The £2,000 Asus Lamborghini VX3 is a lap-based homage to the famous sports car of the same name, complete with a screamingly bright automotive yellow paint job. We've seen car-themed laptops before, like Acer's Ferrari, and their audience is usually limited to auto enthusiasts who don't mind paying a premium for what is essentially window dressing on a set of fairly standard laptop components.
The Lamborghini VX3 is similar in shape and size to the , another leather-accented ultraportable from the same company. The back of the lid has a glossy yellow or black finish with a prominent Lamborghini badge, and the leather wrist rest has a nice-looking stitched border, making for an overall smart, sophisticated look that's fairly light and portable.
The keyboard was a pleasant surprise, with solid, hefty keys that didn't wiggle under the fingers at all, and we're always pleased to see separate Page-Up and Page-Down keys -- usually the first thing to get cut on an ultraportable keyboard. Like the similar Asus U6S, there are no quick-launch media-player or volume-control keys, but a button above the keyboard switches between several preset power-consumption modes.
Adding to the automobile effect, when powered on, the laptop briefly flashes the Lamborghini logo and plays a sound effect of a car engine revving -- even if the speakers are muted in Vista.
The 12.1-inch wide-screen LCD display offers a 1,280x800-pixel native resolution, which is standard for most 12- to 15-inch displays. The screen's high-gloss finish can cause some glare if it catches the light of a desk lamp or overhead light at the wrong angle.
We were pleased to see an HDMI output and four USB ports in this ultraportable system, along with Bluetooth and an ExpressCard slot -- although for £2,000, we'd hardly expect anything less.
The Lamborghini VX3 is a fixed-configuration system, but we were generally pleased with the roomy 320GB hard drive, 3GB of RAM and modest Nvidia GeForce 9300M GPU. It should be noted that while this laptop was tested with 3GB of RAM, Asus includes up to 4GB. Because the included 32-bit version of Windows Vista Ultimate only recognises 3GB, its performance will not need nor reflect the extra memory.
Asus includes a two-year limited global warranty, but finding support on the Web site is not as easy as it is with a mainstream retailer such as Dell or Gateway, thanks to a confusing site layout.
We can't help but like the included sack of Lamborghini-branded accessories, including a leather mousepad and Bluetooth mouse.
Even though it's named after a high-end performance car, there's not too much action going on under the hood of the Lamborghini VX3. Its 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 is perfectly fine for everyday computing, but the system was slower.
Other high-end laptops with inferior CPUs, such as the and the , beat the VX3 in most of our benchmark tests. We expected better performance, but Asus runs a lot of proprietary applications in the background, and that can slow down a system.