The Bottom Line
- Blu-ray Compatible
- Excellent Keyboard
- Integrated Graphics
- Poor Viewing Angles On Display
- No USB 3.0 or eSATA Ports
- Intel Core i5-2410M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 750GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Blu-ray Reader And Dual Layer DVD Burner Combo Drive
- 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 3000 Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Four USB 2.0, HDMI, 3-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.6" x 11.2" x 1.5" @ 6.9 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter,
Guide Review - ASUS K73E-XA1 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC
Jul 6 2011 - The ASUS K73E series of laptops is more of a budget oriented laptop rather than a full performance desktop replacement. This is clearly evident as the current high end model K73E-XA1 uses a middle classed Intel Core i5-2410M dual core processor. This certainly provides good performance for most cases but those wanting to do desktop video would be better served by a quad core i7 processor. Continuing with the more budget theme, the processor is matched up with 4GB of DDR3 memory which lets it run smoothly but 8GB would be a better overall room for growth.
Storage features for the ASUS K73E-XA1 are actually quite good for a laptop of this price range. It comes with a spacious 750GB hard drive that provides plenty of space for applications, data and media files. The drive does spin at a more modest 5400rpm rate but this is fairly typical for this price range. Even more surprising, ASUS also includes a Blu-ray compatible drive that allows the system to watch high definition movies on the go. The drive also has the capability to read or record to DVD and CD media as well. Those hoping to connect some high speed external storage will be disappointed that it does not come with USB 3.0 or eSATA ports at all.
The display for the ASUS K73E is the same that was used in the previous K72 series. It features a 1600x900 resolution that falls short of full 1080p HD video support for the Blu-ray drive but it does offer a fairly typical resolution for this size. Viewing angles are still quite poor which color shifting dramatically when viewed off center. The graphics system relies on the new integrated HD Graphics 3000 that are built into the new 2nd generation Core i processors. While this is a big improvement over previous Intel integrated graphics, it still isn't really going to be suited for those thinking of gaming on the side. It can do 3D gaming with Direct X 10 support but at much lower resolutions and detail levels than the 17-inch panel can support.
The keyboard design of the ASUS K73E overall is pretty good but could use a bit of improvement. It uses the isolated style that the company has been using for some time and it works quite well. They even manage to put a full size numeric keypad in with it. The problem is that this design is similar to what one would see on a 15-inch class laptop. There is a lot of wasted space around the keyboard that could have been used for larger keys making it more comfortable to use for those with large fingers. The trackpad is spacious and this time around features individual right and left buttons rather than the rocker bar design.
While the ASUS K73E-XA1 uses a six-cell battery pack, it has a slightly higher 5200mA rated capacity. In DVD playback tests, the laptop will run roughly two and three quarter hours before going into standby mode. More traditional usage should yield roughly three and a half hours of running time.This puts it about average for a laptop with these features and price. It certainly does much better than the AMD based K72D series laptops though.