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Asus N551 / N551JK review – a revised 15 inch multimedia laptop

By Andrei Girbea , updated on October 6, 2022
Tested: Asus N551JK
Rating: 4/5     Price Range: $950 - $1300
Summary: The N551JK is a multimedia 15 incher to consider. Hardware wise, it's not a lot different than last year's N550JK, but Asus tweaked the screen, the speakers and the cooling system and the result is an evolved product that should satisfy most of your needs.

The good

solid built, excellent matte display, good keyboard and trackpad, capable configuration, loud and punchy sound system, runs cool

The bad

bit heavy and bulky, small battery, poor wi-fi performance, noisy when idle

Hi everyone, Mike here and this is the Asus N551, one of Asus’s recently launched 15 inch multimedia laptops.

The N551 carries on from last year’s N550 series (see my detailed review over here) and on a first peek, not much has changed here. Once you get to analyze the new iteration more carefully though, you’ll find a new screen, a redesigned internal layout and cooling system, a changed underbelly and a new speakers system, among others.

But is the N551 an evolution? Well, definitely yes, an evolution, but at the same time not a revolution. Stick with me till the end of this detailed review and you’ll find out exactly why. Or you can have a look at the video, which offers a shorter summary of the whole story.

Later update: Time passes by and the N551 is no longer a relevant notebooks these days. However, we’ve continued to review the more recent Asus series of performance laptops, as well as a multitude of other compact gaming notebooks, so you’ll surely find these articles helpful in your searches.

The Asus N551JK - an updated 15 inch multimedia laptop

The Asus N551JK – an updated 15 inch multimedia laptop

PS: We have the N551JK model here, with the Intel Core i7 processor, IPS display, 16 GB of RAM and Nvidia GTX 850M graphics. However, most of the aspects mentioned in this post also cover the other versions.

PS2: If you’re interested in the “gaming” version of this laptop, check out my detailed review of the Asus G551JM as well.

Asus N551JK Video Review

The specs – Asus N551JK

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

 Asus N551 series – Asus N551JK
Screen15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px resolution, IPS, matte, non-touch
ProcessorIntel Haswell Core i7-4710HQ
ChipsetIntel HM86
Videointegrated Intel 4600 HD and dedicated Nvidia 850M 2GB DDR3 graphics
Memory16 GB DDR3
Hard-disk1 TB 5400 rpm HDD + 24 GB SSD
ConnectivityWireless N, Gigabit Lan, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports3 x USB 3.0, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, LAN, card-reader, webcam
Baterry56 Wh, removable
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Size383 x 259 x 33 mm
Weightabout 2.6 kg (5.73 pounds)

Just like with the previous generation, Asus will offer the N551 in a bunch of different configurations, so we’re going to focus first on the aspects the remain the same on all the family members.

Design and build quality

We’ll start with the design. Brushed aluminum is used for the lid-cover, with a backlit ASUS logo in the middle and a matte silver aluminum unibody for the interior and the sides, which feels nice and won’t show fingerprints. A trained eye will notice that the hood borrowed the concentric circles pattern from the Asus Zenbooks, as opposed to the vertical pattern on last year’s N. The backlit Logo is a nice touch and I did notice that’s it’s not very bright. Not sure if that was intended or not, but I like it.

The underbelly is covered in some rough plastic though, and that’s actually a change from the N550, which featured an aluminum belly as well. The plastic also stretches over parts of the side edges, integrating the cooling grid on the left and the optical drive on the right.

This new approach allows for an easily removable battery and for a door that gives fairly simple access to the storage drive and memory, which is only hold in place by two Philips screws. Thus upgrading the laptop by yourself is now an easier tasks to perform, with one exception though, as you’ll find a bit later.

While we’re still looking at the bottom, you’ll notice that the only air intake cuts are placed on top of the RAM module, towards the front part of the laptop, and that can mean trouble down the road. In fact, Asus changed the cooling system on the new N, borrowing from the approach used on their older N56 series, with the air being pushed out towards the left side, through that massive exhaust grill.

I do appreciate this solution over the behind the hinge exhausts on the N550, but that does have one drawback: all the important connectors placed on the left edge have been pushed towards the front, which can lead to a rather cluttered side, if you choose to use the Ethernet or the video-outputs over there. The laptop also offers a set of three USB ports, an optical drive on the right edge plus the jack for the external subwoofer, a card-reader on the front lip and some status LEDs just beneath the trackpad.

With these out of the way, let’s have a few steps back and look at the greater picture here. The N551 is still a fairly massive and bulky laptop (in fact, it’s thicker than the older N based on my measurements, and about 100 grams heavier as well), but at the same time solid built.

The lid cover does flex somewhat when pressed, but the interior hardly bulges at all. The palm-rest is spacious and the keyboard sits in the middle of the body, with plenty of room bellow and on top.


The dimpled circular patterns spreading over the laptop’s top left and right corners are still present, as an emblem of the N Series, and they hide the front-facing stereo speakers beneath, whose cuts occupy just a tiny portion of the whole design though.

