Asus N550JV review
At the N550JV’s heart beats a Haswell processor. The Intel Core i7-4700HQ runs at 2.4GHz, and with 8GB of DDR3L RAM alongside, the Asus sped to an overall score of 0.86. In the real world, that means precious few applications will bring the N550JV to its knees, and it’s as comfortable editing HD video as it is running Excel. Graphical grunt is provided by the Nvidia GeForce GT 750M, which offers enough power to satisfy even dedicated gamers; an average frame rate of 27fps in our Crysis benchmark run at Full HD and high detail settings means that there’s more than enough grunt for modern titles.
The speedy hardware takes its toll on stamina, but the Asus still does well for such a sizable laptop. In our light-use battery test, the Asus racked up an acceptable 7hrs 8mins. Pushing the quad-core processor flat out sent that figure tumbling, however, and the N550JV’s battery ran dry after only 1hrs 15mins.
Still, even with best-in-class battery life, there would be no getting away from the fact that the N550JV is a big lug of technology. It weighs just under 3kg, and it’s just under 40cm wide by 25cm deep, so it’s more of a rucksack laptop than something that can slip into a shoulder bag. Even then you’ll need a decent chiropractor if you’re going to be carrying it long distances every day.
As you’d hope for a £1,000 desktop replacement, the Asus is packed with most of the key essentials. There are two USB 3 ports, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort video outputs, an SD card reader and a Blu-ray reader on the laptop’s right-hand edge, and wireless networking includes single-band 802.11n and Bluetooth 4. The speakers are well worth a mention, though, and with the separate mini-subwoofer attached, the N550JV manages the unusual feat of providing full-bodied audio; it makes an acceptable fist of both music and movie soundtracks.
We had high hopes for the N550JV, and it’s true to say there are very few areas for improvement. In an ideal world we’d dump the touchscreen in favour of a little less weight and a lower price, but this is a minor nit-pick. Asus has struck a superb balance between all-round power, ergonomics and features, at a price that isn’t too steep. A well-deserved place on the A List awaits.
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||380 x 255 x 31mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4700HQ|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce GT 750M|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray reader|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad, touchscreen|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.9mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||7hr 8min|
|Battery life, heavy use||1hr 15min|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||85fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.86|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 8 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 8|