard, screen isn't quite up to Blu-ray standards
You're going to pay extra for the flamboyance of this notebook, but if you're willing to pay for it you won't be disappointed. The ASUS Lamborghini VX2s has plenty of power, good battery life and looks stunning.
Price$ 3,999.00 (AUD)
The flashy yellow and leather clad interior are a dead give away. Here we have yet another iteration of the Lamborghini, ASUS's sports car for the tech savvy. There's little to dislike about this machine beyond its price tag and, of course, that unfortunate anatomical presumption about any male who owns one (well, at least for the car owners). This model, the Lamborghini VX2s (AK039G), even has a Blu-ray player. As long as you can live with other people's jealousy you're going to enjoy this notebook.
This notebook has also been installed with the latest Intel Centrino platform (codenamed Santa Rosa). As part of this new platform you will enjoy one of Intel's new Core 2 CPUs, in this instance we have the T7500 2.2GHz CPU with a 4MB L2 cache and an 800MHz front side bus (FSB). Other optional benefits of the new platform includes 1GB of Intel TurboMemory, a flash-based memory on the PCI Express bus that can be used by the system to cache regularly used data (data can be fetched from the flash memory faster than it can from the hard drive, which theoretically helps the system run faster). The latest Centrino platform also includes support for the Wi-Fi 802.11 draft-n standard, the latest and fastest wireless networking standard. Beyond all that the Lamborghini also includes 2GB of standard DDR2 system memory (RAM) and an NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics card.
Outside the Blu-ray player the only things that are fancy about this notebook are its HDMI port and the inclusion of an e-SATA (external SATA) port. While e-SATA ports in notebooks are still relatively rare, they're growing in popularity. This port allows data to be transferred at higher speeds using an external hard drive with an e-SATA connection; very fitting for the Lamborghini motif.
Blu-ray or not, you're not going to buy this notebook unless you're a Lamborghini, or at least a sports car, fan as there's a premium for its Lamborghini endorsed design. It sports (no pun intended) Lamborghini's yellow paint and badge, and even boasts some car-like vents (which are just for show). On the interior you can't miss the black leather palm rest and the stylish yellow stitching. It also 'revs' as you boot it up. We took a look at the yellow version, but there is also a sleek black version. The keys are sparkly, like someone spilled glitter all over them, which doesn't fit the suave aesthetic. Otherwise it's a very swanky looking machine. It also has some very sexy accessories, including a Lamborghini fitted carry pouch and leather Lamborghini carry bag.
The 15.4in screen is bright, offers good contrast and has a fairly decent viewing angle. With a native resolution of 1680x1050 it's not quite up to the capabilities of the Blu-ray player, which can output at a resolution of 1920x1080, but it's still a nice high resolution. The speakers are reasonable, but nothing to phone home about. Fortunately the HDMI port allows a simple digital video and audio output to any modern TV or home theatre system.
It's not too shabby on the performance front either, though we were unable to run WorldBench 6 on it due to a software conflict. However, our MP3 encoding tests showed the CPU is as capable as any other. Encoding 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files took just 86sec using iTunes, while in Cdex (which uses only one of the two available CPU cores) it took 118sec. In our DVD rundown battery test it lasted a solid 104 minutes. This is a worst-case scenario test so the system should last longer under normal conditions.
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