The Asus N53's outstanding Bang & Olufsen fired audio performance and super responsive touchpad are marred by poor battery life and a fingerprint prone screen
Good laptop audio is normally an oxymoron but Asus teamed up with Bang & Olufsen power to bring the best sound to this classy looking 15.6-inch model. Sonic Master Audio was develeoped with Bang & Olufsen ICEPower. The ASUS N53, unveiled alongside the N73 in August, is jam-packed with oodles of power but it isn’t cheap and is marred by a couple of big issues.
The ASUS N53 is certainly attractive. It’s designed within an inch of its life to look beautiful with a great hinge and burnished aluminium effect on the front, complemented by a responsive chrome touchpad. It is a multi-touch pad but we still can’t see the benefit of this feature on dinky laptops where there’s no room to move.
Considering this is a 15.6-inch model, Asus did well to fit a numeric keypad on the right but the keys are unforgiving. They’re tightly spaced and feel like your trying to type on a bouncy castle.
Asus N53: Speaker and screen
Basically there’s on massive speaker grille across the front of the laptop. It’s so well engineered it doesn’t even need a sub-woofer. Believe us when we say you ain’t heard nothing like it yet. It’s not just loud – that would be a cop out. It is richer, deeper and wider, making music and cinematic sound superb. You can’t top hooking up external speakers but this is the crème de la crème of laptop sound.
Initially we liked the screen. It is a LED backlit model with a lower resolution of 1366x768, which if fine for a smaller laptop. It would’ve been nice to see full HD, but we were happy with movie playback at night. It was only when we fired up during the day that we noticed the super reflective glossy screen, which unfortunately means the ASUS N53Jn is terrible in bright light.
The optical drive is a Blu-ray Combo drive, which can read, but not write to Blu-ray, although it can write to DVD.
Asus N53: Performance
Our ASUS N53 is the flagship version so it is expensive but you are not short changed on features, You get an Intel Core i5 at 2.4GHz, 4GB, acres of storage and 1GB of graphics muscle on the GeForce GT 335mm, which games without making a sweat though not on full HD.
ASUS also bundles Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and a generous 500GB hard drive – this has serious power under the bonnet and great storage for your multi-media files. Those high-end next- gen components take their toll on the battery life. We are talking a paltry blink and you’ll miss it 59 minutes in high-performance mode. That went up to just over three hours in power saving mode.
We really wanted to dish out a four for this powerful laptop with simply the best audio money can buy. However, it’s far from perfect and, for small extra cash outlay, you can buy Asus’ bigger N73 instead.
The Asus N53 is out now, find out more from Asus
Asus N53: Specifications
- OS: Win7 Home Premium
- Screen: 15.6-inch 1366x768 pixels
- Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-520M (2.4GHz)
- Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT325M
- Memory: 4GB Ram
- Storage: 500Gb
- Connections: N Bluetooth Mic, headphone out, VGA, 3X USB, LAN, eSata, Card reader
- Optical drive: Blu-ray Combo, Blu-ray read only
- Battery tested: 59 mins high/180 mins power save
- Battery claimed: not quoted
- Dimensions/Weight: 391x266x31/2.71kg