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Asus m50vm-b1 notebook computer

by Kate

I bought my Asus M50Vm-B1 notebook in November, 2008. I'd been researching laptops for weeks, trying to figure out how to get all the features I wanted for the price I could afford, and I wasn't having much success. I was preparing to "settle." But when I saw the specs and price for this laptop, all my stress went away.

It had everything I wanted - built-in webcam, discrete (Nvidia!) graphics card with 1GB dedicated video memory, pretty fast Core 2 Duo processor, enough RAM to have a 64-bit OS, tons of ports and slots, fast DVD±R/RW drive, built-in bluetooth, high resolution/widescreen, numeric keypad, and I actually thought it looked good (attractiveness was the most obvious sacrifice I'd thought I was going to have to make).

In addition to all that, it had billions of other features packed in - a built-in Linux min-OS that you can boot into to use the internet/do small tasks without going into Windows, audio line in/out/*and* S/PDIF, face recognition, fingerprint reader, and more.

When I received the laptop, I was thrilled that everything lived up to my expectations. The graphics were beautiful, the keyboard/touchpad were versatile and customizable, I could run CPU-abusing programs like Photoshop, Sims 2 + a billion expansion packs, etc. without crashes or stalls, and I was able to configure everything exactly the way I wanted - from power settings to drivers to system hacks.

I could run Second Life with no problems, even though their website said my graphics card wouldn't. I was so happy to finally be able to do lots of things at once: go online, edit photos, play games while simultaneously ripping/burning a DVD or encoding/decrypting video files.

I kind of have a God complex with my computers, and I'm always hacking or otherwise abusing my operating systems with reckless abandon. My old crappy laptop couldn't handle this sort of behavior, and I was always having to reformat my hard drive and/or reinstall Windows after I pushed it too far. Not with this one. It never crashed, no matter what I did to it - something I attribute more to my processor and memory than Vista itself.

Other things I liked: it shipped with a fantastic laptop bag and a mini optical/USB mouse, the webcam swivels so you can get a better angle/record from the other side of your screen, the way the laptop opens and closes doesn't have a breakable mechanism - you just fold it shut and everything stays in place, the tactile sensation of the keyboard (clicky, not too "soft"), its sleek black appearance, and how it never overheats - I can actually use it ON MY LAP without getting third degree burns.

I've only had few complaints: the built-in speakers are pretty lousy, the glossy finish smudges easily, some plastic part of one of my hinges broke (but I just shoved it back in place and it's stayed there), and I lost my up arrow/#8 key. That's really it. Everything else is wonderful, and the overall value blows all the other laptops I was looking at out of the water. It's the best computer I've ever had.

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