Demand creates supply, and the range of available notebooks is growing up at a tremendous rate. Competition in this area may even reach a point of absurdity when one and the same manufacturer begins to offer several series of products that contend with each other. There is tough competition not only among notebooks as a whole, but in every product subgroup (sub-notebooks, gaming, business, value or multimedia notebooks).
Today, I’ll consider one such example of two series of notebooks from the same manufacturer competing in the same market sector. The notebooks are made by ASUS, but the Z83D is not on the list of the models ASUS is offering right now. The Z83 is an almost exact copy of the popular A7 series with minor changes like a different color scheme and a few optional components missing. Everything else is just like it is in the ASUS A7D. If they were placed next to each other on the desk, it would be hard to tell which notebook belongs to which series.
This confusion in the naming of different models comes from the fact that notebooks selling under the ASUS brand are not all serially made. There are notebooks that come to market by special orders or contracts with a somewhat cheaper configuration and are referred to as the Z series. The particular model to be reviewed today is already out of production because ASUS has transitioned to a new generation of CPUs. You can only find some remaining samples of that notebook in shops today. That’s sad since the ASUS Z83Db is a very appealing multimedia machine in terms of performance and functionality it offers for its price.
You may wonder why we’ve got an interest in a portable computer that is only available in limited quantities. There are two reasons for that. First, the A7 series is not leaving the market and its design remains the same save for minor changes. Second, the particular model to be discussed is based on an economical mobile processor from AMD that we have never tested before. It is a Turion 64 MT with a rating of 34. The rating denotes a CPU frequency of 1.8GHz and a typical heat dissipation of 25W which is lower than that of the Intel Pentium M and Core Solo (27W) as well as of the Core Duo (over 30W).
This article has the following structure: I will first take a look at what is inside the notebook box. Then I will examine the notebook’s exterior and interior. And finally I’ll check it out in tests. A notebook from the W2 series would have made a proper opponent to this A7 series model, but the W2 model we tested in our labs some time ago had a much better configuration (for details see our article called ASUS W2Jc Notebook: Mobile Digital Home Solution). That’s why I took an ASUS V6X00J for this comparative test since it is closer to the Z83D (the Z83Db model that will be representing this family in our review today) in a number of parameters, except for the dual-core architecture.