Review Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Notebook

Old Friend. At a closer look the Asus Pro31S, offered by MediaMarkt, turned actually out to be a F3SC, a well sold model of the well-known Asus F3 series. Obviously, the equipment was hardly changed: Core 2 Duo CPU, nVIDIA Geforce 8400M G, 2 GB main memory, and 160 GB harddisk capacity. However, the price has changed in the meanwhile - it was reduced.

Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Logo

Case

As already mentioned the Asus Pro31S is in general an Asus F3SC notebook, which we already reviewed a while ago. However, one cannot completely exclude differences regarding the built-in  hardware components. Here you'll find the comprehensive review of the Asus F3SC.

The notebook has a typical geometric Asus design. Silver top parts were combined with black base unit and black keyboard. Besides of a silver molding with imprinted "Asus Revolutionary Notebook Series", there are no further striking details. In total the notebook is rather decently designed.

Regarding stability of the case the Asus Pro31S is alright. Concerning flexural rigidity and pressure resistance of the base unit there are no complaints. The same is also true for the display, which is equally stable and the lid does even not yield too much.

Both of the spacious hinges allow an easy adjustment of the opening angle and at the same time the display does not see-saw too much after adjustment. Furthermore, it is possible to open the lid completely (180°). Both transport hooks, fit at the display, keep the display relatively stable closed. The latch can be opened by a rather hidden button located at the front edge.

Considering the low price, we were very pleased by the provided interfaces. Four USB ports, Firewire, S-Video, VGA, and a DVI out leave hardly anything to be desired. Most of the ports are located at the right side, whereas interfaces, which are likely to be used permanently are near the back. An exception are the audio ports which are on the front side.

Front Side: Audio Ports, USB, Cardreader
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Interfaces
Left Side: Kensington Lock, DVD Drive
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Interfaces
Back Side: Power Connector, Fan, 2x USB, Battery
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Interfaces
Right Side: ExpressCard, USB, Firewire, S-Video, DVI, VGA-Out, Modem, Lan
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Interfaces

Input Devices

The key size is standard and the keyboard's layout is strictly geometric. During use, we did not detect any anomalies. We hit all keys without any problems. Typing is also user-friendly. Even when typing more forcefully, the keyboard does hardly yield. Being tightly attached to the case also contributes to the way typing feels, i.e., the stop at the end of the travel is somewhat abrupt.

The provided touchpad has a user-friendly surface, which makes navigating easy. On the contrary to the F3SC the Asus Pro31S is not equipped with a fingerprint reader. Instead the part in front of the pad is completely used by a rocker switch. Besides of the somewhat annoying dead zone in its upper part, it is passable in use.

Hot-keys above the keyboard provide shortcuts for changing the preferred energy profile or launching the configured standard mail client or Internet browser.

Touchpad
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Touchpad
Keyboard
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Keyboard

Display

Color Diagram
Display Measurement

The built-in 15.4 inch WXGA display with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels provides an average desktop size. It is a panel with reflecting surface. At maximum brightness, the display seems a little bit too white.

The measured maximum brightness of 173.2 cd/m² is rather passable.However, the brightness diminished at the upper display part to down to 138.8 cd/m². With these measured value, the illumination is still acceptable at 80.1%.

The possible maximum contrast ratio of the provided display is due to a minimum brightness of 0.9 cd/m² 192:1. This is below-average.

138.8
cd/m²
155.5
cd/m²
143.7
cd/m²
149.6
cd/m²
168.9
cd/m²
157.0
cd/m²
163.1
cd/m²
173.2
cd/m²
161.4
cd/m²
Information
Maximum: 173.2 cd/m²
Average: 156.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 80 %
Black: 0.9 cd/m²
Contrast: 188:1
Distribution of brightness

The Asus Pro31S is hardly proper for outdoor usage. First of all you'll face heavy reflections in bright environments due to the reflecting surface of the display. On the other hand, also the brightness of the display does not improve the legibility of it outdoors.

Horizontally, the viewing angles of the Asus Pro31S are adequate. But, vertically, the viewing angles are rather narrow, which is typical for the provided panel. Outside the acceptable big area of operation, the display quickly darkens or whitens.




Video of Display's Viewing Angles
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Viewing Angles
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Viewing Angles
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Viewing Angles
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Viewing Angles
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Viewing Angles
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Viewing Angles
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Viewing Angles
Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Viewing Angles

Performance

Windows Performance Index
Windows Performance Index

Equipped with a Core 2 Duo CPU with 2.0 GHz and a nVIDIA Geforce 8400M G video card the performance of the Asus Pro31S is passable, considering its price.

