Review Asus F3Sc Notebook

Allrounder. Asus also little by little utilizes the new Intel Santa Rosa technology. The F3 series, a 15.4 inch multimedia series, which is very popular, because of its very good price/performance ratio, is a hot favourite for the change to the Santa Rosa technology. The Asus F3SC is passable equipped with a T7100 CPU and a Geforce 8400M video card.

Asus F3Sc Logo

Case

The case shows the already well-known combination of a blue and gray display cover and palm rest areas with a black case trough. Also, the small silver molding with hotkeys, as usually located above the keyboard, is again provided by the F3SC. In total it looks nice.

Regarding workmanship and robustness it also scores alright. It is especially resistant against applied forces. The F3SC can well stand to be lifted at its front edge and immoderate  torsions cannot be detected at all. Time and again, we heard a silent creaking noise, but in total you can neglect it.

Both of the spacious hinges appear to be very robust and are able to safely secure the WXGA display's position. The ramshorn hook holds the display absolutely tight, if closed. Furthermore, we experienced that sometimes you need to apply a little more force to the display for the ramshorn hook to be catched by the according openings in the base unit.

The Asus F3Sc notebook is rather generously equipped with interfaces, most of them located at the right side of the case. Besides the usual modem and LAN port, also a Firewire port and a DVI port are available. Depending on the use, this might lead to cable spaghetti right beside the notebook, which is really not ideal especially for right handers.

Front Side: Audio Ports, USB, Cardreader
Asus F3Sc Interfaces
Left Side: Kensington Lock, DVD Drive
Asus F3Sc Interfaces
Back Side: Power Connector, Fan, 2x USB, Battery
Asus F3Sc Interfaces
Right Side: ExpressCard, USB, Firewire, Antenna, S-Video, DVI, VGA-Out, Modem, LAN
Asus F3Sc Interfaces

Input Devices

The keys are of comfortable size. Regarding layout, only the cursor block does not follow the otherwise strict linear order. However, because of the size of the keys this does not have any disadvantages.

Also typing felt by all means comfortable. The key travel is sufficient with a short point of pressure. Maybe the stop is a little bit too though. But, this stems from an keyboard absolutely tightly attached to the base unit.

The touch pad reacts precisely and is comfortable in use. We liked it, because of its good sliding properties. Both of its keys are also comfortable in use, although there is a clear dead zone at their top region. In between these two buttons, there is a fingerprint reader.

As already mentioned above, this notebook provides a molding with hotkeys above the keyboard. By means of it, you can switch between a number of pre-defined performance profiles or launch the pre-defined default browser or mail program. Furthermore, one of the keys provides an easy way of deactivating the touch pad.

Touch pad
Asus F3Sc Touch pad
Keyboard
Asus F3Sc Keyboard

Display

Color Diagram
Asus F3Sc Display Measurement

The F3SC once again comes with a 1280x800 pixels WXGA panel with a reflecting surface. It scores high with a maximum brightness of 165.4 cd/m². Also the illumination of  88% is very good.

The measurement of the display calibration depicts a somewhat raised red color curve, which hints on too low weighted red colors in the factory settings.

147.7
cd/m²
165.4
cd/m²
145.6
cd/m²
149.3
cd/m²
164.4
cd/m²
146.2
cd/m²
154.8
cd/m²
157.6
cd/m²
158.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 165.4 cd/m²
Average: 154.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Black: 0.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 274:1

With a black value (i.e., minimum representable brightness) of 0.6cd/m² the WXGA panel reaches a possible maximum contrast of 276:1, also a good result.
According to various scroll tests the display's speed of the reaction can be considered average.

Operation Outdoors
Asus F3Sc Outdoor

In general the display would be fit for outdoor operation, because of a passable average brightness of at least 154.4 cd/m². However, heavy reflections are caused by the reflecting surface, so, working in bright environments is rather cumbersome.

