Asus N550 / N550JV / N550JK review – a sleek multimedia notebook

Andrei Girbea July 2, 2014 Reviews 174 Comments
Tested: Asus N550JV
Rating: 4/5     Price Range: $1000 - $1499
Summary: The Asus N550 line is sleeker, lighter and more beautiful than ever before, without sacrificing power, features or battery life. It goes for a little over one grand and for that kind of money, you'll hardly find anything better, although there are some things Asus could have done different on this machine as well.

The good

sleek; awesome IPS touchscreen; decent keyboard and trackpad; powerful; good battery life; above average sound system

The bad

interior gets very hot when pushed; the sound system is not as good as on the N56; annoying screen glare

Ever since I first tested an Asus N laptop, I’ve been a fan of this family. Its members, while not the best multimedia machines on the market, managed to offer a nearly unbeatable price/features ratio.

In this article we’ll talk about the Asus N550, the 2013 series of Ns. To be more exact, I have the Asus N550JV over here, one of the top configurations that will be available in stores.

I’ve tested the Asus N750 last week and if you read that article, you probably know by now that Asus changed quite a few things from their previous series. The N550 succeeds the Asus N56, a very appreciated laptop during 2012. And from what I can tell after using it for a while, it has what i takes to become even more popular than its predecessor.

There are of course things that could have been done better, but overall the N550 is a gorgeous and powerful laptop, able to deal with everything you might throw at it, while going for about 1000 euros over here, which translates in a bit over one grand across the pond.

But enough jibber jabbering, let’s see why I liked the new Asus N550 so much.

Important note: the Asus N550JV I got for this test is a press sample, a pre-production unit. Hardware wise, this is identical to the final versions you’ll be able to get in stores, but the exact configurations might be slightly different. Also, final versions might offer better performances, as drivers are still fresh right now, at the time of this post.

Update: Check out this link for the latest discounts on the Asus N550JV.

Update2: Asus has a new version of the N550 in stores, called the N550JK. It’s identical to the JV tested here, with one major difference: it bundles and Nvidia GTX 850M graphics chip, as opposed to the GT 750M chip on this one. And that translates in better gaming results, as the *50M is closer to the GTX 760M than to the 750M. Even so, I’d expect 10-15% better numbers in most games, so the gap is not impressive. More details about the N550JK, including user reviews and up-to-date prices are available via this link.

The Asus N550JV is a Top Multimedia Laptop

The Asus N550JV is a Top Multimedia Laptop

Asus N550JV Video Review

The video review will take you through most of the important aspects of this laptop.

The specs – Asus N550J / N550JV

And before we get in deep, let’s have a look at the specs, so you’ll know what we’re dealing with here.


Asus N550 series – Asus N550JV
Screen 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px resolution, IPS touchscreen
Processor Intel Haswell Core i7-4700HQ
Chipset Intel HM86
Video integrated Intel 4600 HD and dedicated Nvidia 750M graphics
Memory 16 GB DDR3
Hard-disk 750 GB 5400 rpm
Connectivity Wireless N, Gigabit Lan, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 3 x USB 3.0, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, LAN, card-reader, webcam
Baterry 6 Cell 4000 mAh 59 Wh
Operating system Windows 8
Size 383 x 255 x 27.7 mm
Weight about 2.5 kg (5.5 pounds)

Update: The Asus N550JK-DS71 is a newer version of the N550JV, released in 2014, and it comes with an Nvidia GTX 850M 2GB DDR3 graphics chip. That aside, the JV and the JK models are identical.

Overview – exterior and looks

We’ll start with the looks. Asus slightly redesigned the N550 and more importantly, made it thinner and lighter than last year’s model. As a result, while this is not as sleek as an ultrabook, it still is a fairly portable 15 incher.

The N550 also looks good and feels sturdy, reliable, mainly because aluminum is used for the entire casing. There are some darker sheets of metal on the hood and on the belly, while the silver interior is cast from a solid piece of the same material.

Asus took special care of the details as well. There’s a backlit logo on the lid, the same beveled edges we saw on the bigger N750 and also the same punctured patterns around the two buttons found above the keyboard. The one on the right is the Power button, while the one on the left launches the Asus Console, but can also be configured to launch an app of your liking, if you want to.

Sleek and beautiful

Sleek and beautiful

While still looking at the interior, you’ll notice the large palm rest with a smooth, metallic finishing, and the screen’s new hinge, but more about it a bit later.

All in all, design and build quality wise, the N550 really is a masterpiece. However, there is one thing I didn’t like: the lower joint between the sheet of metal on the bottom of this laptop and the silver inner body, that leaves out some very sharp edges. You’ll find them very annoying when grabbing the laptop.

Anyway, let’s have a look around the sides. Most of the ports are smartly lined on the left edge, with the PSU, the subwoofer’s connector, the Lan adapter, full-size HDMI and Mini DisplayPort video output, plus two USBs and the audio/microphone jack. The Status LEDs sit on the front edge, just beneath the trackpad, while on the right there’s the optical unit, flanked by a Kensington lock, a third USB slot and a card-reader.

Flipping the laptop upside down, you’ll notice only some cooling grills in the middle, as the battery in encased and the laptop is not that easy to upgrade. Still, with the right Philips screwdriver you can get rid of the 10 or so screws holding the entire back panel in place and access all the components inside.

You’ll notice there’s a single hard-drive on this unit with the battery next to it, two memory modules and two large fans and heat pipes towards the back. However, there’s no free eSATA that could take a caching SSD or an extra small SSD for your operating system, the only one available being occupied by the Wireless module.

Screen

Now, on to that hinge. It stretches over most of the screen’s length and is sturdy, keeping that display firmly in place, exactly how you’ll set it up. And that’s a good thing, especially since the N550 comes with a touchscreen that you’ll keep poking with your fingers.

A very good one by the way, that reacted snappy and accurate to my touches. Of course, having a touchscreen brings along the glossy glass on top of the actual panel, with its reflections in strong light, but since the N550 is going to live most of its days inside, that shouldn’t bother you that much.

As for the actual panel, Asus bundles a 1080p IPS one on this laptop (hardware ID: LGD0323 ), the same they offer on the Zenbook UX51. It’s a bright enough display that offers fairly good colors and contrast, so definitely a big leap from the TN screens we’ve seen on Asus multimedia laptops in the past. Of course, most IPS screens come with light bleeding around the edges and there’s some visible on this particular unit as well. You’ll probably only notice this when watching movies flanked by black bars and you’ll eventually grow to ignore it. At least I did…

Full HD IPS Touchscreen on this top version of the Asus N550JV

Full HD IPS Touchscreen on this top version of the Asus N550JV

On top of that, I should also mention the solid viewing angles and the fact that the screen bends quite a lot on the back. And that makes the N550 a viable laptop not just for desk-use, but for more casual scenarios as well (couch or bed use, for instance), something I wish I could say about more and more devices in the future.

Of course, it’s worth noting that there are better IPS panels out there, able to display more accurate colors and offer deeper contrast. But you’ll find those on more expensive laptops. And unless you’re a graphic artist or something related, I doubt you’ll ever complain about this screen on the N550.

Keyboard and trackpad

Anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about the keyboard. I’ve reviewed the Asus N750 last week and the N550 bundles exactly the same one we saw on that unit. It comes with the US layout on this smaller laptop, but that will differ from region to region. And regardless of this, the Directional and NumPad keys are still narrower than the others and way too cramped.

You’ll also notice that someone at Asus decided to use silver keys on a silver background, so there’s very little contrast and as a result, this keyboard looks… dull, even ugly I might say.

Decent trackpad and keyboard, but there's room for improvement

Decent trackpad and keyboard, but there’s room for improvement

It doesn’t offer the best typing experience either, mainly because the keys feel somewhat plastiky and are a bit too tall for my liking, but it’s a good performer nonetheless.

Oh, and I should mention that this is backlit and you can adjust the illumination by pressing FN and the F3 or F4 keys.

The trackpad is alright, fairly accurate most of the time, smooth and responsive. It supports all kinds of gestures, with up to three different fingers or when dragging from the sides, for those Windows 8 commands. However, like all the clickpads I’ve seen on Asus machines in these last years, this one can still get jerky and jumpy from time to time. It only happens occasionally, but it’s enough to jade the overall experience.

The clickpad supports plenty of gestures

The clickpad supports plenty of gestures

Hardware and performances

Alright, with those already on the table, let’s go ahead and Press the Power button and see what we can actually do with this machine.

The N550 runs Windows 8 and boots from cold in about 15 seconds. Our unit, the Asus N550JV, is one of the top configurations that will be available for this laptop, with an Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor, 16 GB of RAM, dual-graphics with an Nvidia 750M dedicated chip, and a standard 5400 rpm 750 GB hard-drive. There’s no caching SSD on this particular model we have here (in fact, it looks like the N550 will not offer this, since I didn’t see any spare mSata connector inside), and that’s why the entire storage solution will drag down the overall performances of this notebook.

You can of course easily upgrade the RAM if your unit comes with less (supports up to 16 GB), you can replace the hard-drive with an SSD and that’s about it. You could probably remove the optical bay if you want to, but Asus doesn’t offer any replacements for that, like a extra graphics chip (Lenovo does that on they similar model) or an extra battery.

Anyway, I will tell you that this laptop is overall a beast, even with the slow HDD. It can deal with anything you might throw at it, from basic tasks, like browsing, editing texts and pictures, working with documents and so on, all the way to more complex activities, like editing video, running programming software and so on. It handles multitasking as well and the large working area helps too.

If you’re interested in some benchmark results, you’ll find them below. Note that all the tests we’re run with the Nvidia 311.54 driver, the latest at the moment of this review, so when more mature drivers will be released in the future, you might see some small bumps.

  • PC Mark Vantage: 9748;
  • PC Mark 07: 5031;
  • 3D Mark 11: Entry – E4277; Performance -  P2723; Extreme – X781;
  • 3D Mark 13: Ice Storm – 73665; Cloud Gate – 6856 ;Fire Strike – 1450; Fire Strike Extreme – 709;
  • Cinebench 11.5: CPU – 6.96 pts ; OpenGL – 53.04 fps.

And then, the N550 can be used for fun, as it is after all a multimedia laptop. Movies are going to look awesome on this punchy IPS screen and the system can handle all sorts of video files.

