Asus N550JV review

Price when reviewed

When the Asus N56VM arrived in PC Pro’s Labs just over a year ago, it’s fair to say we were smitten. Sharp looks, good performance and a keen price delivered it straight to the A List. Twelve months on and Asus is hoping to repeat the trick with the similar-looking but better-specified N550JV.

Asus N550JV

The design has undergone a revamp, and the result is that a laptop that was already good-looking is now positively handsome. A backlit Asus logo glows in the centre of the metal lid, and the keyboard surround is topped with a layer of aluminium that pools between the backlit, Scrabble-tile keys and spills over and around the N550JV’s edges. Concentric, micro-drilled speaker grilles ripple outwards from the buttons embedded along the laptop’s top edge, and there’s a wide, silver buttonless touchpad beneath.

The Asus’ 15.6in touchscreen is a peach: the glossy finish is very reflective, but thanks to the Full HD resolution, images and text are crisply presented and there’s plenty of desktop space. It’s technically competent, too. Brightness peaks at a respectable 335cd/m2, and the contrast ratio of 780:1 is solid. Colours lack a little punch next to the very best displays we’ve seen at this price, but accuracy isn’t bad, and while there’s a tendency to crush the darkest greys into black, our photographs looked natural and packed with detail. Our only other criticism is a more practical one: firm on-screen prods set the screen wobbling fairly eagerly, so it’s necessary to dab gently to get the best results.

Asus N550JV

We’ve no such qualms about the keyboard, however. It’s a solid example, and although the keys don’t quite offer the same level of crispness as Lenovo’s finest ThinkPads, there’s plenty of travel and a definite, unmistakable snap to every keystroke. The keys are backlit with a strong white LED, and the three brightness levels make it easy to get the lighting just so. The extra space afforded by the Asus’ 38cm wide chassis has been put to use too, with a numeric keypad squeezed in along the right-hand edge. Beneath, the buttonless trackpad is a fine example: its silky-smooth surface and wide dimensions make the most of Windows 8’s gestures, and the pad depresses with a solid, muffled click.


Warranty1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions380 x 255 x 31mm (WDH)
Travelling weight3.1kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i7-4700HQ
RAM capacity8.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal1,920
Resolution screen vertical1,080
Resolution1920 x 1080
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce GT 750M
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1


Spindle speed5,400RPM
Optical disc technologyBlu-ray reader
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportno
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

3.5mm audio jacks2
Pointing device typeTouchpad, touchscreen
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating0.9mp

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use7hr 8min
Battery life, heavy use1hr 15min
3D performance (crysis) low settings85fps
3D performance settingLow
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.86
Responsiveness score0.70
Media score0.96
Multitasking score0.92

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 8 64-bit
OS familyWindows 8

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