I have the 16Gbyte version of this. I needed to replace my ageing 4 core Phenom-powered boxes. I do fairly heavy development and it isn't unusual to see 14Gbytes in use, several SQL databases open, four or five Java projects, various documents, Chrome with maybe five or six tabs and several background processes. Under these conditions, Netbeans editor panes were slow to render and I was having graphics problems with windows failing to refresh and, in the worst case, the mouse clicking on the wrong row deleted an entire SVN repository (sorry guys). Up till now it would have been another desktop but this would mean replacing two machines - home and office - with two. So I took a chance on this and it has worked. Performance is, to say the least, adequate. Heat generated is surprisingly low. The keyboard isn't perfect (keys a little too stiff for me) and the trackpad is undoubtedly clever but I prefer a mouse - the trackpad is half way to a touchscreen but without the all important bit of seeing where your finger is about to press. For that, I have a tablet. Dealing with the last minor issues, this is never going to win a beauty prize, and the power supply is a very big and heavy brick; I will probably buy a second one so I don't have to transport it. Also, the HDMI output is in a slightly inconvenient place. Upsides? It really is very, very fast and has been very stable indeed so far. A minor mouse cursor problem disappeared after Windows finished updating - which overall took four days, no fault of Asus. McAfee has been replaced by Microsoft Security Essentials, since when it has been even faster. Both my Asus and my Philips large monitors run with no problems at all and no sign of any graphics lag even under very high load. That's two 1920 by 1080 monitors, essential for serious development. It is going to get the £15 update to Windows 8 as soon as available, so the lack of Windows 7 Pro is a short term niggle. External USB3 hard drives are supported, and there is an always-on USB charging port for your phone.
Be aware you will need 7 DVDs to make the Windows backup.
But there you have it: a laptop that is a serious developer workstation, and is portable. And it's cheap. Definitely a 5*