CNET First Look
Asus U50F-RBBAG05The Asus U50F is one of the best values in Intel Core i3 laptops we've seen, offering a great all-around package for its price, save for shorter-than-average battery life.
>> Scott: Hi, I'm Scott Stein [assumed spelling], Senior Associate Editor of CNET.com and this is the Asus U50FRBBAGO5 Laptop. And we're currently taking a look at retail laptops that are available in stores and certain configurations as part of our winter retail line-up. And this U50F is one of the new line of laptops to feature the Intel Core I3 Processor. Now why should you be excited? Well, the budget laptops that we previously have been looking at that had sort of semi sub par core 2 duo processors or even pretty unexciting duo core processors that we wouldn't normally recommend have largely been replaced by the Core I3 line. This laptop is available for $649, which is a great value because the Core I2 Processor, in case you're unfamiliar with it actually has better performance than many core 2 duos that are out there, so it's actually an upgrade over many of the laptops you may already own. It comes equipped with a 500 Gig hard drive, 4 Gigs of RAM, those are great specs, and we ran video on an HD file, we streamed video on Hulu at the same time and worked on a file and it showed no hiccups or signs of slow-down. It's really got great multi-tasking. And while the design on the U50F is not tremendously exciting you'll probably forgive it for its price point. It has a full keyboard and also a number pad, although it's a little compressed and off to the side, but it's nice to have. And the track pad is pretty large actually. It's an improvement over track pads that we've seen in similar Asus models. While the outside of the U50F is not tremendously exciting and shows off fingerprints phenomenally well at 650 bucks you'll probably forgive that. The U50F is also pretty light considering it has a 15.6 inch screen that has a pretty good brightness and speakers that we found were really nice and loud, they're not really gonna be audio file quality but they're great for sharing videos with people even in a semi loud room. It also comes with a great selection of ports, this one has HDMI, it has USB but it also has an ESATA port and it also has an express card slot, which are getting increasingly rare in many laptops that we take a look at. The battery life is not fantastic but it's good enough to get your basic processing done. We'd recommend you'd take a -- your AC adaptor with you. But overall the U50F represents a really great value in a mainstream laptop and it points a great direction for Core I3 laptops in the future. I'm Scott Stein and this is the Asus U50F Laptop. ^E00:02:24