If you like high performance from your cars, chances are you’d be pretty keen to get it from your laptop to. We guess that’s the thinking that goes on at Asus, as it has brought out a high-performance laptop inspired by an Italian supercar – this time it’s the ASUS-Automobili Lamborghini VX7.
Looks-wise, it had been designed to catch the eye, with its orange and black carbon fibre coat – designed to echo the colours of the legendary Italian powerhouse. Each curve, edge and design feature has been carefully thought out to be reminiscent of the sleek designs of high-end cars – the power button looks like an engine start key, while the cooling vents on the rear of the machine are designed to be reminiscent of the supercar’s taillights.
Palm rests are trimmed in leather and the whole thing is made is light yet sturdy aluminium. It all sounds like it just exudes the word ‘quality’. But looks and design are one thing – can it step up to the starting grid when it comes to what’s underneath the hood?
Naturally, Asus has packed it full of horsepower, to provide turbo-charged performance for hardcore gaming and multimedia. Under the bonnet is a quad-core 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, and it is the first notebook to use the NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 460M GPU, offering native DirectX® 11 – plus there’s 3GB of video memory to get the best out of any action-packed games and movies.
The ASUS-Automobili Lamborghini VX7 also has dual 7,200rpm 750GB hard drives providing a total of 1.5TB or storage. And the price for all this? £1,999 – pretty pricey, but considerably less than an Italian supercar.
There aren’t many interesting desktop PCs in the world. Desktops are lumbering beasts in a world where small is cool. So how do you make a desktop system compete for awesome-points against smartphones and laptop? Packard Bell things it has the answer: the ixtreme.
Clearly educated by Apple’s marketing department, the ixtreme has copied two very iPad-esque features: putting an “i” at the start of the name, and coating everything in glossy black. Luckily for Packard Bell, it works.
The ixetreme is an attractive system, with an eye-catching glowing white internet light that illuminates the PB logo (sorry, that’s two more Apple design ideas: check out the Macbook line for glowing white lights and illuminated logos).
Copied aesthetics aside, there are some quite interesting – and unique – features for a desktop system. The “digital photo frame” button delivers a slide show of your preferred photos with a single touch, while an auto-backup button (conveniently located on top of the chassis) helps you to keep any precious files safe. It’s a great idea – two slightly fiddly computer functions simplified into a single button press.
The top-mounted “Device Deck” is another simplification method. It’s a small recessed area on top of the chassis, designed to hold a camera, MP3 player or camcorder while it’s connected to the USB port. Any cables can be hidden under a lid on the rear of the machine as a neat storage option.
It’s also extremely powerful. You’ll find either an Intel Core 2 processor inside, or one of the latest AMD offerings. Then there’s either 3D (as in, jumps-out of-screen) from a NVIDIA GeForce GT400 series graphics card, or the new generation AMD Radeon HD 6000.
Upgrade options include a Blu-ray drive, two USB3.0 ports and up to three hard drives, with a total storage capacity of up to 6TB.
The Packard Bell ixtreme will be available from February 2011, with a base price of around £699.