Asus Z80K: Athlon 64 DTR Notebook

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Final Words

With regard to gaming, the Z80K performed reasonably well, but we would not be comfortable with recommending this notebook to the hardcore Half Life 2 or Doom 3 type gamers out there. Light gaming will be ok, but the hardcore mobile gamer should be looking at higher-end desktop replacements that use newer GPUs from either NVIDIA or ATI.

We would also like to note that there is a difference between "Asus" branded notebooks and "Built on Asus" notebooks, which is the category the Z80K falls in. The Asus branded notebooks will be sold via vendors as complete systems. "Built on Asus" notebooks meanwhile will also be sold via select vendors but with configuration options, i.e. www.topmicro.com, who happens to sell this notebook. At the moment, you cannot buy directly from Asus.

So what's the bottom line?  Why buy this notebook over Dell's or HP's desktop replacements? Well, given that our sample was priced at $1,744.99, Asus is offering a quality notebook at a very competitive price point. However, it's hard to say if you will get the same type of technical support or customer service in the long term. Asus only covers "non-user inflicted" malfunctions or defects in their warranty and extra coverage is not offered at the moment. This means that if you're a bit rough with your equipment, or are prone to accidents, you might want to consider a notebook from a company that offers more warranty and service options.

In the end, the Z80K is a well rounded desktop replacement notebook with a few minor issues. We would also like to see more warranty options offered, which may be something Asus is able to improve on over time. Based on its good performance and competitive price, we're giving the Asus Z80K a 7.5 on the Heat Meter.

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