ASUS W90Vp Review
ASUS W90Vp: Blurring the lines between desktop and notebook
Take a close look at the image above. Notice the desktop PC and speakers in the laptop's reflection? This picture summarizes our feelings on the ASUS W90Vp laptop perfectly. It's literally a desktop PC in disguise posing as a laptop.
The W90Vp isn’t just an average desktop PC either. The system sports serious gaming PC credentials. For instance, the notebook is equipped with dual ATI Mobility Radeon 4870 GPUs running in CrossFire mode. Packing 800 stream processors and 512MB of VRAM, the Mobility Radeon 4870 is just about as good as it gets right now when it comes to mobile graphics. Equipping the notebook with two of these GPUs is simply an extraordinary amount of graphics horsepower for a notebook PC – most desktop gaming rigs don’t have this kind of power on tap.
But it doesn’t stop there. Running alongside the dual GPUs are dual hard drives. ASUS ships the system with two 160GB 7200 RPM hard drives from Seagate striped together in a RAID 0 array, Core 2 Duo T9600 CPU mounted on a motherboard based on Intel’s X38 chipset, 6GB of DDR2-800 memory, 5.1 Dolby-certified speakers, and finally, one of the most gorgeous laptop displays we’ve ever seen, an 18.4” 1920x1080 display backed by ASUS’ Zero Bright dot display policy which guarantees that the display will ship free of dead pixels or ASUS will replace it free of charge within 30 days of purchase.
Like we said, this system packs more power than most gaming desktops.
It shows too. The ASUS W90Vp is one of the largest laptops we’ve laid our eyes on. Measuring 17.5”W x 12.9”L x 2.08”H and weighing in at 12.5 lbs with battery, calling it a “laptop” is a bit of a oxymoron as the system is so large you probably wouldn’t want to run it on your lap for long periods of time. “Portable gaming desktop” is a more fitting description of what ASUS is providing here.
Have a look at the rest of the system’s specs:
|ASUS W90Vp Specs|
|CPU||Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000/Intel Core 2 Duo T9600|
|Chipset||Intel Express X38 chipset|
|System Memory||6GB (3x2GB)|
|Graphics||ATI Mobility Radeon® HD4870 x2 512M DDR3 VRAM (Cross Fire)|
|Display||18.4 Full HD (1920x1080) Color-Shine (Glare-type),Asus Splendid Video Intelligent Technology|
|Storage||2xSeagate Momentus 7200.3 (320GB)|
|Audio||Built-in 5.1 Channel Altec Lansing® Speakers|
|USB 2.0 Ports||4|
|Video Outputs||1xVGA, 1xHDMI|
|Audio Ports||1xMic-in, 1xHeadphone|
|Card Reader||8 in 1 card reader, SD,MMC,MS,MS-Pro,xD,mini SD w/ adapter,MS-Duo,MS-Pro Duo via adapter |
|Networking||Integrated 802.11 b/g/n|
Built-in Bluetooth™ V2.1+EDR
ntegrated V.92 MDC Fax/Modem, with AC-Link Version. 2.1 Compliant
10/100/1000 Base T
|Battery||12 cells: 8800 mAh|
|Webcam||2.0 Mega Pixel web camera with autofocus|
|Dimensions||44.3 x 32.8 x 6.3 cm (W x D x H)|
|Security||Fingerprint scanner, Trusted Platform Module (optional)|
|Weight||5.2 kg, (with 12 cell battery)|
What’s in a name?
As anyone who’s followed ASUS’ notebook line will tell you, traditionally ASUS’ gaming notebooks that have fallen under the Republic of Gamers line have been designated with a “G” (presumably for gamer) followed by the model number. ASUS began this with the launch of their G1 and G2 notebooks back in 2006 and have continued this tradition with their latest G50 and G70 series notebooks. ASUS’ W90 line have then traditionally focused on the multimedia crowd looking for a high-end notebook for watching movies.
So what’s the deal with the W90Vp?
Apparently the system was somehow initially pegged for multimedia use. This despite the fact that ASUS offers it with multiple GPUs and hard drives – clearly features that high-end gamers would want. At the last minute, someone in marketing wised up and realized the mistake, and slapped a Republic of Gamers badge on it. ASUS basically reversed course and pitched it as a gaming machine. But the system was already too far in development to integrate the design elements featured on previous ASUS G-series Republic of Gamers notebooks.
As a result, the W90Vp doesn’t look like ASUS’ latest gaming notebooks, instead it sports the chassis of one of their multimedia systems. But it’s not quite a traditional ASUS multimedia system either, as it lacks the remote control ASUS has shipped with their media notebooks in the past.
In that sense it’s a bit of a Frankenstein for ASUS – it isn’t quite a G, nor is it a true W.
Fortunately this isn’t a huge deal, as clearly what you do get is one of the most powerful gaming notebooks on the planet right now.