And it can handle games as well. That Nvidia 750M chip (the 4GB DDR3 version) is not a top performer, but I was able to run most modern titles on 1080p resolution with medium details just fine. See the results below:

  • Metro: Last Light – 44 fps;
  • Bioshock Infinite – 32 fps;
  • Crysis 3 – 19 fps;
  • Grid 2 – 56 fps;
  • Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm – 45 fps (around 40 fps in a 4 v 4 game);
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted – 28 fps;
  • The Elder Scroll: Skyrim – 41 fps.

You might wonder why I ran all these games on medium details? Becausethe N550 is not a dedicated gaming machine and that’s why it will not be able to deal with these recent titles on max settings. Look for an Asus ROG laptop if you want that.

Heat and Noise

Of course, when packing fast hardware inside a thin laptop, this usually leads to overheating. The same happens with this Asus N550, but only when pushing the laptop, when running games or other intensive tasks for hours. In these cases, the area on top of the keyboard, where there’s that Audio by Bang and Olufsen inscription, gets very hot, so hot that you can’t actually touch it for longer than 2 seconds without feeling pain. The same part on the bottom of the laptop gets hot as well.

New cooling system

New cooling system

Taking a quick look at the hardware inside the laptop, you’ll notice that those massive heat-sinks are placed around there and when they do get hot, they disperse the heat onto the metal frame. So Asus could have done a better job isolating the heat-sinks from the exterior, but even so, high temperatures are always going to be part of the story if you want a powerful, sleek machine.

I would really be bothered by heat if it would lead to hardware throttling, as I do want such a computer to perform to the best of its abilities, if required. Luckily, this doesn’t happen here. Check out the pictures below, showing the temperatures/status achieved while running PC Mark vantage and while playing Skyrim for more than one hour. If you’re interested in the detailed LOG for Skyrim (after playing for about 3 hours), let me know, I will add a link to it as well

Anyway, I should also add that If you’re not pushing the N550, it will run quiet and cool. The fans are constantly spinning though, so this is never completely silent.

Speaking about the cooling grill, Asus completely redesigned it. Most of the air is sucked from below the laptop (some is sucked from the right side of the hinge as well, as you can see from that quick peak at the hardware), that’s why it’s important not to cover those grills. It is then blown out through the cuts (middle and left) behind the hinge, which sends most of the hot air towards the back of the laptop, but there’s still a fair amount coming towards us, the users. On the N750, the hinge was sculpted to direct the air towards the back, it’s not the same with the N550, probably because the it is more compact here.

v

The Asus N550 runs cool and quiet during everyday use

I can’t say that the new solution is a lot better than the old one, but there is one thing that I like: on the older N56, the entire left side of the keyboard and palmrest got hot when running games, areas you would always come in contact with. That no longer happens with the N550, that’s why I do find the new model more comfortable to use for intensive tasks.

Sound system

Temperatures aside, we should talk about the audio system, a trademark for the Asus N line.

Like many other Asus multimedia laptops, the N550 comes with an external subwoofer, that will take care of all the basses when connected. However, Asus ditched the front-facing speakers hidden behind those punctured grills on the interior and replaced them with some smaller ones, placed on the front-lower edge of the body, pushing sound towards the desk.

New set of speakers

New set of speakers

There are four of them now and Asus claims this does improve the overall sound quality over their previous generation laptop. But I beg to differ. Even so, the speakers are loud and the sound quality good enough as long as you don’t push the volume too high. Once you get pass 70%, distortions come to play, annoying ones. Hear for yourselves.

Bottom point, Asus decided to change the speakers in order to accommodate the sleeker body and the new cooling system; and while the N550 is still a good performer, for sure among the best in its class, it can’t really stay next to the older N56 when it comes to the overall audio quality.

Connectivity and others

Connectivity wise, the N550 offers all the things you might need, with Bluetooth, Gigabit Lan and Fast and reliable Wireless (an Intel Centrino N6235 chip, with WiDi). However, support for the 802-11AC standard would have been nice and would have made this laptop more future proof.

There’s also a webcam on this laptop with dual microphones, decent for occasional Skype calls, but not impressive.

Last but not least, it’s worth knowing that Asus bundles the N550 with a bunch of preinstalled software and services. Some of them could be useful, like the free Cloud storage offered for 3 years or the Splendid, AudioWizard or Tutor applications, all easily accessible from the Asus Console interface.

But there are several others you should uninstall if you want to make your laptop snappier. McAfee, Microsoft Office Trial and a bunch of software from CyberLink should be on that list, unless you plan on editing videos, in which case the bundled CyberLink PowerDirector 8 can be useful, although it’s an older version of this software.

In fact, some of you might want to get rid of all of these programs, and I can’t blame you for that.

Plenty of goodies packed on this N550

Plenty of goodies packed on this N550

Prices and availability

Those being said, the Asus N550 is not the perfect multimedia laptop. But for the money, you’re certainly getting plenty.

The N550JV, with the i7 processor, a 750 GB 7200 rpm HDD and 8 GB of RAM starts at around 1000-1100 euros over here. This however comes with the non-glare, non-touch Full HD TFT screen, probably the one we saw on the G55 and the N56 last year. For the IPS touchscreen configuration you’ll have to add around 100 euro extra. The top configurations, with the same processor, more memory and a 256 GB SSD instead of the slow HDD we had on this unit, will get to 1400-1500 euros.

Of course, the N550 will be available in several different version, and I expect cheaper configurations to be launched later this year, with Core i5 processors and slightly slower graphics (probably a 730M chip). But that’s yet to be confirmed.

—  —  —

Update: The Asus N550JV has been replaced by the N550JK these days, and the Core i7-4700HQ configuration with 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB HDD and the Nvidia GTX 850M graphics chip sells for under $1100 these days. Check out this link for more details.

—  — —

Battery Life

Alright, before we get to draw the conclusions, there are a few other things i have to add. First, the N550 is impressive when it comes to battery life. There’s a 59 Wh battery inside this unit and corroborated with the Haswell platform and the hybrid graphics system (with Optimus), allows the laptop to last 5+ hours on a charge, if used lightly (text editing, a browser with 3-4 tabs, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON).

During everyday use though, with some browsing, movies, music, text editing and so on, I got around 3.30 – 4 hours, with the screen at 50%, WI-FI ON and Power4Gear Battery Saving mode selected. And that’s not bad at all for such a machine.

Of course, when playing games, you’ll only get a little over one hour of battery life, but that was expected. Haswell is not designed to be more efficient under heavy load.

The N550 comes with the same 120Wh battery brick we saw on the N750, big and heavy, but a necessary foul needed to power the beast. The battery charges completely in about 2 hours or so.

There will be several configuration options for the Asus N550

There will be several configuration options for the Asus N550

Wrap-up

Those being said, the Asus N550 is a good multimedia laptop. Not the best on the market, but for sure a very interesting choice in its price range.

Asus made their 15 incher sleeker and lighter than before and added an IPS touchscreen to the mix, while not sacrificing power of the battery life. There are still things that could have been done differently, like the redesigned audio and cooling systems, and to some extent, the keyboard and trackpad. But even so, for the money, you’ll have a hard time finding anything better right now.

How does the N550 stand next to the older N56? There’s not a big performance gap between them, but the new version is more efficient when used lightly. It’s also more compact, etc. The cooling system, while still makes the laptop hot under load, is not such a big inconvenience anymore, as the top part of the interior (the area that gets hot) is not something you’re usually going to come in contact with. The IPS screen is great, but comes with those annoying reflections. You can go for the matte FTF panel, but hopefully a non-glare IPS option will be available as well in the near future. Last but not least, the sound system is a step backwards on the N550; still good, but not as loud or as clear as on the  N56.

While not perfect, the Asus N550JV is a good multimedia laptop

While not perfect, the Asus N550JV is a good multimedia laptop

Thus, if you own a N56, there’s little reason to upgrade to the N550. But if you’re considering choosing one over the other, unless the older version is a lot cheaper, I’d go for the new N series member. As for how the N550 stands next to its rivals from Dell, HP, Lenovo and others, I’ll hold any judgement until I get to spend at least some time with those.

And that pretty much wraps this out. Bottom point, I liked the N550 and I do think it’s a worthy successor for the N56. But I’d love to know what do you guys think about it too. So leave your replies, and questions if you have any, below.

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About The Author

Andrei Girbea, aka "Mike", is the Owner and Editor in Chief at tlbhd.com . He's been dealing with gadgets and writing about them for years and now focuses more on portable computers, like netbooks, mini laptops and touchscreen tablets. You can follow him on Twitter.

174 Comments

  1. backslash June 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    thanks for this good review
    first i can finally read about this model :)

  2. N56 June 28, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Hello. Thanks for the review! I’m planing to get N550 later this year and I have a couple of questions ( I already own N56 ). How’s the build quality compered with N56? N56 has plastic bottom and a LOT of flex on display lid and area around optical drive. When I’m caring my N56 around the house and holding it in one hand around optical drive whole chassis bends and squeak. Is situation with N500 any better? You also mention worse audio quality than on N56, is there still weird noise coming from the subwoofer when using multi-touch commands on Touchpad or when opening Wave MaxxAudio as on N56? A lot of people have this problem with N56 – including me. Any improvements in that regard? Also, do you know when will Asus officially announce this machine – put spec info on their web site? Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea June 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Build quality is OK, but not much better than with the N56. The bottom is now made from metal and still squeaks and cranks when grabbing the laptop. There’s some flex, but not that much to find it annoying. The Lid cover is pretty solid, more solid than on the older model.

      Haven’t noticed any weird sound issues with the subwoofer, but to be frank, I didn’t look into this particular detail :( I’ll try to see if I can get my hands on the N550 again and test this.

      The N550 will land in stores in about a week or two over here in East Europe, so I reckon we should see the laptop on their site very soon as well.

  3. Kay Njehia July 1, 2013 at 4:07 am

    Hi… appreciate this review. Been looking forwad to knowing about the new N series so that I can compare with Hp’s new Envy 15t-j000 (not the touch version)
    If u can, please do a review of that HP model. Good work men.

    • Logan July 18, 2013 at 9:39 am

      I am also deciding between these laptops (Except quad edition touch HP) Let me know what you decide and if you think one is superior. HP can be a bit cheaper (Awesome coupons for like 20% off on occasion if you look around, at one point 825 bucks pimped out, (4702mq, 1 Dimm ram, backlit, Nvidia Graphics, 1080p IPS) but heard some horror stories about their Quality Control. Let me know your experience with either if you have time. Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea July 19, 2013 at 1:13 am

      I’ll do my best, but can’t promise. HP haven’t sent any review units my way for a while now…

  4. Lucas Siwek July 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Hello there! I was planing to buy a N56Vz, but then i saw your video review on YouTube. Now I have to decide: N56Vz or N550. I am going to use it for some video games, the most advanced being Far Cry 3 or Battlefield 3 (of course). Now, I’ve compared the 3DMark 11 score to the one of the N56Vz and it seems much more powerful. So is it worth the extra money, just to play such titles on high settings? Oh and is the sound really that “not good”?

