A NICHE PROD­UCT

Finweek English Edition - - Communication & technology - BENE­DICT KELLY

ASUS IS A COM­PANY bet­ter known for its moth­er­boards and graph­ics cards than note­book com­put­ers. How­ever, it’s mak­ing a con­certed ef­fort to play in that space, and the Asus S6 sits at the top of the pile in terms of price but at the bot­tom in terms of size. With just an 11” screen, the S6 is about 2cm smaller than an A4 sheet of pa­per at both sides. Though it looks very im­pres­sive, if it’s go­ing to be your pri­mary work ma­chine, you need to have small fin­gers or ac­cess to a dock­ing sta­tion.

What you’re buy­ing is some­thing that can be used in the tight­est of spots and that would serve the trav­el­ling ex­ec­u­tive well.

For a pre­sen­ta­tion ma­chine it’s an ex­cel­lent op­tion: small enough to be lugged around in its stylish pre­sen­ta­tion case, it would be per­fect for that func­tion. While it isn’t some­thing you’d use for com­puter gam­ing, its 1,6GHz pro­ces­sor is more than ad­e­quate, and with 1,5GB of RAM Win­dows flies along. That isn’t to say this is a per­fect ma­chine. The key­board is way too small and the en­tire pack­age feels too thick and a lit­tle topheavy.

How­ever, for a brand try­ing to make its mark, the S6 is an in­ter­est­ing niche prod­uct and for R20 000 that’s prob­a­bly all it will be. But for your money you get the com­puter, a pro­tec­tive case, an ex­tra bat­tery and even a mouse to go along with it, all put to­gether in a spe­cially de­signed box that strikes me as spend­ing a bit too much money on pack­ag­ing. There’s even a leather-cov­ered op­tion.

I’ll be in­ter­ested to see if Asus can take the good start it’s mak­ing in note­book de­sign and re­ally shake up the mar­ket. How­ever, with the con­ser­va­tive na­ture of buy­ers, it’s un­likely it will stray too far from the straight and nar­row, as that in­vari­ably drives up costs.

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