Asus Z80K: Athlon 64 DTR Notebook


Centrino based notebooks are the mobile computing industry's current bread and butter. There is really no denying the huge market share that Intel has claimed in the notebook arena. Centrino is synonymous with mobility and power efficiency, and it is generally regarded as the present gold standard when it comes to mainstream mobile computing. So where does this leave AMD? While both companies hold their own in the desktop market, the North American notebook market is dominated by Intel.

Until the Turion 64 is widely available, there just aren't any strong AMD products that compete directly against Intel's low power Centrino platform. Of course, there are still a few DTRs (Desktop Replacement Notebooks) that utilize AMD 64-bit processors, that compete directly against Pentium 4 powered notebooks, but these larger systems aren't quite as popular as their lower-powered, lighter-weight counterparts.

We will have to wait and see if AMD's new Turion 64 mobile platform will become as popular as Centrino. Until then, there are plenty of AMD Athlon 64 based DTRs available, like the Asus Z80K we'll be looking at today, that compete well against similar Intel powered notebooks.

Asus' Z80K
_Designed for AMD Mobile Athlon 64 Processors: up to 3700 1MB L2 Cache and Mobile Sempron Processors: up to 3200 128K L2 Cache

_NVIDIA nForce3 Go150 aka Crush K8M

_Two 200-pin SODIMM sockets
_Supports DDR 333 Unbuffered Non-ECC memory
_Supports maximum memory capacity up to 1GB

ATI Mobility Radeon 9700

_2 x DMA 133/100/66
_User configurable Hard Drive
_Toshiba SD-R6372 DVD+-RW (4x +- R/2x +- RW/16x CD-R/10x CD-RW)

_Marvell Yukon Gigabit Ethernet
_Asus (802.11b/g) Wireless Lan
_56K v.92 Fax/modem

_15.0" SXGA+ TFT LCD (native 1400 x 1050)

_SoundBlaster Pro compatible
_Compatible with AC'97 2.2
_Mini Subwoofer (1 x 2W)
_Built in dual speakers (2 x 1W)

Dimension and Weight
_12.9" x 10.6" x 1.65"
_~ 8.0 lbs.

External I/O Connectors
_1 x Power port
_1 x Lock jack
_1 x Modem jack
_1 x Ethernet jack
_1 x 4-pin mini IEEE1394 port
_1 x headphone jack
_1 x line-in jack
_1 x microphone jack
_1 x Parallel jack
_1 x S-Video jack
_1 x VGA-out port
_1 x PCMCIA 2.1 slot
_1 x IR port
_1 x SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro Card Reader
_5 x USB 2.0/1.1


Measuring in at 12.9" x 10.6" x 1.65", and weighing in at about 8.0 pounds, the Asus Z80K is another notebook not designed for true everyday mobility. The overall design makes it more portable than a desktop replacement notebook with a 15.4" display but not by much. It is heavy and can be considered somewhat bulky, which makes a lot of sense considering Asus has classified this notebook as their "High-end Mobile Gaming Rig." This is one of those notebooks that's not really designed to be used during everyday transport from location A to location B. Gamers, performance junkies or perhaps professionals that just need to take their work home from the 9 to 5 and don't mind the size and weight of the Z80K, should consider this type of notebook.

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