    • Andrei Girbea July 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Lucas, my N56 that I reviewed came with the 630M graphics. The top option comes with the Nvidia 650M. There’s really not a big difference between the 650M and the 750M chips.

      Either way, unless the N56 is a lot cheaper, I’d go with the N550. Except for the sound system and keyboard, it’s a superior model. I also like that while it gets hot, that’s not a big inconvenience, since the area on top of the keyboard is the one that gets hot when running games, and not the entire left side, like on the N56.

      • Lucas Siwek July 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm

        Thank you for the reply. It really helped me alot. :-)

      • Rajan December 10, 2013 at 7:56 am

        Let me begin by stating that I dont consider myself as an expert. But i do own N550JV.
        Its an amazing laptop and highly recommended unless you are looking for more than 4.5 hours of battery life.
        Mine has GT 750M with 4GB Ram.
        It works wonders. So i guess you should strongly reconsider it as a viable option, if you haven’t already made a choice yet.
        Regards.

  5. Alexandru July 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks for the review, I’m thinking about buying a replacement for my old 17″ gaming laptop and the N550 sounds about right (especially if I’ll put a Samsung 840 inside). I don’t play games anymore, except for a bit of Starcraft 2 now and then. If it can handle 4v4s at 1080p and medium resolution, that’s good enough for me.

    • Andrei Girbea July 1, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      it can, I’ll a video showing how it handles starcraft and other games. will be published later today

  6. jacob July 3, 2013 at 6:00 am

    On another site, it’s claiming that this machine, at least in the US market will only have 2gb of gpu ram and not a FDH screen, any validity to this claim or insider scoops to reveal?

    • Andrei Girbea July 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      there will be several different configurations for sure. However, from what i know, the top options will offer this exact GPU tested here and FUllHD screen, TFT (matte) or IPS touchscreens (glossy, only for the most expensive versions)

  7. chen July 3, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I am going to buy to a laptop, it is difficult for me to decide to have N550 or lenovo Y510P. Can you pls give me some advice? I have checked that the Y510P has a better graphics,which is GDDR 5 vs GDDR 3, if the difference plays an important role in the gaming performance?

    • chen July 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Further, is that the Y510P’s camera and audio performs better than N550

      • Andrei Girbea July 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        I doubt the audio is better on the Y510P, but yet again, I’m not judging anything until I get my hands on it

    • Andrei Girbea July 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      haven’t tried it yet, can’t say much about the Y510P…

  8. AC July 11, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Great review! Can you confirm the 1080 resolution on both the touch and non-touch models? The ones available for preorder at Amazon say they are both 1366*768 pixels, but I suspect they may be wrong.

    • Andrei Girbea July 11, 2013 at 11:48 am

      over here the non-touch version will have 1080p resolution. however, i can’t confirm that’s going to be the same worldwide, Asaus have tens of configurations for their devices…

  9. ss July 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    is there 14 inch version ?

  10. Kalty July 14, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Great review and the first on the Net about this awesome notebook. For clarification, can you confirm that the battery is not user replaceable on this notebook. That would be a huge minus and I would rather buy the old N56VZ despite the other advances in construction.
    On Amazon.de there is mention of a Leap Motion Sensor technology. Can you comment on that?
    Thanks again for the great review.

    • Andrei Girbea July 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      the battery is encased and not easily user replaceable. if you’re skilled enough though and if you can find a spare one, it’s not going to be that complicated to replace it.

      Yeap, leap Motion is supported, do a Google search on that.

  11. Keith Franklin July 16, 2013 at 12:02 am

    How about changing HDD with an SSD. How difficult would that be in this machine?

  12. vedya July 16, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Could you specify which monitor id and manufacturer it has, as there is 15.6 FHD IPS LED matte LG LP156WF4-SPB1 on other model. That one clearly suffers on gamut coverage, interesting what about yours…

    • Andrei Girbea July 17, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      that’s mentioned in the review, in the Screen section…

  13. Kalty July 17, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for the reply. My skills are good enough, but I am concerned that the battery is glued to the chassis like it is on the Macbook Pro 15 Retina.
    According to ifixit.com that would render it unreplaceable due to the danger of puncturing the lithium polymer battery during removal.

    The Leap Motion technology is very exciting. I have already ordered the N56VZ when I found out last month about the new N550 having this technology. What I didn’t know was that the touchscreen enabled notebooks are also having this technology.
    Thanks for the clarification.

    • Andrei Girbea July 17, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      from what I could tell, the battery is not glued in place. But I can’t really say just by watching it from the top and I didn’t actually try to remove it to confirm this or not…

  14. Kay July 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Hi Andrei, I have now dropped my thoughts on the HP Envy 15 for the Samsung Ativ Book 8 and 6 notebooks. Simply b/c I gather the Samsung GPUs 8870 and 8770 are better than the Nvidia GT650 and 750. Plus less an optical drive meaning slimmer, less weight and choice of an optional FHD matte screen or FHD gloss touch screen. Topped up with longer battery life (5+ hrs normal usage) but the Samsung is like 1,400 dollars in Best Buy. I’d appreciate your opinion on this. Thanks

  15. Nick.T July 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    This model no ssd+harddisk version. Only N750 model? A bit disappointed.

  16. Nicolas July 22, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Great review! it was difficult to decide between the y510p and this laptop, but after i read this review i think ill go for this one :D, should i worry about the heat when using it on my legs?

  17. B1B1 July 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Hi,
    Thank you for this great review.
    I’m looking for a powerfull and very mobile laptop to edit HD videos, taken with a GoPro Hero 3 Black.
    Those videos are very heavy, and I wonder if this N550 is ok for this job.
    I was also looking for a U500VZ, or this successor (if there is one)
    What do you think ?
    Thank you

  18. Terran1212 July 23, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Did you try crysis 3 on low settings and 1080p to see if you could at least get 30 fps? 19 fps seems a bit unplayable.

    • Andrei Girbea July 26, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      I haven’t, and yes, 19 fps is too low

      • noah September 16, 2013 at 2:59 am

        I’d reccomend playing the most heavy games at 720p since they would play at like 60fps :)

  19. Shane July 23, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Hey, thanks for the beautiful review. I would like to know how sturdy the laptop lid is. Is there any flex in it?

  20. Lutz July 31, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Great review, thanks. Couple of issues, please: despite the fact that for a short time Asus launched the N550JV-CN163D (SSH & 16GB RAM), they withdraw it fast and the only available is N550JV-CN228D, which has only a 4 cells battery and possible no IPS screen. Do you know why? Beside that, the most important issue: Asus has only windows 8 drivers on their site, even if a Free Dos N550JV-CN228D is available. Did anybody tried it with Windows 7? I am also in doubts choosing it in favor of y510p but this drivers issue can be a major one, Asus can stick their devotion to windows 8 deep in their marketing experts available ports.

    • Andrei Girbea August 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

      they will have more models available in the near future, from what I’ve been told. i haven’t tried installing win 7 on it but i think it shold work just fine with the generic drivers

  21. waldek August 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    LOG for Skyrim – can you share it ?

  22. Umair August 2, 2013 at 4:56 am

    Hey andre, i’m a long time lurker on your website and a big fan of your reviews. I just purchased the N550JV-DB72T and was planning to install an SSD.

    My question is… what kind of screwdriver do I need to open the back of this laptop…

    The screws are extremely tiny and weirdly star shaped.. the only star shaped screw driver i could find at my local hardware store was slightly too big… and the regular philips screwdriver I have that is the correct size won’t catch the screw since the screw is star shaped… thanks in advance.

    • Andrei Girbea August 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Torx 6 screwdriver. try to get a good one, otherwise you’ll damage the screws

      • Dan Texter February 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm

        Tried a Torx 6 – it’s too big. I think Torx 5 is the correct one.

  23. Cosmin August 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Hey Andrei,
    Any information about availability (in Romania) of configuration that you tested?

  24. Julia August 2, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Hi,

    Thank you for great and very comprehensive reviews! I am really an amateur in the field and your reviews helped me a lot to figure out what is going on in the computer market at the moment.
    I need to buy a new laptop and with the Haswell and Windows 8 coming out I hought it would be sensible to invest in the i5 or i7 Haswell and a touch screen. I was hoping that maybe you could help me to decide between Asus N550 and Asus S551LB-CJ013H. I’ll not use the laptop for (any serious) gaming. I need it for work. I work with the usual office programmes (Word, Powerpoint), Adobe and Internet. I need a loptop which would allow me to work with these programmes at the same time, to switch quickly and smoothly between many opened documents, files and programmes without them freezing up on me. I also work with the images (nothing complicated the usual editing stuff). I need at least 15” screen and an ok resolution because I am going to sit with the text and images on the screen the whole day.
    Would Asus S551LB, which is somewhat cheaper, allow me to do it? Or should I invest in the Asus N550 with a better processer, a higher resolution, etc. Do these specification differences matter for me, for the work that I’ll be doing on the laptop? Or maybe I should look for other laptops than Asus, let’s say Dell or Acer, or HP. I would appreciate greatly and recommendations and advice?

    • Andrei Girbea August 6, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Performance wise, the S551 should do for what you need.

      But, you’re getting the rather bad 1366 x 768 px screen and since you said you’re going to need that real estate, that’s not good enough. I’ve reviwed the S551 on ultrabookreview.com , if you’re interested in what i think about it

  25. Josh August 2, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Please I would like to know if the wireless networking card can be changed of if it is sealed or soldered to the board

    • Andrei Girbea August 6, 2013 at 10:11 am

      check out the detailed hardware pics. it doesn’t seem soldered to me

  26. Key of Knowing August 3, 2013 at 8:39 am

    hello andrei, I would like to know what exactly is the model of your N550. it’s pretty much the only thing missing in this review. for example, there’s an N550JV-DB72T. what’s yours?

    • Andrei Girbea August 6, 2013 at 10:11 am

      it’s a pre-release sample, so I can’t tell you much about the exact model

  27. 94wiwi94 August 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Which screwdriver used you ? Please i need to replace my HDD.

