I had been in the market for a laptop for my university studies since the early part of this year. I will be entering into a computer engineering program so I needed something a little more powerful than your regular word processing, email sending machine. After reading tons of reviews and user comments on various models, I narrowed my picks down to the Dell Inspiron 9300, 6000D, the Toshiba M40 and the ASUS Z71V. Now the first three were easy to come by at the time in Canada while the ASUS was barely available in the United States. The M40 popped up at the local Futureshop so I decided to take the plunge and snap that up. This was in March. I tried it out and quickly returned it due to the frighteningly slow hard drive and dismal battery life. After that debacle, I decided to wait until the Z71V became available in Canada as the 9300 seemed too big and the 6000D didn’t have the video power wanted as a computer enthusiast (and a medium gamer). Of course, being me, I once more changed my mind when the Z70V appeared. That seemed to be the perfect laptop aside from the less than stellar video card. However due to some unforeseen circumstances, I needed the laptop ASAP and the Z70V was unavailable, so I returned to the Z71V. I must say, I’m not disappointed.
There aren’t many places in Canada that will do the configure-to-order ASUS laptops such as ISTNC, ProPortable or the like that you have in the States. Instead I bought the barebones and parts separately and decided to set out to build it myself. Of course I had read about the little mod that you could do with this laptop making a 400MHz FSB processor run at 533MHz FSB, essentially giving you a free 33% CPU performance boost. I decided on the safe bet and purchased a 1.6GHz Pentium M that is almost guaranteed to run at 2.13GHz, giving you a $800CAD CPU from a $250 one. Not a bad deal I’d say! Anyways, here’s a list of the parts I got for slightly under $2000CAD after taxes and shipping:
- ASUS Z71V (I’m sure you can find what’s included with the barebones if you go searching even a little bit. 😉
- Pentium M 725 1.6GHz (400MHz FSB)
- 1GB OCZ PC4200 DDR2 SO-DIMM
- 80GB Seagate Momentus 5400.2
- TSST (Toshiba/Samsung Storage Tech) DVD+-RW DL
- Intel Pro/Wireless 2915 802.11a/g/b
As a person who has assembled many desktop systems, I didn’t have too much trouble figuring out how everything was supposed to fit together. I booted up the computer with the dipswitch set to 533MHz FSB and went on to install Windows at 2.13GHz problem free.