The Asus U46SV is the smallest laptop in this group – and also comes with the smallest price tag. It might not have the most impressive specification but it has plenty of good features. The battery is probably the most notable of these, lasting a remarkable 10 hours in our MobileMark tests, nearly twice as long as any of the other models. It's also the lightest at just over 2kg, so it'd be well suited to life on the road.

The 14in screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 does a good job - the image is sharp and the colours resonant. Despite the slim frame, an optical drive is included. It sports a brushed metal finish, which looks smart without being too plain, and there are plenty of ports for connecting to peripherals, if only one USB 3.0 port.

The 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M dual-core processor and 4GB of RAM provide the grunt while a 500GB hard disk handles storage. While these aren't outstanding specs when measured against costlier competition, they're pretty impressive for the price.

In terms of gaming performance, a nVidia GeForce GT 540M graphics processor does the hard work and performed reasonably well in the FEAR tests, achieving minimum frame rates of 40fps at Maximum quality settings. While this isn't the kind of performance that would impress a gamer, occasional players will find it perfectly adequate.

It's got plenty to offer if you're looking for something to double up as a work tool too. A WorldBench 6 score of 114, while short of the Toshibas, is a decent performance nonetheless. The keyboard is reasonably easy to use, though we thought the left and right Shift buttons were a little small. On the plus side, the Arrow keys and space bar are a good size.

Asus U46SV-WX044X: Specs

  • 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M dual-core
  • 14.1in glossy LED backlit
  • 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1333MHz
  • 500GB HDD 5400rpm
  • 1GB nVidia GeForce GT 540M graphics card
  • HDMI, VGA
  • stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic input
  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • DVD±RW
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 88WH, lithium-ion removable battery, 601 minutes
  • 333 x 245 x 27mm, 2.1kg
  • 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M dual-core
  • 14.1in glossy LED backlit
  • 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1333MHz
  • 500GB HDD 5400rpm
  • 1GB nVidia GeForce GT 540M graphics card
  • HDMI, VGA
  • stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic input
  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • DVD±RW
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 88WH, lithium-ion removable battery, 601 minutes
  • 333 x 245 x 27mm, 2.1kg

OUR VERDICT

If it's a portable, low-cost entertainment-focused laptop you're looking for then the Asus U46SV will be right up your street. You'll have to make a few compromises on the specifications but at £699 it's hard to argue against. It'll also double up as a capable work tool and if you have to spend long periods of time away from a wall socket then the 10-hour battery life will impress.

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