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Hands-on Asus NovaGo Review: Flexible laptop with Snapdragon smarts

The Asus NovaGo is a laptop which folds into different forms, including a tablet for getting your sketch on with the bundled stylus pen. However, the highlight is the Snapdragon 835 chipset, typically found in premium smartphones, which delivers impressive connectivity and battery life.

On the surface, the Asus NovaGo is your typical 13-inch laptop. However, open it up and you’ll find that the display bends all of the way back on its hinges, so you can stand it upside-down, which works best for watching films. You can even fold the keyboard flat and use the NovaGo as a tablet, although it’s not exactly slim and light (15mm thick and 1.3kg in weight). You’re best off resting it on a flat surface if you want to get sketchy with the stylus.

The keyboard is a typical Asus board, with well-sized keys that are spaced apart for easy touch typing. You also get a responsive and generously-sized touchpad, complete with a fingerprint sensor for bonus security.

Along the edges you’ll find plenty of ports, including a memory card slot and two full-sized USB connections. Handy if you want to plug in a mouse or some other peripherals. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack for shoving in your wired cans, plus an HDMI port if you want to hook up to a bigger display or a projector.

Of course, that screen is a perfectly good way to enjoy your media on the move. It’s a 13.3-inch display with a Full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution, so while the NovaGo isn’t the sharpest convertible around, it’s fine for kicking back with a movie or touching up your photos.

Dual speakers are positioned on the bottom of the laptop, so your audio is slightly muffled when the device is sat on your lap or a table. Unless you switch to the standing position, that is, which as we’ve mentioned is the best way to watch a movie. They seem quite powerful thankfully, with enough oomph to be heard through a raucous environment.

So, how’s the performance? Well, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset seems to love Windows as much as it does Android, if our brief testing session is anything to go by. Besides one or two little stutters as we opened a few different apps at once, the NovaGo offered a smooth enough experience.

That 835 chipset also offers impressive Gigabit LTE connectivity, while also delivering superb battery life. Asus reckons you’ll get up to 22 hours of non-stop video playback before the NovaGo dies, which sounds rather optimistic – although we’re hopeful that we’ll get close to that. Check back soon for our full review.

The Asus NovaGo will hit the UK next year, although we have no precise or even vague release date just yet. Prices begin at $599 for the 4GB model with 64GB of storage, rising to $799 for the 8GB model with 256GB of storage.


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