'Book Value

Asus and Lamborghini Team Up on Cobranded Notebooks

Charles Moore - 2011.04.20 - Tip Jar

I'm an Apple hardware and Mac OS fan. For the past 19 years I've worked on nothing but Macs, and the only non-Macs I've had have been a few older castoffs that came my way and were quickly passed on. However, that doesn't obviate may casting a covetous glance PC-ward from time to time in appreciation of some pretty cool hardware in the PC category - in particular exoticar cobranded notebook computers.

Lamborghini logoMost regular Low End Mac readers are probably aware that I'm a lifelong consummate car nut, and one of my admittedly somewhat quixotic fantasies is that that Apple would make an exoticar cobranded MacBook Pro. Two of the most illustrious exoticar nameplates are already contracted to PC makers - Asus with Lamborghini and Acer has a similar deal with Ferrari - but there are still Bugatti, Bentley,* and Porsche (all now part of the Volkswagen empire), McLaren (possible carbon-fiber engineering tie-in there if Apple pursues that avenue) , Lotus, Aston Martin, and Maserati, which - like Ferrari - belongs to Fiat. There are also possible Formula One motor racing tie-ins with teams like McLaren, Williams, or even recent and current overachiever Red Bull.

I don't think most North Americans are aware of how big motorsport - especially Formula 1 - is in most of the rest of the world, second only to soccer in major sports. Formula 1's US profile will be raised considerably now that Formula One World Championship Limited, Formula One Administration Limited, and Full Throttle Productions, LP, promoter of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, have announced a historic agreement for Austin, Texas to serve as host city of a Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at the new Circuit of the Americas race track there for the years 2012 through 2021. I digress.

black Asus Lamborghini VX7 Laptop
Asus Lamborghini VX7 Laptop and a real Lamborghini.

Back to the present: Asus' Lamborghini Notebook Series incorporates industrial design and styling themes of Lamborghini exoticars, especially the Italian marque's new, V12-powered Aventador. The new 15.6" Asus-Automobili Lamborghini VX7 notebook thematically embodies the excitement of Automobili Lamborghini's supercar grand touring traditions and offers users a fresh take on portable computing. Crafted to reflect the avant-garde aggressive look of Automobili Lamborghini models, the VX7 feature wedge-themed design, a trapezoidal touchpad, and is available in distinct orange, black and carbon fiber colors.

Asus Lamborghini VA7 Laptop in orange.

If you're not a motorhead, you may not know that Lamborghini has been Ferrari's most formidable competition in the exotic sports car arena for nearly 50 years. Legend has it that Italian farm tractor manufacturer Ferruccio Lamborghini bought a Ferrari in the early 1960s, experienced a problem with the clutch, and decided to drop by the Ferrari works at Modena for a chat with Enzo Ferrari himself about the fault. However, the great man was unimpressed, dismissing Lamborghini with, "What does a tractor maker know about super cars .  .  . You stick to tractors and let me build sports cars." Insulted and miffed, Lamborghini took his Ferrari home, fixed the problem himself using a tractor clutch, and vowed to build a sports car that would out-Ferrari Ferrari.

Asus Lamborghini VX7 Laptop.

"I am the first Japanese in Italian history," Lamborghini is quoted observing. "I never invented anything, but I always copied the best. To make my motor, I asked, which is the best? And the response was, the 12-cylinder of Ferrari. However, to improve it I needed to change the head. So then I asked, which heads are the most efficient? The answer, the twin cams on the 4-cylinder Alfa Romeo. So it was enough for me to put together these concepts to make the most beautiful motor in the world."

The Asus-Automobili Lamborghini VX7 notebook features the power of quad-core 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processors and clocks in as the world's first notebook with discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M graphics, supported by a whopping 3 GB of dedicated video memory. Users also benefit from a speedy solid-state hybrid drive of up to 1.25 TB in capacity, rated at approximately 10,000 rpm for superfast access and performance. This is in a laptop, folks.

Bullish Approach to Eye-catching Design

The VX7 represents the culmination of the longstanding Asus-Automobili Lamborghini cobranding joint venture, delivering a premium product for consumers who hold luxurious craftsmanship and advanced technology in high regard.

Cooling vents enable heat dissipation while echoing the back end of Lamborghini supercars.

Numerous design touches double as practical performance enhancers and tributes to Automobili Lamborghini engineering and style. One clear example of this are the cooling vents at the rear of the VX7, which enable superior heat dissipation while echoing the unique taillight and exhaust assembly design of Automobili Lamborghini supercars.

This design philosophy applies even to the power button, which has been styled as an engine start key, the laptop's leather-trimmed palm rests and its light but durable aluminum construction.

Orange VX7The VX7 is offered in three classic Automobili Lamborghini colors: orange, black, and carbon fiber. All are directly licensed and formulated to retain the iconic and attention-grabbing appearance of the fabled Italian exotical powerhouses.

