Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
Decent As Is, Excellent Potential to become an Exceptional Machine
on December 2, 2013
As a clarification:
I bought this laptop from HIDevolution, which offers laptop customization. The laptop as it is configured here is decent enough to warrent 4 stars, but I wanted a faster hard-drive with more space, a second flashdrive with flash memory in place of the optical drive, and the Windows 7 OS in place of Windows 8. I would recommend anyone looking for a performance laptop to consider their needs, and customize their laptop to fit those needs in order to optimize performance and satisfaction.
The DB71 vs the DB72:
This is the N550JV-DB71, not to be confused with the N550JV-DB72. The 71 is different from the 72 in that the 72 is the successive model. The main difference is that the 71 is not a touch screen laptop while the 72 is. As a result, the 71 has a matte screen that reduces glare while the touch screen on the 72 is highly reflective. The rest of the features below are largely the same.
I was looking for a performance notebook that was light, but not so much an ultrabook that it could not handle more intensive processes. As a college student, I do a large amount of 3-D CAD modeling in programs such as solidworks and AutoCAD. I also wanted the ability to produce artwork in programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. In my spare time, I occasionally enjoy computer games such as Left4Dead, so naturally the laptop needs to be able to handle them. For my needs, this laptop is more than sufficient. It can get hot during intensive processes such as gaming and modeling but that's expected. I've played Left4Dead 2, Outlast, counterstrike, and Battlefield 4 beta on this laptop. It handled the first 3 perfectly on the highest settings, but had a bit of trouble with Battlefield 4 even with the lowest settings (perhaps the beta was just glitchy). When modeling, I have created complex assemblies with patterns of features. While the modeling process does tend to slow as the number of features increases, the graphics processor is good enough for me.
The touchpad is excellent, and the gestures are intuitive - just like using a smartphone or tablet. I can't use the touchpads on any other laptops anymore. The keys are the low point for me - the backlighting is wonderful, but the keys have a squishy response that makes me miss keys every now and then - not a huge deal.
The entire exterior shell is made of aluminum, including the bottom casing (which I had been told was plastic, so that was a nice surprise). There are 3 USB ports, and HDMI port, an ethernet port, and an SD card port.
Overall, this is an excellent laptop - I hear the hard drive that ASUS ships with this model is a bit slow, at 5400 RPM. This means any file transferring will be slow. I upgraded to a 7200 RPM hard drive for free through HID evolution and I haven't noticed any sluggishness. I am very satisfied with my purchase.