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The ASUSPRO Series consists of laptops designed for organisational users. That means corporate, SMB, and government primarily, but anyone interested in strong productivity and security features should give these a look. ASUSPRO models also undergo very strict quality assurance testing, as they’re designed for highly mobile use for business travellers as well as applications that demand a tad more ruggedness (for example, researchers out on the field).

The brand new ASUSPRO BU400 that landed on my desk features shock-absorbing hard drives and carbon-construction screen cover reinforcement. It weighs a mere 1.64Kg (though that depends on the specs you choose), and qualifies as an Ultrabook due to its very slim design.

Added security features include self-encrypting storage, Trusted Platform Module hardware, and Intel Anti-Theft technology plus Computrace LoJack for Laptops. You can even get it with a fingerprint reader if you so wish!

Inside you can find 3rd gen Intel Core processors up to an i7, so performance is quite zippy. I witnessed this first hand playing around with the BU400, which also signals the arrival of esteemed Windows 8 on the ASUSPRO Series. Using it with Windows 8, everything runs smooth and sleek. Personally, this has led me to recommend Windows 8 for business users – my experience with the BU400 certainly proves the new OS is just as great for professional needs as it is for personal usage.

An overall look at the BU400 with the Windows 8 start screen on display. It has an HD+ resolution that’s very crisp with punchy colours.

A closer look at the start screen, which has the famous new tile look. It fits a lot more on the screen than previous Windows versions,  and is much quicker. Overall, Windows 8 is much faster than Windows 7 from what I’ve experienced, with more direct access to apps that you use frequently.

The BU400′s sleek side profile – this is an ultrabook, measuring a mere 21mm at its thickest point. Plus as mentioned above it’s very light and easy to carry on your business travels.

In terms of connectivity, the BU400 offers some nice features. The ports are all neatly in-line, and you get a card reader, headphone jack, two USB 3.0, VGA, and Kensington lock on this side.

On the other side there’s the power in, a dual-size flexible Ethernet port, HDMI, and one extra USB 3.0 port.

The touchpad is bigger than average, and supports enhanced motion detection and precision. While the BU400 currently doesn’t have a touchscreen, the touchpad makes up for it, and I’m actually one of those people who think Windows 8 is simply awesome as a mouse and keyboard OS.

Closed up, the BU400 shows off its sublime brushed metal finish, which is very durable for on-the-road usage, and looks good at the same time. This design has much in common with other ASUS products, such as the ZENBOOK range.

A closer look at the brushed metal texture on the BU400 reveals the neat damage and smudge-resistant treatment.

This shot has to be my favourite of the bunch – the BU400′s sqaured-away and perfectly-aligned cut makes it easy to stand up on its very thin side! Look at it, it’s a work of beauty!

Well, this could be a contender for my favourite shot – look at that slender form factor!

OK, and now let’s take a gander at a few Windows 8 screens. The BU400 uses a nice panel that brings out clear and vivid images, doing the generally more colourful Windows 8 interface good justice.

The so-called Modern UI feels great. For me it’s second nature since I’ve been on Windows Phone for quite some time, plus it has much in common with the Xbox interface of the last four years or so. Once you get used to it, I believe this is by far the fastest and most complete operating system interface from Microsoft to date, regardless of what your main area of interest is. As you can see on the bottom left of the photo (where the mouse cursor is), one click and you go from the start screen to the desktop, which basically your venerable Windows 7/Vista/XP desktop as you know it. Going there isn’t 100% necessary, but it’s great to have that option for those looking for familiarity and continuity. Some applications do require going to the desktop, and others go there anyway once you click on them from the start page. Windows 8 doesn’t include Windows 7 within per se, but it has been designed to make the transition easier by keeping a conventional desktop.

The charm bar we’ve heard so much about – trust me, this section of the OS will be one of your best friends in no time. It is indeed quite charming!

Windows 8 integrates a lot of live content right on the start screen by default. This can be customised very easily of course, but even the standard layout is extremely appealing and useful. The start screen constantly updates so long as you’re online in any way, and with one click you bring up numerous useful tools, like Bing Maps here.

Of course, as a business traveller weather is something you definitely need, and it’s all live on your start screen. Here we check out Taipei, where it’s always sunny (or rainy).

The default Windows 8 Pro configuration for the BU400 also places live finance info on the start screen, as befits a business laptop. You’re never more than one click away from tons of information.

When off the clock, you’ll appreciate Windows 8′s focus on live entertainment, including games, music, and video. Much of it is Xbox-branded now, indicating further convergence of the Windows and Xbox realms.

Like other ASUSPRO laptops, the BU400 comes bundled with Intel Smart Business Advantage features.

Essentially similar to the S Series VivoBooks, the BU400 is a beefed-up laptop for business professionals, especially those who travel frequently. For that type of application, I highly recommend it. Actually, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a robust, secure, attractive, well-specced but at the same time more sublime laptop. Check it out at your local retailer or online now, and all the best with your business and work!

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