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ASUS N550JV Performance, Heat & Noise, and Battery Life

By Alan Martin
Reviewed:

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ASUS N550JV Laptop

Summary

Our Score

9/10

User Score

Review Price free/subscription

ASUS N550JV - Performance

From the high specifications, it’s unsurprising that the N550JV performs day to day browsing, media and word processing impressively. It has an i7 quad core processor, 8GB RAM and an Nvidia Geforce 750M graphics chip. One area where it does fall down a little is the absence of a solid state drive like its Ultrabook contemporaries. True, that does mean that it comes with a generous 1TB of hard disk space, but a hybrid drive, or an additional SSD for the operating system would have been welcomed. Boot up times are a mixed bag: 51 seconds from a restart, but amazingly just 11 from cold.

ASUS N550JV Review

As mentioned in the introduction, this is very much a desktop replacement laptop, and we’ve looked at two recently: the HP Envy Touchsmart 15 and the Toshiba Satellite P50t-A-10U. In PCMark, the scores between the three were pretty similar: the N550JV scored 3,187, the Touchsmart managed 3,573 and the Satellite 3,094. The other two have double the RAM at 16GB: slight overkill in our view. In Geekbench 3, the N550JV managed 11,861 - well ahead of the Satellite’s 9,697. Unfortunately we didn’t get a reading on the Touchsmart, but we imagine it would be consistent with the PCMark tests - in other words, slightly higher than the N550JV.

3D gaming is where the N550JV should, on paper, start to pull away from HP and Toshiba’s desktop replacements, packing the Nvidia GeForce 750M compared to the other two’s 740M. 3D Mark allowed us to do a direct comparison, and we found the results to be markedly better. In the Ice Storm, Ice Storm Extreme and Cloud Gate tests the N550JV scored 61,364, 52,907 and 9,322 respectively. That convincingly beats both HP and Toshiba’s models on the lower end Ice Storm tests (Toshiba: 15,116 and 15,123, HP: 15,265 and 15,326) and by a slimmer but more impressive margin on the more intensive Cloud Gate tests, where they scored 6,338 and 7,078. In fact, the N550JV’s 9,322 in Cloud Gate puts it closer to dedicated gaming laptops like the Alienware 14 (11,197) and ASUS G750JX (14,479). Impressive stuff.

ASUS N550JV Review

We followed up on this by running it through the Unigine Heaven tests - a useful benchmark, because it runs in OSX and Linux as well as Windows. It managed a respectable 26.3fps in the basic 1366x768 test and 14.3fps in the 1920x1080 version, dropping to 13fps and 7.6fps in the Extreme version. This sounds bad, but these are tough tests for dedicated gaming PCs - the 4.8kg ASUS G750JX only managed 27.8fps and 17.3fps on the extreme tests with its high specification gaming credentials.

So it only seemed fair to put it to the test in the real world with Crysis 2, and we found that the game was playable in 1920x1080 resolution on Ultra detail. It wasn’t completely smooth, and you’d realistically want to drop either the resolution or the detail to enjoy the game in full, but to this day Crysis 2 remains an intensive game and that’s a seriously impressive performance on a non-gaming laptop: pretty similar to our experience with the Alienware 14 which costs significantly more.

ASUS N550JV - Heat & Noise

In day to day usage, the N550JV makes virtually no noise at all from its fans, and produces very little heat despite its slim design. You could comfortably use this on your lap without any discomfort which is pretty important in a laptop.

ASUS N550JV Review

During heavy use - our Crysis 2 real world benchmarking - the fan noise increased a little, but even slight volume would be enough to drown it out. On top of that, only a small section of the back of the laptop became warm to the touch. Even under real strain it doesn’t generate much heat at all: we’re impressed.

ASUS N550JV - Battery Life

The N550JV’s four cell polymer battery was next up for our testing. As usual, we ran it through a mix of web browsing, word processing and media consumption at 40% screen brightness. The results were slightly above what we’ve come to expect: a solid if unspectacular three hours and 46 minutes.

ASUS N550JV Review

Plugging in the charger for half an hour resulted in 23% of the battery life being restored. This is pretty low compared to others we’ve looked at, but should translate to around 46 minutes of real world usage.

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djkm

November 22, 2013, 10:40 pm

Yes, a great laptop. And yes, virtually silent, regardless of what's running. My last laptop, an Envy 14, sounded like a jumbo jet compared to this one, as does my work Macbook Pro.

Windows 8 also makes some sense at last with a touchscreen!

