Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ASUS K50IJ Review

At first glance the ASUS K50IJ might not look like anything special. Even the ASUS website describes the K50IJ as being "designed to provide a no-frills computing experience to users while on the move." Well, with glowing prose like that how can we be anything other than impressed?In all seriousness, the K50IJ isn't a poorly built laptop. The chassis is pretty solid with a mixture of glossy and matte plastics and doesn't suffer from the flex or squeaks that are common to cheap plastics. The glossy palmrests are nice and large with good support and the full-size keyboard with dedicated number pad is comfortable to type on during a full day at work. The one and only obvious area of weak build quality are the plastic covers over the screen hinges ... which can pop off with just a little bit of pressure.
Overall, the K50IJ is a reasonably nice looking desktop replacement. I use the term "desktop replacement" because most people in the market for a 15-inch notebook aren't planning to haul their notebook everywhere during frequent airline travel. The nearly six-pound weight of the K50IJ makes this laptop an unlikely candidate for road warriors.
When closed the K50IJ doesn't feel as sturdy as you might expect as the screen lid shows some flex under very light pressure. Additionally, the screen hinges don't provide much tension when the lid is closed so the lid will "flop" against the chassis until the screen lid is about two inches open. Overall, this notebook PC should survive regular day-to-day use and abuse on a desk but might start showing some wear and tear after months of travel inside a school backpack.

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