on November 8, 2011
So, I got this laptop today, so I havent spent that much time with it, but it definently meets my expectations. The resolution is amazing, the performance is well above average for this price range, and the speakers are very nice(for a laptop). I could def recomend this laptop to anyone with a budget in the $800-1100 range.
Using this laptop over-night I have determined that, for the price, there is nothing better. The speakers are top notch, the resolution makes games, videos and photo editing easy and nice to look at. The graphics performance for gaming is very good for the price, you can pretty much play and game prior to 2011 on medium-high settings and games of 2011-2013? on low to medium with few exceptions. The proccessor is more than anyone would need for the next 3+ years and then turbo boost makes it relevent even longer. I highly recomend this laptop to anyone.
My review on this computer after a week has not changed, but I though I would make a few notes to help out anyone who may but this laptop, or even a similar one. NVIDIA Optmimus is a very good helpful peice of software that will actively swap your graphics cards to either conserve power, or give more graphics power when needed. The problem with this is with steam games(and possibly others), steam games will only pick up the intel HD3000 graphics which, although its not a bad card, kinda eliminates the purpose of having a good card. To fix this, before you enter the game, right click on the desktop and click "NVIDIA control Panel". Then under global settings you will see "preferred graphics processor", under the selector pick the card of your choice(for games pick high-performance NVIDIA processor). You can do this at any time and you can swap back to the integrated in order to help batery life while on the go.
Also, games update: will run Skyrim on high, not max settings, but very playable and it looks great.
on November 28, 2011
I've been an Apple user for quite a while, but I couldn't afford to replace my aging Macbook Pro with a new model. All of the software I depend on is cross platform, and I'm not religious about any particular platform, so I decided to go the PC route. I wanted to find something with comparable specs (core i7 quad core, discrete graphics, etc.), but at a much lower price. I do web development and multimedia work, including video editing, so having a powerful machine is a must for me. I'm not a big gamer, but being able to play games at decent settings is a plus for me. This laptop seemed to have everything I was looking for. There wasn't a ton of info online about it, but I've had a really good experience with an ASUS netbook, so I felt like it would be a solid choice. I wasn't disappointed.
It's fast. Photoshop and Premiere work like a charm, and basic programs like Word launch almost instantly. Starcraft 2 performs very well at high settings, as does Fallout 3. The full HD screen is fantastic, and gives you plenty of real estate for media work. I thought this laptop would ship with a glossy screen, but mine had a matte finish, which professionals generally prefer (I don't really care either way). For a PC, it's not a bad looking machine either -- the metal lid is a nice touch. It's not close to the external polish of a Macbook Pro, but it feels like a premium computer. The speakers are loud enough to fill a room, which is a nice change from my frustratingly quiet Macbook Pro. Both Apple laptops I've owned (a 2004 Powerbook and a 2007 Macbook Pro) had a tendency to reach painfully high temperatures, so I was pleasantly surprised by how cool this thing runs. The exhaust fan seems to kick in often, but it isn't too loud, and as long as it keeps the computer cool, I'm fine with it. The inclusion of USB 3.0 is a nice touch, and one you can't get on a Mac for now. I've only had it for about a week, so my impressions could change. But for now, I'm extremely happy with the ASUS N53SV-EH72. It does what I want it to do well, and it costs about a grand less than a comparable Macbook Pro. Well done, ASUS.
It's kind of chunky. Not a big deal to me, because I was primarily looking for a desktop replacement, but you might want to look elsewhere if portability is your number one concern. While the speakers reach a nice volume, and generally sound pretty good, I've heard some distortion at certain frequencies. I'm a bit of an audiophile, so it annoys me quite a bit, but I generally use headphones or external speakers anyway. I've heard a lot of complaints about the keyboards on the N53SV series, and I agree that the layout IS a little odd. I wish ASUS had just skipped the numpad and given the rest of the keyboard some breathing room. But honestly, I got used to it in about a day. It seems that older models had issues with excessive keyboard flex, but I haven't really noticed anything like that on mine. ASUS unfortunately loads their computers with a lot of seemingly-sketchy bloatware, and this model isn't an exception. Again, not a big deal, and this is apparently a common practice in the PC world. It would have been nice if this laptop had shipped with a Blu-Ray drive (although it is loaded with Blu-Ray software), but since I'm mainly measuring this against the Macbook Pro, it doesn't seem like much of a flaw (there are currently no Apple computers with Blu-Ray drives).
