The Bottom Line
- Blu-ray Drive
- Excellent Keyboard
- Below Average Battery Life
- Display Lacks Full 1080p Support And Has Poor Viewing Angles
- Limited Set Of Expansion Ports
- AMD Phenom II N830 Triple Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Blu-ray Reader And Dual Layer DVD Burner Combo Drive
- 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Four USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 3-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.7" X 11.2" x 1.5" @ 6.9 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, PowerDVD
Guide Review - ASUS K72DR-A1 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC
Jan 4 2011 - The ASUS K72DR-A1 moves away from the typical Intel based system to use the AMD platform that provides this system with its very affordable price tag. Powering the system is the triple core AMD Phenom II N830 mobile processor. In terms of performance, it is very close to the Intel Core i3 budget processors although it does edge out the Intel processor when mulitasking or using multithreaded applications because of the third core. The 4GB of DDR3 memory help it run smoothly.
The big feature of the K72DR-A1 is the Blu-ray combo drive. This allows the laptop to function as a mobile high definition movie player. The drive also has the ability to playback or record CD and DVD media as well. The hard drive on the system comes with a fairly standard 500GB capacity but uses a faster spinning 7200rpm drive. This gives it a bit more of a performance edge over many similarly priced systems that use the standard 5400rpm spin rate drives.
While the laptop can play Blu-ray movies, it is unable to do so at the full 1080p HD resolution with its display. The 17.3-inch panel tops out at a 1600x900 resolution that falls short. It is still a fairly decent screen as long as you look at it dead center. The display exhibits a fair amount of color shifting when viewing off center. The graphics themselves are handled by an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 processor with 1GB of memory. This is perfectly fine for accelerating HD media playback but it lacks much of the performance for any sort of gaming. Casual gaming at lower resolutions may be possible but with reduced detail levels.
ASUS continues to use some of the best keyboard designs on the market with the K72DR-A1. The isolated key design is spacious and features a full sized numeric keypad. It is extremely comfortable and accurate to use. The trackpad is of a decent size and separated from the palmrest area nicely. Unfortunately it does use the single rocker bar style button that can be problematic to use at times.
The battery pack that comes with the K72DR-A1 is a six cell version with a relatively low 4400mAh capacity. In DVD playback tests, this provided only an hour and a half of running time before going into standby mode. This isn't particularly bad if you were comparing it to a power hungry performance desktop replacement but with the modest components of the K72DR-A1 it is disappointing and below average for similarly equipped laptops.