days, Asus is known for its slightly wacky, off-the-wall ideas – this
is the firm that single-handedly kick-started the netbook market, after
all – so an everyday laptop from them is an intriguing idea.
a reasonably good-looking machine and has been designed for long
periods of use on a desk. The keyboard has a trackpad and fingerprint
scanner in front of it and, like the Sony (see above right), has a
spill-proof coating to protect it from office water fights. It’s
comfortable to use and feels solidly put together.
screen is good – it has a webcam above it for video-conferencing and an
anti-glare coating – and the keyboard has a back light, meaning you can
type easily in dimmed meeting rooms. Asus has also built a neat feature
called Express Gate, which allows the machine to boot up in eight
seconds. The built-in DVD drive performs well and the battery life is
about five hours.
The B50A is an accomplished all-rounder, but it
seems to lack the edge of some of its competitors. It’s dependable but
a little uninspiring.
PROS Provides all the standard features you might be looking for
CONS Unimaginative specifications