The Asus K61IC series comprises of laptops for home entertainment and multimedia usage. The 16-inch Asus K61IC-JX0177V laptop is a fine specimen from that breed, packing in lots of features and performance at a good price point.
Design & Usability
The Asus K61IC-JX017V laptop is designed similar to the 15-inch Asus K52F-SX060D laptop we reviewed earlier. The 16-inch laptop has a nice brown-gray exterior and smooth, glossy finish on its body. In fact there's too much of gloss everywhere -- screen lid, palmrest, touchpad, and around the keyboard as well. The Asus K61IC laptop is a fingerprint magnet, to say the least. But we like its very good build quality -- the Asus K61IC-JX017V doesn't feel cheap or inexpensive on touch. However, due to its 16-inch form factor, and a six-cell battery the Asus K61IC laptop weighs 2.8-kg -- among some of the heaviest 16-inch laptops we've seen, comparable to the Acer Aspire 5740, Acer Aspire 5740G and Lenovo Ideapad Y550. This is by no means a travel-friendly laptop, given its weight, the Asus K61IC and it's rightly targeted at home entertainment and multimedia usage.
The Asus K61IC laptop performed well throughout our slew of benchmarks -- not great but not bad either, just right
We have no complaints from the Asus K61IC's 16-inch glossy LED-backlit screen, sporting a 1366x768 widescreen pixel resolution. It performs very well for day-to-day usage, whether you're watching a movie, playing a game, or reading text extensively. The Asus K61IC-JX017V laptop has very good horizontal viewing angles, with bad vertical viewing angles typical of a TN panel screen. There's a 1.3MP webcam recessed on its top screen bezel which is good for video chats through Skype.
The Asus K61IC laptop's keyboard and touchpad have their good and bad points. We like how Asus provides a full-keyboard with dedicated number pad on the K61IC-JX017V laptop. The keyboard has tightly packed keys. The Asus K61IC-JX017V laptop's keys aren't as comfortable as, say, a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge, Dell Studio 14, or HP Pavilion dm3 laptop, and although they don't offer any appreciable flex, typing on the Asus K61IC laptop just doesn't feel optimum enough. We like its touchpad with a granular design (small holes for improved feedback), but we didn't like the touchpad's glossy surface. It reminds us of the HP Pavilion dm3 laptop - nice big touchpad with poor responsiveness. We have no complaints from the Asus K61IC laptop's two mouse buttons though -- nice and big. We also like the Asus K61lCseries wide palmrest that offers enough space to park your wrists comfortably while typing.
In terms of internal hardware, the Asus K61IC-JX017V is a very good laptop. It comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 2.2-GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, and an Nvidia GeForce GT220M dedicated graphics card -- very good basic building blocks. The laptop also has a whole host of connectivity options around its chassis' edge: four USB ports, VGA, multicard reader, microphone and headphone jacks, and a DVD writer. Not only this, but Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth connectivity is also available on the Asus K61IC laptop. We like the laptop's port placement -- an HDMI port is placed out of the way on the back spine of the laptop.
The Asus K61IC-JX017V sells with a global 2 year warranty and comes with a Windows 7 Home Premium operating system. The laptop also comes with a carry bag and useful proprietary software like Asus WebStorage (a cloud-based data sharing service) and Asus Data Security Manager which safeguards all your data in a secure password protected data vault. Overall, the Asus K61IC-JX017V laptop has very good hardware building blocks and some good proprietary software to offer.
The Asus K61IC laptop performed well throughout our slew of benchmarks -- not great but not bad either, just right. A WorldBench 6 score of 90, PC Mark 05 score of 5145, and a PC Mark Vantage score of 3652 are indicative of the Asus K61IC-JX017V laptop's mainstream performance, comparable to some laptops in our Top 5 Mainstream Laptops list. The Asus K61IC laptop should do well to handle both processor-intensive and memory-intensive multitasking for everyday programs -- surfing the Web, listening to music, watching a movie, working on Office productivity suite, etc.
The Nvidia GeForce GT220M that comes with the Asus K61IC-JX017V laptop is inferior to the Nvidia GeForce GT240M found on the Lenovo Ideapad Y550 laptop, and it has a lower 3D Mark 06 score in comparison -- 4764 to the GT240's 6650. But the Asus K61IC laptop's 3D Mark 06 score is better than the ATI Radeon HD 5470 found on the Dell Inspiron 14R laptop, and it is good for casual gaming as well -- FarCry 2 at 1024x768 and High settings was playable at 27 fps. The laptop largely justifies its billing as a home entertainment multimedia laptop -- it had no trouble playing both 720p and 1080p HD files and offered a nice audio-visual experience with nice cinematics and engaging audio from its onboard speakers, placed on the front edge. Both heavy metal and country music sounded surprisingly well by laptop standards.
Battery performance of the Asus K61IC laptop wasn't very good, average in fact -- it logged 1 hour 6 minutes through our battery benchmark at full screen brightness and high performance preset. The Asus K61IC laptop's battery life isn't as good as the Dell Studio 14 Artist Edition, MSI CX420, or Lenovo Ideapad Y550 -- you can barely expect over 2 hours 30 mins on a conservative battery plan.
The Asus K61IC-JX017V sells for a price of Rs. 45,000. It may not have the best keyboard or battery life, but for that price, we think you should buy the Asus K61IC laptop for its very good screen and onboard audio, giving you a very good audio-video playback experience. Also it comes with 2 years of global warranty -- something you don't see from other laptop vendors. You should consider it if you want a good home entertainment multimedia laptop and want that extra warranty cover.