Asus has gambled the farm that the fancy graphics offering—an Nvidia 9500M GS videocard with 512MB of onboard memory—in its F8Sn notebook will be enough to eclipse the machine’s myriad shortcomings. Sadly, it isn’t.
While the notebook’s Quake 4 performance knocked our socks off, the Asus F8Sn returns frame rates that are just borderline playable in FEAR. This still puts the F8Sn ahead of the other notebooks in its class for gaming, but its lackluster 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo processor was no match for our other benchmarks. And the battery life on the F8Sn won’t even get you through most of today’s feature films.
The laptop comes with a bevy of connection options, including five USB ports, a mini-FireWire port, and outputs for VGA, DVI, and S-Video. But this doesn’t represent anything above and beyond the norm. We hate the layout of the laptop’s keys, as we kept inadvertently hitting a poorly placed function key in the lower-left corner instead of the usual Control key. The notebook’s crisp display works in the summer sun, but the reflection can be a bit too much to bear at times.
In the end, this notebook lacks anything that sets it apart from the other offerings. Don’t let the gaming performance fool you: The F8Sn is a poor choice for users of all shapes and sizes.