Impressions and Conclusions
In the end, the Asus A7J has a lot of strong features that make up for just a few minor quirks in design. The super sharp 17″ display with the Mobility Radeon X1600 256MB adapter will keep most people happy whether you’re watching a DVD, playing games, or viewing photos online. The audio quality was a definite surprise in its ability to reproduce surround sound using four integrated speakers that surpassed my expectations. For performance and resiliency, the 1GB RAM and the 667MHz memory bus definitely helps give you extra performance while keeping you slightly ahead of the upgrade curve.
Just be aware that the laptop itself is pretty bulky and weighs a hefty 9 lbs. though it doesn’t feel quite so heavy to me. The battery may not be upgradable so the 2 hour life line may be all we get with this black beast. Gigabit LAN was an issue and proved to be incompatible with the GigE adapters on the EPoX EP-9NPA+ and the Asus P5WD2 server systems.
Though Asus markets the A7J as a media notebook, I think they’re missing a prime opportunity to appeal to working professionals. Specifically:
- Programmers / Developers / Code Monkeys – I ran the Eclipse IDE on it for my Java code and loved the screen real estate!
- Media creators – Beautiful wide screen with dedicated graphics and speedy RAM and CPU make it a great companion to Photoshoppers and video editors.
While you can definitely find cheaper alternatives, for the $1700 USD price tag (at time of publishing) you get a laptop that sounds good and looks even better. To put the icing on the cake, the A7J can even play current games rather well and it supports SPDIF output to make it useful as a media computer. Not to be forgotten are some of the upgrades you can get like a DTV tuner and a remote control. There are a lot of 17″ laptops on the market these days, and the A7J is worth looking at if you want something more serious than a budget product.
|Strong Points||Issues to be Aware of|
A good way of finding out how the A7J compares to other 17″ laptops in features and specs is to use the PriceGrabber service. Give it a try and find a 17″ notebook that’s perfect for you!