This is an awesome computer, at an awesome price. I have some minor annoyances, but as a whole, it's a joy to use. I had much larger problems with my Apple laptops out of the box, and they both cost $1500 more. I haven't seen anything at this price point that can touch its capabilities. It might not be ideal for a hardcore gamer, or a road warrior, but if you want a powerful, versatile desktop-replacement laptop that won't drain your bank account, this is the one. If you're thinking of buying it, go for it. You won't regret it.
on November 14, 2011
I've bought this laptop to replace my desktop computer. You can't find similar features and options on any other laptop for this price. It's a power monster, it will run and process everything that you trow at it.
Keyboard needs some time to get used to, for me it isn't a problem because I'll use an external one.
If you are looking for a good looking laptop with the great specs don't look any futher!
I've also ordered SSD drive and second hard drive cady. Can't wait for them :)
Received and installed Crucial m4 SSD. Now laptop became a SUPER machine! It loads windows 7 in 10 seconds, it's just unbelievable.
Photoshop CS5 loads in about 2-3 seconds!
BTW, this EH72 version of N53 comes with 500GB Momentus XT hard drive which delivers SSD-like performance with hard drive capacity options. This HDD alone costs about $150.
Now I'm waiting for second HDD caddy (to replace my DVD/RW) and install hard drive in that place for more storage :)
Don't think - BUY THIS LAPTOP NOW!
on March 14, 2012
I would like to start with a bit of statistics here on the brand. Asus is the #1 most reliable computer brand worldwide with less than a 4% failure rate within 5 years. Then people ask, "What about Apple?" Well, although Apple computers share the title of "most reliable" with Asus, the matter of fact is that most Apple products utilize Asus products, so therefore Asus is the #1 manufacture for reliable products no matter how you look at it.
More specifically to this model: I love this computer! I actually bought it for my wife as a replacement for an older laptop that I got free on trade. My wife has never had a "nice" laptop before, considering we always tended to get laptops free from me just trading and fixing older ones. It was definitely overdue for her to get a nice reliable computer. There are some key points that should be noted which makes this computer exceptional and superior to anything else in this price range and type of computer.
10/10 Aluminum body: Sleek, beautiful, durable, and a great way to tell an Apple user, "Hey my computer is faster than yours AND has the aluminum body... oh and I paid less than $900, didn't you pay like $1800?" There are no sharp edges from aluminum seems so very comfortable to type on as well.
10/10 LED LCD/webcam: Stunning clarity with 1080p screen. I installed a blu-ray burner and the movies look just almost as good as my Samsung LED tv. My only complaint here is that although clarity is spot on, I am a bigger fan of the Samsung LED LCD panels for their beautiful color saturation BUT Samsung didn't make a 1080p screen for these type of laptops. Note on blu-ray: You can upgrade to blu-ray for less than $100 from Amazon, so there is no reason to search the internet for the model that is EXACTLY the same but has the blu-ray player from ASUS for more than $200 more expensive. The webcam is above average quality for a laptop. THE BEST THING though is that the webcam can be literally CLOSED by a switch that covers up the camera like an eyelid. Why is this important? It is very possible and easy to hack many people's computers over the internet and literally "watch" them using the webcam. The fact that you can actually close the camera gives me the extra feeling of safety.
9/10 Portability: I don't know why so many people are saying this computer is "big and bulky." I would consider it pretty average. Yeah it is a couple mm thicker than a Macbook Pro, but it has extra fans, more ram capability, and faster GPU, so I am completely fine with it.