There’s still an external subwoofer included with this laptop, as with the other Ns before, which takes care of the basses and helps the laptop push punchy and fairly loud sound when having it connected, with not distortions and vibrations, even at high volumes (~85 dB with the subwoofer attached, ~ 80 dB without).

However, my unit came with a faulty subwoofer that was continuously emitting some sort of parasitic low intensity noise when connected to the laptop. Hopefully that’s not going to be the case with the final retail versions.


As expected, Asus put a 15.6 inch display on the N551, with an IPS panel, 1920 x 1080 px resolution and a matte finishing, at least on this model, as others might be offered in slightly different configurations. It lacks touch, but the matte coating translates in low glare and thus, improved visibility in strong-light environments.

The panel is made by Samsung and is crisp, sharp and bright. It displays punchy colors, covers a wide gamut and shows absolutely no signs of light bleeding, not even on black backgrounds and maximum brightness. The numbers below also speak of the panel’s high quality:

  • Panel HardwareID: Samsung SDC324C;
  • Coverage: 100% SRGB, 73% NTSC,  79% AdobeRGB;
  • measured gamma: 2.3;
  • max brightness in the middle of the screen: 311 cd/m2 on power;
  • contrast at max brightness: 650:1;
  • white point: 7800 K;
  • black on max brightness: 0.48 cd/m2;
  • average DeltaE: 4.78 uncalibrated, 2.08 calibrated .


The hinges are one final exterior change on this new series when compared to the older one. There are two of them now, and not a single long one like on the N550, but they are still very firm and will keep the screen in place exactly how you put it and allow the display to lean back to about 130 degrees, which is enough on a 15 incher that’s meant to live most of its days on a desk.

I will add two things here. Out of the box, the laptop comes with the Vivid Mode selected in the Asus Splendid app, which causes oversaturated colors. You’ll want to switch that to Normal. And also out of the box, the Font-Size is set to 125% in Windows, which causes most third party desktop apps to look fuzzy. Switch to 100% and you’ll get rid of this issue.

Keyboard and trackpad

Moving along, I have to say that I found the typing experience more than satisfying on this laptop.

The keys are stiff, travel deep enough inside the frame and offer excellent feedback. In fact, typing this review was a shear pleasure and required no time to get used to the stroke or the layout. With one exception: the END key. Much like they do with many of their other laptops, Asus put the Power button as the top-right key on this N551, where’ you’d expect the End to be, and while it is firmer than the others, you might still press it by mistake and cause the laptop to go to sleep, with absolutely no warning.

Besides these, it’s worth noting that the NumPad Area and especially the arrow keys are somewhat cramped on this layout, as they are are narrower than the others, which is something I resented on the N550 and Asus did not change on the new model either.

Last but not least, they are still using Silver keys on a silver background with a white back-lightning system, and that makes the writing on each key barely visible with the illumination system turned ON. It’s not a major issue, but I just wish the guys in charge with the keyboards would just learn the benefits of contrast and go back to using black keys on these Ns (like they did several years ago). The Zenbook NX500 suffers from the same quirk.

Anyway, a fairly spacious glass-made trackpad sits just beneath the keyboard, with tapered edges that separate it from the palm-rest. It performed smoothly and accurately during the tests, properly responding to my swipes, taps and gestures. Physical clicks are somewhat clunky and stiff though.

Hardware and everyday use experience

OK, so far the N551 is looking great. But a multimedia laptop is not just about the aesthetics, the screen, the keyboard or the speakers: it’s also about the performance.

We’re testing the Asus N551JK model here, with an Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, 16 GB of RAM (2 slots), hybrid storage (one 2.5 inch 1 TB Seagate ST1000 HDD and one mSATA 24 GB Sandisk U100 SSD) and Nvidia GTX 850M graphics.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, this is the DDR3 version of the Nvidia chip, and not the DDR5 model (which is reserved for the G551, the more compact version of the G771 tested here).

Then, the 2.5 inch bay and the two memory slots are easily accessible on this laptop if you want to perform upgrades. There’s no M.2 slot from what I can tell (like on the G551), but there is a half-sized mSATA connector used for the caching SSD present on our configuration. However, in order to get to it, you’ll have to take apart the entire plastic belly, which is not an easy task.

And third, our laptop only includes a hybrid storage solution, thus booting (~25 sec) and loading times are not as fast as you’d get with an SSD, plus the spinning drive is a noise source you’ll actually hear when the computer is idle or used for light activities.

Those aside, this N551 coped well with everything I threw at it: everyday tasks, Photoshop, Premiere, all sorts of multimedia content and even games. I’ve tested a few titles like Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Metro: Last Light and others and all of them are running smoothly on the default 1080p resolution, even with details set to very high or ultimate. The results are below, as well as some benchmark scores.