  28. Paul Martin August 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Hi, between N550 and lenovo z500 touch, what would you choose? thansk

  29. robbyh August 5, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Is this a N550JV-DB71 or N550JV-DB72T?

  30. Julia August 6, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thank you very much for the reply, Andrei.

  31. Key of Knowing August 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Hey Andrei, what happened to the YouTube channel? I was searching your review for this N550JV the other day and your account disappeared. I even clicked the play on the embedded video on this page and it says your account is terminated. What happened?

    • Andrei Girbea August 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      i’m not entirely sure what happened, it was closed down by Youtube. Hopefully I’ll get it back soon, if not, I’ll re-upload the videos

  32. Ryan August 13, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Does this support displayport 1.2 where I can attach to a monitor that supports displayport 1.2 and then daisy chain out to a 2nd monitor? I’d like to attach two 2560×1600 displays.

    Also, does the HDMI support only 1920×1080 or does it support higher resolutions?

    I rang ASUS but their tech support didn’t know and they don’t mention these details on their website.

    • Andrei Girbea August 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      I’ve tried the HDMI output with a 2880 x 1024 screen and it worked fine. so i belie it will support 2560 x 1600 as well, but i haven’t tried that out. Anyway, can’t say anything about the DP matter, haven’t tested it, sry

  33. Hal August 13, 2013 at 3:03 am

    Andrei, is it difficult to replace the HDD with an SSD? I’m confused as to where to buy also…Asus’s online site is not remotely helpful.

    • Andrei Girbea August 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      it’s not, just unscrew the back cover, the screws holding in place the hdd, pop it out and replace it with an ssd

  34. Hal August 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Considering this laptop but am worried about battery life…is it upgradeable at all? I’m not sure what kind of model I’d be able to replace the stock battery with. Any light you can shine on this Andrei?

  35. Ethan August 14, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Hi everyone I just want you guys to know the battery can be removed.

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Asus-N550JV-CN201H-Notebook.98311.0.html

    Scroll down till you see the picture abou the battery. :) Great review btw, but a bit disappointed your videos are being reported by some other people..when will you have your back on

    • Andrei Girbea August 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      they are back right now, luckily the issue got solved

  36. PM5399 August 15, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Hey Andre, great review. I am uncertain whether to buy the Asus N550JV-DB72T or the lenovo z500 touch 59367151. My primary needs are portability (for work) and capability for moderate gaming (black ops 2, skyrim etc.) I would like the touchscreen as well, quadcore i7 and nvidia graphics, narrowing it down to these two. Which do you think is best? Are there any other laptops in my category worth knowing about?

    Thanks,
    PM5399

  37. August August 16, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Thanks for your review. I’m planning to buy this laptop. Do you have other suggestion or do you think it is the best of his class?

  38. Cosmin August 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    hei Andrei,
    I ask you about a few days ago about availability of configuration that you tested here in Romania and you reply somewhere in mid August. I don’t find it anywhere in the country. Do you have any information when the computer hits the stores?

    • Andrei Girbea August 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      that’s what i was told… unfortunately things can get delayed. i’ll ask again, an di’ll get back if i find out anything new

  39. Marius August 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Salut! intentionez sa-mi cumpar unul pentru a-l folosi cu programe CAD( 3ds max ,autocad,etc.) consideri ca e suficient de performant pentru a face fața unei untilizari încarcate si mobile? Multumesc! p.s. bun review!

  40. Cesar August 20, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Hey Andrei!
    Very very nice review! I have the laptop and I am wondering if the esata is SATA 3 or SATA 2, or if I can replace it with an msata ssd and just use a pico usb-wifi adapter instead? Please answer. Thank you!

    • Andrei Girbea August 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Not sure, haven’t checked those things when i got it for tests. sry

  41. francisc August 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Salut! As vrea sa te intreb daca ti se pare ca sistemul de racire este mai performant pe Asus N550JV-CN228D decat pe Asus N750JV-T4042D. Si asta pentru ca am citit review-urile tale la ambele tipuri de laptop-uri si am vazut ca ai fost foarte nemultumit de seria N750, in timp ce la seria N550 comentariul a fost mult mai soft.
    Constructia este la fel, ambele au carcase de aluminiu si probabil cam acelasi tip de sistem de racire. Si-atunci, de ce ar fi racirea mai eficienta la seria N550? mai ales ca e si mai mic (15 inch fata de cei 17 ai lui N750) si, deci, teoretic, componentele ar fi mai inghesuite?
    Merci!

    • Andrei Girbea August 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Teoretic, asa ar fi. E posibil ca 750-ul avut sa fi avut ceva probleme in raportarea temperaturilor, si implicit a momentelor de throttling, pentru ca 550-ul s-a comportat mult mai bine. Din pacate aceste lucruri se pot intampla atunci cand testam unitati pre-productie.

      OVerall, lucrurile ar trebui sa stea cam la fel in ambeel cazuri, cu un mic plus pentru n750, ce are o carcasa mai mare si implicit mai mult spatiu in interior

  42. Gaby September 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks a lot for your review.
    I live in Italy ad I’m waiting to be realeased here this laptop (soon , I hope)..

    What do you prefer between the Lenovo y510p anche the Asus N550Jv ? I use the laptop for 3d work , rendering and light graphics… and I’m searching for a less expensive alternative of the mac pro retina…

    thanks, Gaby

  43. Star September 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    really liked about ur review plus watched the video and u explained a lot . and i subscribed to u .

    just want to know it can play games in normal graphics (4gb nvida 750) model for 2 years approx because my last laptop hp dv6 in very low grpahics (1 gb amd 5 years old ) can still play games now playing saints row 4 thats why ???

  44. Lucas September 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Hello, I enjoyed the review and made me want to buy this beautiful laptop :)

    A doubt, I will buy the Asus N550VJ SDD Samsung 840 256 pro and would like to know if the model Halfmman caddy 9.5mm SATA HDD Adapter Caddy 5.25 * (GF-SATAULT95) is compatible in asus n550vj?

    Thank you.

  45. Erik Østergaard September 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Hey, I just received my ASUS N550, IT has frame drops every 3′trd minut is that normal i am playing League of Legends, BO2.

  46. Cosmin September 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Andrei! Any news on the availability in Romania of FHD IPS touchscreen, Bluray, Windows 8 version?

  47. TMCA October 1, 2013 at 12:05 am

    I bought my laptop ASUS 550JV 3 weeks ago and everything
    was working well but 5 days ago the laptop leave to detect
    the graphics card and have the same (Code 43) error.Already tried
    installing new drives and even to repair the system and format the
    laptop but the problem continues.

  48. Kevin October 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Hi,
    I just buy a N550 and I would change the HDD by a SSD. Do you know if it will loose me the warranty ?

    Thank you.

  49. Oranjoose October 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    If you have used the Samsung Ativ Book 8 (basically the same as the Series 7 Chronos), if it is the same price as this n550jv, which do you find better?

    For reference, the Ativ Book 8 has a 3635QM and 8770m vs this 4700HQ and 750m.

    The asus edges the samsung out on specs, but what about feel? quality?

  50. Van October 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    I just received the N550JV. Thanks for the review. It helped me decide to buy this machine.

    Do you know how to get into the BIOS? The manual says to press F2 during POST. I have tried that and the laptop just ignores it and boots Windows 8.

    Thanks.

    • Andrei Girbea October 9, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      Hmmm, it’s either F2, F9, F10 or Del. Try them one at a time. try them exactly when the laptop reboots, before the windows logo pops on the screen

  51. Luca October 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I just bought an N550 and I have to disagree on the keyboard comments and the audio comments. The keyboard is great, and has a nice feeling when touching the keys, there is no sense of “plastic” at all.

    The audio sounds beautifully also at 100% volume. I think the machine you tried was not the one they are selling now.

  52. Amir October 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Hi i am planning to buy this asus n550jv. My old laptop breaks really easily (made of very weak plastic) i would like to know weather the asus n550jv is strong and firm. i will mainly use this laptop for movies and a bit of gaming.

  53. Jenni October 10, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Hi, I’m planning on buying the Asus n550 laptop and I’m a digital aritist so I was wondering whether you can change Nvidia’s settings, like decreasing and increasing brightness, contrast, gamma, hue, saturation, etc.

    Thank you :)

      • Andrzej November 19, 2013 at 11:32 pm

        Hi, many thanks for your great job! I am also interested in change some nvidia setting. But the problem is that in “select a task” I have only “3D setting”. There are no neither “display”, “stereoscopic 3D” nor video setting – as in case of your screenshot. Coudl you please advise what could be the reason?

  54. Cosmin October 10, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Hi Andrei! Any news on the availability of FHD IPS touchscreen, 16 GB RAM, Bluray, Windows 8 version?

    • Andrei Girbea October 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      NO, sry about that, you can try and ask the local shops.. I’ll try to contact Asus and see if they have anything to comment on that..

  55. Serifios October 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks for this great review.. I really want to get this laptop but i am confused.. Is that keyboard so bad? If yes, do u know if i can replace it with a n56 keyboard?

    • Andrei Girbea October 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      it’s not that bad, i do have higher expectations when it comes to keyboards than the average user, as I type for a living :P

  56. romio October 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    hey how r u?, i thinking of buying this laptop. however, i worried about one thing. i usually put my laptop of my lap and if the heat get sucked from below the laptop how will it work?, i mean how can i put it on my lap without covering the heat openings.
    ? will it effect the temprosure of the laptop if i put it on my lap.
    thnka you.

  57. rami October 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    hey i wanna ask about what will happen if i put the laptop on my lap and block the heating grills on the bottom? will it get extra hot ? its a deal breaker for me because i always use the laptop on my lap or on bed.

    • Andrei Girbea October 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      yes, it will get hotter, it’s wise not to cover those grills

  58. otropogo October 13, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks for you review of the Asus 550JV, I found it quite helpful, especially in view of the terrible lack of technical support from Asus Canada. Three service depots are listed on their web page, providing only phone numbers. The closest centre’s phone line doesn’t even ring. The next closest directed me to another Ontario number (I’m in the Rocky Mountains) which rang a couple of times, and then dropped the line, without any chance to leave a message. The third one, in Montreal, answered in French. When I finally got someone comfortable in English, he told me they don’t have a contract with Asus currently, and he knows nothing about this new model. I’m still waiting to hear from Asus how one gets this machine repaired in Canada.

    Next, I tried the Asus Canada live chat line. There I was told the following:

    1. Asus will not upgrade the N550′s memory from 8GB to 16GB. It will only replace the stock 4GB sticks with the identical replacements if the originals fail, and the PC must be sent to an authorized repair depot for the memory replacement.