9/10 Speaking of cooling: This computer has multiple fans for great cooling, it is no "gaming" computer cooling, but it isn't branded for gaming. It was designed for entertainment and that it does. A note on "LAP"tops: Most people don't realize that laptops really should not be placed directly on the lap. It is imperative to always place ANY laptop computer on a hard flat surface. For all of those laptop fan tables that sit on your lap, the fan does virtually nothing. The fact that the computer's built in fans can run smoothly, without obstruction from a blanket or clothing. Remember a CPU by itself heats up to well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit within a few minutes, so for the sake of the life span on a computer, keep it on a flat surface.
10/10 Speed: This computer has a 2nd Generation Intel I7 CPU: 4 core with 8 core hyper-threading. Amazingly fast! I have the slightly higher desktop version myself and can vouch that most applications would never feel the difference between the laptop and desktop versions of this processor. My wife in general will probably never utilize more than 2 cores, but many people would be surprised how easily any computer (especially Mac) would crash the way we tend to buffer multiple videos at once, run other programs, download something, and possibly be watching or listening to something else at the same time.
Finally, a sub $900 laptop with a hard drive with 7200 rpm speed! The faster the rpm of a hard drive disk (not solid state of course), increases the speed of accessing programs and files. Most computers have 5400 rpm hard drives which I usually quickly replace. Luckily, I didn't have to replace it on this computer!
The only thing this computer is lacking for my taste is more ram, so I dropped an extra $40 for 8gb of corsair ram and installed it without a problem. The 6gb that is pre-installed is more than enough for the average user. Remember that the memory installed is 1333mhz ram (energy saving, clocked a little lower) and the corsair ram on Amazon that I installed is 1333mhz. For those who don't speak computer, the faster the mhz, the faster the ram, but it does use a bit more battery. It isn't recommended to mix ram brands but eh, I have done it without a problem. There is a requirement though: for optimum performance A. Same size stick B. Same Voltage.
8/10 Battery life: Average, nothing special. You can buy a 9 cell battery from other sites for less than $70 to about double the time, but this laptop almost always remains plugged into the wall.
General note on laptop batteries: Laptops utilize battery power before wall outlet power. So what? Well, if you constantly have your battery in your computer while plugged into the wall, any laptop eats the battery power, while the wall charges it back. This significantly REDUCES the lifespan of a battery. Most people have had the issue where a battery will end up only lasting 5 minutes, right? A good way to prolong the life of your battery is to unplug the battery if the computer is going to be consistently used plugged into the wall. Of course charge the battery in the laptop as normal but if you are like us and use the computer mainly to stream video to a the HD TV, save the battery by unplugging it.
10/10 Entertainment: We stream a lot of video, watch a lot of movies, and the discrete (separate) graphics card from NVidia in this laptop is perfect for it. The 540gt is a decent little gaming graphics card, but its main purpose was for HD videos. Most people don't know too much about computers but a discrete graphics card is VERY important, even if you just an avid YouTube watcher. Integrated graphics, which are on most computers this price, just don't cut it when streaming video. We have our Samsung LED HD TV connected to the laptop via HDMI cord and haven't had a problem with picture of audio quality yet.
10/10 Sonic Master Speakers: Speakers are definitely are beautiful in the mind of the beholder. Just from my experience, these speakers blow pretty much any other laptop speakers out of the water. They are twice as loud as our last laptop and fairly clear, even at max volume. Are they this "symphonic masterpiece" that the whole Sonic Master ad puts off? Eh, I listen to mostly classical music and although these speakers are very clear, just like any 2.0 speaker system, there is not too much "body" to the sound. Nonetheless, I give the speakers 10/10 for being that much better than other laptops.
9/10 Keyboard: All these people complaining about the keyboard? I think it is a very bad over dramatization of a very small change in typing style. Yeah, it is not "chick let" style like a Mac or Samsung but is it really this evil that cannot be overcome? Not at all. I started typing on it right away, right up to my top typing speed with no issues. On the right of the keyboard is the number pad which always make my math calculations 10 times easier. My only complaint, hence the 9/10, about the keyboard is that I wish it was backlit. Hey, I know where the keys are, but sometimes late at night, it is nice to see exactly where to move to from the number pad back the "home row."
