One thing that every laptop owner looks for when buying a laptop is the value for money is provides. So unless you are looking for a no holds barred gaming laptop, performance and battery life is what attracts the most amount of research.

The ASUS K42J has the same looks and design as the K52F (read our review here) and was a very good laptop for what it cost.  While the K52F we reviewed had an Intel i3 processor, the K42Ja has an i5 CPU and packs in an ATI HD5730 GPU.

Don't let the looks fool you…

Now that we have given you a little background on the laptop, let’s move on to the review, shall we?

Design & Build Quality
The ASUS K42Ja has an understated look with no fancy colours or angular edges to distinguish it from the other laptops out there, but that being said the Black and Grey motif with the diamond pattern suits it and will appeal to its intended audience. The only issue I have with the shiny finish is that it catches fingerprints quite quickly and that spoils the look. The keyboard is especially good with nicely spaced out keys and have a nice ‘clickedy-clack’ feedback to them, although some may find that a bit annoying if they are used to soft keys.

The wrist rest is broad enough to accommodate a wide variety of wrists and is great for those spend a great deal of time on their laptops. The Touchpad is excellent with multitouch capabilities as well the ability to distinguish your fingers from your palm, which avoids any accidental cursor movements. Rounding off the great design is the build quality which is great with no flimsy areas or squeaks and rattles.

The ASUS K42Ja we are reviewing today has an Intel i5 460M, which is a 2.53 GHz processor that should provide a kick in performance, with 2GB DDR3 Memory and the ATI HD 5730 Graphic chip, which should make for an interesting series of tests.

The multi-touch touchpad makes navigation very easy.

The screen is a 14-inch backlit LED display and has a resolution of 1366×768 and is very crisp and clear. The K42Ja has a 640GB HDD which should suffice the most of its users. Other features include facial recognition, which allows an alternative to password logins as well as ASUS’s Power4Gear technology which automatically adjusts fan speed according to the usage for a quieter computing experience.

Connectivity options includes three USB ports, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, audio jacks, a VGA and HDMI output, Ethernet as well as a 0.3 Megapixel web camera for video chat.

The K42Ja performed very well in a battery of tests. HD videos play like a dream and are stutter free, although the speakers could have been better. Even with speakers cranked to maximum output, if was still quite low. On the performance side, it scored high points in SiSandra 2010 as well as PC Vantage and thanks to the discrete GPU; even gaming is a doddle on the K42Ja. The only small issue is the rather high seek times for the hard drive.

For a complete rundown on the scores, take a look below.

Click to enlarge

Heat, Noise and Battery Life
The K42Ja is amazingly quiet even on full load. Thanks to the large vent at the side and the Power4Gear feature, the laptop remains cool even after extended use. Battery life was quite good with upto 6 hours of usage on a single charge. Mind you, we tested this by doing what anyone with a laptop would do, like facebooking, watching movies, surfing the web, transferring data, chatting with friends, tweeting etc. Sometimes doing multiple things on the same time.

The ASUS K42Ja is a great laptop for those who want a laptop with great specs for day to day usage. Thanks to the HD 5730 GPU, gaming is also possible at medium settings with very playable framerates. At and MRP of Rs. 45,999, it’s as a superb option for those in the market for a new multimedia laptop, which can fulfill a variety of roles.

Reviewer's Note: Although the website and the sticker on the laptop said that the Operating System provided by ASUS is DOS, ours came with Windows 7 Ultimate pre-installed. So make sure you check with your respective vendor regarding the OS.

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