Horizontally,  the stability to the vantage point is good, but, at acute angles you'll face reflections. Vertically, the area of operation is small, but, yet sufficient. Outside it, the display heavily darkens or whitens.

Asus F3Sc Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus F3Sc Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus F3Sc Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus F3Sc Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus F3Sc Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus F3Sc Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus F3Sc Stability to the Vantage Point
Asus F3Sc Stability to the Vantage Point


[Video of Stability to the Vantage Point - too be available soon]

Performance

The Asus F3Sc is based on Intel's new 965PM chip set, so it's a proper platform for Intel's new processors and video cards.

The F3Sc is equipped with a Core 2 Duo T7100 CPU with 1.8 Ghz which provides sufficient power for office and light multimedia applications.

A Geforce 8400M G video card by NVidia is responsible for graphics. The performance of this video solution is in between an integrated video solution and video cards proper for computer games. The notebook benefits from the low energy demand and the low emissions of this hardware compared to more powerful chips, still the performance is sufficiently high for one or the other game.

Still you should not expect too much gaming performance, because the 8400G is only slightly more powerful than the Geforce 7400. So, gaming fun is only limited.

Furthermore, the reviewed notebook was equipped with 1GB main memory and a 160GB Seagate hard disk.

Benchmark Comparison 3DMark
Benchmark Comparison 3DMark
Benchmark Comparison PCMark
Benchmark Comparison PCMark
3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE7492 points
3DMark 051722 points
3DMark 06
 
1021 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B (min)
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
54
   ...
Lenovo IdeaPad U260
 470UM, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) HD Graphics
1014
Asus Eee PC 1215T
 K125, Radeon HD 4250
1016
Asus F3SC
 T7100, GeForce 8400M G
1021
Asus X201E-KX096H
 847, HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
1027
Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21E
 T7250, GeForce 8400M GT
1033
   ...
Clevo Clevo P157SM (max)
 4930MX, GeForce GTX 880M
29955
PC Mark
PCMark 053417 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Toshiba A9
 T7500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
3402
MSI Megabook GX600
 T9300, GeForce 8600M GT
3406
Asus F3SC
 T7100, GeForce 8400M G
3417
HP ProBook 4510s
 T6570, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500M
3419
Acer Aspire 7520G-602G40
 TL-64, GeForce 8400M G
3420
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
160 GB - 5400 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 14.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 45.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 31.9 MB/s
Access Time: 17.3 ms
Burst Rate: 90.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: 5.2 %

Emissions

Loudness

Also in idle mode the fan always runs, but its noise is not disturbing. Measured 35.6dB without load are all the time present, but can easily be stood, because of the particular noise characteristics.

Under load the fan gets louder, but, a maximum of 40.6dB is still alright.

Noise Level

Idle 32.4 / 41.3 / 41.3 dB(A)
HDD 37.9 dB(A)
DVD 36.5 / dB(A)
Load / 41.3 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The bottom and the top side get only moderately warmer under load. The measured maximums are 38.6°C in the center of the top side and 37.8°C at the bottom side.

Interestingly, the average temperature of the top side exceeds the one of the bottom side, which is just the other way round than usually. The right palm rest area gets nearly too warm.

Upper side

palmwrist: 36.5°C max: 38.8°C avg: 36.0°C

Bottom side

max: 37.8°C avg: 35.2°C

Speakers

The sound of the two speakers, placed above the keyboard, is very good. The maximum volume is sufficient. However, there are, as usually, slight weaknesses regarding basses.

Battery Runtime

According to our battery runtime test, the 4800mAh battery is at least under load quickly empty. However, the maximum runtime is with nearly three hours quite suitable. So, a limited mobile use is possible.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 53min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 08min

Power Consumption

Idle 28.1 / 35.4 / 37.8 Watt
Load 51.1 / 49.7 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

Asus F3Sc
Asus F3Sc

The strength of the Asus F3Sc is a compact and robust case which scores high, because of its resistance against applied forces and its flexural rigidity.

Also the input devices are user-friendly with high typing comfort. The same is true for the touch pad and its buttons.