10/10 Connect-ability: So far no problems at all. Connect right to wireless, right to my land-line, right to other wireless routers, have nothing to complain about.
N/A Bloatware: For those who do not know what bloatware is... bloatware is computer programs added by a manufacturer to make the computer experience "better." Many including myself are not a fan of bloatware. BUT! With that said, I actually did very little in deletion of bloatware software on this computer. Yes, Asus puts quite a bit on there, but some of the stuff is really cool. i.e. facial recognition sign in, the sonicmaster program does up the bass quite a bit, the graphics controller to save power. For the average user, keep most of it. Even though there are quite a few of these programs, I was surprised how small they were. They take up very little room on the hard drive, so deletion won't really increase the speed.
9.5/10 Overall: Honestly, when my wife is at work, I steal this computer for programming because I really enjoy it myself. I am definitely in the market to by another one soon. She loves it, I love it. The best part of all, I know it is reliable, fast, and ready to handle most everything the average person can throw at it (metaphorically speaking).
My qualifications: Computer and electrical engineer:continuing education in software and hardware design. Computer system builder, upgrader, and "fixer." And of course an avid computer user.
No, I do NOT work for Intel, nVidia, or Asus (although I wouldn't mind). This is an honest review by the average person that happens to know a bit more about the inner workings of the computer itself.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them, and I'll respond as soon as I am able! Sorry for any grammatical errors. Thanks for reading,
on December 6, 2011
This is a great laptop. Just want to say some things about it not mentioned in other reviews.
The unit has 4 memory slots, unlike the specs say. I bought 8Gb kit to replace the 6Gb (4Gb+2Gb bars) this laptop comes with but ended up adding them, to 14Gb total. Not that I regret it :) Just mentioning that for someone who's planning to upgrade memory as well.
The screen is matte, which is so great! Glossy screens are dust magnets, besides reflection.
The screen has good colors and terrific resolution for such a small size. Displays gradients well. The colors are a bit on the cold size, though. I find my external 24-inch monitor picture more pleasing to look at. If I change color tone from Normal to Cool on external monitor they start to look alike.
The webcam sucks. Weird colors and very slow framerates. I knew that from other reviews, but decided to order the laptop anyway, as it's such a good value. When you are talking on Skype, people on the other end see you just fine (or so they say), so Skype probably compensates the delay somehow.
The keyboard is nice to type on. With pleasing soft bounce and slight texture to the keys. The numpad inclusion is kind of a pro and con. Depends on what kind of user you are, I guess. Personally, I don't need it.
The machine doesn't have an eSATA port, but it does feature one USB 3.0 port that can replace eSATA as a high speed interface for the external hard drive, with no need for extra power. You'll have to replace your existing enclosure, of course. So this is both a pro and a con.
Excellent performance, as you would expect. I use this as a desktop replacement. It's still portable enough to take with you when needed. But battery is kind of small. So it probably won't last long on it.
Build quality is very good and I find the machine very stylish. Looks even better when you see it with your own eyes (vs photos).
Overall, I'm very pleased with the purchase.
on December 1, 2011
I've just been using this computer for a couple days. Very pleased with the display, the speed, battery life, etc.
The keyboard, however, not acceptable. I never noticed before, but when I touchtype and hit the same key twice in a row (a double-letter) I tend to strike harder the first time and softer the second time. This has *never* been an issue with me before in 2+ decades of touchtyping on computers. But this keyboard can't handle it -- need becomes ned, ofice (oops! did it again! I meant "office") becomes ofice.
I've seen complaints re the layout of the keyboard as well, and to some extent I agree. I would have rather dumped the number pad and spread out the arrow keys, home/end/pgup/pgdn/delete keys. I'll probably get used to it, but so far it has been a significant getting-used-to curve, really slowing me down in any rapid editing I try to do.
I enjoyed playing around with the multi-touch trackpad. Seems like it's got a lot of potential there. But after playing with it a while it got "the shakes". My cursor became extremely unresponsive and shivered and shook all over the screen by itself. I put the computer to sleep and woke it up again and that has solved the problem, but I'm getting nervous on my 2nd day of using the computer to be running into something like that!
