ASUS PRO BU201 Hands-on, First Impressions
If ASUS has the ROG lineup for gamers, they also have something for the business-oriented. Part of the ASUS PRO Series, these notebooks battle the likes of the Lenovo ThinkPad. Indeed, they have some similarities in design. We now have the ASUS PRO BU201 for review but before that let’s have a quick look.
The BU201 is a business ultrabook that’s angular and simple to look at. The whole body of the notebook sports a matte black finish which should be a good match for the smart casual attire you’d be wearing for work.
Its display is a 12.5″ IPS LCD with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels or full HD. The panel has good color reproduction and wide viewings angles, but it’s surrounded by a rather thick bezel. We have a webcam with its LED indicator along with the ambient light sensor and dual-array microphone.
On the front, we have a four LEDs for power, battery, hard drive and wireless indicators. There a Smart Card reader as well for companies who use such.
On the right side of the notebook, we have the SD card reader, two USB 3.0 ports, an ethernet jack, and a slot for securing your laptop with a Kensington lock.
To the left is the DC-in for charging, a USB 3.0 port with quick-charge function, good-old VGA port, Mini DisplayPort, and a combo jack for headphones. The holes on the sides of the USB port is for the passage of water in case you spill some water on its spill-resistant keyboard.
Flipping the notebook to its back will show a neat bottom with vent holes and a release lock for the removable battery.
The keyboard of the BU201 is generally pleasant to use. I’m currently writing this article on it and my typing speed is faster than usual. Travel is good and the keys are tactile. ASUS has put in a trackpoint (they call it SensePoint) in the middle similar to ThinkPads but it doesn’t offer click function, you’ll have to use the pair of the left and right keys just above the trackpad.
Speaking of the trackpad, its performance is okay although it doesn’t have dedicated buttons and clicks are executed by pressure on the lower left and right surface. We also have the fingerprint scanner beside the trackpad which is pretty accurate but the swiping gesture is kinda outdated already.
Running on the BU201 is Microsoft’s 64-bit Windows 7 Professional. The old OS from Microsoft is still the preferred system by companies but ASUS has provided a CD for upgrade to Windows 8 and up. Powering things up is a 1.7GHz Intel Core i7-4650U processor with 4GB of onboard memory. Storage is handled by a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive.
Initial performance is smooth but nothing stellar. Multiple tabs in Chrome with word processing on the side slow things down but nothing frustrating so far. We’re not expecting any high-performance gaming on the notebook but at least, Solitaire runs without any hiccups.
ASUS PRO BU201 specifications:
12.5″ IPS LCD @ 1920×1080 pixels, 400nits
1.7GHz Intel Core i7 dual-core processor (4M cache, up to 2.9GHz)
Intel HD Graphics 5000
4GB DDR3 RAM
500GB 5400RPM HDD + 8GB Hybrid SSD cache
3x USB 3.0
RJ45 LAN jack
Smart Card reader
32WHr 2-cell Li-Ion battery
31.0 x 21.5 x 1.92 ~ 2.06 cm
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
That’s about it for our initial impressions of the ASUS PRO BU201. The notebook retails for Php76,995 which is steep compared to your usual notebook but there’s a lot of quality standards going on here. We’ll be using it for a few days to see how it will fair with everyday usage. Stay tuned for our full review.