As one of the most capable notebooks ever produced by Asus, the VX7 stays faithful to its Automobili Lamborghini pedigree offering sheer performance for gaming, multimedia, online entertainment, and productivity. As noted, at its heart resides the quad-core Intel 2nd generation Core i7 processor, based on Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture for enhanced graphics and multitasking performance combined with high energy-efficiency. Dedicated graphics for hardcore gaming and multimedia come from the Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M GPU, offering native DirectX 11 and aided by that unprecedented (in laptops) 3 GB of video memory, plus a Blu-ray drive, a 15.6" LED screen, and a built-in 2.0 megapixel camera.

With these specifications, the VX7 will be a formidable gaming and entertainment platform. Maintaining the Automobili Lamborghini super veloce spirit, the VX7 ships with USB 3.0 as standard for up to ten times the data transfer speeds of USB 2.0 (Apple's Thunderbolt high speed I/O on the latest MacBook Pros is even faster).

The Asus-Lamborghini VX7 notebook sells for - are you sitting down? - $4,999.

Asus-Lamborghini VX5

Another Asus-Lamborghini notebook offering is the VX5, a tribute to the Lamborghini Reventón's avant garde design. Asus describes it as not only a notebook, but more of an objet d'art in which they've managed to encapsulate the very essence of Lamborghini.

Asus-Lamborghini VX5
Asus-Lamborghini VX5

Like the Lamborghini Reventón, the Asus-Lamborghini VX5 is a synthesis of clean lines and glossy trappings. Be it in piano black or pearlescent white the VX5 is a statement of panache and power, even more so once users lift the hood to find an equally glossy touchpad, with the hint of ceramic finishing from its buttons. These accentuated features are accented with luxuriously sewn leather palm-rests. Chrome rims frame a pair of bespoke speakers by Altec Lansing, their design reminiscent of the heat vents of the Lamborghini Reventón. A finishing touch are scratch-resistant sapphire crystal lens covers that shield a built-in webcam.

Asus-Lamborghini VX5Equipped with a 1 TB hard drive, the Asus-Lamborghini VX5 gives users more storage space for work or entertainment. Powered by an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000 processor, it provides users with plenty of CPU muscle. A 16" high definition 1366 x 768 display (the same resolution as Apple's 11.6" MacBook Air) driven by an Nvidia GeForce GT 130M GPU with 1 GB VRAM graphics card provides powerful video in a laptop.

Asus-Lamborghini VX5Like its vehicular counterpart, the Asus-Lamborghini VX5 provides users with accelerated performance at the touch of speed key located alongside the keyboard, which initiates the TwinTurbo mode that illuminates the touchpad and insignia on the monitor blue - and overclocks the FSB by 100 MHz and the GPU by 25 MHz when the VX5 is running on AC power, underscoring the Asus-Lamborghini VX5's superlative of power and dependability chops.

Asus-Lamborghini VX5A newly adopted illuminated chiclet keyboard features equally spaced keys, while a light sensor embedded within the Asus-Lamborghini VX5 intelligently monitors the lighting conditions of the users' immediate surroundings, brightening or dimming its display and backlit keyboard accordingly.

Also included are a Blu-ray optical drive, an 8-in-1 card reader, a 2.0 Megapixel web camera, Fax/Modem, LAN/WLAN, built-in Bluetooth V2.1+EDR (optional), and Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5100 ABGN. I/O ports include one ExpressCard, a line-in jack, a microphone-in jack, a headphone-out jack (S/PDIF), one VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor, four USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire port, an RJ45 LAN jack for LAN insert, HDMI, and eSATA. An optical mouse and carrying bag are included as well.

Mouth watering yet?

Asus Eee PC VX6

Asus Eee PC VX6Asus also offers a netbook variant codesigned by Lamborghini, its Eee PC VX6 12.1" netbook powered by a dual core Intel Atom D525 processor with two 1.8 GHz cores - each with HyperThreading to deliver boosted performance with multithreaded software and fast response times within demanding applications. Street priced below $700, the VX6 is a much more affordable way to have a Lamborghini themed notebook.

Asus Eee PC VX6The VX6's Nvidia Ion 2 graphics and Nvidia Optimus technology, which automatically optimizes graphics performance to suit the applications being used, creating a balance which improves energy efficiency and maximizes battery life, are claimed to offer performance up to 60% faster than that of previous-generation Nvidia Ion graphics, plus onboard hardware decoding that promises silky smooth 1080p HD video playback for crystal clear visuals, making this ultraportable a platform for watching movies on the move.

The stereo speakers are designed by Bang & Olufsen ICEPower, with SRS Premium surround sound, giving the tiny machine audio resonance belying its compact form factor whether you are enjoying music, movies or games.

Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 RoadsterAsus says the Asus-Lamborghini Eee PC VX6 ultraportable notebook is inspired by the superstar Lambo Murcielago LP640 Roadster, epitomizes the magnificence and power of the automotive star through a combination of sleek lines, an elegant glossy exterior in black or white and the Lamborghini badge adorning the lid, and incorporates a delectable combination of style and performance plus a multitude of connectivity features including USB 3.0 and Express Gate.

* You may remember the limited edition $19,800 Bentley Ego laptop, a Windows notebook introduced in 2008 and still available (I guess it takes a long time to sell out a 250 unit production run at these prices), so it's possible that Bentley is not an option for Apple. Other Ego laptops are also listed on the Ego Lifestyle website.

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at Applelinks.com and a columnist at MacPrices.net. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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