  • 3DMark 11: P4815;
  • 3DMark 13: Ice Storm – 102465, Cloud Gate –1482, Sky Driver – 9925, Fire Strike – 2773;
  • PCMark 08: Home Conventional – 2996;
  • CineBench 11.5: OpenGL 58.13 fps, CPU 6.82 pts;
  • CineBench R15: OpenGL 86.29 fps, CPU 633 cb.

All these were performed with Nvidia’s 333.11 driver installed.

It’s also possible to run games on battery, but most titles won’t run as well as when the laptop is plugged in, except for Tomb Raider. You should also make sure to disable the 30 fps limitation which is checked by default in the Nvidia GeForce Experience app and don’t expect more than about one hour of gaming on a charge from this machine.

19 x 10 Medium
19 x 10 Medium on battery
19 x 10 Ultra / Very High
Dirt 374 fps36 fps
Grid 295 fps42 fps
Tomb Raider
71 fps71 fps20 fps
NFS Most Wanted44 fps29 fps
Bioshock Infinite58 fps28 fps43 fps
Metro Last Light44 fps24 fps26 fps

Temperatures, Noise, Wi-Fi and others

I’m happy to report that throttling while performing daily tasks, including gaming, is not an issue with this laptop.

Nor the CPU or the GPU drop below their nominal frequencies. However, unlike with the Zenbook NX500 or the G771, the N551 gets more permissive software, which allows the internals to reach higher temperatures under load. You can find the details in the pictures below, but long story short, after running the Prime95+Furmark stress test for about 30 minutes, the CPUs cores get over 90 C, and they reach similar numbers while running demanding games on Ultra as well, but they once again don’t drop below their default frequencies.

idle-temperatures load-temperatures

Luckily, that does not translate in high case temperatures, as you can see from the numbers below, despite the limited air-intake (there are only a few cuts on the belly, placed on top of the RAM).

In daily use, the N551 remains fairly quiet, although there’s a constant roar coming from the exhaust grill and occasionally some cranking from the HDD, which you’ll hear in a completely quiet room. At the same time, the case gets merely, merely warm.

Under load, the fan spins much faster and the laptop gets noisier (about 48-49 dB at head height, with a few phone apps, so take this with a grain of salt), while the middle of the laptop hits higher temperatures, enough to cause unpleasant sweaty hands, but not more discomfort than that.

In summary, the N551 receives good grades when it comes to performance, noise and temperatures as well. There is one aspect where it fails to pass though: Wi-Fi.

Asus used a Mediatek wireless board on this unit, which does not support AC speeds, but that’s not the problem here. What’s annoying is how fast the Wi-FI speed drops when you get even a bit farther away from the router. For instance, in this picture I’m only 20 feet away with two walls in between and the speed is half of what I get with my desktop.

Wi-Fi speed drops fast as you get away from the router

Wi-Fi speed drops fast as you get away from the router

Getting past 30 feet drops the speeds to under 10 Mbps. So as long a you have the router nearby, that shouldn’t worry you, but if you need long-distance reception, the N551 with this Mediatek Wi-Fi chip is going to disappoint.

Battery Life

Before we wrap this up we should also talk about the battery. There’s a 56 Wh one on this laptop and, more importantly, it’s removable. I know that’s important to you and it should be easier, at least in theory, to find and use replacements when the time comes.

56Wh is only an average-sized capacity on such a powerful configuration though, so expect about 4 hours of daily use from the N551JK, on Balanced Mode with the screen’s brightness at about 50% and the keyboard’s back-lightning  deactivated. Gaming will deplete the battery in a little over one hour, while looping the 1080p .mkv file is possible for 4 hours and 30 minutes, on Power Saving, with the screen dimmed to 50% and Wi-Fi OFF.

These aren’t impressive numbers, but the N551 is not a portable laptop either, so I wasn’t expecting a lot more. A bigger battery would have been nice, but that would have probably meant turning to an encased one, and Asus chose this path instead.

That's what the 56Wh battery inside this laptop will give you

That’s what the 56Wh battery inside this laptop will give you

Pricing and availability

Asus will offer the N551JK in a few different versions. From what I’ve been told so far, here’s what you should expect:

  • Intel Core i5-4200H, Nvidia GTX 850M DDR3, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD – ~ $900 – $950 (950E);
  • Intel Core i7-4710HQ, Nvidia GTX 850M DDR3, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD + 24 GB SSD – ~ $1050 – $1100 (1050E);
  • Intel Core i7-4710HQ, Nvidia GTX 850M DDR3, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD – ~ $1250 – $1300 (1250E).

Those are estimates based on the how much these configurations are going to cost over here.

Wrap up

OK, time to draw the line here. There are a few things that I like on the N551 when compared to last year’s N550: the matte screen, the new cooling solution that pushes hot air towards the left side of the chassis, away from us and the screen, the fact that they brought the speakers back on top of the keyboard, the fact that they made RAM and the storage-drive easy to access and upgrade and perhaps the removable battery. These are actually characteristics of the older N56 series, which is funny, but I do appreciate that Asus had the strength to bring everything back to the drawing board and admit their mistakes with the N550.

