ASUS BU400 takes on the Gobi desert with flying colours


    Used in various applications from mapping to natural resource location and infrastructure construction, geodetic data is a three-dimensional representation of the earth that is more precise than flat, two-dimensional maps. Gathering such data is the work of geodetic survey teams that tirelessly trawl the earth with their gear, recording spatial coordinates, patiently charting our three-dimensional earth.

    Areas to be mapped include vast tracts of sparsely populated land, and one such team has been mapping the Gobi desert with the help of the ASUSPRO BU400, thoroughly demonstrating the power, precision and ruggedness of the ultrabook.


    “Our work requires us to be outdoors all year round, in all weather, and the Alashan desert hinterland is among the most difficult to chart,” says team leader Sun Yijun. Here in this barren landscape, there is nothing – no shade – for hundreds of miles, and temperatures can climb up to 40 degrees Celsius at noon. There are also no roads, so the ride is very bumpy; and beyond the heat, there are also occasional sand storms, during which the team has to stop all work and wait it out by sheltering in the car.

    In the many years that Sun has been in this line of work, he has used many different laptops and has seen many succumb to this hostile operational environment. “With such high temperatures, it’s very common for laptops to overheat and crash. Out in the field, we don’t have the luxury of disassembling our laptops to clean up cooling fans clogged up by the dust or to plug the laptop to a cooling system. Moreover, there are no roads over much of the terrain that we have to survey, and the constant bumps and vibration can damage a laptop’s hard drive and cause data loss,” says Sun. When that happens, Sun’s team would have to backtrack to their previous locations and gather the data anew: this results in escalated costs in terms of time and personnel resource.

    “So far among the many laptops we have tried, the ASUSPRO BU400 is significantly more reliable than the others: its cooling system works very well, we do not have a problem with prolonged use in the desert, and and it has proven to be very resistant to shocks and vibration. Also, our work involves a lot of data entry and most laptops have keyboards that are very uncomfortable to use, resulting in entry errors. The BU400 has a very good keyboard that is comfortable, paired with a large, precise trackpad,” says Sun.

    Yet another feature that the survey team has come to value in the BU400 is its slimness and lightweight construction. At just 20mm thick and weighing just 1.64kg, mapping team members do not worry about carrying heavy equipment while climbing and jumping in the course of charting spatial coordinates.


    The BU400 isn’t just a powerful laptop with the latest processors and most impressive technical specifications, it was designed to withstand factors such as drops, shocks and spills that have spelled the demise of many laptops; with its proprietary keyboard that affords more tactile feedback and key travel, as well as enlarged touchpad, it is also more comfortable to use over prolonged periods. In this it has earned its place as a valued member of the far-flung survey teams, boosting efficiency and lowering costs by helping these teams collect accurate data, the first time round.

    The Product

    ASUSPRO BU400 is a powerful ultrabook with award-winning design, rigorously tested for long term durability and reliability against such commonplace hazards as drops and spills, surpassing even MIL-STD 810G military standard for ruggedness. To protect vital data, the hard drive is toughened with anti-shock features, while TPM functionality keeps sensitive information from unauthorised access.

    The ASUSPRO BU400 weighs just 1.64kg with proprietary True-comfort keyboard and precision touchpad, and features the latest third-generation Intel Core processors and dedicated Nvidia graphics.