Asus Automobili Lamborghini VX6: Just Another Netbook

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Initially, netbooks were meant to be affordable and for basic work on the go, not to mention the affordability part. But now, there seems to be a need for better performance and multimedia capabilities, why else would you have netbooks like the Asus Automobili Lamborghini VX6.

The VX6 is a good example of how these mini portable computers are becoming more and more powerful (and expensive) by the day. Don’t be alarmed by the long and intimidating label, it’s just another netbook that looks fancy. Or is it? Let’s find out.


It's somewhat close to looking like a Lamborghini. Or is it?

Design
If you’re thinking that the design of this netbook resembles that of a car, then you’re right, well, mostly. Our review unit has a glossy pearl white finish on the lid which somewhat resembles the hood of a, you know which car, and looks pretty neat. Of course the similarities are not even close to the ones between the Asus G53J gaming laptop and a stealth aircraft, but it’s a good attempt nonetheless. The Lamborghini Logo on the lid and the black mesh close to the hinges is more than enough to tell where the design comes from.

The best build quality we've seen on netbooks

Also, the overall build quality and ruggedness is way much better than most netbooks we’ve tested. In fact, despite the 12-inch form factor, it’s hard to not think of it as a tough ultra-portable laptop. Speaking of build, I like the black rubberized wrist reset and the matte metal rim around the touch pad. This nickel-plated metal finish is an extension of what you’ll see around the edges, which makes the unit look pretty slick.

Although glossy, finger prints on a lid aren't really prominent

The one thing I did not like is the glossy touchpad which is prone to finger print stains, not that it’s going to stop you from buying this machine, but really, it looks pretty ugly after prolonged use. So, provided you have a lint-free cloth handy, the aesthetics part is taken care of.

 

Now that looks ugly

Ergonomically, is unit is quite decent, but the keyboard layout is identical to the Asus EeePC 1215T , which wasn’t the best when it comes to typing. Nevertheless, if you buy this netbook, it will be mainly due to the design, label and a few extra features that it offers.
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The chrome and the black mesh add to the style 

Features
Clearly, design is not the only distinguishing factor here, even the hardware is obviously more powerful than what you see in other standard netbooks. We’d like to call this one a high-end netbook, mainly because of its design, price and multimedia capabilities. So, let’s see what it offers at Rs 37,999, which, by the way, is quite a hefty price to pay for a netbook.

The black unit might look better

Built around an Intel NM 10 chipset, the Asus Lamborghini VX6 is powered by Intel’s dual-core hyperthreaded Atom processor, the D525, which is clocked at 1.8 GHz and has 1 MB L2 cache. In addition to the onboard Intel GMA 3150 GPU, there’s another GPU to handle intensive tasks such as full-HD movies and light gaming, thanks to Nvidia’s ION2 platform. Then there’s 2 GB RAM, a 320 GB hard drive, a 12.1-inch glossy screen (1366 x 768), and, the unit comes preloaded with Windows 7 Home Premium. This is just the tip of the iceberg, the main USP is yet to come (in the highlights section).

USB 3.0, something quite new to netbooks

The standard connectivity options include Wi-Fi N, 10/100 Ethernet and Bluetooth. On the left-hand side, there are a VGA, an HDMI, a USB port, and a memory card reader. On the right-hand side, there are 2 USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet and audio jacks, and a Kensington lock slot. Now, we did not receive a mouse and carry bag with our test unit but Asus’s PR confirms that a mouse and a carry bag are bundled with the unit, which is certainly a plus point.

USB, VGA and HDMI

Highlights
If you remember, the mammoth multimedia machine, the Asus NX90J , it was powered by Bang & Olufsen sound which was truly awesome, and that’s exactly what this netbook features.

Bang & Olufsen Sound

In addition to that, you’ll even experience Nvidia’s Optimus technology which was featured in the Asus N61JV, one of the first laptops to feature it. This is where the netbook/laptop can automatically switch between the onboard and discrete GPUs, in real time, depending on the application you’re running.

These are features one doesn’t get to see on netbooks. And of course, then there’s Nvidia’s Ion 2 platform which, though not very common, has already been seen on netbooks. In all, we’d say that apart from the dual-core CPU performance, these are the additional features you’ll get by paying that extra buck. The question is, whether you really need these features on a 12-inch netbook, if yes, the VX6 is an expensive but good option.
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Looks more like an ultra-portable laptop


Performance

We haven’t tested a netbook that’s more powerful and feature-rich than this one, not only in terms of CPU but also in terms of multimedia. Speaking of which, the sound on this netbook is way better than even some entry-level and mainstream laptops. For a netbook the built-in speakers are pretty loud, clear and they don’t blare at maxed out volume. There’s nothing special about the screen though. Nevertheless, for the first time, watching an HD movie on a netbook was truly a treat, better than anything we’ve seen before.

Onward, as far as the overall performance is concerned, check out the comparison between the three EeePCs. We’d say that the VX6 is only good if you really want all these additional features and the ubercool design. Speaking of which, the EeePC 1201N/1201T is able to play full HD movies (without the awesomeness of the sound though), and doesn’t feature Nvidia’s Optimus, but still offers 3 hours 43 minutes battery backup. So we didn’t see much use Optimus on the VX6 (3 hours 9 minutes).
Onto the benchmarks, 3DMark was quite stressful and it was taking forever for it to go through, so we stopped the benchmark midway. All-in-all, it’s an awesome multimedia netbook, but from the performance of this machine, it’s clear that gaming is obviously not an asset

For a netbook, the unit heats up more than normal

Personal Take
I wouldn’t buy this netbook for one simple reason; the price is too high for a netbook with an Atom processor. I’d rather buy an entry-level laptop like the Lenovo IdeaPad Z460 or the something similar, where I get a proper 14-inch screen and the laptop can play full-HD movies, not to mention that it would have an Intel Core i3 CPU. This is a niche product that could attract either brand-conscious users or people who need something portable, feature rich and cool to carry around. At the end of the day, it’s an expensive netbook. It deserves an above average rating solely due to the features, performance and overall quality. The price is ridiculous.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 297 x 28.67 x 204 mm
  • Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Processor: Intel Atom D525, 1.8 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache, 2 cores (hyperthreaded)
  • Memory: 2 GB
  • Hard disk: 320 GB
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 3150 and Nvidia Ion 2
  • Screen size: 12.1-inch
  • Connectivity: 10/100 Ethernet, Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Battery life: 3 hours 9 minutes
  • Price: Rs 37,999

Published Date: Nov 26, 2010 01:26 pm | Updated Date: Nov 26, 2010 01:26 pm