There were no surprises in PCMark05, with the T5850 proving enough to ensure an overall score of 3747. In 3DMark06, the Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS, which comes with 512MB of dedicated memory, cobbled together a result of 1537 at the F70SL's native 1600 x 900 resolution. This increased to 1959 at 1280 x 720 and 2106 at 1024 x 768. We also gave it a whirl with Call of Duty 4 and, as expected, results weren't great.
Nice big screen, but it's not full HD
At 1280 x 720 it could only muster up a very jerky 12.9f/s. Only when we dropped right down to 640 x 480 did the F70SL provide us with a playable 20.3f/s, but such a low resolution looks dreadful on a 17.3in screen.
The 4400mAh battery provided enough juice for PCMark05 to run in a loop for one hour and twenty-four minutes under the Power4 Gear High Performance mode. Switching to the Battery Saving mode, which among other things pulls the CPU back to 1GHz, increased the life to one hour and fifty-three minutes. Keep in mind that these are worst-case scenarios – go easier on the F70SL and you can expect around three hours, which isn't bad for a desktop replacement.
If you can up your budget, the F70SL-TY129C version can be picked up for £860 and comes with a P8600 running at 2.4GHz. However, it's still saddled with the GeForce 9300M GS graphics chip. Our review model, the F70SL-TY076C has the slower T5850 CPU and, at around £740, is a better deal. Sure, it's no gaming laptop and the T5850 processor isn't exactly the fastest CPU off the block, but if you're looking for a well-built desktop replacement with a large screen, the F70SL packs in a fair amount for the price. ®
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Where did you get the updated driver?
In the review you mention finding a driver that allowed for "n" speeds, where did you locate that driver?
...with at best 1/7th the 3D performance of my 17" Sager, it'd have to be hellishly cheap to justify.
And it seems to be mostly made of plastic. Have they stuffed half a brick in there or something?
Utterly pointless screen
There are two points to a 16:9 screen on a computer.
1) To match the aspect ratio of HDTV for video playback.
2) To save money, because a 16:9 screen has less area than a 16:10 screen with the same diagonal.
So what they've done here is charge a reasonably large amount of money for a machine with an inferior resolution to any 1680x1050 screen (let alone WUXGA), that has an inferior aspect ratio for document editing (try fitting two A4 pages on it - 16:10 is much better), and that can't display HD resolutions without scaling (blurring) them.
Personally, I've never found black bars (aka "somewhere off-screen to put the DVD player control) distracting - certainly no more than the screen boundaries. I'll be amused if someone starts doing ambilight-esque coloured borders. This is entirely a cynical attempt to fob off a cheaper panel than a "real" 17" screen would have been, and claim it's superior.
16:9 is not, and never has been, a good choice of aspect ratio. Now it's polluting our laptop screens. Eugh.
Pint glass, for looking at distorted images through.
Yep - This is the other laptop to complement your eeepc 901. When you need more memory/cpu/disk/workspace for real work.
Which is why it is disappointing to see it only has 1600x900 resolution. Using a similar dpi to the 901 you should be looking at 1920x1080 (which would also make it true HD). Given that Asus has dropped the dpi for its successor eeepc models - are they going blind (to the market). Come on Asus, recapture the market by being truly innovative.