ASUS' NX90Jq collaboration with Bang & Olufsen looks bizarre enough in the press shots, but when we dropped by to check out the dual-touchpad notebook/desktop-replacement at CES 2010 it turned out to be even more distinctive in the metal. Powered by a Core i7 processor with NVIDIA GT 335M graphics, an 18.4-inch 1920 x 1200 display and a slot-loading Blu-ray drive, check out our first-impressions after the cut.
There's no doubting the NX90's power - it scores an impressive 5.9 Windows 7 Experience Rating, helped by the 1.73GHz Core i7-8200QM processor and 8GB of RAM - and premium build. The metal around the display will be available in both brushed and mirror finishes (the latter being the fingerprint glutton you'd expect) while the rest of the plastics are as decent as you'd hope for a $1,800+ machine.
We're hard pressed to figure out exactly why you'd want dual touchpads in everyday use, however; the two touch-sensitive areas - which flank each side of the keyboard - generally replicate each others' functionality, and only come into their own when you access ASUS' custom Rotation Desktop Control app. This allows you to control multimedia content with both hands, similar to a pair of DJ decks, but we quietly found ourselves wishing for just one trackpad and a regular numeric keypad (or even a touchscreen, Eee Keyboard style). The keyboard, incidentally, was not so much cramped as lacking in key travel, surprising given the NX90's overall bulk.
This is definitely a prototype unit, and ASUS have a little time to tweak things before the NX90 is expected to launch in March 2010.