EDIT: After a week or so of using the computer I have fallen in love with this screen. Battery life is great, much better than what I expected (3.5-4 hours?). The trackpad has had no further difficulties with its jitters, although I still get a lot of unintended presses from my thumbs or palms touching it (again, this has not been a problem with other computers ever since trackpads came out). I talked with Asus tech support and after going through the requisite driver updates they very quickly agreed to take it back and replace the keyboard and trackpad. Now I just need to figure out when I can do without the computer for 2-3 weeks while they do the repair... Based on the willing & responsive tech support I'm upgrading this review from 3 to 4 stars.
on January 22, 2012
I bought two of these N53SV-EH72 laptops ($949 each) to replace my two daughters' aging Acers. I also did the recommended $40 ram upgrades for each to bring them to 14GB per machine. Even with the upgrades, the price of the TWO machines (combined) was still less expensive (About $500 less) than a single Macbook pro, and each beat the Macbooks' specs. in every category except the dedicated graphics card and of course the "coolness" factor. They are a wise choice for anyone looking for great value in a laptop. The included dedicated graphics card is no slouch, providing very nice hi-def video playback. (My daughters use YouTube a lot.) The computer also has an on-board video card that it switches to when graphics requirements are not as intensive, thus saving battery power. (Neat idea.) Battery life thus far is over five hours. (We know how that changes though, no matter the machine. The cost of battery replacements are high no matter which laptop you buy these days.) They do indeed have an aluminum shell; they are not just "colored" to look like aluminum. My daughters are very happy with their new machines, and as another reviewer said, you would be hard pressed to find a comparably equipped machine for this price anywhere.
Now I would like to recount my "Amazon" experience. After upgrading each computers' ram with the recommended memory, (This computer has four memory slots, not just two like on virtually all other machines) I found that one of the computers exhibited the dreaded BLUE SCREEN of DEATH! Having performed the upgrade prior to even turning the machines on to see if they worked, I was not sure whether it was the machine or the ram causing the BSOD, but assumed it was the machine. I was heartbroken, as these were Christmas gifts and a replacement would not be available before Christmas. I signed on to Amazon and began the return process, which is about as easy as it can be. They let you print out a return label (postage paid by Amazon) which you simply affix to the item and send back. What was impressive was that they sent a replacement even before receiving the machine to be returned. Anyway, I removed the upgrade ram, packed up the computer and sent it back. The new machine arrived just a few days after Christmas and I again quickly loaded the upgrade ram into the new machine. (YIKES!) Another BLUE SCREEN of DEATH! I knew they had not sent me back the same computer because the serial number was different. (In my distraught state I had not bothered to check to see if the first computer functioned properly without the ram upgrade.) I removed the upgrade ram from the new computer and IT WORKED FINE. OMG! My only option at this point was to send back the defective upgrade ram, so I again logged on to initiate an Amazon return. Again, they sent me a new ram upgrade before receiving the returned defective upgrade and the new ram worked fine. I was never charged any penalty for sending back a perfectly good machine. This type of service (and of course, no tax) is what makes Amazon an obvious choice for anyone looking to purchase just about anything. Amazon is now my on-line vendor of choice!
on January 25, 2012
-Lightning fast quad-core CPU
-Amazing display with MATTE finish=no glare!
-Full 1080p resolution
-Excellent graphics performance. It plays all the games I need at fairly high settings.
-Switchable graphics means you only use the dedicated graphics card when certain programs need it, which extends battery life.
-Power plug is in back. This is nice because it doesn't get in the way of a mouse for righties or lefties.
-4 RAM slots instead of the typical 2 that you find on laptops. This allows for 16GB max RAM.
-Very nice metallic finish. NO fingerprint magnet surfaces anywhere, except around the bezel of the LCD.
-Keyboard is just okay. I prefer "chicklet" style keys, but that's entirely subjective because many people might really like this keyboard. And if you do prefer the other style, you can upgrade to an aftermarket one that you can get on Amazon for about $15 and it takes 5 minutes to swap out. I actually got a backlit version for mine for $30, and I used the wi-fi on/off hard switch on the right side of the laptop to control the keyboard backlight. If you google this you can find tips on how to do it. Not the easiest mod, but well worth the time and money.
