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This is part review, part obituary, as the laptop in question has only this day decided to shuffle off this mortal coil and join the great scrapheap in the sky (and, soon enough, the less metaphorical one just up the road). Dear Asus, you served us well - several years of dedicated service you gave us, and despite your jamming keys and inconsistent wi-fi connectability, you'll be missed. Fare thee well, old friend.
The Asus was a fondly regarded member of our electrical family. Bought for a variety of everyday tasks, it performed its duties with a sense of quiet dignity. Few would have a bad word to say about its conduct and workmanship, even if it grew somewhat eccentric in its old age. It was never an especially cutting-edge piece of equipment, but it knew this about itself, and went about its work in an amiable, efficient way. It didn't balk at any task, although knowing its limitations, we didn't push it to take on more than we thought it capable of. It didn't game, it didn't use photoshop - for the most part, it browsed the internet, held photos and knew its way around the Office suite pretty darn well.
It was not a looker - no modelling contract would be landed at its door. Nor was it an ugly creature, it must be said - its visual appeal was neither great nor miniscule. It was pretty slim-line for its age, which I liked - and pretty light and portable. On the other hand, it was rather square and boxy, and seemed to have missed the boat when it came to sleekness and fancy design touches. It was functional, nothing more.
I forget how much we paid for the machine - such are the ravages of time on one's memory, but it wasn't a great deal; even at the time it was somewhat outdated. With a couple of hour's battery life, this isn't one of the more long-lasting machines around, and years on, this has dwindled to about ten minutes. Charge time is quick enough, but this short battery life does impact on portability. When it was working, though, it worked well - it's not super-fast, naturally, but it did everything well enough, and can cope with several programmes running at once, so long as they're not too energy-sapping.
What other quibbles? The aforementioned keys - a number of these seemed to get stuck for no real reason; the keyboard was cleaned as best possible, but it didn't help much. When they wanted to stick, they stuck - although this was towards the end of its lifespan. The fan is pretty loud and obtrusive, although this is a fairly minor issue. I guess the screen size - or more its square-ness, really - was my major gripe, and really made me appreciate the wonders of widescreen.
It's hard to be too critical of this laptop, though. It's an old model, and considering the price we paid and the expectations we had of it - and the length of time it carried on working well - I think it can be considered a sound investment. Given the age of the machine, and the above qualms, I wouldn't buy this particular model again (not unless I was really destitute), but I would quite happily part with my money for another Asus laptop.
Maybe a trip to the dump would be undignified in the circumstances. Full Viking funeral here we come.