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Asus' Mammoth 18.4" W90 Laptop Now Available

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 31 comments

Asus has broken the mold (and the scale) with its new W90 "laptop."

Asus has certainly broken the mold on this one, as the W90 is one of the first Asus machines to sport an 18.4-inch, full HD 1920 x 1200 screen.

Under the hood, the W90 has a X38 chipset, complimented by a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo T9600 which sports a 1066 MHz front side bus and six megabytes of cache. This combined with 6 GB of DDR2-800 memory and a 320 GB 7200rpm hard drive make the W90 quite the "mobile" powerhouse. What really stands out on the new offering is the graphics.

Asus includes an ATI 4870 X2 with 1 GB of GDDR5 memory, which is more than enough power for any game currently on the market. The 4870 X2 sports both VGA and HDMI outputs, with the HDMI offering a output for the onboard 7.1 soundcard. Speaking of sound, the W90 includes its own Altec Lansing 5.1 speaker system.

Many other laptop regulars also appear on the W90, including a fingerprint scanner, eSATA, Firewire, audio in/out, a 15-in-1 memory card reader, and four USB ports. For connectivity, it includes Bluetooth, wireless N, and a 2 megapixel camera. To power all this hardware, the W90 also includes a 12-cell battery. With a price tag of $2199.99, you get an above-average bang for your buck when considering what's in the chassis.

While the W90 may be portable, is it really a laptop? With a weight of 11.46 pounds and dimensions of 17.4-inches x 12.91-inches x 2.48-inches, the W90 isn't something you carry around at Starbucks or put on your lap while watching the news. If it wasn't for the backpack included with the laptop at purchase, finding a proper carrying solution for this behemoth would also be a challenge.

How does it compare to already large 17-inch notebooks in the same high performance category? The Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q706, which is large in its own right (16.2-inches x 12.0-inches x 2.5-inches and 9.04 pounds), is dwarfed by the W90, especially in terms of weight. And don't forget, the Q706 is no lightweight, either, with its own Core 2 Duo as well as dual Nvidia 9800GTS graphics cards.

If you know for a fact that your laptop won't be leaving your desk, the W90 is an attractive offer. But if you plan on doing any sort of traveling with it, the W90 is not a practical option, and you should consider a 17-inch option instead.

The Asus W90 laptop is now available on NewEgg.

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  • 3 Hide
    eddieroolz , February 26, 2009 9:13 PM
    Whoa, are you serious, a 4870 X2 in a laptop!
  • 0 Hide
    roofus , February 26, 2009 9:20 PM
    let me guess... 10 minute battery life?
  • 2 Hide
    dconnors , February 26, 2009 9:22 PM
    roofuslet me guess... 10 minute battery life?


    It does come with a 12-cell battery, so it may not be too bad.
    -Devin
  • Display all 31 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    Pei-chen , February 26, 2009 9:25 PM
    Price is actually pretty decent for this spec.
  • 2 Hide
    jalt , February 26, 2009 9:49 PM
    That's a darn good price. My Dell M6400 cost almost twice that, and probably has a much shorter battery life. Core 2 x9100 gives me about 2 hours, with FX2700m card. I'd bet the Asus is closer to 3 hours if you aren't taxing the graphics card too much.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 26, 2009 10:09 PM
    $2,199??? SUCH A GOOD DEAL.

    Too bad the battery will last all of 10 minutes with both CPU, GPU cores loaded and both radios on.
  • 4 Hide
    1raflo , February 26, 2009 10:45 PM
    OMG a damn radeon 4870 X2 in a notebook ! of course is the mobile version chip, so stop flaming about the "10 minutes battery life", the power to feed it IS NOT like the desktop version. Perhaps the most powerful mobile graphic solution to date i guess. I bet this is like the best gaming notebook right now. Haha eat that alienware and your ridiculously overpriced laptops!
  • 2 Hide
    doormatderek , February 26, 2009 10:49 PM
    im sure you need to have it plugged in to actually 'use' both cards. If it used some 'hybrid' crossfire or such, IGP for desktop use, it would deffinately be a desktop killer...
  • 3 Hide
    ravenware , February 27, 2009 12:03 AM
    Very nice gaming laptop, the liberal use of stickers is getting silly though.
  • 3 Hide
    Claimintru , February 27, 2009 12:27 AM
    Its meant to be a gaming PC that you can also fold up and carry with you from house to house etc. Honestly the price for that much crammed into something so relatively portable is impressive. And as far as weight goes....something that fits in backpack, vs a full to mid size tower? Pretty convenient
  • 0 Hide
    blaster00 , February 27, 2009 2:54 AM
    Bravo Asus!! my longtime favourite brand of laptops along with Fujitsu. it's all about the price. i think that 4870 X2 won't fit in laptops smaller than 17" but hey i'm just a newbie in physics. benchmarks pleeease!
  • 1 Hide
    tayb , February 27, 2009 5:08 AM
    A "laptop" of that size is blurring the lines between product lines. It's size and weight would put it in the All In One category for me but the fact that it has a battery and does offer some level of portability would keep it in the "notebook" category. The thing is I can't imagine myself, or anyone for that matter, using this as an actual notebook. It clearly isn't designed to sit in your lap. My girlfriend has a 20" iMac I'm sure I could throw that in my bag and take it to Starbucks but that doesn't exactly make it a laptop.

    It is similar to the more expensive netbooks. At what point does a netbook cease to be a netbook and become a cheaper notebook. The term "netbook" to me is synonymous with being small, lightweight, and inexpensive. With some of these "netbooks" being 10+ inches and upwards of $500-$700 can they really be classified as netbooks anymore?
  • 2 Hide
    seboj , February 27, 2009 5:26 AM
    WANT IT.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , February 27, 2009 6:30 AM
    This is great, except it's asus ofcourse! Now your average student doesn't need a main rig, a laptop for study, and a lan gaming rig - they just need one laptop! I do wonder why it's sporting a single 320gb drive instead of 2x320gb drives in raid 0, or at least a single 500gb drive. But it's great that finally you get some decent speed in a laptop. I don't think the cpu is fast enough for the graphics solution though. it's the eqvivalent of running an e8300 slightly below speed after all.
  • 0 Hide
    StupidRabbit , February 27, 2009 7:58 AM
    too bad ben meyer isnt here anymore, he could take a quick look at it if toms hardware gets a piece and run a quick session of crysis to see how it compares to a desktop..
  • 0 Hide
    Benhurra , February 27, 2009 9:17 AM
    Sadly this mobility 4870 is equipped with gddr3, not gddr5 as stated.

    But non the less, awsome.
  • 0 Hide
    theblade , February 27, 2009 11:42 AM
    This is an awesome LAN Party rig, not lots of cables, only the back pack instead of a CPU + monitor + keyboard set up, but for portability I can't imagine carring such a "laptop" every day.
    Awesome price tough.
  • 0 Hide
    aalkema , February 27, 2009 11:55 AM
    I've had an ASUS G2P for a year and a half - it's a big 17" gaming notebook. It's not exactly portable, but I use it while I'm on the couch, and it's really handy for LAN parties. It's still a lot easier to move around than a desktop!

    The specs on this thing blow my G2P out of the water though... too bad I have no money.
  • 0 Hide
    techtre2003 , February 27, 2009 12:58 PM
    "If you know for a fact that your laptop won't be leaving your desk.."

    If that's the case, why buy a laptop?
  • 0 Hide
    dark_lord69 , February 27, 2009 1:09 PM
    WOW that thing's pretty sweet! If had that I wouldn't even use my desktop.
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