-Webcam is pretty bad - very jittery and poor image quality, barely usable.
-Fairly large & heavy. This isn't a "ultra-portable" by any means, and I knew that when I bought it, so it's not really a complaint rather something I just thought I'd point out.
-Battery life isn't spectacular. I get about 3-4 hours with normal use (web browsing, watching videos, emails, etc), and only about 2 hours when gaming. But again, I'm not really expecting 8+ hours on a laptop that isn't an ultra-potable to being with.
All in all, the pros FAR outweigh the cons, and you'd probably need to spend another $300+ to get another laptop that is equally as nice as this one. I also spent an extra $100 and upgraded to a 120GB SSD drive and now my boot times and program loading times are 5x as fast, and I upgraded the RAM to 16GB for $80. I also got a DVD-drive HDD Caddy and put that in place of my DVD Drive, so now I have a 500GB storage drive and a 120GB SSD drive which is solely for the OS and applications.
So in total I have spent $950 (laptop) + $100 (SSD drive) + $80 (16GB RAM) + $40 (backlit keyboard) + $15 = $1,185, and I have a laptop that would normally probably cost around $1,600-$1,800 if it came pre-configured this way.
on January 31, 2012
This computer is an excellent choice at the moment. The specs on it are superb for the price range. If you go to the ASUS site you will see it has about 3 pages of awards for this series. I needed a fast I7 processor and a lot of RAM to do my work. I do CAD and FEA analysis work as well as graphics, business software, etc. Also, the combination of VGA and HDMI outs means it is a great machine for doing presentations on older equipment as well as for home theater. It doesn't have BluRay, but I didn't care about that and I suspect you can switch it out if you want later, though I am not sure. The touchpad is extremely sensitive. Use a very, very light touch for best results. The USB 3.0 is very fast.
This particular model has a full HD screen - very nice. It has 4 memory slots, so I added 8 gigs of RAM for approx. $45. Note - I tried switching the onboard 6 gigs to slots 3 and 4 and the system would not boot. I then put the new 8 gigs in slots 3 & 4 and the original chips where they had been at first and all was good. I don't understand why this made a difference, but it did. Now it has a total of 14. (Also, to get to the screws for the panel that covers the memory, you have to pry up two of the rubber feet on the bottom of the laptop - they are just glued on. Underneath are little philips screws. Refer to the manual (on the desktop when you first boot up) to see how to remove the panel - it was a bit stiff coming out and if you do it wrong you might break it.)
My hobby is music using Ableton Live and soft synths/samplers, so the sound capabilities were also very important to me. The sound system is from Bang & Olafsson (? spelling) - not that well known in the US, but extremely well respected in Europe as a top notch sound system company. The speakers are OK for a laptop, but honestly, I have NEVER heard ANY laptop that sounded even half decent through the onboard speakers - they are just physically too small to have any real depth of mids and bass and clarity. However, the headphone out on this laptop also doubles as an SPDIF output, so you can hook it up to any decent stereo and you will get phenomenal sound quality. Also, with good headphones the output is stunning/excellent.
Many people will complain about sound without taking into account what they are really dealing with or after using lousy headphones or outboard speakers. If you use lousy headphones or speakers, nothing will sound good - period. If sound is really important to you, get the best headphones/speakers you can afford and you will NEVER go back to cheap headphones/speakers again. Forget the onboard speakers, though they will do the basic job. Expecting a laptop to have good speaker sound is completely unrealistic, no matter who makes the speakers. If sound is really important to you, use studio level/ audiophile headphones or output the sound through a good amplifier with good speakers.
