Asus’s new large-screen F75 budget notebook offers large-screen Windows 8 functionality for a sub-$500 price tag.
Designwise it’s a mass of matte black surfaces – very fetching and businesslike. Clean lines and good workmanship through and through. The Asus F75A measures 420mm x 280mm x 40mm – chunky but solid, with good stability when typing and very little lid teeter. F75A notebook weighs a hefty 3kg. Asus has chosen a Pentium B980 CPU clocked at 2.4GHz to run the show, helped out in pixel chores by Intel’s integrated HD graphics, but the architecture is 32nm, so it doesn’t offer the same prowess as the later 22nm Ivy Bridge architecture. The F75 boasts 4GB RAM, and Asus has supplied us with a 5400rpm 500GB spinning disk for storage. On average data transfer speeds are 83MB/s, or 98MB/s burst transfer speeds, both impressive figures for a 5400rpm drive.
For connectivty there are VGA and HDMI connectors, one USB-2 and two USB-3 interfaces.
Display-wise the 17.3-inch glossy screen features a 1600 x 900 pix resolution. Its brightness level is 220 candelas, and with the black tones measuring 0.86 candelas, the F75 produces a contrast ratio of 291 candelas – adequate for multimedia use, and enhanced by the glossy screen. Outdoor use will require a bit of adjustment of the screen.
The non-backlit chiclet keyboard’s keys measure 17mm x 14mm, and offer users a reasonably good typing experience if slightly soft feedback. The dedicated number pad is standard fare for a 17-incher, great for spreadsheet work. The F75A has a clickpad measuring 105mm by73mm and it obeys gestures precisely and accurately. One weak point is the 0.3MP 640 x 480 pixel camera – that means grainy video calls when Skyping.
Checking with notebookcheck’s benchmark tests on this Asus F75A notebook, in FIFA 13 at native resolution it scored 36fps on medium settings. In Anno 2070 the F75A chalked up an unplayable 22fps at 1600 x 900 pixels, but lowering the resolution to 1024 x 768 will help out when gaming.
Battery life is perfectly good for a machine costing less than $500; under typical moderate usage battery life from the 47W 4400mAh pack should be around 3:29 hours. With light use – emailing, document edits, light browsing – battery life was 2:49 hours. Away from the socket users get at least 68 minutes of full-on overdrive service.
The manufacturer includes a 24-month guarantee as standard, extendable to 3 years for an extra $100.
All in all, the
ASUS F75A laptop is an excellent deal for $545. Anyone wanting to spend a little extra to boost the capability of the F75 a Core i3-2370M CPU can be configured for an additional 100 or so dollars. We’d recommend it for good future-proofing, but for emailing, movie-watching and surfing the Asus F75 is fine out of the box.
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