Asus W90Vp 18.4" Gaming Notebook

Usage Experience

The W90Vp, as expected, comes loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium. Unfortunately, that's not all it comes loaded with. The amount of bloatware packed onto this machine right from the factory is disappointing, albeit not at all shocking. You'll definitely spend your first hour of so of ownership attempting to stop that persistent Norton Trial pop-up from marring your view, and you'll spend the next hour paring down the apps in your task bar from too-many-to-count to only-what's-necessary. Look, we know there's a Core 2 Quad in here, but we're not trying to waste any cycles on needless junk running in the background.

After we had things tidied up to our liking, we found the overall experience to be top notch. Applications were responsive, loading times either met or exceeded our expectations and gaming titles were a real joy to play. Out of our suite of test titles, only Crysis couldn't be played at full 1080p with all settings maxed. Seriously. We promise to touch more on that in the coming pages, but for now we'll focus on the multimedia end of things. With a 2.0GHz Core 2 Quad Q9000 under the hood, not to mention 6GB of DDR2-800 memory and twin ATI Radeon HD 4870 GPUs in a CrossFireX configuration, it's not shocking at all that both Paint and Calculator performed admirably. All kidding aside, you can rest assured that this machine has everything it takes to show the resource-intensive Windows Vista exactly who's boss, and in common, everyday type tasks, the W90Vp simply screamed.

You may be wondering why we waited to mention the expansive 18.4" 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) LCD panel until now, but honestly, it's so good we just had to roll it into the overall experience. Realistically, the screen on this beast makes the user experience infinitely better. It's one of the brightest, most vivid LCD panels we've ever spotted on a notebook. Beyond that, it has almost unbelievable viewing angles. We looked on from the side (as in, directly viewing from the side) and could see the desktop perfectly clear. No fading, no weird coloration. The same was true when looking on from extremes at the top and bottom. Asus really did a bang-up job with the LCD, though we will say the glossy coating grated our nerves at times. Whenever this screen is viewed in low light, it's a winner; whenever it's viewed in direct sunlight, well, not so much. Reflections were almost annoying at times, and we had to force ourselves to look beyond them on countless occasions. We know -- it's hard to find a matte/anti-gloss screen on a gaming notebook these days, but we can dream, right?


It's worth restating that Asus has done a phenomenal job with the noise and cooling here. Never were the fans obnoxiously loud, and never did we find ourselves annoyed by noises emanating from the internal hard drives (yeah, drives, as in plural -- this baby's got dual 320GB HDDs, you know). Also of note, the mindlessly easy overclocking option was a fantastic addition. Asus puts the power in the owners' hands, giving them the ability to add up to 17% more power with the press of a button, and as you'll see in the benchmarks to come, this factory-loaded overclocking tool wasn't just a gimmick.


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