Product Listing

ASUS K45VM - Ivy Bridge Hits The Mainstream

By Rico Cruz - 23 May 2012

Introduction and Physique

Family Ties

The last time we reviewed one of ASUS' K-Series mainstream notebooks was way back in September 2011. Back then it was the K43TA, which featured one of AMD's "Fusion" processors. These processors were also known as APUs, or Accelerated Processing Units, as they combined a CPU and a GPU on a single die. This time around, ASUS returns to Intel, getting in on the Ivy Bridge bandwagon with the K45VM.

The K45VM is the first of ASUS' mainstrem K-Series to get the Ivy Bridge update.

At first glance, the K45VM looks no different from its AMD-based older cousin. It has the same "Metallic Chic" design, but with a couple of changes. First off, the lid finally ditches the glossy plastic in favor of textured metal. The palm rest and the area around the keyboard are now divided into two shades of smooth, classy-looking bronze. The keyboard itself is now isolated, as opposed to the previous model's more traditional mechanical setup.

No more fingerprint-magnet gloss, just nice durable textured metal.

The keys are now isolated and have the fuzzy texture like the bigger G75V. The color difference between the keyboard and trackpad areas is also reminiscent of the huge gaming notebook. We encountered no flex of any sort - this thing is solid. The keyboard could use some backlighting though, but that would make it more expensive.

The trackpad is not only silky smooth, its minimalist design is really nice to look at too.

The exceptionally wide trackpad on the other hand adopts a minimalist one-piece design, with a single line separating left from right-click. Since it's a mainstream notebook, it's rather thick but its is surprisingly light. All in all its a very, very nice improvement on the K-Series design, giving the ASUS' mainstream lineup a dose of class and style. 

On one side you have the optical drive, 3.5mm audio ports and a single USB 2.0 port.

On the opposite side is the notebook's huge exhaust grille, VGA, LAN, HDMI, and two USB 3.0 ports.

Just like the older K43TA, the underside of the K45VM is also textured. Under here is also where the speaker's subwoofer is located. The Altec Lansing speaker system gets quite loud, although still hollow.