The notebook’s design, sturdy body, comfortable keyboard and accurate trackpad are also aspects to appreciate.

Not much has changed hardware wise though (the N550JK offers a similar configuration) and I sure wish Asus will improve their keyboard layout. Thus, if you’ve already bought a N550, upgrading to the N551 is definitely not worth the investment.

The Asus N551JK is a multimedia 15 incher worth considering

The Asus N551JK is a multimedia 15 incher worth considering

If you are however looking for a good multimedia 15 inch laptop right now, the Asus N551 should imh be towards the top of your list. The pricing is going to make or break it, but knowing Asus’s policy in the past, I believe this will be competitive. The Wi-Fi performance though can be a major deal-breaker from some of you, so hopefully Asus will actually get it fixed on the final release versions.

On top of that, I expect the N551 to get updated to Nvidia 9xx series graphics in the next months and those could offer a bump in performance. In other words, if you’re in a hurry, the N551 won’t disappoint, but you should also consider similarly priced options like the Asus G551, the Lenovo Y50 or the Acer Aspire V Nitro. If you can wait a few months though, you should: Broadwell processors and those Nvidia chips are the main reasons for that.

Anyway, that’s about it for now. These were my impressions on the Asus N551JK. Let me know what you think about it in the comments section below and if you have any questions, I’m around to reply. Thanks for sticking by and stay tuned for my future reviews.

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Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief at This project was born as part of my search for capable mini-laptops that I could easily lug around to work, and still provide the performance that I'd need on a daily basis. I'm primarily using such ultracompact devices and have been testing them since 2006.


  1. Joe

    October 7, 2014 at 7:22 am

    When do you think this laptop will be for sale in America?
    Also when will it be avaliable with the nvidia 9XXm series gpus?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      I’d say November for the US market, but that’s just my estimations. As for the 9xx chips, since other manufacturers are already shipping units with Nvidia 9xx chips, I’d say that shouldn’t take long, IF Asus decides to upgrade the N551 series with those type of graphics. From what I know right now, that might not happen as soon as expected. But don’t cite me on that.

  2. Daniel

    October 9, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Dear Mike,

    I’ve sent you an email, hope it didn’t land to your spam box 🙂

    And thank you for your review!

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 9, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Hi Daniel. There’s nothing from you (from this email address used to comment) in my Inbox or in my Spam folder. Could you resend to contact at . Thanks

  3. Deniel

    October 10, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Its done!
    Thanks for warning!

  4. Simo

    October 11, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Hi , thank you for the review . iwanna buy a laptop , which one is better N550JK or N551.
    i dont care about 9XX ships nvidia or touch screen , im not a real gamer.
    i carry more about keyboard ,display , perfermance, n specially materials, body built n cooling system.
    is N551 really good ? should i wait for it to be released ? or just i buy n550jk
    thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      I’ve tried to make it clear what’s changed on the N551 from the N550, read the reviews and decide for yourself. Both are good, but there are minor differences between them that could steer your towards one or the other

  5. David

    October 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Hello , i see the n550jk model had dual fans . what about the new n551 model ? it has only fan ? like they said about the new G551.
    . .and is it true that in asus laptops we cant update nvidia drivers from geforce website ? and wee must do it from asus website ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 13, 2014 at 12:15 am

      I haven’t pried it completely open, but from what I can tell, there’s a single Larger fan on this one, on the left side, like on the older N56 series and on the G551.

      I’ve always upgraded Asus through the Nvidia GeForce Experience app but it could be that some of their drivers might not be compatible and you’d have to wait for Asus variants. I did not own an Asus laptop with Nvidia graphics for a longer period of time, so can’t be 100% sure on this drivers matter. But where did you get this info in the first place?

      • David

        October 13, 2014 at 12:24 am

        Hi, thank you for the response .
        so this large fan is better than the dual fans equiped with N550 ?
        for nvidia i see some guyz in youtube said that geforce website update wont install on their new G551 machine

      • Andrei Girbea

        October 13, 2014 at 2:19 am

        the N551 runs cooler than the N550 I’ve tested, so I’d say yes, this is a better solution. On top of that, air is blow to the side, and no towards the screen as on the older model.

  6. Matthew

    October 12, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Can you please tell, what is the height of HDD installed in laptop? 7 mm or 9.5 mm?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 13, 2014 at 12:15 am

      There was a Seagate ST1000LM014 drive on this unit and that’s a 9.5 mm drive. 7mm ones will fit as well.

  7. Sergey

    October 13, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Hi. Is it possible to replace a DVD with HDD caddy? I think that only a combination of SSD and HDD can help to get maximum performance of such notebook.

  8. Quino

    October 13, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Andrei! Nice review by the way. Very well organized and uncluttered 🙂 But there’s one thing bugging me now. The “Instant Key” which was on the N56 and N550 series. Is it still there? And is it thicker than the N550? Hoping for your reply here 🙂 Thanks in advance

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      It’s not from what I can tell. And yes, I believe it’s thicker based on my measurements.

