Business is a-boomin’

June 16th, 2011 in .Laptops & Netbooks .Products
Suds McSoapdish
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A couple of weeks ago at the ASUS booth during Computex, one of the things that surprised me most was the attention visitors were giving to the ASUSPRO series of commercial laptops. These are technically aimed at organizational buyers and corporate clients, and are supposed to be therefore quite rugged and utilitarian, as opposed to the more sexy and design-centric product lines we’ve become used to from the ASUS laptop foundry.

Still, people were flocking to these, making them somewhat of a sleeper hit. What is the reason for this? Well, I personally think it’s precisely because of the elegant and classic brushed metal look that the initial attraction exists. The ASUSPRO series aims for a business-like style, so it doesn’t come with brash colors emblazoned on the exterior panels, nor does it use more innovative materials like bamboo. But if you’re in the market for something more prim and proper, this is it.

This is serious business, a lot hinges on this...

Specs, lots of specs

However, the people who did stop by and ask questions about the ASUSPROs seemed quite enamored with the configuration, which has a few highlights you don’t find on mainstream consumer laptops.

For example, the main ASUSPRO model, the B53F, ships with reinforced shock absorbers for the hard drive. Well, they may not be like the shocks you get on your car, but I think just reading about shock absorbers on a PC had a lot of people excited. This isn’t just for rule of cool, obviously. It’s to keep all that valuable corporate data extra safe on the road, as the ASUSPRO series is aimed at business folk that travel extensively.

Next gen might come with DNA sampling, no kidding

In another auto analogy, the B53F comes with Lo Jack tracing in case someone absconds with your laptop. The service is part of Computrace, which is bundled with Intel Anti-Theft technology to help locate the laptop in the event of nefarious shenanigans taking place. All the more reason to trust it with your latest big-time presentation. Additional security features include smart card and fingerprint readers, as well as TPM (Trusted Platform Module) encryption. ASUS is also including their Secure Delete software with this model, which removes data completely from the laptop without leaving any undesired relics behind, preventing confidential info from falling into the wrong hands.

Under the hood you’ll find an Intel i3, i5 or i7 CPU, HM55 Express chipset, up to 8GB or RAM, and up to 640GB of storage. The screen is 15.6”, and the whole machine weighs 2.69Kg.

Tough trade

Designed to make the likes of Gordon Gecko proud, the B53F is hardened to handle the unrelenting realities of the business scene. To be less verbose about it, the keyboard is liquid-tight to repel up to 120cc of spilled coffee (or any other business-related drink, for that matter), and the hinges are tested with a whopping 10,000 extra cycles compared to mainstream laptops, which may explain the several people I spotted opening and closing this laptop so enthusiastically on the show floor. The B53F is more like a B52 in this sense, it’ll keep flying those long range sorties for a while, with rigorous testing ensuring high survivability. But to play with puns some more, it’s not really like a B52 because it won’t cost you…a bomb.

Eliminating the oops factor one drop at a time

Even the battery here is high grade stuff, designed to last more than three times the charge cycle expectancy of a standard Li-on power source. And on top of all this you get an integrated business card holder with this thing. How neat is that? All those cards slot right into the underside so you don’t lose them.


Business cards are always to hand

While the B53F isn’t well-suited to gaming or intense HD multimedia (it uses integrated graphics only), it’s an ideal laptop for anyone looking to focus on productivity, even if you’re not strictly a businessperson. You get a lot of cool features with it, and I do like the low-key but durable design. And who can say no to shock absorbers!

Now get to work!

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