Asus N550JV review

£1000
Price when reviewed

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.

Asus N550JV

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.

Asus N550JV

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

Warranty1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions380 x 255 x 31mm (WDH)
Weight2.700kg
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

Drives

Capacity1.00TB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Optical disc technologyBlu-ray reader
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0

Networking

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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