i bought this lap top when it first came out. when i first opend the box i thought oh my gosh, seemed so nice. It was my first asus lap top so i was a bit aprihensive as to what it would be like as i got it without reading any reviews at first.
the smart and sheek design off the asus is pretty good. I think it is so stylish. upon start up first time it took me through the set up process, i didnt conquere any problems at first. The first few months of using the lap top daily went smooth. until my antvirus picked up that i had downloaded something that looked like a virus, make note i did not download anything or visit any out of the ordinary websites from normal. the laptop then became unresponsive. i tried to fix the problem myself i even wipe the computer clean using GHOST rebooter. It never worked. so in the end i had to take it to be repaired and paid so much money for it to be fixed. It took over 2 weeks for the people who fixed it to find out what was wrong with it. The fan had conked out, the motherboard wasnt fixed together properly either. I went back to the shop where i got it from as i bought it brand new they should have had given me my money back but they didnt. As i sent it to be repaired they said it was void. even though the problem was within the laptop and not what i had done. DONT GET THIS LAPTOP!!
Ok, so this is not exactly something for a newbie. You need the skills to open up the system and install the RAM and HDD. But if you are going for an HTPC I am sure you know someone who can do this for you.
Once set up correctly, I would recommend with 4 Gig ram and atleast a 1Tb HDD (for all the good stuff). This makes a very good HTPC. The DVD drive could be a bit noisy. Personally I would have liked to buy one with a blu ray player, but then on a shoe string budget this is not bad (maybe I will be able to upgrade this at some point).
IRDA port allows for a universal remote and a bit of linux hackery to get this running XBMC very well. And the HDMI port is quite suitable for the LED TV at home ;-)
The one _MOST_ important thing is that it's power usage is lower than standard desktop PC, so if you are running this 24x7 it won't cost you the earth.
With linux server running this will also let you make a multi-purpose file server and much much more than cute HTPC in your living room.
Overall a good choice, but hey when I have this for a few months I will let you know ;-)