One thing to note, there are at least a couple of variants of the machine doing the rounds, in the main the same, but with slightly different processors - mine, with the 4700HQ, some with a 4700MQ, and others still with a 4702HQ. I don't quite know why, tbh, but the 4700hq has the highest clockspeed, so I dunno, it's better? :D

Ash

November 28, 2013, 6:49 am

The touchpad on this laptop is atrocious and there's no way to adjust sensitivity. It is both at times too sensitive and not sensitive enough. The 'button' areas are too short, so my slight thumb pressure is constantly registering as a swipe and it jerks the cursor around when I click. Excruciatingly annoying. Otherwise seemed nice. Too bad.

brian

January 9, 2014, 4:26 pm

I have yet to enjoy a touchpad... This is why usb mice are key. But I understand :)

Daniel Dacher

March 31, 2014, 5:16 pm

No, your 4700HQ is not better, merely permanently soldered onto the motherboard and can't ever be upgraded as any MQ cpu can be upgraded! :)

InTheCube.co.za

June 3, 2014, 2:52 pm

Can this laptop run 3 displays simultaneously, in extended desktop mode? 2 external displays, with the 3rd being the laptops own display?

dfg

July 1, 2014, 8:24 am

i bought this laptop. Will not buy an asus product ever again. Substandard parts, bad service, false warranty promises, over heating, broken keyboard..had enough..complete piece of s##t..

Giuseppe Maio

August 8, 2014, 8:03 am

Same story for me! After only 6 months after purchasing my notebook I've sent it 3 times to Asus for maintenance (I've subrscribed also the 4 years warranty extension): the first time the BT+LAN+Wi-fi card was replaced and the keyboard was replaced and the last time the replaced 7 not well known pieces inside!! Moreover in the last maintenance, they have seriously damaged my notebook aluminium chassis so I sent my notebook to Asus one time again and they proposed me (after about 40 days) a 80% price refunding (999 Euro) or a new notebook of the same type. Still waiting for an aswer from Asus... Very very suprised (since we are talking of Asus) and disappointed! :(

froman

September 17, 2014, 6:13 am

I have yet to experience any big problems besides the annoying touchpad and an issue with the Asus live update program, Asides from that i really like it. It has clear picture good sound, and i can't complain about its speed and touch screen. I have also played online games and pc games on medium to high settings with no issue.

GeeMac

November 15, 2015, 2:40 am

Seems I bought this model even though the package, the quote, the order and the invoice call it an R552JV (but ASUS don't have these apparently - since not on their support info.)

I purchased an ASUS R552JV from UMart in Brisbane some time
back with a 2 year extended warranty (1yr original +2 year additional, so it
should be 3 years in total). It has been a very disappointing purchase, and
especially frustrating dealing with UMart and also very trying attempting to
get help from ASUS. Both the UMart service contact and the sales manager flatly
refused to help at all to try and sort the dilemma re: the extended warranty
purchased from them.

The current sales manager suggested I should have been aware
of aspects of software license and warranty at the time of purchase - DESPITE
the fact that the Umart staff I dealt with (in requesting a full quotation and
at purchase) had no knowledge of the same aspects when I asked for a price on fully
detailed specifications and purchased against this quote, including the
extended warranty. On picking up my order, I ended up with a product which had
to be returned due to software issues/licensing, etc. In fact I should not have
been sold an extended warranty at all given that I have now been told (by the
current sales manager who has no idea at all what customer means and is very
rude in expressing criticism of me as the customer} that because I had an SSD
installed at the time of purchase, I have no warranty anyway.

One main problem with the product is that it does not have a
replaceable battery, and the internal battery failed prematurely and of course
no warranty. The battery replacement requires a major dismantling of the whole
notebook - so a very poor design indeed, and one to watch on newer ASUS
products as reported by others with ASUS battery problems.

While I bought the laptop from UMart including a Windows 8
licence in the quote, I was forced to buy a new Windows 8 licence (at
additional cost) when Microsoft advised the original 8 licence was not
compatible with the Office licence purchased separately. Apparently I was
supposed to know this as well.

ASUS support on the 1300... number (which seems to end up at
an overseas call centre) and the Brisbane service centre have each been equally
dismissive and no help at all. $199 paid for extended warranty a farce as ASUS
claim the warranty on the serial number lists 2 years, UMART claim this is
impossible since it either has to be 1 year or 3 year with the extended
warranty purchased - and around and around in circles it goes with no current
warranty at all and a waste of my $199.

Searching ASUS support does not even list the model
purchased (as on the UMart invoice and ASUS original packaging), so no help at
all that way either. Searching the model on other sites also does not provide
useful results, other than it was listed for sale in Australia. I didn't even
know that this is supposedly an N Series until I dug up the delivery carton,
but again, the model not listed by ASUS under N Series.

Members of my family have purchased numerous ASUS laptops
over the years - But this one (apparently unknown to ASUS support themselves)
will definitely be the last. Similarly, I have purchased many IT products from
Umart over many years – both for home and work (as have family members), but I
will be using alternate suppliers in future.

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