The start of this year witnessed Intel release its much anticipated Sandy Bridge processors. Needless to say, manufacturers were quick enough to incorporate the hardware component into their innovative devices. Following this queue, Asus jumped onto the bandwagon with its N53SV notebook. We have received a review unit of the N53SV notebook right from Asus’ quarters and let’s see if this notebook has managed to carve a distinct space for itself in the tech sphere.
The Asus N53SV reached us securely in a sturdy laptop bag. Pulling out the machine, the lid has been dipped in grey hue with a brushed finish while the base is maintained matte black. The top surface has the Asus logo embedded right at its center. There isn’t any locking mechanism and we could effortlessly pull up the lid, owing to the smooth hinge function. The hinges are at extreme corners and help give the lid a curvaceous design. In fact, the curvy hinges which are a part of the lid and the curvy base together leave a slight opening on both sides. The inner surface displays Bang & Olufsen all-silver speaker strip occupying the complete middle space. The glossy black bezel has the Asus logo etched on its lower side while the upper portion sports a webcam.
We were glad to see a large keyboard along with ample of space for the palm rest. The palm rest shows a wavy grey pattern while the touchpad has been shifted off-center towards the left. The touchpad has a glossy black strip that serves as mouse clicks while just below it is a row of LEDs indicating several activities such as battery, hard drive and Wi-Fi. The right side of the palm rest has the ‘Audio by Bang & Olufsen ICEpower’ scribbled on it. Just above the keyboard one will notice a row of thin plastic media control buttons alongside the main power switch.
Two USB ports, headphone and mic jacks, optical drive tray and an Wi-Fi on/off switch run along its right edge while the left edge shows heat vents, HDMI port, Ethernet, card reader and two USB ports. The device is quite huge and does not promise portability. Moreover, the built quality didn’t seem promising either, especially its hinges which didn’t offer a sturdy pose.
Using the keyboard was a smooth experience. The keys are considerably spaced and once we got the hang of it, the keyboard ensures a no-fuss experience. The wide touchpad bears the same pattern as the palm rest and supports touch gestures too. Unlike its keyboard, the touchpad does not offer a swift experience while the mouse buttons seem slightly hard.
Talking about its display attributes, the 15.6-inch screen comes with 16:9 aspect ratio. This LED backlit glossy screen features 1366 x 768 resolution. Under screen settings, we could adjust it according to our viewing preference. Thought nothing out-of-the-box, the display offers a decent viewing experience. The screen managed to keep us glued to decent videos and movies but we expected a little more. The N53SV couldn’t offer appropriate viewing angles either. Its integrated 2MP Lifeframe webcam carries a box of fun-filled effects like most of the notebooks seen in the market. Yet again, a decent video chat experience is what it managed to deliver and it manges to take decent pictures while you get could tweak the resolution.
The highlight of the Asus N53SV notebook is its hardware sheet that reveals the Intel Core i7-2630QM 2GHz quad core processor alongside 4GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics, Nvidia GeForce GT 540M and 640GB HDD. Quite evidently, it’s a power packed device that let us multi-task to a great extent. We rarely faced any lag issues. The Nvidia GeForce GT 540M discrete graphics comes with 1GB DDR3 VRAM. It also tags along video image settings.
We couldn’t connect to the Wi-Fi in the first go and after a couple of attempts, we finally did. Then on, the connectivity was stable and so was its performance. Besides, it also features support for Bluetooth and runs on Windows 7 Ultimate. Apart from this, we also lay our hands on Asus’ Express Gate which enables quick access without the need to switch on the notebook. We also played some usual games included in the laptop while some gamers at our end tried their hands at intense gaming. The machine handles it pretty well is what we were told. While surfing the Internet, web pages loaded swiftly and as aforesaid it tackles multi-tasking pretty well.
The Asus N53SV played HD movies effectively but we aren’t too pleased with the screen performance. The built-in Bang & Olufsen speakers simply add to the entertainment factor, making it more or less a multimedia hub. The speakers are powerful enough to gather your pals for a movie session or simply groove to those peppy tunes. In Power saving mode, the notebook offered about 5 hours of battery life as we watched a movie and then on some sporadic usage.
It delivers a power packed performance. It supports multi-tasking to a great extent.
The inclusion of Bang & Olufsen speakers ensures a good audio experience.
The device behaved a little stubborn while connecting to Wi-Fi.
The integrated mouse clicks are hard.
Despite the power punch performance, Asus N53SV doesn’t seem a great option for those looking for a portable machine.
The Asus N53SV notebook comes across as a good replacement for desktop PCs. Though the company has given a miss on portability and design elements, the powerful performance delivered by the laptop may overshadow the flaws for some tech enthusiasts. It could also entice a casual gamer while multimedia abilities have been given enough room. The company has attached a high price tag to this machine around Rs. 60,000. On our rating scale, we couldn’t give it less than 8.8 out of 10.