      • Quino

        October 14, 2014 at 3:33 am

        So is the “Instant Key” gone? If not, where is it?
        And is the silver body still aluminum?

        I see that the shiny edges are gone; compared to my N550JK. In my opinon, this design is like a 60% downgrade from the N550. The N551 looks like it lost its classiness and elegance. Especially witthout the two shiny buttons which used to be above the keyboard.

      • Andrei Girbea

        October 14, 2014 at 11:25 pm

        It’s gone, yes. The body is still covered in aluminum just like on the N550, but the bottom and part of the edges (the black area) are made from rough plastic. Aesthetically, yes, perhaps the N551 is a downgrade, but I do believe this design is more functional, with the air being blown to the Left. And it’s showed by the solid performance and low load temperatures.

  9. Poty

    October 14, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Hi, Thanks for the review.
    do u know please if the coming first N551 in US will have ips panel n wifi ac ?
    cauz the G551 recently released in US have TN panel only and a non wifi ac
    max released date is november ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 14, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      Hi, I can’t say that for sure, you’ll have to ask Asus North America for the configurations they’re going to offer there. This is already available in stores over here in Europe from what I’ve been told by a few other readers.

  10. JJ

    October 14, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Do you think the N551 and N751 can handle more than 16GB of RAM? so say upgrade each chip to 16GB module each?
    and then put a GTX970 or 980 in?
    that would be LOVELY because the G751 is nice, but those Red Lettered Keys really is hard to read. They should make those red keys back to white to let it be neutral

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 14, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      No, you can only get 16 GB of ram MAX on these. Upgrading the graphics or CPU is also NOT an option, these are embedded on the motherboard.

  11. David

    October 15, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Thanks Andrei for the review. I’m looking to buy the N551JK-MH71 model, and replace the HDD with a 1 TB Samsung SSD (840 EVO series, SATA 6.0 Gb/s). What do you think of this drive swap? Is there a battery available that offers a run time greater than the one offered, and is it possible to swap out the wireless card for one more powerful?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      It’s an upgrade worth having and swapping the drives is an easy process. There’s no bigger battery though. And yes, you should be able to swap the Wifi chip for something else (as long as it’s the same size), but for that you’ll need to open the laptop’s entire plastic back (not complicated, but somewhat laborious).

      • David

        October 16, 2014 at 9:59 pm

        Hi Andrei, thanks for the reply. I am in the US and will pick up the N551JK-MH71 model in the next day or two from my local computer store and swap out the drive for a 1 TB SDD. I’ve taken a look at the in-store model and looks quite decent, plus it has a slot to attach a 4K monitor (in addition to the HDMI slot). Per the wireless upgrade, I may forego replacing the internal card, and get a broadband wireless (external) card from someone like Verizon. There is a monthly fee for this broadband service, but it does give you true broadband wireless, and has worked well for me in the past. David.

      • Andrei Girbea

        October 16, 2014 at 11:28 pm

        that sounds interesting. Are the Wi-fi antennas good enough to get proper Cellular coverage if you perform this trick?

      • David

        October 17, 2014 at 5:32 am

        Hi Andrei: The broadband wireless cards have been available in the US for over 10 years and the service is offered by several telecom companies. I had an account through my employer with Verizon (~$40 / month). It was an external card that fitted into one of the slots on the side of my notebook. I’ve seen modern cards that look like USB flash drives and I think you can now get internal cards as well. Software is povided with the card to load the drivers etc., plus you can also monitor your upload / download speeds.I found it not to be as as fast as an Ethernet cable connection to the internet, but it was still very fast and way faster than regular wireless. Once you go to broadband wireless, it would be difficult to go back to regular wireless.

      • Andrei Girbea

        October 17, 2014 at 10:01 am

        I see. But that’s not what I was asking.

        You said you wanted to replace the internal wi-fi chip on this laptop with a cellular card and I was wondering if the laptops antennas (designed to work for wireless) are capable of working with this new card as well. To be frank, I’ve never done that upgrade and haven’t heard anyone performing it, so I’m not sure if it’s goign to work. Physically, I believe you can get a celullar modem identical in size to the wi-fi chip, but whether that’s going to work or not is a completely different problem. Try to ask Asus about that or check out the forums on, maybe someone else performed this upgrade already.

    • bill

      October 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      Dear David,

      Did you manage to solve the WiFi problem somehow?

  12. M

    October 15, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Hi , are u sure that samsung panel is IPS or just an ips equivalent like i foud in google ? not like the other one used in GL551 ?
    most of or all websites selling N551jk n N551jm put in display specs : LED FHD only

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 16, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Check out the HW id, Abs judging by the viewing angles and the colors, it’s an IPS. I do have a G551JK as well, haven’t yet got it out of the box, will have a review in a week or two.

      BTW, keep in mind that Asus might sell these laptops with different panels in each region. Thus, if this N551 came with an IPS over here, it’s not a must that it comes with the exact panel in Asia or in the US. You’ll need to ask the local Asus officials about the exact panels available in your country.

