Extraordinary, exclusive and unique products are most likely to catch a buyer’s eyes, and there are indeed quite a lot of such products in every computer shop, but few people do buy them. Notebooks are not an exception. Gaudy and advanced luxurious models are attractive but their high price won’t pay off if you need but a simple computer for work.
If you use your notebook to run a few office applications, to surf the Web and watch movies, there is no need to spend extra money for redundant hardware power, functionality and exterior gloss. You can just limit your choice to so-called SOHO notebooks. One product from this inexpensive segment, the X80L model from ASUS, is going to be discussed in this review. The X80L is actually quite cheap even as SOHO notebooks go, and we are going to see if its functionality lacks anything important.
The exterior design of the X80L resembles the A8 series. They are similar in component layout, the shape of the case and the positioning of buttons and connectors, but the X80L uses cheaper materials.
The X80L employs the cheapest of Intel’s mobile CPUs based on the Merom core, the 2.0GHz Celeron M. It also has two 1GB memory modules. That’s quite a lot for this class but optimal for Windows Vista. Besides a Wi-Fi adapter which is available even in entry-level solutions, the X80L also features a Bluetooth module.
But the most unusual thing about the X80L is that it lacks a preinstalled OS. It only comes with FreeDOS. This may be okay for you if you are going to install some version of Linux or, for example, Windows XP rather than Windows Vista (the X80L03 version of the notebook comes with Vista Home Basic but costs considerably more).
So, we are going to look at this notebook and test it in a few applications to see if it can be of any use for an undemanding buyer.