Would you drive a car because it had an Apple logo on it? Then perhaps you’re the kind of person who’d be interested in a laptop with with the famous fighting bull of Automobili Lamborghini on the lid. In which case, ASUS has just the notebook for you.
The rest of us will be a little more careful with our purchase, thanks, and look at what makes it stand out (or not) as a PC rather than a brand.
Physically, it’s very, very similar to ASUS’ 15in high end gaming laptop, the G53. A hard wedge of plastic, it feels surprisingly cheaper than that machine, despite costing quite a bit more. Where the G53’s rubber-like coating feels like it would bounce along a tarmaced surface, the VX7’s ultra glossy finish doesn’t even like fingerprints, let alone being slammed into a corner.
There are plenty of design tie-in with the car, though. The lid looks like a bonnet, and around the back, the large vents which keep air flowing to the fast Core i7 processor are topped with mock brake-lights. It’s deeply disappointing that these don’t actually light up. The wrist rest has a leatherette finish too, just like a Lambo’s dash. The power button, meanwhile, is marked ‘Start Engine’ rather than 'On'.
Not a V8
The problem, though, is that the supercar association isn’t even skin deep. That fancy wrist rest doesn’t fit flush to the keyboard, which itself is a flimsy and too flexible affair. The screen isn’t anywhere near the kind of quality that Signor Lamborghini would approve of either. As far as supercars go, this is more DeLorean than anything that has ever come out of Sant’Agata Bolognese.
Under the hood things aren't much better. The CPU is a top end part, yes, but the GeForce GTX 460M graphics card is more like a track-tuned Ford Focus than playboy plaything. It is a gas guzzler, though. There’s no way to fall back on the CPU graphics for extending battery life, so you’ll be lucky to get three hours on a full tank with it. Not that you’ll want to travel far - for a 15-incher it’s very heavy.
There are worse branded computers out there. Calvin Klein recently lent his signature to a decidedly average Froyo tablet. But the only thing that the VX7 really has in common with a supercar is the price tag.
Why on Earth would you buy this when ASUS’ own G53 is better and £500 less?