Microsoft Surface Pro 3stars
Building on the Surface Pro 2 released late last year, the Surface Pro 3 is the "tablet...
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch)
Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (2013, 15-inch screen)stars
Thanks to new Intel CPUs and upgraded components, the 15-inch MacBook Pro remains a high-end...
Asus Transformer Book T100
Asus has long played well in the affordable laptop sector, bringing generally good build quality to an end of town that has traditionally tried to cut a few more corners than it should have.
- USB 3.0: 2
- USB 2.0: 1
- Optical: DVD±RW
- Video: VGA, HDMI
- Ethernet: Gigabit
- Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n
Things are changing though, as prices trend ever downwards, with greater competition in the quality-for-affordable-price stakes. The K55VD still manages to hold its own, with a mix of bronze, faux-brushed metal, dark brown and black plastic that's worked well for it for quite some time.
Asus usually does a good job of balancing specs for price, and the K55VD is no different, featuring a Core i5 3210M @ 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, a 750GB HDD and a GeForce GT 610M. You get a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, VGA, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks, an SD card reader and a DVD&plusm; drive for your money, with 2.4GHz 802.11n but no Bluetooth. Only Acer's offering gives more bang for buck, and it's afforded extra wiggle room by using a last-generation CPU.
Keyboard use is pleasant enough, but the top-hinged clickpad on our sample was a little loose, bouncy and clacky, even when simply tapping. Right clicking, in particular, is annoying, as you have to make sure your finger is at the very bottom of the pad for it to actuate. Good thing, then, that the Elan pad included supports simultaneous double finger tapping as a substitute.