Also the bright display with very good illumination is worth mentioning. Those who like reflecting panels should be satisfied, if you don't mind that the picture changes at vertical changes to the viewing angle.

The performance is average. Although the F3SC is based on the up-to-date Santa Rosa technology, its benchmark results are only average. Nevertheless, it is sufficiently equipped for office applications, and the Geforce 8400M should also allow the one or other computer game, however, with reduced resolution and details.

The noise emissions are alright. The slightly too warm top side of the notebook is not comfortable. The built-in speakers surprised us with good sound.

The 4800 mAh battery has a maximum runtime of 3 hours. So, a limited mobile use should be possible. The minimum battery runtime of the F3SC is not so good.

Reviewed: Asus F3Sc
Asus F3Sc

Specifications

Asus F3SC

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB, DDR2 PC5300 667Mhz SDRAM, max. 4096MB, 1x1024MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
15.4 inch 16:9, 1280x800 pixel, WXGA Color Shine Glare Type TFT Display, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
160 GB - 5400 rpm, 160 GB 5400 rpm Seagate Momentus ST9160821AS: 160GB, 5400rpm
:: Connections
ExpressCard, Mikrofon, Headphones (S/PDIF), 4x USB 2.0, VGA-Out, DVI, S-Video, Firewire, Antenne, Kensington Lock, LAN, Modem
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 40 x 365 x 270
:: Weight
2.93 kg
:: Battery
, 4800mAh Lithium Ionen Akku
:: Price
1100 Euro
:: Additional features
Intel 965M, HDD: 160GB, 5400rpm, Seagate Momentus ST9160821AS, Realtek ALC660 HD Audio, DVD +/-R (DL) Hitachi HL-DT-ST GSA-T20N,

 

The F3Sc belongs to the...
Asus F3Sc Image
The sound of the two speakers is quite good.
Asus F3Sc Image
Also the surface temperature increase is alright.
Asus F3Sc Image
Although the fan runs all the time, its noise is alright.
Asus F3Sc Image
...and a NVidia Geforce 8400M.
Asus F3Sc Image
The F3Sc is equipped with the new T7100 CPU...
Asus F3Sc Image
On the one hand the display has a reflecting surface, but, on the other hand brightness and illumination are very good.
Asus F3Sc Image
The keyboard is user-friendly, even when typing for a long time.
Asus F3Sc Image
...and a fingerprint reader to protect your sensible data.
Asus F3Sc Image
Furthermore, the F3Sc provides a web cam...
Asus F3Sc Image
Furthermore, a lot of interfaces are provided, among others also a DVI port.
Asus F3Sc Image
...and robust case.
Asus F3Sc Image
...good workmanship...
Asus F3Sc Image
The notebooks strengths are...
Asus F3Sc Image
...15" wide screen multimedia series by Asus.
Asus F3Sc Image
The maximum battery runtime of the 4800mAh is nearly three hours.
Asus F3Sc Image

Pro

  • Robust case, good workmanship
  • Well equipped with interfaces
  • Comfortable input devices
  • Bright display, good illumination
  • Low noise emissions
  • Low temperature emissions
  • Good sound
  • Contra

  • Order of interfaces
  • Top side warmer than bottom side, right handball support maybe too warm
  • Moderate battery runtime under load
  • Similar Notebooks

    Price Comparison

    Ciao.uk

    Asus F3Sc

    Rating

    Asus F3SC
    08/31/2007
    J. Simon Leitner

    Chassis
    88%
    Keyboard
    90%
    Pointing Device
    88%
    Connectivity
    88%
    Weight
    76%
    Battery
    65%
    Display
    90%
    Games Performance
    75%
    Application Performance
    92%
    Temperature
    78%
    Noise
    80%
    Add Points
    90%
    Average
    83%
    84%
    Multimedia *
    Weighted Average

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Asus F3SC Notebook
    Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-08-20 (Update: 2013-05- 8)