Friday, September 30, 2011

Asus M70

ASUS M70 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 1GB video memory
Vying for superiority in the desktop arena full replacement is the new Asus M70 - the world's first notebook to come with a 1 TB data storage option. Yes, that's a terabyte, which in 1000 GB - the equivalent of about 220 DVDs. It also uses other very interesting - a 'Penryn' Core 2 Duo Edition, 4GB of RAM, and a new ATI HD3650 graphics. The Asus M70 will be available from Anvik Micro £ 1,599 by the end of April. It seems that the sky semi-portable computer, but how do you fare against the competition?


The M70 is a desktop replacement to the core. In other words, it's big, heavy and if used on people in the audience laugh at you. That does not mean it is unattractive - far from it - the glossy finish on the top works well with light gray on the wrist rest, while aluminum edge around the keyboard adds a very contemporary. Asus decided to use white LED status lights and power button is good - it really matches the rest of the laptop. Not as pretty as, for example, the HP Pavilion HDX9000, but I will not.

Being a portable media center, it is no surprise to find shortcut buttons for common tasks. These switches, located on the keyboard adds a touch of access to the media player software and enable you to navigate through five video preset modes that change the appearance of the screen. These have been optimized for games, movies, images, normal desktop use and a special mode that lets you use smooth the laptop in a dark room without blinding yourself.

The size of the M70 have the luxury of a full-sized keyboard with separate numeric keypad - handy for spreadsheet users. It has a trackpad mouse, obviously, but this is special: it doubles as a means of manipulating the media playback. It is decorated with icons indicating the most common tasks such as pausing playback, rewind and volume, and two programmable "buttons" that allow you to launch an application of your choice with a single touch. Switch between normal mouse and the quick start mode can be done by pressing the "mode" button on the top right of the trackpad, curiously.

There is more media-friendly can be seen throughout the rest of the laptop. The left side is home to an HD DVD-ROM. We have no idea why - maybe Asus had a load left over from when the format was still alive and wants to get rid of them on the cheap. (Note: See update below.)

The back is D-Sub and HDMI video, which can connect the laptop to a compatible TV or projector. You also get an AV dongle that provides composite video output. The sound is covered by a set of five speakers - two just above the keyboard, two on the front edge and a subwoofer underneath.

We are very excited by the prospect of 1 TB of storage in a laptop, so let's talk about that aspect first. Nobody has managed to create a portable unit that only has 1 TB of data, but the M70 gets around this problem by incorporating two 500 GB drives from Hitachi. These run at 5,400 rpm, has a latency of 12 ms 5. 5ms average and average reading time, so we are not as fast as some desktop drives 3.5 inch, but still mightily impressive in a laptop. As expected, the units can be configured in RAID 1 or RAID 0, but you have to set yourself free ships as RAID.

The M70 is a statement outside storage areas, too. It uses the new Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 CPU, clocked at 2.5GHz. This is part of the series 'Penryn' the new Intel processors, which are intended to replace the previous range of Core 2 Duo, codenamed 'Santa Rosa'.

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