According to Asus, the W2Vc is designed for the 'Mobile digital home'. No, it's not intended specifically for use in broadband-ready caravans, but rather for anyone who wants to replace or supplement their existing desktop PC with a powerful, feature-rich multimedia laptop. As a result, it isn't particularly portable, but it can easily be lugged from room to room, or to meetings provided you have transport. It has most of the features you'd expect from a desktop PC, offers impressive performance and is fairly attractive. It's not the cheapest of laptops, but it's worth considering if you want a good all-rounder with a strong focus on multimedia.
The W2Vc has an attractive, dark grey brushed metal finish and contrasting silver sides. It's wide at 395mm across, but Asus has equipped it with a surprisingly small keyboard. This doesn't significantly hinder its usability, but a larger keyboard would have been preferable, as this would have afforded the W2Vc a standalone numerical keypad. Instead, you'll have to toggle between keypad and standard letter modes with the Fn key, which is annoyingly positioned to the left of the Ctrl key, not to its right, as is standard on most keyboards. You'll find this layout a nuisance if you use the Ctrl button for shortcut keyboard commands such as Ctrl+S for saving documents.
The W2Vc has four USB ports -- three on the right, one on the left. These are evenly spaced, so users shouldn't find it hard to connect a number of bulky USB devices simultaneously. Three audio ports at the front of the laptop allow you to connect external speakers, and it supports everything up to (and including) 7.1 surround-sound setups. The ports are very easy to access, but we're not keen on the prospect of having three audio cables permanently dangling from the front of the laptop. A far neater solution would have been to position these out of sight at the rear.
One notable design feature on the W2Vc is its slot-loading DVD drive, which is a neater solution than the tray-loading drives seen on most desktops and laptops. This type of drive doesn't provide any real benefits over the alternative, but it's less likely to be mistaken as a cup holder by your grandmother, or as some kind of adventure playground fixture by your nephew.
Asus is one of a growing number of laptop manufacturers that has opted not to include a lock to secure the screen during transit. This, in theory, means the W2Vc screen is more prone to accidental opening, but it didn't happen once during our test period. In practice, not having a lock makes it far easier to open the screen in a hurry, and there's no chance of the screen being permanently jammed shut should the lock become damaged.