  13. aditya gupte

    October 15, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Will der b a touch screen version available as it was anounced later for n550jk?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 16, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      haven’t heard anything about a touchscreen version, but who knows, it might

  14. frank

    October 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks for this awesome review
    i just spoke to asus us support
    they still have no information regarding N551 in usa . if it ll come or not or ETA :/

  15. Tom

    October 18, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Thanks for the very good review.
    Which one is more quiet under low load: n550jk or n551jm?
    I mean browsing the internet, working with documents, programming.
    Is it possible for any of these two to be total quiet – no fan noise?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 18, 2014 at 11:47 am

      I don’t remember how quiet the N550JK was under load, I’ve tested he N550 line a while ago. But I don’t think the fan shuts down on any of these with daily use. You’d better ask some owners though.

      • Tom

        October 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        Thank you for the answer.
        I can check n550jk but n551 has just apepared in the shops. I want a laptop to be quiet while everyday usage. It would be best if the fan is off while low load. While playing or heavy usage noise is not important for me.

  16. igor

    October 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    andrei does keyboard hava a flex or bouncin when you type it?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Watch the video. The inner frame is pretty solid so there’s little flex (but there is some) and not enough to bother me

  17. Reeves

    October 19, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Hi, what do you think of Hp Envy 15t slim quad? It does come with Intel I7 processor, full hd anti glare screen, Gtx850 graphic card, sata hybrid drive and beats audio.

    Currently, deciding to choose either one of this hp or asus n551

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      I have zero experience with the latest HP laptops so I can’t tell you much about it. Try to look for some users reviews on the forums. Sry.

      You should also consider which company has better support in your country, and better warranty programs.

  18. Bryan Liang

    October 20, 2014 at 12:21 am

    What other laptops are similar in specs to the n551jk? I’m looking to get a sub 1.2k multimedia laptop for editing, and I want to be able to compare a few laptops before making a decision. Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 20, 2014 at 1:28 am

      I’d say the Lenovo Y50, MSI GE60, Asus G56, Acer Aspire Nitro and there’s also an Acer Aspire V7 with an 850M chip. See which one you can find and if they fit your budget.

  19. Manuel

    October 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Great review! I’m would like to see inside the laptop how everything is placed. Are you gonna do à inside look? Seeing if iT has one or two fans. In can’t decide beween this one and the N550JK/N56JR. I understand that the screen is beter on this one? Thanks

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      There’s a single one, but I’ve sent the laptop back and can’t have a look at the interior

  20. REx

    October 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm


  21. Bill

    October 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Hi there! Do you think, replacing the wifi module can fix the mentioned problem? If yes, how do i know which module is compatible? Thank you so much!

  22. Bill

    October 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Hi there! Do you think, replacing the wifi module can fix the problem? If yes, how do i know which module is compatible with the motherboard?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 28, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Maybe. Can’t say for sure. Most Wi-fi modules are built on the same form factor. The one inside this laptop is a Mediatek MT7630E, try to find more about its size and then you should be able to find something to replace it with.

  23. Bojidar

    October 28, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Hi Andrei, I heard that the display of Asus N551JK-CN112D have fast pixel refreshing rate and therefore it cause your eyes to get tired.Is this true?Im asking this because i can exchange my new laptop in 30 days for my money or a new model so today is 29 day and i need to choose fast 😀 (sry for my english)

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 29, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Hmm, not sure what you mean by that. My test unit came with an IPS panel, which is somewhat slower than TN screens, but far better in terms of colors, viewing angles, contrast, etc. Personalyl, I had no problems playing games on any IPS panel, but if you’re into fast-moving shooters or action games, you might not like it.

  24. JJ

    October 29, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    hi all,
    Andrei, if the IPS screens are slower than TN panels, how do you think it might affect those of us who edit videos in premiere who are considering the N551 or N751 as our new desktop replacement? When we edit videos, seems like the N series are good choices for video editing too, but if we edit professional video with fast movement, do you think we would not be happy with the IPS panels?

    Will Asus give us the option to upgrade the panels to a higher 120 hz or are we stuck with 60 hz cycles?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 29, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Hi JJ. I personally edit video on IPS and even on VA panels and never had anything to complain about. And yes, you’re stuck with 60Hz on these laptops and pretty much all others. But you get the option of getting some higher-end external monitors if needed

  25. Alex Turpan

    October 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Andrei, I am changing laptops and my old one was an ASUS G55VW 128 ssd, 750 hdd, 16 GB ram, i7 3610qm and 660M with ofc all the nice things that the laptop had, ports, display, keyboard, cooling etc. I have a hard time deciding on a laptop that has most of those things, be lighter and doesn’t cost a fortune. It came down to the fact that I love Asus Laptops, but I didn’t find a worthy follower to my model. You were talking about the G551JK that will be reviewed soon. Is it also build like the G550JK with those small wholes for intake under the belly or does it have another system of cooling? Waiting for the G551JK review.
    Other then that, good job, I started watching your reviews over on YT and you are my reliable source of laptop testers. Your word is taken in consideration.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 31, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Hi ALex. Here’s my review of the Asus G551JM: . Design wise, it’s similar to the N551JK, with better graphics and no subwoofer. I don’t think there’s a better laptop for the money, although it doesn’t offer dual-storage options. Acer announced the V15 Nitro but I don’t know if that’s going to be available in Romania (I guess you’re living here?).