Despite of the dedicated video card with 128MB video memory we decided to categorize the Asus Pro31S as office notebook. Although the performance of the built-in Geforce graphics adapter is good compared to integrated video solutions, the version labeled with "G" indicates the least powerful of the available 8400 video cards (G, GS, GT).

The Asus Pro31S is a good notebook for typical office applications like mail, Internet, and also DVD and video playback. However, weaknesses get obvious, if the applications demand better multimedia performance, or if you'd like to play computer games. Here, you'll quickly reach the Asus Pro31S's performance limits.

Besides of CPU and video card this notebook is equipped with a 160GB hard disk, whose transfer rates are average and whose access-time is slightly above-average. 2 Gigabyte main memory are nowadays standard and guarantee trouble-free work with Windows Vista.

Benchmark Comparison 3DMark
Benchmark Comparison 3DMark
Benchmark Comparison PCMark
Benchmark Comparison PCMark
3D Mark
3DMark 051721 points
Help
3DMark 05 in comparison
Nokia Booklet 3G (min)
 Z530, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
120
   ...
Fujitsu Lifebook A1130
 T6600, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
1602
Lenovo ThinkPad T400s
 SP9600, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
1665
Asus Pro31S
 T7250, GeForce 8400M G
1721
Asus F3SC
 T7100, GeForce 8400M G
1722
Acer Ferrari One 200-314G50n
 L310, Radeon HD 3200
1771
   ...
Alienware M18x R2 (max)
 3920XM, Radeon HD 7970M Crossfire
36878
PC Mark
PCMark 054201 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Samsung X60 NP-X60TV01
 T2500, Mobility Radeon X1600
4157
Dell Inspiron 1750
 T4200, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
4164
Asus Pro31S
 T7250, GeForce 8400M G
4201
Asus V2S
 T7300, GeForce 8600M GS
4214
HP Compaq Presario CQ62-A04sg
 P320, Radeon HD 4250
4217
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
160 GB - 5400 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 46.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 31.5 MB/s
Access Time: 21.2 ms
Burst Rate: 60.4 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.3 %
Doom 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768Ultra, 0xAA, 0xAF25 fps
 800x600High, 0xAA, 0xAF40.5 fps
 640x480Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF60.4 fps
 640x480Low, 0xAA, 0xAF60.7 fps
F.E.A.R.
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768GPU: max, CPU: max, 0xAA, 0xAF11 fps
 800x600GPU medium, CPU medium, 0xAA, 0xAF32 fps
 640x480GPU min, CPU min, 0xAA, 0xAF188 fps

Emissions

Loudness

The Pro31S is similar to the Asus F3SC regarding noise emissions. Despite the fan also runs in idle and office mode, its noise level is limited and does not annoy at all. Time and again the fan speeds up a little.

Although the noise level is higher under load, the noise emissions of the Asus Pro31S are overall alright.

Temperature

The surface temperature of the Asus Pro31S stay at the top and at the bottom side alright. Regardless whether under load or idle, the surface temperatures did not impact usability.

Max. Load
 27 °C30 °C32 °C 
 28 °C34 °C35 °C 
 30 °C33 °C33 °C 
 
37 °C28 °C28 °C
32 °C32 °C30 °C
32 °C30 °C34 °C
Maximum: 35 °C
Average: 31.3 °C
 Maximum: 37 °C
Average: 31.4 °C
Room Temperature 21.5 °C

Speakers

There is also nothing to complain about the two speakers located above the keyboard. The speakers sound full and clear and also there maximum volume is alright. However, the basses are moderate, but, this is nothing worth mentioning considering the notebook's price class. The sound output via the 3.5mm stereo out is alright.

Battery Runtime

Depending on the demanded performance, the runtime of the 4800mAh battery ranges from about 1.5 hours under load to up to about 3 hours at minimum energy demand. In practice you can expect a runtime of about 2.5 hours.

Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 55min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 40min

Power consumption

Idle 24.6 / 26.5 / 38.8 Watt
Load 55.0 / 58.0 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

The most important criterion pro Asus Pro31S is presumably its price. It is a decent notebook with rather passable equipment available for clearly below 1000,- Euros. However, despite of being equipped with a dedicated video card, it is still rather an office notebook.

The workmanship of the case is overall good. Especially, the good stability of base unit and also display left a positive impression. The look of the notebook is more or less simple and decent, so, it should not really influence the buying decision.

