From a hardware standpoint, the W2V is a very robust and feature rich system. From the gorgeous 17" LCD panel to the 5400rpm 100GB hard drive, this ASUS notebook exhibits excellent quality throughout. And the 128MB ATI Radeon Mobility X700 was able to run the latest games with solid image quality settings. Armed with a 2.13GHz Pentium M processor and up to 2GB of DDRII memory, there is an impressive amount of power at hand. Overall, this would be a very capable LAN rig as there is ample horsepower under the hood.
Despite being a thoroughly impressive notebook in nearly every respect, the ASUS system was not perfect. As with any somewhat static mobile platform, you're very limited in terms of a hardware upgrade path. Although the 128MB ATI Radeon Mobility X700 was more than capable of running nearly any game we had on hand at respectable settings, it would be nice to squeeze in something slightly faster with a bit more memory. Again, this is anything but trivial given the effort to keep the notebook thin and light, as hot GPU's require heavy, intricate cooling. However, in a perfect world we'd be working with a new generation GPU with a DVI interface and at least 256B of memory to ensure we'd be able to keep pace in some heavily detailed games coming down the road. While we were making changes, we'd also find a way to silence the otherwise excellent slot-loading optical drive.
Without question, the ASUS W2V is one of the most versatile and impressive options on the market for those looking for a high-end notebook. Matching a rich and modern aesthetic to a solid blend of quality components, the system is able to tackle nearly any task with ease. Whether you're searching for a multimedia powerhouse to watch DVD's and listen to music on the road or trying to find a solid gaming system to bring to your next LAN, the W2V will not disappoint. Granted, with an MSRP of $2599 the system is anything but cheap. However, you would be hard pressed to find a more flexible mobile solution that excelled in so many areas. Add to that the endless amount of bundled gear, the robust Media Center 2005 OS and the classy carrying case and it makes justifying the cost that much easier. Overall, we're giving the ASUS W2V an rating of 9.0 on the HotHardware heat meter.
•_Exceptional Bundle and Case
•_Ideal blend of Size, Features, and Performance
• Slightly dated 128MB GPU