  26. Alex

    October 31, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Hi, Thanks for the review .
    do u think this ips panel of N551 is better for a programming student, or tn panel is good for me so i can go with GL551JM ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 1, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      I’d personally get the IPS panel. Better viewing angles, colors, contrast.

  27. scareduke

    November 9, 2014 at 10:55 am

    “If you can wait a few months though, you should: Broadwell processors and those Nvidia chips are the main reasons for that.”

    What do you exactly mean by that? are laptops projected to be released in like april, 2015? If so, by nearly all major producers?

    I don’t know why ASUS would release this laptop late 2015 and a few months later introduce a new laptop with broadwell processors and Nvidia chips.

    My current laptop is run-down. It’s slow, the screen is slightly cracked and I literally can’t wait beyond December 20th for a new laptop; would it be a bummer If I got this, and a few months later a similar one (but way better) came out?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 10, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      I’d say you shoudl expect these new laptops in Q2-Q3 2015, but the’res no exact timeframe. Thus my advice: if you find somethign that works for you right now, get it. There’s always going to be a next best thing, somtimes you just have to say: this will do now and be done with it.

  28. Razvan

    November 9, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Andrei, I just bought a Lenovo Ideapad Z710 2 days ago and I found out that the wifi card Intel N-7260 is a real problem with limited speeds and also the laptop is behaving a bit slow sometimes ( maybe because of win 7), so I was thinking of returning it tomorrow and getting an Asus N551JK-CN103D. I’m going to use it for a lot of 3ds max and photoshop and cad, how did you like it ? Was it smooth and powerful or did you experience stuttering ? Bottom line, do you think this laptop can help my in my editing endeavors for the next few 3 years ?. You can email me if you would like to answer a few more questions. Thanks and really good review.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 10, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      Not sure how graphic demandind 3ds max is these days, but if it is, you could also consider the G551JM that should be available soon and sells for roguthly the same kind of money. Otherwise, the processor and the RAM should do, and with a fast SSD, this thing is going to be a beast. As long as you’re fine with mid-level graphics performance.

      Still, if you read the review, you probably noticed this test unit had wireless problems. So you might want to wait for some other reviews before jumping in. Yes, it’s possible to replace the wi-fic hip later on, but I don’t think that’s worth the hassle. The G551JM i tested here had no such problems:

  29. Sorry

    November 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm


    I decided to buy either Asus N550JK or N551JK on Black Friday next week. They both have similar configurations: i7, gtx 850m, 1tb, 8gb ram, but I can’t decide because of the cooling.
    I like N550JK more (the aspect), but the cooling worries me (the case gets 10 degrees hotter than N551JK on the upper side and the CPU get couple of degrees hotter as well). How’s with the back exhaust, because I didn’t understand you very well in your N550JK review? Is is a problem? Will that hot air affect the screen?

    Also, I’m considering waiting for G551JK if I don’t catch the before mentioned laptops on Black Friday (I’m from Romania btw), but I saw in your reviews that it has somehow a worse cooling than N551JK…

    What you would recommend out of the two, possible three options?

    PS: I will use the laptop on gaming and maybe some basic video editing (nothing too complicated).

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      I’m not a big fan of the cooling on the N551JK, with hot air blown towards the screen, but it works fine and should not affect the panel on the long term.

      The N551 is slightly bulkier, but the cooling superior imo. BTW, I also reviewed the G551 which is only slightly more expensiver than the N, but faster. You can check out the articles on or for the ROmanian version.

  30. Michał

    November 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    How hard it is to get to the mSATA slot? Does it require disconnecting any wires or removing any components?

    If I’d prefer to use mSATA disk as boot drive instead of using it as a cache how can I do so?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 23, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      I wasn’t able to get to it easily and I gave up. You have to disconnect the enitre back panel which is hold in place by a lot of screws (some of them hidden). Shouldn’t be that difficult with a bit of patience.

  31. Razvan

    November 19, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Hello, just purchased this laptop and installed a fresh copy of Win 8.1. Haven’t had the chance to do any real testing but I’m writing to you because I noticed something on the screen. When the display is black (i.e windows is loading) there is a greenish light/reflection in the top edge of the screen (i think one at the left, one at the right of the width). When I was working on the laptop I don’t notice it. Do you happen to remember if you noticed something like this ? I’m worried it might be a defect of the display and I’d hate to have to take it to service.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 23, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      That’s called light bleeding and it’s encountered with all IPS panel. It you’ll press the frame around the affected area, the bleeding shoudl spread. There’s not much you can do abotu that, other then ask for a replacement from the shop you’ve bought it and hope it won’t have as noticeable bleeding. Unfortunately there’s no way to tell that in advance, the issue is common with most laptops these days.

