GEAR PATROL SPONSORED POST

It’s no secret computers are just as much a tool for serving personal expression as they are tools for business — sometimes the two being one in the same. Recently, we’ve been spending time with the ultra-portable ASUS U46E ($850) laptop to evaluate just how the next generation of Intel-powered laptops can help us tackle projects and pastimes, which we plan to share across several posts. First up: music. So, we loaded up a copy of Native-Instruments Traktor, tied the Asus into our mixing gear, and hammered out a new set for an upcoming shindig. Here’s how it went.

Generally speaking, DJ software requires serious computing chops for the best performance, and we’ve personally seen it bring many a laptop to its knees. Measuring in at just over an inch deep, 13 inches wide and weighing less than 5 lbs — the svelte form Asus boasts a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of Ram, and 750GB HD. With all that fire power, it was no surprise the laptop smoothly handled tasks such as setting cue points, layering tracks, and tweaking effects. Repeatedly.

Of course, what good is all that power if you can’t see what you’re doing? It’s easy to underestimate the role of a good screen when using a laptop as a primary workstation. However, the Asus’ 14″ LED backlit widescreen display strikes a fine balance between portability and usability, and provided plenty of room to pack Traktor’s interface with additional control panels and channels. The modern lines and metallic paneling also happen to look mighty handsome sitting atop our Pioneer gear, which you readers already know, is a big plus in our books. As with most laptops, we always pine for mightier sound (that’s what headphones are for, right?), but we can’t knock ASUS for not trying to cater to the whims and fancies of audiophiles.

Look for two more posts with insights and thoughts on our experience using the Asus next week.

Buy Now: $850