A heavy device that packs a strong kick.
- Good performance, excellent expandability options, relatively good graphics card
- Heavy, no Blu-ray
This is a powerful mid-range all-purpose notebook that is well worth looking at, as long as you can stand carting around a 3kg laptop.
Price$ 1,999.00 (AUD)
Although we were somewhat disappointed in ASUS for its M51VA-AS045G, it has also brought out the M50VM-AS001G which is identical but for two points of difference — it has a better graphics card and finally provides Gigabit Ethernet.
For a modern mid-range notebook not to come equipped with Gigabit Ethernet as standard is rare in the same way that a car without wheels is rare. 10/100/1000 Ethernet is even seen in budget notebooks like the HP Compaq Presario CQ50-114AU, so it was perplexing to see it missing from the M51V. Thankfully the M50VM-AS001G has the latest networking connections, including 802.11n wireless, built-in. This is great for users wanting to connect on the move.
Given that both ASUS units have the same RRP of $1999 and were released at around the same time, we struggled at first to discover why the normally price-conscious company had decided to dangle a good choice next to a bad one simultaneously.
The answer comes in the form of a 250GB external hard drive that is bundled with the sans-Ethernet notebook. If you don’t mind missing out on the external hard drive and prefer a better laptop we suggest you stick with the M50VM-AS001G.
The ASUS is a smart performer. A 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 provides the processing power and 4GB of DDR2 RAM helps everything run smoothly. It should be noted, however, that the use of a 64-bit operating system is required to fully utilise the RAM (otherwise only 3GB of the RAM is employed). A 320GB hard drive spins at 5400rpm, proving a good supply of storage space.
All of this resulted in an excellent WorldBench 6 test score of 98, which indicates an ability to execute complex tasks such as video encoding and 3-D rendering without problems. Similarly impressive was the result from our iTunes testing, where we convert 53min of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s. The M50VM-AS001G returned a time of 1min 17sec. While this is a fair bit slower than we were expecting, the system remains quite quick on its feet.
Unfortunately the screen suffers from the same default dimness as the M51V, which makes it difficult for novice users to get increased brightness without fiddling around the advanced settings.
More impressive was the 3DMark 06 score of 4405, thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GS. While this is hardly a mind-blowing result, it is certainly better than most mid-level notebooks and will allow users to play older games like F.E.A.R. at medium to high graphical settings. Even lower-spec modern games like Spore should be able to run without a hitch.
The M50VM-AS001G continues the good form on the outside, with a sleek modern look that isn’t gaudy. The Altec Lansing speakers don’t provide enough bass or definition of treble notes, but are definitely a cut above what is usually seen in this price point.
Larger ASUS notebooks are usually simple to type on, and this laptop is no different thanks to good key response and a full-sized keyboard. A small number-pad to the right is difficult to work with at first, but persistence will pay dividends.
Last but not least is the wide array of expansion options available, including four USB 2.0 ports (one of which doubles as an e-SATA port) and an HDMI output. A FireWire S400 port is great for connecting camcorders directly to the laptop, while the 4-in-1 card reader (MMC, MS, MSPro, SD) will help users quickly transfer images from cameras. The ExpressCard/54 slot that sits above it is icing on the cake, allowing a variety of cards to connect to the unit, while the D-Sub port is good for old monitors and projectors.
With its weight coming in at 3kg without the power supply and 3.55kg all together, this unit won’t be fun to cart around on lengthy trips. The result of 1hr 22min in our worst case scenario means that the ASUS burns up juice a little faster than we’d like, but not drastically so.
Once again we’d like to see a Blu-ray device on a unit at this price point — it has been done before. Instead it has a dual-layer DVD-RW drive.
Join the newsletter!
The Note 9 is three devices in one.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Razer announces new headset, keyboard and mouse
- IFA 2018: MSI expand Prestige range with new P65 Creator
- IFA 2018: ASUS launch first TUF gaming laptops
- IFA 2018: ASUS upgrade Vivo and Zenbooks
- IFA 2018: Lenovo refresh Yoga and ThinkPad lineup
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies