The VX5 sees Asus team up with the famous Italian car brand. But is it worth full marques?
For some of us, the name ‘Lamborghini’ is an instant portal to the past. But it’s not the modern day Murcialiago that reminds us of the brand – it’s the gull-winged, colour-changing Countache in the opening credits of Cannonball Run. If one of the world’s most powerful supercars can’t shake connotations of cornball comedy, what hope does a laptop carrying the car marque have?
The design pointer Asus has chosen for this Lambo-branded lappie is, apparently, the limited edition Reventon – although there's little to directly link it to that car beyond a sampled engine noise at start-up.
Not that there has to be an obvious tie-in – although a carbon fibre shell would have been nice. What the designers have managed to capture perfectly is the oily smell and leathery touch of a quality car.
A combination of soft wrist-rest, smooth plastic shell and hard angular aluminium design motifs should jar, but Asus carries it off with a decadent air that befits the Lamborghini logo slap bang in the centre of the dash – sorry – keyboard.
On the subject of which, it's the same backlit, scrabble tile typepad which marred the G60 and W90. It's better supported here thanks to the solid frame, but is still the weakest part of the design.
The glassy mousepad, on the other hand, is large and smooth, and there's a one-touch CPU-boost button marked 'Speed'. That's a nice touch, considering this notebook is aimed at the kind of petrol heads who think overclocking is something to do with fiddling the tachometer on a second-hand van.
In laptop terms the VX5 is good, but it's more like a top-end Fiesta than an Italian stallion. It comes kitted out with a quad-core CPU and a GeForce graphics card, but the mid-range 2.0GHz version of the former and low power GT 130M of the latter.
So performance isn't as stellar as, say, Asus' supercharged W90, but it's enough to get most games running at a reasonable rate so long as you don't mind turning the effects down.
More important is the 16in, 1080p screen and Blu-ray drive: while the panel is a little dark in the corners it's sharp enough to watch HD movies comfortably. The machine also runs quietly, so if you hook it up to a TV with the HDMI-out it won't distract from the events on screen.
Even so, the tech spec means the VX5 isn't really value for money, but it is worth paying a bit extra for the exceptional build quality here. A similarly specced but lesser-designed machine would probably cost you around £200 less. You'll have to decide for yourself whether or not the logo and posh trimmings are worth the extra.
Asus Lamborghini VX5 review
An excellent mid-range machine with a top-flight price – it's your call whether the branded extras make it worthwhile