Also, if you are not aware, There are a whole lot of DIFFERENT I7 processors. Be very careful which I7 system you buy as the specific I7 chip will impact your performance tremendously. The slower 2 core I7 chips are really more like an I5 than an I7. Most of the cheaper I7 computers will be running these chips. Pay the extra 1-200$ for a fast I7 and you will be making a much better purchase decision for the long haul. You can compare the chip specs at Intel's site. This model has a quad core I7 and is running pretty fast. There are faster ones, but I thought this was a good compromise, considering I could add a ton of RAM. I have had no trouble running anything I have thrown at it, though I do not game much so can't speak to that. I suspect it would be very decent for even extremely demanding games on medium resolution, though not the best, clearly, since there are faster I7's and better graphics cards out there. But you won't be buying any of those machines at the same price as this one! At least I couldn't find them... Though if you wait, that will no doubt change.
One other thing to be aware of - there are 2 graphic systems on this machine. It switches between them based on the demands you put on the system in order to preserve battery life. ASUS has a small little app which is on the desktop at startup that allows you to choose different running setups based on what you are trying to do. There are 4 different setups you can choose from and customize. If you want to only use the Nvidia card, I believe you need to switch to the highest performance mode in the app. However, remember that this will suck the battery dry really fast unless you are plugged in. There are also some nice settings allowing you to custom set the overall brightness - which I found to be overly bright on factory settings when simply surfing, etc...
Overall, this is a really nice laptop and it looks even nicer in reality than the pictures would have you believe. Sophisticated and refined look. Very high quality finish and solid feel. It will do very demanding graphic tasks without looking like a flashy arcade game - i.e. "gaming laptops." This is honestly the nicest 15.6" laptop I think I have ever seen, especially for the money. I did a LOT of research before buying this one. I am absolutely happy with the purchase. And to make it even better, ASUS says they will even replace it once if you break it by accident within the first year of ownership. If you do it twice you're out of luck, but most companies won't do it even once. Very nice warranty.
If there were one thing I would like to change I would prefer it to be a bit lighter, but I can't think of anything that you could take out of the machine and still have the same excellent all around package. Also, I noticed that all of the lighter laptops I looked at felt flimsy and poorly built by comparison. I prefer well built and a bit heavier to light and fragile any day. And in fairness, I do like the fact it sits solidly on a table because of the weight.
In closing, if you can find a better rounded medium to high performance laptop (with a real hard disk drive as vs, SSD - which I do not trust yet given the potential susceptibility to static data damage) at this price - buy it. But, probably this one will work great for virtually whatever you do short of hard core gaming. And you can take it to a board room meeting and it will look very professional, too.
on December 19, 2011
I have been using this laptop for a few days now. Solid performance! Clear music and sound! Screen is very clear and sharp. The laptop seems duriable.
**side note... I had ordered a upgraded Dell 15R laptop with similiar components for about $100 less than this one. This laptop blows the Dell away. The Dell just seemed cheaply made and put together. Well I returned the Dell and lost a restocking fee. Even so I am glad I got this laptop.
The keyboard takes getting used to, but I think that is mainly because I was so used to the last laptop which didn't have a full size keyboard.
Battery life seems good.
Very happy with this laptop!!
<<<>>>>EDIT 1 month:
Still runs nice!
I upgraded the DVD drive to a Blu Ray drive. Blu Ray movies looks sweet on this display. Easy upgrade; just remove the battery, push the little clips on the top of the keyboard in and pop the keyboard out, then there is one screw holding the dvd drive in. Just use the stock dvd plate on the new blu ray drive.
I installed a Corsair Performance Pro 3 128GB SSD drive. I used the Asus dvd backups which were made when I got the laptop, however the Asus recovery dvds locked up a couple times on some dos screens, I just closed them then the recovery continued. I later got a screen saying error in big red letters, so I rebooted and Windows 7 came right up and seems fine. This is not a problem with the laptop, but rather the backup software Asus uses. If I were to do this again I'd use a usb transfer kit and copy the image from the old hard drive over to the new one.
I still have a hard time with the keyboard having a keypad. This is normal for most laptops this size, I am just used to a more compact keyboard on a laptop with no keypad.
5 Months now... I had a problem with a blue tint on my screen. I calibrated the lcd, but the blue tint kept coming back. Found out that the Asus Splendid utility was causing the blue tint. I removed that and no issues with the blue tint. I wanted to post this in case someone has that problem too.