  32. Alessio

    November 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Hello, I plan to purchase the N551JM and wanted to know if it mounts the same network adapter Wi-Fi model JK. Thanks in advance

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      Can’t say for sure, you’d have to ask Asus or the shop about that. the G551JM does not have this same Wi-Fi CHip though, that I can tell you for sure.

      • Alessio

        November 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm

        Thank your very much

  33. Bryan Liang

    November 22, 2014 at 2:59 am

    What would be better: a Lenovo Y50 or this laptop?

  34. Piotrek

    November 25, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    “I’m happy to report that throttling while performing daily tasks, including gaming, is not an issue with this laptop.”

    – no! it’s not truth. I bought that laptop couple of days before and i have to definitely protest against quoted statement! Throttling occures after CPU reaches 87*C. AS we see in review, you’ve tested laptop only in single player games – this is not enought to say that “im happy to announce there’s no throttling”. 20 mins in CS:GO were enough to deny it. I’m really sorry to say it (cause im owner of this laptop), but throttling occures after CPU reaches 87*C and i can confirm with screens of XTU if you want me to. What’s interesting, you can’t reach 87*C with i.e OCCT only, so u went experience throttling in that way. You have to add some heat from GTX860m to reach it, and that’s the saddest thing, cause if asus did not resign using 2 coolers, there would be no throttle then. On the other side i have to emphasize that throttling is not big at all. Average thermal throttling that XTU shows is 5%, maximum was 30% but within 30% the mhz drop didn’t last for more than 10 secs i guess. I will follow re-comments so u can reply any time :).

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 26, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Hi Piotrek. I’m sorry you’re experiencing these issues but I was not with mine. On the other hand, I did have a similar experience to yours on the G771 I tested a while ago: . And I don’t have any experience with CS:GO but I don’t think is more demanding then some of the titles I’ve tried. still, I haven’t noticed anythign wrong with this test unit, but like I said, some Asus laptops do have weird throttling problems that should not be there.

      If the throttling is indeed afecting your gaming experience (freezes, dropped frames, etc), perhaps you should contact Asus about that and ask for a replacement/refund.

      IF you can send me some details, evidence of the throttling, I’d love to add them to the post. Please get in touch at contact at ultrabookreview dot com . Thanks

  35. Jack

    November 27, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Do you know if there are similier problems in it’s brother model n551jq-ds71?
    Do you know if these models qualify for international warrenty?


    • Andrei Girbea

      November 27, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      The JQ might have a different wi-fi chip, but I’m not 100% sure on that. For the warranty you’ll have to ask Asus representatives in your country.

  36. jack

    November 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    do you know how can i find out if the wifi chip was changed? and i heard there were severe problems with n550jk screen (turned to black and etc) was this fixed?

  37. Hermans

    December 2, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Hi there, GREAT review! My sincere compliments.

    I was wondering if you know how to replace the Mediatek wifi adapter?

    I am looking to buy this notebook but the lack op 5ghz is hindering me.

    Would like to replace the standard adapter with something like the Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260..

    Could you tell me how tricky this would be? Would help me a lot. Thank you.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      not tricky. Take the back panel apart and you’ll get access to the wi-fi card, which is a simple chip that cna be easily poped out and replaced with a different one (same standard though)

      • Hermans

        December 9, 2014 at 12:40 am

        Thank you! By ‘back panel’. You mean the entire backside? Or just the easy accesible area on the backside?

        I know for a fact that there is the HDD and RAM underneath the easy accesible part of the backside… is the wifi adapter also there?

        Or do i need to remove the entire backside? Thank you!

      • Andrei Girbea

        December 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm

        The easily accesible one, see the pictures, the wi-fi chip is accesible through there.

  38. Jose

    December 11, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Very nice review. I have a N751JK version myself. I wanted to change the wifi card of it but it seems it is situated in another place then the N551JK. Seems there isnt much technical documentation neither about the models. Dunno if you have some kind of tips?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 13, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      I haven’t seen the N750JK live yet, can’t say anything about it.

  39. Stelios

    December 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Dear Andrei,

    I want to purhcase this notebook for movie editing and lightroom work.

    I have found it in under the code N551JK-CN173H and in my country under the code N551JK-CN033H

    Do you know if both have IPS panels? How can i confirm?


    • Andrei Girbea

      December 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      If it’s a 1920 x 1080 px screen, then it’s an IPS panel

  40. Alex

    December 16, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Hi , thank u for the review.
    what do u think about Acer Aspire V15 , even if u didnt test it .
    build quality of acer laptops is good or not ?
    or i just go with that asus N551.
    i wanna use my laptop for programming so i dont need only perfermance so i wanna a solid laptop too with great materiels.
    any other suggestions ?
    thank u .

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 18, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      I’ve heard good things abotu the V15 but I haven’t tested it and haven’t looked to deep into it either. CHeck out user reviews and what those who bought it have to say on the forums over at .

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