    2. the battery is not user replaceable, and they will not sell the user a spare. They will only replace a defective battery at an authorized repair depot (wherever that may be…)

    3. chat support doesn’t know the screw type or size of the screws holding the bottom onto the laptop.

    (They’re Torx #5 on my machine, BTW)

    I then filled out the online tech support form, and waited two days to hear back, that:

    1. chat was wrong, and you may upgrade the memory yourself with 8GB DDR3L modules, and provided some photos showing how.

    (but neglected to warn me of the location of the plastic tabs on the inside that can easily break off while removing the bottom cover).

    There are three tiny plastic tabs on back edge of the laptop that must be very carefully navigated when removing and reinstalling the bottom cover. They’re too weak to serve any purpose except to leave evidence that someone without the proper instructions (or care) has removed the bottom cover.

    There are also three functional tabs on the sides, two straddle the optical drive, the other is by the data ports on the other side IIRC.

    2. that Asus would not sell me a spare battery, and that I would have to send the PC somewhere for replacement, even if it failed. It didn’t clarify where it would be repaired. Maybe in Korea??

    I have three more days to decide whether to keep this thing, or get a refund and start looking again. I’ve found several listings for replacement batteries, but the prices are so variable, one has to wonder whether these vendors are legitimate. They range from $104 to $190, and more than half of the vendors display a picture of a battery that doesn’t match mine, and has cable connectors.

    I wonder if anyone has had satisfactory dealings recently with any of those vendors: love-battery, lovebattery, cheapbattery, batteryreplacment, welcome-to…, etc.

    BTW, my battery says 59W, your review mentions two different wattages.

    • Andrei Girbea October 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      About the battery, that’s the case with most manufacturers and this new encased laptops. Most don’t sell spare batteries. But, since your battery is alright, I don’t know if that should worry you that much…

      About the customers support, that sucks and Asus should know better. Unfortunately that’s not something I can mention in my reviews, as things differ from country to country…

      Still, if you’re not comfortable with your laptop, you can also check out the Lenovo Y518 , they might have better support in Canada

  59. otropogo October 20, 2013 at 2:09 am

    As you know, with a little care, and a Torx 5 screwdriver (or maybe a Phillips, as in your report), it might take 15 minutes to access the battery. Then one minute with a Phillips screwdriver to remove the three screws hold the battery down, and you can lift the battery out (at least on my unit). Dropping in a replacement battery and screwing it and the bottom plate back into place will take no more.

    Total down time – a little over half an hour.

    OTOH, if you rely on Asus to replace a malfunctioning or defective battery, here’s what you have to do according to the warrnty booklet:

    Repackage the entire laptop in its original packaging, and either:

    1. ship it yourself via the courier of your choice and hope Asus reimburses you, or

    2. take if to the nearest Asus retailer (if Asus allows you to), or

    3. wait for a pepaid courier from Asus to pick it up.

    Via e-mail and Retail telephone support I was told Asus would cover RMA shipping to and from the repair depot, but the warranty booklet says “at Asus’ sole discretion”.

    I haven’t taken the time to check all of the prices of all of the courier services available to me, or how long it takes them. I have checked the rates and times of Canada Post, that anyone can check under the rates tab at canadapost.ca.

    From my location, several thousand miles from the Canadian Asus repair center, premium parcel shipping, with insurance, costs $154 one way. This is determined by the of the dimensions of the Asus box (I checked by trying different weights – a pound more or less made no difference).

    If the Asus repair center decides that this is not a warranty repair (and there is no appeal or argument, customers cannot contact the repair cent), the customer must pay both shipping to an from the repair center. So the cost to the customer could be $300.

    The speed of this premium service is “guaranteed” by Canada Post as two business days, not counting the day it was brought in. From my experience, this is quite optimistic. However, assuming this target is met by Canada Post AND the turnaround at the repair depot is only ONE day, the minimum time the laptop will be out of commission is NINE DAYS (seven business days and two weekend days). If you’re unlucky, and the shipping period encompasses a long weekend or two weekends, then your computer would be down for 10 to 13 days.

    Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to send the laptop at the premium rate. If you’re told (at …”sole discretion) to take it to the nearest Asus retailer (for me, a three hour round trip by car) , it’s anyone’s guess how long you’ll have to wait to get it back.

    Hmm difficult decision, buy a spare battery for $110 or rely on Asus to replace a defective one and risk being without your computer for weeks AND getting a big fat bill of over a hundred dollars?

    • Andrei Girbea October 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Wow, those shipping rates are huge. The OEM spare battery could work just fine. But there are plenty complaining about these on the forums, not necesarilly for Asus devices, but in general.

      Still, this is just an “what if” situation, right? The battery on your laptop is still fine right now?

  60. otropogo October 21, 2013 at 4:14 am

    No, there’s no problem that I know of, but batteries fail and batteries wear out, and then finding a replacement can be difficult and slow. I’ve got a nice Lumix megazoom camera for which I bought a spare battery right away, and now both batteries can’t hold a charge, and the dealer tells me replacements are no longer available. With this laptop and my latest camera, I plan to use one battery and store the other except when I absolutely have to use it.

    BTW other readers might be interested,as I am, in replacing the blue-ray reader in the N550JV with a blue-ray burner. I had hopes of using a Panasonic Model BT30N, but luckily read a review that warned me to check the thickness of the stock burner first, because the BT30N is a standard thicknes of 12.6MM. I took mine out and measured it last night, and it’s only 9.6mm thick, so the Panasonic wouldn’t fit. I did notice that there’s an Asus laptop that’s advertised as coming with a b-r burner stock, but then so much of the Asus documentation is incorrect…

    If anyone knows of a standard blue ray burner only 9.6mm thick, I’d like to hear about it. Searching on “slim blue ray burner” turns up ones like the BT30N.

    I’d also like to know if anyone has bought upgrade RAM successfully. Most of the stuff I’ve found doesn’t specify “DDR3L”, which is what is required, as well as 1600Mhz speed.

  61. Tom October 25, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Thanks for the indepth review. I have one question for you though. What do you think about using this laptop of soft surfaces? I use my current laptop on my bed quiet a bit watching moives etc. I would imagine that this would slightly block the speakers and also block the air vent on the bottom. I would have though alot of people do the same so do not why they have designed it like this? Do you think another model would be best suited for this kind of use or would it be ok?

    • Andrei Girbea October 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      most powerful laptops need a fresh flow of air in order to keep them cool. ANd most laptops have those grills on the bottom. Thus, even if you’ll use the laptop in bed, try not to obstruct those grills

  62. NIklas October 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I have bought this computer, and I can say I am pretty happy with it. It is not the fastest, the screen is rly nice, it looks nice, but the touchpad is really bad its just metallic and annoying, so had to buy a mouse so now it is cool.

    As to that it is easy to upgrade RAM it is freaking impossible. Tried one ram that should have work, made the computer slow and go to bluescreen. Bought the exact same Ram as in the computer, with that memory it doesnt even start. Updated BIOS but that didnt change anything.

    I am using it with Cyberlink powerdirector to edit, it is alright in spead, but it takes time to preview videos and render them, which a RAM would help with but cant get it to work, so must say bit disappointed with this computer :(.

    • Andrei Girbea October 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      hmmm, that’s odd. Have you tried swtiching the RAM modules around? Maybe it’s the Socket that’s broken and not the module itself?

      • Niklas October 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm

        Yeah I called Asus and they said that I should try that, then I will find out as you said if the socket itself is damaged, if it is the Ram module that is broken, or if it is a configuration error. Or maybe just switching them around will make it work, but I dont think so.

        Just need to backup everything, afraid it wont go on anymore after that, but it should be fine : S

  63. Alex October 29, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks to Andrei’s thorough and very nice video review I finally decided on this laptop. I was also considering the Lenovo Y510p but decided on the Asus. I’ve had it for about a month now and have no complaints. Everything works perfectly. It took me a bit to get used to Windows 8 (upgraded to 8.1 last week/free download from MS) but once you learn how to navigate the OS it’s fine. The screen is great and I like the sound too but without the external bass connected you don’t get much thump. I wish the battery would run longer but I always run several programs/apps at same time and always have the browser with like 15 tabs open so I guess it’s normal. I haven’t had a reason to call Asus (in USA) yet so I can’t comment on that.

    I got the laptop from computerupgradeking.com and the experience was good except for the annoying 2 week wait for them to receive the shipment, in all fairness they advised me of this ahead of time so I can’t complain. They offer a bunch of different configurations. They upgrade it themselves, test it and ship it to you. They also give you a 3yr warranty on any upgraded part through them so my RAM and SSD have 3yrs versus the standard 1yr which is very nice. I ordered mine with the upgraded 16GB ram (max) and with the 500GB SSD so it’s a FAST machine. It boots up in about 9-10 seconds! I was also going to upgrade to a Blu-ray burner but settled for the dvd-rw instead. I’d rather get an external Blu-ray player/burner so I can use it with other machines as well. Overall I’m very happy with the Asus N550JV-DB72T and would recommend it.

    • Thomas Ngoga November 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Quick question regarding 8.1, did you have any touchscreen/touch-pad compatibility issues when you upgraded?
      I want to get the DB72T simply because my Series 9 Samsung is an amazing machine but I am tired of the high glitching and fairly often I am having to re-install drivers due to reading errors.

  64. Alur October 31, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Thanks for the review. I bought this PC after reading your review and I am liking it very much.

    Do you recommend to upgrade the HDD to a SDD? I don’t know how fast the N550 will be.

    Can we upgrade the battery for a better one? Do you recommend one? I can use the computer for 3-4 hours, but if I could use for more time, it’d be grateful.

    • Andrei Girbea October 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Yes, definitely ditch the HDD for an SSD if you can afford it. The battery cannot be upgraded though

  65. otropogo November 4, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Tech support for this laptop is the worst I’ve ever seen. Asus tech support can’t tell me what model RAM to buy for the 16GB upgrade, nor can they tell me where to buy a compatible replacement battery. They have one repair depot in Ontario for all of Canada, and their warranty book says warranty shipping cost is at Asus’ “discretion” (shipping and return at the premium rate via Canada Post would take an absolute minimum of nine days, plus the turnaround time, and costs $300).

