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Asus N50V review

Alan Lu
11 May 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
824
inc VAT

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Specifications

15.4 in 1,280x800 display, 3.0kg, 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

Asus's N50V is an attractive 15.4in laptop, and the only one in this price group to have a built-in Blu-ray drive.

This would seem to make it a good choice for high-definition entertainment. Sadly, the LED backlight made the screen look dim and colours muted. Flesh tones suffered in particular.

We weren't happy with the speakers, either, which lacked bass, and there's no Dolby Home Theater, which is built into Asus's cheaper N80V. Fortunately, the HDMI and S/PDIF outputs allow you to connect this laptop to a home cinema amplifier for better sound.

It's not all bad news. Thanks to the LED backlight's lower power requirements, the N50V lasted a respectable three hours 38 minutes in our light-usage tests. With a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo P8400 processor and 4GB of RAM, the N50V achieved some of the highest Windows benchmark results. The GeForce 9300M GS graphics chip can cope with strategy games and older titles, but new first-person shooters will be jerky. The 320GB hard disk is a good choice and provides plenty of storage space for your files.

Asus has opted to squeeze in a number pad next to the keyboard. The keys were a little wobbly, but the action is light and there's enough feedback to make touch-typing comfortable. The touchpad is the same as the N80V's, and the large, raised buttons are a pleasure to use.

The N50V falls short of the smaller N80V in connectivity, with only three USB ports. It's also worth noting that the eSATA port is inconveniently located at the front of the case: if you were to plug in an external hard disk, the cable would stick out right where your mouse-hand naturally rests.

The N50V isn't a bad laptop, but its little problems mount up. If you're interested in Blu-ray, Acer's £593 6920G is a much better buy. If you're after power and portability, Dell's Studio XPS 13 is an excellent choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P8400
Processor clock speed2.26GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size43x370x290mm
Weight3.0kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby2W
Power consumption idle27W
Power consumption active50W

Display

Viewable size15.4 in
Native resolution1,280x800
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce 9300M GS
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelOptiarc BC-5500S
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Total Firewire ports1
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other portseSATA, minijack audio output/S/PDIF (shared), minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseYes
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore disc
Software includedNero Essentials 8
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years RTB
Price£824
Detailshttp://uk.asus.com
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop

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