The keyboard seemed to be passable, and so the touchpad. Although a fingerprint reader was missed out, the notebook still provides an integrated 1.3 Mega pixels web cam. However, the absolute highlight of the Pro31S is the provided DVI port which allows to attach the notebook to an external display without quality loss.

Apropos display: The built-in 15.4 inch WXGA panel scored passable regarding brightness and illumination, but, has slight weaknesses regarding contrast ratio and viewing angles. Unfortunately, it is not fit for outdoor usage.

Regarding performance the Asus Pro31S is well-equipped for office applications, however its multimedia capabilities are rather limited. We did not really understand, why the notebook was just equipped  with a Geforce 8400M G video card, which hardly provides any reserve capacity for current games or multimedia applications whilst it is over-sized for standard office applications.

The noise emission of the Asus Pro31S is alright. The same is also true for the surface temperatures. The sound of the built-in speakers is passable.
The battery runtime is sufficient for a mobile use of about 2.5 hours, but, this heavily depends on the demanded performance.

Asus Pro31S (F3SC)
Asus Pro31S (F3SC)

 

Many thanks to the company MediaMarkt Wels, which kindly provided us with the reviewed notebook. There you can also buy this notebook.

Pro

  • Solid case of good workmanship
  • Well-equipped with interfaces (DVI-D)
  • User-friendly input devices
  • Passable performance for office applications
  • Noise and temperature emissions alright
  • Good sound
  • Contra

  • Location of the audio ports
  • Moderate Multimedia performance
  • Reviewed: Asus Pro31S (F3SC)
    Asus Pro31S (F3SC)

    Specifications

    Asus Pro31S

    :: Processor
    :: Mainboard
    Intel PM965
    :: Memory
    2048 MB, DDR2 PC5300 667MHz, 2x1024MB, max. 4096MB
    :: Graphics adapter
    NVIDIA GeForce 8400M G - 128 MB, Core: 400 MHz, Memory: 400 MHz
    :: Display
    15.4 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, WXGA TFT Display, glossy: yes
    :: Harddisk
    160 GB - 5400 rpm, 160 GB 5400 rpm FUJITSU MHW2160BH PL
    :: Soundcard
    Realtek ALC660
    :: Connections
    1 Express Card 54mm, 4 USB 2.0, 1 Firewire, 1 VGA, 1 DVI, 1 S-Video, 1 Modem, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Microphone, Headphones, Card Reader: 6in1,
    :: Networking
    10/100/1000 LAN Card (10/100/1000MBit), Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (a b g )
    :: Optical drive
    TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-L632H ATA
    :: Size
    height x width x depth (in mm): 40 x 270 x 365
    :: Weight
    2.9 kg
    :: Battery
    53 Wh Lithium-Ion, 11.1V 4800mAh
    :: Price
    900 Euro
    :: Operating System
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32 Bit
    :: Additional features
    24 Months Warranty, 1.3mp Webcam

     

    In general the Asus Pro31S is identical to the Asus F3SC.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    Still, there are some difference, like the choice of color.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    Decently designed, it generally...
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    is of good workmanship and also has a stable case.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    Noticeable deformation could...
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    not be detected in practice.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    Providing 4 USB ports, S-Video, Firewire, and DVI port...
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    the interface equipment is one of this notebook's strenghts.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    Furthermore the Asus Pro31S also provides a 1.3 Mega pixels web cam.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    The 15.4 inch display with reflecting surface...
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    ...had a passable brightness and slight weaknesses regarding illumination and viewing angles.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    According to the technical specifications the Asus Pro31S has to be categorized in between office and multimedia notebook.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    The fan stayed all the time alright in office mode.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    The same is true for the notebook's surface temperatures.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    Also the Asus Pro31S' speakers scored relatively good.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image
    The battery runtime allows a limited mobile use.
    Asus Pro31S (F3Sc) Image

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    Pricerunner n.a.

    Rating

    Asus Pro31S
    11/13/2007
    J. Simon Leitner

    Chassis
    88%
    Keyboard
    90%
    Pointing Device
    88%
    Connectivity
    88%
    Weight
    76%
    Battery
    75%
    Display
    86%
    Games Performance
    60%
    Application Performance
    96%
    Temperature
    83%
    Noise
    84%
    Add Points
    90%
    Average
    84%
    86%
    Office *
    Weighted Average

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Asus Pro31S (F3SC) Notebook
    Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-11-30 (Update: 2013-05- 8)