    Asus tech support is confused about my laptop’s construction, assuring me that a “door” exists for upgrading the RAM, but that the battery is inaccessible and not user replaceable, whereas in reality the only way to access the RAM on my machine is to remove 10 #5 torx screws, which exposes the bottom of the motherboard, and with it the RAM, the battery (three phillips screws and lift straight up), the blue-ray drive (two screws and slide out), and the hdd.

    Looking at other reviews and comments, it appears there is at least one other version of the N550JV, one sold in the UK apparently has room only for 8GB of RAM max, has a 1TB 5400rpm hdd (mine has a 750GB 7200rpm hdd – a major factor in buying decision – without the 16GB capacity, I wouldn’t have considered buying). There may be even more variants of this model.

    Although refusing to give me the model name of any compatible 16GB upgrade kits, Asus tech support warned me off from buying from Corsair, saying Asus engineers had only tested from a short list of RAM brands, including Kingston. I found a Kingston kit that matched the specs given, but was then told by Asus tech support that it wasn’t DDR3L (Kingston says it is). Kingston.com’s online database, OTOH, only lists  single 4GB and 8GB modules for the N550JV, and Kingston tech support can’t tell me whether the RAM kit I bought (the retail price of which has increased by up to 30% in the last few days in Canada, BTW) will work in the N550JV, while reluctantly admitting that neither of the two SODIMMs it lists for that model would make sense in my machine.

    Meanwhile half the online vendors offering a replacement battery for the laptop have the wrong voltage of 7.5V shown, and the wrong connector. Those who show the right image and specs, have upped their prices, taken orders on the assurance they have stock to ship when they haven’t, or both. In one day, the price at lovebattery.com and love-battery.net went from $109 with free worldwide shipping to $139. Meanwhile, replacement-laptop-battery.com said they had stock, took payment, confirmed the order, then sat on it. When I checked back after the promised tracking e-mail failed to arrive, they said they were out of stock but would have more in 2-3 days. I e-mailed saying “if you cannot provide a tracking number by Nov.4th, cancel the order and refund my payment”. The next day they replied that the payment will be refunded by Paypal, and to check my Paypal account. I bought from them because I was assured I didn’t need a Paypal account if I paid via a credit card… I’m waiting for the refund to appear in my online bank account.

    I suspect all of these bad actors are just taking money in the hope of getting some stock, and that’s the charitable interpretation.

    All this because Asus refuses to support its own product by selling upgrade RAM or replacement batteries directly or through its retailers. There isn’t even a technical user’s manual, just some mickey mouse description of the keys and ports.

    The whole situation is best summed up as “The Nightmare on Asus Street”.

    And here’s the most grotesque irony of all.

    On searching the so-called e-manual for “upgrade”, since Chapter 1, dealing with hardware, doesn’t even show how to access the RAM slots, I got exactly one hit:

    “European Union Eco-label
    This Notebook PC has been awarded the EU Flower label, which means that this
    product has the following characteristics:
    ….
    #5. Designed for easy upgrades and longer lifetime through providing
    compatible spare parts such as batteries, power supplies, the keyboard, the
    memory, and if available the CD drive or DVD drive.”

    Thank you EU Eco-label! I feel so much better now.

  66. Thomas Ngoga November 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Hey Mike,
    Firstly I’ d like to say i’m a big fan of your reviews, keep it coming please. You said the sound quality on the new N550 was not as good as the N56 (I’ve heard only good things). As I don’t own either, could you please tell me how it compares to Macbook Pro’s fairly impressive in built sound quality? This is a fairly important factor as I use in-built speakers as one of my tests for mastered versions of some recording I make.

    Thanks for the review though, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get this laptop even if the sound quality is not all the way up at the top of the range.

  67. T Dinu November 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Mike. Many thanks for the review. I was considering this model vs Lenovo y510p and Lenovo E531 but after reading your review and some others I decided to go with N550jv (model CN225H Hong Kong) I will be using the computer mainly for photoshop and photo editing. I am aware that the screen is not topnotch but I was wondering how bad it could be. I am opting for the non-touch screen anti glare. I will be also interested on how it compares with the basic model of MacBook Pro 15″ in terms of performance.

    Thanks again,

    Tibi

    • Andrei Girbea November 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      Hey Tiberius. Haven’t actually see the non-glare model in action, so can’\t say anything about it. Shouldn’t be that bad though

  68. danny November 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Y510p > asus n550jv. No way choosing this lappy over y510p !!but n750jv is a gud choice if you need a bigger display, still y510p has better specs and look..thats a beast!!! Wow

  69. T Dinu November 14, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Hi Mike,

    Thank for the reply and again for the review. It did help me to make the decision to purchase this laptop. I went for the model N550jv-cn225h sold here in Hong Kong and linked here: broadway.com.hk/content/n550jv-cn225h.

    I also got a 10% discount so it came down to approx. EURO860 for the following config:

    i7-4700HQ
    8GB DDRIII 1600
    1TB 5400rpm
    6X blu-ray_RW
    15.6 / 1920×1080 FHD NON TOUCH
    NV GeForce 750M (4G DDR3)
    * I checked and the battery is 4 cell.

    According to the official website in Hong Kong the screen is IPS and so far I can say I am pleased with it. It does have a yellow that I managed to fix somehow with the Asus preloaded Splendid Video technology. (Sorry but only Chinese language link: http://www.asus.com/hk/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/N550JV/). Otherwise looks nice and crisp, good contrast and I appreciate the non glare for viewing and working on my pictures.

    The touch version here was about EURO160 more, not worth for my needs.

    As this review mentions it does look good and feels sturdy. The keyboard is a direction arrows and the NumPad is cramped but I am sure one can easily get used with it. It comes handy again for editing when you have to change values. I do not consider the keyboard ugly but with silver on silver the lack of contrast makes is hard to see it in dim light (… and yes I can not type blindly).

    I would have liked to have a VGA port mainly cause with an adapter it seems that the stress on the mini display is rather strong. Hope it doesn’t matter.

    The subwoofer is cool having and it sounds good for me. But I am not into sound so I can really judge.

    Performance wise so far I am very pleased. But I upgraded from a 6 years old low end ThinkPad so the difference by comparison is huge.

    I uploaded CS6, Lightroom 5 and Nik Software and runs very smooth. I yet need to do more heavy work on it but I’ll keep posted if there is any interest. The loading time for the software is not lightning fast (i guess is the 1T 5400 HDD) but it does not bother me at all since once it gets started it runs smooth and fast. While upgrading to SDD is tempting it does not make sense for me financially.

    Overall I am very pleased. Its not a MacBook Pro in terms of build and screen quality but is cheaper yet powerful.

    … and my wife and my daughter think is sleek and cool (both have MBP13″)

    Again thanks for the review,

    Tibi

  70. Stoof November 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Hi, very nice review. Worked out in details.
    I’m about to buy a new one but i’m still not sure which one that i should buy:

    an imac 21.5″ with also a GT 750M, i5 2.4, 8gig ram.

    Or this asus..

    I would mainly use it for video editing and gaming (wow, minecraft, codmw3,…) but i’m a bit dissapointed in the touchscreen of the asus. I’m still stuck and i could not decide wich one i should take :( i used final cut pro X but the bad thing is that it doesnt work on windows..

    grrr…

  71. Alexandru T November 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Andrei, excellent review.
    I will buy this laptop and want to replace the existing dvd-drive with an SSD adapter. I know there are two standards for the drive/adapter thickness: ~ 9.5 mm and 12.7 mm.
    Can you please tell me which one of those is the one found on the N550 ?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Andrei Girbea November 28, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      there’s a 9.5 mm drive in this one as far as I can remember

  72. Gaby November 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Salut,am luat si eu un N550JV si nu are suruburile din spate cu Torx T6 ,am luat 2 surubelnite una cu magnet una fara si nu se potrivesc ,cred ca este ori T4,ori T5,sa fie suruburile diferite?

    • Andrei Girbea November 28, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      nu ma tin minte din pacate, a rtecut ceva timp de cand l-am testat

  73. Tom November 20, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Andrei,

    Thank you for the review. I bought this laptop one week ago and would like to upgrade the HDD.
    1. An SSD will speed things up but I can’t afford the large ones (500GB) and I need the storage capacity on the laptop. Would upgrading to a 7200RPM hybrid help? Do I have any other options – perhaps having a small boot SSD and keeping the existing 1TB 5400 RPM?

    2. I have read that the Atheros wi-fi adaptor on this machine is very slow and unreliable. I noticed in the photos that you had the Intel Centrino Advanced N 6235 which I was thinking of to replace the Atheros adaptor. Yet, on several blogs the 6235 is shown as having serious connectivity and drop our issues when using Win 8.1. Have you had any issues with the Intel 6235 on this Asus machine?

    Thanks Tom

    • Andrei Girbea November 28, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      Hey Tom, an SSD is goign to be faster and quieter, but more expensive than a 7200 rpm hybrid. Choose what your budget allows you to :P

      As for the Wi-Fi Module, I haven’t got to test this laptop for a long period of time, that’s why for such issues, it’s better to head over to notebookreview.com, in the Owner’s lounge forum, and read what those who actually own this laptop have to say about it.

  74. T Dinu November 29, 2013 at 6:42 am

    @ Gaby,

    They are Torx 5. I bought one to add 8G RAM.

    Tibi

  75. Adam November 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for the great review. Was curious I’ve been hearing different replies from people who’ve purchased this model laptop. Is truly a punctured pattern at the top of the keyboard, or a sticker?

    • Andrei Girbea December 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      not a sticker, there are tiny holes in the aluminum case

  76. vio December 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Buna Andrei, vreau sa stiu si eu parerea ta legata de aceste modele N550 disponibile in Romania:
    pcgarage.ro/compara/641356,642286,738982,786723,788178
    Pana la urma modelul N550JV-CN163D este 1920×1080?
    Imi doresc un laptop cu un display apropiat sRGB/AdobeRGB si o configuratie/performante pentru editare foto/video.
    Care din aceste modele sau/si altele (poate N750?), ti se pare mai potrivit? Numai bine, bun review!

    • Andrei Girbea December 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Salut Viorel.

      Ia-te dupa specificatii si confirma cu cei de la pcgarage ca modelele unde ei scriu ca vin cu panelul FHD au intr-adevar acel panel. Eu nu prea am cum sa confirm, pentru ca astia de la Asus au jdemii de serii in functie de diversele piete.

