by R. K. Bloom

ASUS C90s. The impossible is possible

ASUS C90s. The impossible is possible

Laptops are increasingly replacing conventional workstations, making the extra performance of mobile systems is becoming increasingly popular. Most high-end notebooks equipped with the most productive mobile Intel Core 2 Duo T7700.

But what if you want more, and more productive processors – desktop? Thats right, install the processor into a regular laptop case. The main problem with this – heat and energy appetites of the system, so this operation the easiest way to make a 17 – 20 inch laptop, in which the radiator and place a lot, and capacious battery, and weight requirements for completely rigid.

But the hero of the review is equipped with 15.4-inch matrix, so installing the processor Intel E6600 Conroe with heat twice as large than the Core 2 Duo T7700, required the development of a powerful cooling system (a complex system of radiators and four vysokooborotisty fan), with weight of the notebook does not exceed 3.1 kg. But even the E6600 – not the limit, optional Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800.

Technical specifications, according to the manufacturer

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe, 2,4 GHz (Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800, 1066 MHz FSB)

Cache L2, MB

North Bridge: Intel Lakeport-G i945SG

South Bridge: Intel 82801GR ICH7R

NVIDIA Mobile PCI Express GeForce 8600M GT 256/512 MB (in the tested configuration – 512 MB)

Realtek ALC883

15,4 “, 1680xLCD Zero Bright Dot

2xGb, DDRII-667 DRAM

1x e-SATA


1x D-Sub VGA Port

1x Headphone-out Jack (SPDIF)

1x Microphone-in Jack

1x RJ11

1x RJ45

3 USB 2.0 Ports

1x TV-Out (S-video/Composite Video)

1 x IEEE 1394

1hMCX for TV-RF (on some models)

1hExpress Card 34/54 Support


The appearance and ease of use

The first thing that catches your eye – the big ledge behind, dotted with vent holes, and he recalled battery, fastened to the back side. In fact – it is part of a powerful cooling system hot “desktop” processor, but more on that later.

The top cover is made of plastic with a glossy black surface, when viewed at different angles cover becomes noticeable kind of pattern.

Cover quite easily soiled, with a not particularly scratch-resistant coating and is made of plastic, a little thick, but thanks to the gloss laptop looks great. The bottom and side panels are made of thick black plastic with a pronounced rough structure, so no fingerprints or scratches they are not afraid. Build quality is good, with twisting and squeezing the body is not any sound uttered, but the upper lid caved in, even at a low pressure.

The front panel houses the infrared port, the port card reader and a pair of speakers.

Behind much of the surface is cooling system with four small coolers. Also back is a socket to connect an external power source, installing a security lock hole and a pair of USB-ports.

The left part of the most loaded: RJ-11 port, RJ-45, VGA, S-Video, HDMI, E-SATA, two standard mini-jack connector for microphone and headphone jacks, an IEEE-1394 connector, Express Card, USB port, and ( in some models) antenna input.

On the right is just an optical drive.

CPU, memory and expansion cards of the same general closed the lid, and bottom-mounted battery. Keep building five rubber feet.

The inner surface of the casing is made of black and gray plastic, painted aluminum. Silver panels on the sides of the “pad” thin and fairly easy to bend under pressure.

Full-size keyboard, with a standard width keys. The changes undergone only the arrow keys. Pressing the soft, with a clear indication of the operation, and operation sound is barely noticeable.

Indicated by the size of the touch panel 80h49 mm, but the area of ??activation in the left side is actually a 1.5 – 2 mm less than that initially enters into confusion. Keys aluminum arm, the size 27h18 mm. The keys are very short, and the sound is loud enough response, which, however, does not create a nuisance. The surface of the keys to brand. Manipulator is established between the keys fingerprint reader.

At the end of the left side is a block of indicators: network, battery status, notification of incoming mail (it works only on the condition that the utility is loaded Check Mail), the state of the wireless network adapter.

In the upper right corner is the power indicator (an appeal to the hard disk and two indicators Lock-keys) and a block of additional keys (call the Internet Explorer the default mail program call, off the touchpad button and select one of four modes of energy consumption).

On the upper edge of the lid is rotating cam and a pair of stereo microphone.


It so happened that C90s got to test immediately after a different model ASUS – Lamborghini VX2S, which is equipped with the best matrix among all 15-inch notebooks. The matrix of the test is similar to the characteristics of the laptop – the same resolution of 1680×1050 pixels, the same diagonal, about the same level of maximum and minimum brightness. It is also approximately the same horizontal viewing angles, but the vertical angles are slightly smaller, but the need for regular tuning the angle of inclination of the matrix does not.

Sound system

The sound system is a laptop based on the chip Realtek ALC883, which has become almost a standard feature of all modern laptops. Speakers placed on the front panel. Frankly speaking, not the best place. For example, when working at a table like this place is only good sound quality, but when working on your lap, or when mounted on a soft surface dynamics can be easily closed. The sound quality was surprisingly good – when the maximum and very high volume level or wheezing or squeaking was not observed, there are hints of the presence of bass and treble. In general, the sound system had a favorable impression, which is rare for laptops, but still when listening to music in the steady-state conditions is to use an external speaker system.

Wireless interfaces

The Asus S90s equipped with a standard set of gentlemens laptop cost over 1500 USD: wireless network adapter Intel Wireless Pro 4965AGN and Bluetooth 2.0 module c support for EDR. Manage wireless interfaces by using standard operating system. Setting the local (including wireless) network is possible by proprietary utility ASUS NetSwitch, supporting the creation of multiple profiles.

The level of noise and heat treatment

As mentioned above, the laptop is equipped with a “desktop” processor Intel E6600 Conroe, and the most powerful cooling system with four cooler. Index E in the model name denotes the CPU power consumption, and hence the heat, and the hero of the review is 65 watts, and at peak – 95 watts, while the power consumption of the most powerful mobile processor series T does not exceed 50 watts. The list of preinstalled software includes a utility acceleration, and depending on the variation of the parameters of the program changes and noise / heat. Four performance levels: Standard mode, Game mode, Overlocking mode and Power Saving.

When you install energy-saving mode (Power Saving) ventilation system noise is barely noticeable, but the impeller does not stop for a moment even when the ambient temperature around zero degrees and the heat in this mode is minimal.

Standard mode is a little more loud, but you can only notice it under load, with enough very hot bottom panel of the processor, is also noticeable heating of the touchpad, which is located under the memory modules.

When you install the game mode (Game mode) and the performance gain of 10% (manufacturer claimed) noise the cooling system becomes very noticeable. Set the maximum performance mode (according to the manufacturer, performance is approximately 15 – 20%) leads to the fact that the cooling system becomes louder optical drive reading the disc of the curve, and pulled out of the vents a powerful stream of hot air.

When operating on battery power can be installed only two performance modes – Standard and Power Saving, and therefore, using the standalone power supply, make some noise will not succeed.

Optical drive is quiet and easily copes with the curves of DVD-R-discs unknown manufacturer, and the operating noise is even lower than the noise of the blades in the cooling system maximum performance mode (Overclocking mode). On the hard drive can be judged except by heating the body and disk access indicator.