As much as we love our home theaters, they don’t exactly pack well. So, in this second part of the My Life on the Go series we decided to test the ASUS U46E’s prowess at handling one of our favorite off-hour diversions — movies.
Even though Blu-ray remains the reference source for impeccable video quality at home, we’re big fans of the free digital HD copies packaged with many new titles. Because lets face it — asking your fellow seat mates to move so you can grab a disc in an overhead compartment or all those old Case Logic cases filled with semi-scratched discs just doesn’t cut it. The only downside to digital copies is the size. Bringing over large, high-quality movies from our networked external hard drive at home is painfully slow. This is where the ASUS’s built-in USB 3.0 port made a world of difference — literally cutting movie transfer times down to less than two minutes versus the typical 15. The transfer rates were even fast enough to play 720P HD quality videos directly from our hard drive as well without any notion of lag issues like choppy screens or halts from buffering.
The wider opening-angle provided by the hinge-forward design also proved to be another huge feature making tight viewing angles (planes, trains and tucked into the couch) far more bearable. The absence of 1080P playback was missed, but on this size screen it’s hardly noticeable. After missing more than our fair share of epic conclusions thanks to poor battery life, we were relieved to discover that this laptop can handle an average of two movies back to back on flights from New York to LA before needing a charge. In the one instance where we arrived slightly ahead of schedule, we loved that the ASUS could quickly connect to our hotel room TV via a standard HDMI cord — no overpriced adaptors required — to finish the movie on the bigger screen. We’ve already seen that the U46E can pull duties as a DJ work station, but pulling double duty as a mobile DVR? Very nice indeed.
Buy Now: $850