      Pentru Foto/video, lucruri pe care le fac si eu, conteaza mult procesorul si RAM-ul. Ajuta desigur si unitatea de stocare pe care ai sistemul, se incarca lucrurile mai rapide. Asadar, daca bugetul permite, mergi pe un Core i7 si cat mai mult RAM. SSD poti lua tu ulterior si face upgrade-ul. Ca idee, poti merge si pe N750, pentru ca ai doua bay-uri de 2.5 inch, si poti pune un SSD mai mic pentru OS si programe, plus un HDD mare pentru storage. Asta daca nu te deranjeaza dimensiunea…

      • vio December 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        Multumesc pentru raspuns, pana la urma m-am hotarat la un model Asus N750JV-T4161D are specificatii bune:
        i7-4700HQ 2.4GHz Haswell, 16GB, 750GB + 16GB SSD, GeForce GT 750M 4GB. Multumesc pentru suport, numai bine !

  77. T Dinu December 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    @ vio

    The model I bought has the following monitor: LGD0323. I bought mine for photo editing but I still use it hooked to a Dell U2412. Initially it had a yellow cast that I did not like at all. I ended up buying a Spyder4Pro to calibrate it. It looks fine and seems to give quite accurate colors.

    I got to shot tethered with my 6D. Shooting tethered also allowed me in live view to use pick tool to adjust the white balance, a mix of tungsten and fluorescent. Overall I was very pleased as the colors on the monitor matched the real ones.

    On a side note, the readings of the Spyder revealed that the monitor covers 61% of AdobeRGB and 78% of sRGB.

    For photo editing I bumped the RAM to max of 16G and together with the i7 4700 works beautifully. The witting speed on the HDD is slow but does not bother me and can later be upgraded later. Sper sa ajute.

    Tibi

  78. T Dinu December 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I noticed that in Adobe Premiere CS6 the 750M is not recognized. If its OK to post links here is how to unlock the card.

  79. lutzm December 9, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Hello again. Finally I managed to acquire a N550JV-CN163D, but got some issues with the win7 drivers. Some of them, either on the provided Asus dvd or on the asus support site, are also for windows 7, despite the fact they marked as windows 8 only. Does anybody managed to fully install windows 7 64bit with all drivers ? Anyone care to share these drivers, please? I used aida after a win8.1 fresh install only to generate a hardware report but still it s a pain in the a__ to find all drivers..

  80. Gunneswaran Joél Tharmeswajakan December 12, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Hey,

    First off, thanks for the review. It really helped me finalize my decision.

    I have the SB71T-CB version from a Canadian retailer (Staples). It is a touchscreen model and the pattern on mine is not holes in the case as that would allow things to go into it. It is similar to the etching on the keys but not as deep. It is completely stylistic, will not affect air flow or anything. I am not sure if your particular version was like this.

    My version, compared to yours in the video review, also has a different keyboard layout (I think it is the EU type). This may cause mistyping for some as they may not be used to it and as I am adapting to it. My shift key on the lift is just above half the size of yours and has another button beside it. The enter key is shaped like the number “7″ and the backslash key (\) is between the apostrophe and enter key. Mainstream keyboard cover skins will not fit my model.

    All else is the same for the keyboard including the fact that the right arrow key is positioned in line (closer) to the numberpad; however, this does not affect my use of it but I could see the difference after close inspection for faults.

    Also notably, the track pad buttons are not seperate and touch works on the button spot as well. So, you can move the cursor over the buttons.

  81. denis December 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Hello guys!
    This discussion convinced me to get this computer! I received this laptop this morning. I’m a newbie and thought this booting and SSD switch will be piece of cake, but in the end I can’t get this nice machine to work.. Here’s what I tried so far:
    - Created a usb flash drive recovery backup straight away from original win8 and HDD.
    - Took out the original HDD and replaced it by samsung evo 840 SDD.
    - My problem is:
    The laptop doesn’t boot from the USB flash drive… Setting in the bios are CSM:enable, SecureBootControl:Disable.

    The 2 boot I tried (UEFI: USB 2.0 and “USB 2.0″) both bring me to windows logo, then to some “repair” stuff as following:
    - choose language, then TROUBLESHOOT options”…
    None work.
    Any idea?

  82. jtaylor December 21, 2013 at 4:52 am

    This is a great forum on the N550. Question on the memory. Do the 8GB N550′s come with one 8GB stick or with two 4GB sticks? It would be nice to only add one memory stick rather than to have to replace both memory sticks to get to 16GB.

  83. Luis December 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    hello Andrei, happy hollidays. I just would like to know if you have news on the ASUS N56JR-DS71 Is it one of the latest asus models? Is it almost the same as asus n500jv? which one will you go for. Thanks.

  84. Tony December 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Hey Andrei

    Thanks for the review. Found it very helpful.

    Thinking of buying this laptop, but I’ve got the option of two different models, the DB72T, or the CM067H. I can’t find any difference between them except the CM067H has a blue-ray drive. Is this the case?

    Also, I’m thinking of replacing the hard drive with a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD. In your opinion, will this provide good value for money considering it is obviously significantly more expensive. Will it make the laptop more future proof? And is the SSD less likely to fail than the HDD (A problem I’ve had in the past)?

    Many thanks

    Tony

  85. Sergiu January 5, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Salut

    Sunt indecis daca sa-mi cumpar laptopul acesta. Ai vreo alta sugestie, vreun alt model? Nu prea am incredere in review-urile din revistele de IT.

    Mersi

  86. Mike Salway January 6, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Thanks for the great review.
    Do you know if it’s possible to:
    a. Remove the bluray optical drive
    b. Move the HDD into a caddy and put it in the optical drive slot
    c. Put a new SSD in the HDD slot as the main drive

    ?

    I did this with an old Toshiba and it gave it a new lease of life.

    I’ve just bought this ASUS and while it’s great, I definitely notice the slower HDD speed and want to replace it with an SSD.

    THanks!

  87. Garner January 9, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Andrei, is it possible to remove the battery on this then plug it in? Will it still open?

    Also is it possible to change the wifi adapter to ac? Thanks in advance!

  88. Insaf January 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Mike,

    I was about to buy N56VZ but saw N550JV in market lately here in Saudi Arabia and wish to switch my buying plan into 550JV. Wish if you could answe the below -

    1) How abou the sound card in N550JV, i.e. is it HD audio producing capable? I am really passionate about connecting this to my Logitech Z2300 home theatre system for higher fun – is the sound production real good apart from it’s built-in speakers story?
    2)The one I found is with DVD drive, I wish I want Blu-ray reader in it? How to know if I can buy and replace mine with Blu-ray and its prices?
    3)Any other successor coming in NEAREST future higher than N550JV with same price? (Like N56VZ same to N550JV in pricing)?

    Sorry if anything sounds weird, your answers are well valued :)

  89. T Dinu January 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    A quick note: the LCD on my unit was faulty. It switched off without warning. Asus replaced it in 5 working days.

  90. Matt February 23, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Has anyone noticed that the speakers are not alligned to center but a little to the left, centered to the touchpad which is also not centered? I don’t know if it’s okay?

    • Andrei Girbea February 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      The TouchPad is aligned with the alphanumeric part of the keyboard, that’s why it’s moved towards the left. That’s OK, most manufacturers do that and it’s easier to use it like that, when typing.

      • Matt February 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm

        When you were testing the laptop, did you notice that the speakers were also positioned more to the left than the center? At first I thought that the last speaker to the right was faulty because the sound was not as loud in the right corner comparing to the left side.

      • Andrei Girbea February 23, 2014 at 6:51 pm

        Sry Matt, I don’t remember that. I’ve tested it many moths ago. I wasn’t very satisfied with the speakers and yes, one of them was louder than the other, but at the time i assumed that was because I was playing with a early preproduction unit.

  91. otropogo February 26, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Has anyone found a way to buy a replacement battery yet? I’ve purchased the battery from three online vendors so far. Each one showed it as in stock, accepted payment, then sent me an e-mail the next day or even the same day saying it was out of stock and I’d be getting a refund shortly. One of them is still showing the battery as in stock.

    There are also a number of online vendors showing the right battery model number but the wrong voltage (7.5V instead of 15V) and showing an image of the wrong battery.

    I did manage to get a working low-power 16GB RAM upgrade from Kingston, no thanks to Asus support (who wouldn’t even tell me whather that model would work) or Kingston tech support, who had only an 8GB kit listed, and told me I had bought the wrong kit.

    The touchpad is a nightmare, so I have to make absolutely sure I have a working mouse available, and so far as I can tell the woofer doesn’t make a sound, although a Labtec woofer works fine when attached to the port.

    I’m waiting for Win 8.1.1 to dump all the garbage Asus threw on the drive and install a desktop you can actually navigate. It takes minutes to access the files. And opening a photo image is another nightmare, because the damn system wants o file them somewhere. I did finally get rid of MacAfee, but I had to search online to find the well hidden MS Defender and activate it.

    I wish I’d never heard of Asus. One of the most expensive mistakes I’ve ever made was buying into this crooked company’s shoddy product.

    • Trackboy February 27, 2014 at 5:31 am

      I read your post and I just want to suggest/tell something. The touchpad is actually really excellent. There is absolutely no need of clicking it (it’s stiff, I know), but windows actually allow you to just lightly tap and register it as a click (not like apple’s, it could be your reference, as most do). Tap with two fingers and that is right click. Multifinger gestures and scrolling actually works really really well (smoothly, eg. Browsing) and I found myself not in need of mouse if the laptop is not connected to my monitors. Three fingers to the left or right function as back and forward (although I cannot make work with chrome). Try to get the hang and master it, it is actually excellent, just to reiterate. The key is, no hard click. Just tap. The lightest tap will do the trick. Also, I suggest to increase the pointer speed in the mouse settings (classic control panel) for you to glide through your screen more effortlessly. I’ actually very proud and satisfied with my investment, everytime I read an article about a gaming or powerful laptop, I realize how a good buy it is, and with a fantastic design to boot. Hope this helps.

  92. sam February 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Hi dear
    I got n550 around month ago…
    But here is problem wich is realy resenting me..
    Some time for some cd s my cd rom has annoying voice….for example when watching video from one particular cd. It continues..
    I’m realy nervous…
    Is there anything to do about it please help me..
    Please help me….

  93. T Dinu March 6, 2014 at 4:44 am

    I have the computer for more then 3 months now. I had an issues with the screen but it had been replaced spot on by Asus. Things happen! That being said, as Trackboy mentioned, is a very good buy. The trackpad is good indeed. The tapping works flawless and is nice to use when used only on the laptop. When hooked to my monitor and for PS work then a mouse is required.

    The HDD is slow but again for the price is a decent compromise. The software i use loads a bit slower and the saving time is also slower: PS CS6 loads in 10 sec, LR5 loads in about the same time. Saving Tiff files larger then 80Mb slower. However, they all run smooth.

    The screen color accuracy is so so and a calibrator is a good idea.

    I updated the RAM myself (Kingston 8G) there were no issues and with the right Torx # 5 screwdriver it took literally 5 mins. (OK 10 because I did not “snap” it properly in first time so it did not show up so I had to repeat :) but that’s me being an idiot :)

    I also played some MOH 3 or 4 can’t remember and it was awesome. Not sure about newer games though.

    I also travelled with it and battery was OK, I would say more then decent. I had some issues with the PS running cause I set the GPU to always run and there were some glitches but once I reset to default no more tears!

    T

  94. angel garcia March 19, 2014 at 9:33 am

    buena reseña
    Andrei Girbea

    quiero saber que tal anda este equipo con el 3dmax y el autocas ademas de algunos otros para modelados en 3d??
    te agradecere tu respuesta!!
    gracias

  95. Madie March 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks for this review! I’m sorry in advance to ask a p i t b question but I’m so lost trying to buy a new computer. Since a month!! Asus has so many models and I can’t figure it out. I need a laptop to replace my dinosaur IBM Lenovo, which was a top of the top years ago when I bought it, I want something that will last. I work mostly with research on the net, some photo and film editing and writing. What I do need is a very fast computer, I hate slow, slow makes me crazy! I open millions of things at once for my research and Ned that to be ok. I looked at asus n 750 jv and now this one 550, a good screen is a a must but I won’t die without touchpad, though use to it. I want a nice and solid look hence gave up looking at brands like acer. I hesitate a bit on toshiba but am quite lost there as well(p75 i7,16, 750gb.240ssd)
    Now i want it to have the speed ( I’m faaar. From expert, but read myself to HDD sdd) a 16gb and at least 1T. I do NOT however need stuff like cd blue ray etc.. If speakers are decent,fine if not I’ll live with it, batteries should be as good as possible though, considering my dinosaur worked 7 hours and is like 8 or is it 10, years old?
    Is there any chance that you could help me???? Thanks a million in advance!!
    Madie

  96. aa.lan2 March 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you very much for this great review!

    Do you have any solution fot hot issue while playing a heavy game?

    It’s really too hot.

  97. Shen April 1, 2014 at 4:18 am

    Hi. Thanks for your good review. I was wondering if the keyboard on the N750 was larger than the one on the N550? I prefer a larger keyboard as I find it easier to type.
    Regards

  98. ganson April 4, 2014 at 2:06 am

    dear you explain every thing in this video thanks for that but what to do to reduce the hit in this laptop.
    i am fun of online gaming when i play as you mention in the top coming hit i bay extra under pc cooler but still.
    any other suggestions from you in this point?

  99. Nitza April 8, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you for the great review,
    Do you think the version without the touchscreen will have the same reflection issue?
    The screen is:
    15.6″ IPS LED-Backlit Display
    Full HD 1920 x 1080 Native Resolution
    Thanks!

    • T Dinu May 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      I have the non touch. No glare here. I posted the model somewhere up in this thread

  100. christian April 13, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Hello!

    Do you already test the Asus N550JK-CM181H?
    I would like to buy this laptop but i would like to have your opinion about the “Heat and Noise”.
    Thks

  101. Eva C April 28, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you for describing N550!
    I have bought one and think it is wonderful, except for the sound from the fans.
    I have been in contact with ASUS, but I think I get better answers when I read your text.

    I will just check that I have understand you right. One of your picture is from the “new cooling system”. I think I hear “noise” from that place all the time and that the computer never is silent. I have wondered if this is anything wrong with my computer, but I guess I have to accept it. It isn’t very loud, but it is a little bit annoying. Do I understand you right that you also always hear the fans from that place?
    I would be very happy if you could answer my question. Thank you in advance!
    /Eva C

  102. Basile May 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Hi Andrei!Great job!I ‘ve got this laptop,and I’m keen on changing my HDD 750 GB with a SSD Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB.I would like to know if I’ll have to install windows on my new SSD ,and what else is needed after the replacement of the HDD.Thanks in advance!

  103. otropogo May 5, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Asus N550JV powered up less than 100 hours total, owned six months, battery dying…? Replacement still not found, only crooked online vendors.

    A month ago, I went back to the Staples office supply store nearest to my home in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, hoping they would be able by now to either sell me a battery for the laptop I bought from them, or direct me to an honest retailer who has one to sell.

    The sales associate who helped me searched Staples stock, and found no replacement battery. She then searched online, and found exactly ONE vendor – laptopbatteryonline.net, and encouraged me to buy it from them.

    I went online, checked out the details, and found the website’s promises acceptable:

    1. will ship within 10 days of placing order

    2. will notify by e-mail within 2 days if out of stock

    3. will send tracking number immediately upon shipping

    4. product will arrive within 60 days of order placement

    On April 1 (not being superstitious), I placed the order.

    On April 2, I received an e-mail confirming the order, and the charge against my credit card

    BUT with the confirmation e-mail came a yellow warning pop-up from gmail, suggesting that “laptopbatteryonline@gmail.com” might not be a genuine gmail address.

    Two days later, I e-mailed laptopbatteryonline@gmail.com and asked for the tracking number, and got the following response.

    ” On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 1:53 PM, king mary wrote:

    Hello,

    We offer you the tracking number soon.

    Thanks
    Andy “

    Two weeks later, I asked again, and got exactly the same reply.

    After three weeks, I e-mailed again to cancel my order and have my payment refunded, and got no response. The money wasn’t refunded either.

    On May 4, I checked the website, and found the battery still showing in stock. I then wrote a final time, demanding either evidence of the product having shipped or a refund. This got me the following response:

    “king mary

    11:02 AM (0 minutes ago)

    to me

    sorry to tell you that the item is out of stock now.

    When it restocks, then send you.

    Thanks

    Andy “.

    I suspect this, and the two preceding responses, are both just form letters, and that the entire operation is fraudulent, and apparently successfully so. They’ve had an interest free loan from VISA for more than one month, and now I’m their banker (having had to pay off my VISA balance), providing them money without interest while waiting for VISA to refund the payment to my account.

    And my original battery? Since Windows 8 is such a piece of garbage, and Win 8.1 is hardly better, I’ve been waiting for the substantial upgrade (8.1.1) that was supposed to come about now with the option of the old desktop. And so I’ve done almost nothing with the new laptop except to back up files from my desktop (it’s complicated…) very occasionally, and to update the AV sigs.

    In the past month I’ve been more inactive than usual, and left the laptop turned off (after being fully charged) for 30 days. When I tried to run it from the battery, it was DEAD. I couldn’t even get a flicker of life on the screen.

    When I plugged it into the AC adapter, and booted Windows, the battery monitor showed:

    “Battery unavailable 0% charge, charging.”

    It took 20 Minutes of charging to get the battery up to 3% charge and finally “available” (yeah, for how long – two minutes?)!!

    So after charging it until full, I stored it again. It was at 96% when I shut it down. Less than 72 hours later, I booted up, and the charge level was 90%. You do the math. Is the battery defective, or not?

    I have lithium ion batteries in my cameras and e-book readers that hold their charge for months without going dead. In fact, Nikon advises the user to discharge their newest camera batteries to a low level before storing. They’re never supposed to go to zero when not working.

    According to Asus “support”, if I think the battery is defective, I have to ship the entire laptop in its original packaging several thousand miles to the only service center in Canada, where they will replace it IF THEY AGREE that it’s defective. IF NOT, then I will pay shipping both ways and get the same piece of junk back, after losing another month from the “warranty”, at the cost of several hundred dollars more.

    Thanks ASUS!

  104. Greg Thomas May 14, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Best laptop for voice recognition at the moment I believe w/MaxxWizard and Sonic Master software. Check it out..

  105. Alejandro May 20, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Hello, I think buy that laptop but comes with an AMD A8 processor else is the same but the screen is not touch and button color is black If it’s good

  106. Chris June 28, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Hello!
    Very good review and thank you for that.
    I have one question to you.

    Could you find out if it is possible to exchange the battery by your own?

    I do not want to buy an expesive notebook and after 5 years the battery is dead.

    Would be great if you send your reply to my e-mIl address.

    Looking forward to sour reply.

    Thank you!

    Chris

    • Andrei Girbea July 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Chris. Exchanghing the battery is not going to be that difficult, IF you will be able to find it. It’s fixed in place by a couple of screws, so you will need to take the back apart (easy), disconnect the battery connector and then take the battery out and replace it with a new one. Again, my biggest concern is not that this is a complicated process, but that it might not be easy to find a spare compatible battery all over the world. You’d have to ask the local Asus officials for that

  107. otropogo July 6, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    That’s a big “IF”. Asus Canada says accessing the battery will void your warranty, which makes NO sense, since it requires the same action as upgrading the RAM. This should concern anyone who cares about quality of technical support from ASUS.

    I’ve tried unsuccessfully to buy a second battery from ASUS and from the retailer, Staples, from whom I bought the laptop. I’ve also bought it three times from three different third party vendors. The first two times, they took my money online, then sent a message the next day saying it was out of stock (although it was plainly shown as in stock). The first two returned my payment, the third never did. When I demanded a refund after waiting for a month for notice of shipment, they said it was out of stock, and they would send it when it became available. The website still showed it as available.

    I had to ask my bank to reverse the payment, and now have to wait 120 days to find out if the crooked vendor is going to pretend that I got the battery.

    I would never buy another ASUS. They are both dishonest and incompetent, as is Staples Canada.

    The stock battery seems to be defective, BTW, when the laptop is shut down completely, with the battery 100% charged, it will discharge to below operating level (-5%) within 30 days, which should not happen with a lithium ion battery. My Nikon D800 battery, which is older, holds its charge for months.

  108. M July 14, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Hi, firstly very good review about the N550JK,
    I went to explore the ASUS website and I found a G550JK, it’s in the Gaming section and I was wondering if I wanted a laptop I can use for Gaming, which would be better?

    The specs seem to be completely the same for both laptops, I don’t know what’s the difference between the two. If you have tried the G550JK, could you also tell me if the heat under load will be too much of a problem?

    • Andrei Girbea July 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      I haven’t tried the G550 right now so I can’t say for sure if besides the arthetics, there are any important differences between these two (I’m looking at heat/noise/performance, everything else should be the same). Hopefully I’ll get to test one soon, but right now the G550JK is not yet available in my part of the world

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