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Best ASUS Gaming Laptop around $1000: ASUS N56VZ-DS71 Laptop Review

Best ASUS Gaming Laptop around $1000: ASUS N56VZ-DS71 Laptop Review

August 25, 2012 6:28 am1 comment

With the ASUS N56VZ-DS71, ASUS has proven it has come to play with the big boys of multimedia. By equipping the N56VZ-DS71 with a powerful Ivy Bridge quad-core processor, the Bang & Olufsen audio sound system, including an amazing 1080p matte display, and the always popular Nvidia GT 650M 2G with 2MB ram graphics, the N56VZ-DS71 is certainly geared up to take on all competition when it comes to multimedia. This notebook comes to you with an external subwoofer just to add to your listing enjoyment.

ASUS N56VZ-DS71 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black)

Design:

The case of the N56VZ-DS71 is made of a simple brushed aluminum lid that is stylishly covered with a black hard plastic lip. Adding to the class of this laptop, the ASUS logo is backlit in white and conspicuously displayed in the top center of the lid. The bottom is covered in plastic and likewise the thick bezel that surrounds the 15.6 inch screen.

Opening up the lid and looking at the inside of the N56VZ-DS71 is a completely different story. The deck is composed of one flat piece of silver aluminum that has been accented with a pattern of large dots that move out from both the Power and Instant Key buttons. This design has a rotating look reminiscent of twin suns and is really a nice touch.

Display

With the reduced glare of the 15.6 inch, 1920p by 1080p matte Full HD display screen, I found it easy on my eyes. The widescreen display presents deep, rich colors. The text is crisp and sharp on the N56VZ-DS71. This was noticed both on CNN.com and Mozilla Firefox home pages. Watching the trailer of “Red Hook Summer,” in 1080p it was a burst of brilliant color. Striking violets, amazing yellows, and superb greens were impressive. The ability to accommodate three people viewing at the same time is a testament to the generous viewing angles provided by the ASUS N56VZ-DS71.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Incorporating a complete number key pad and ample spacing on an island-style keyboard is a welcome characteristic of the ASUS N56VZ-DS71. The lively feel of the backlit, flat black keys delivered a positive experience when typing. The right Shift key, we would have preferred to be a bit larger, but overall we, liked the keyboard. When working in low light conditions we were particularly impressed with the keyboards brilliant backlighting.

The large Elan touchpad measuring 4.5 x 2.8-inchs, provides comparatively ease of use. Reasonably accurate highlighting of text within documents and websites was easily achieved. We were able to select single words as well whole paragraphs without difficulty. While typing in Microsoft Word, we initially experienced several instances of the cursor skipping. However after updating the driver this improved. When using the multitouch feature, (the pinch-zoom and the two-finger rotate), we noticed a faster response time and smoother animations after the new driver had been installed. The Three-finger swiping was found to be accurate and quick.

Left click on the touchpad is activated by pressing or tapping anywhere on the pad, with the exception of the lower right corner of the pad. This location is reserved for right click functions. Even after the driver update the touchpad misidentified left clicks as right clicks on occasion.

Webcam:

The N56VZ features a 2.0 megapixel webcam, with ASUS LifeFrame software, you can capture up to 1280 x 720 pixels and video at 640 x 480.

Performance:

I personally believe that the performance of this lap-top may be its greatest benefit. Boasting a 3rd generation Intel Core-i7 and 8GB SO-DIMM, it is extremely good at multitasking. It is faster than older desktop models. Although this has not been designed as a professional gaming laptop, when I installed Crysis 2, I was able to play without any lag, even on the high settings of 1080p. If your needs include some gaming on your laptop, the ASUS N56VZ-DS71 would make an effective choice.

With that said there is one thing about this computer that actually gives me pause. The 5400rpm hard drive is really slow on boot up or when opening up larger programs like Vegas Pro. This I believe hampers the over all performance quite a lot. Since the HDD is not difficult to change by myself, I may replace it with a faster HDD. Compared to today’s standards a 5400rpm HDD is rather sluggish. One more issue I have with this laptop is the use of the GDDR3 version of the GT 650m. The GDDR5 model would have been more efficient. The GDDR5 a 10-15% better performance over the GDDR3 and although it is not much (maybe 2 or 3 fps), it would have been nice to have. However I am able to deal with the GDDR3 without difficulty.

Detail Specs:

  • 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 3610QM
  • 8 GB DDR3 Ram
  • 750 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 15.6-Inch Full HD Screen (1920×1080)
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 650M (2GB VRAM)
  • 2.0MP WebCamera
  • 2 x USB3.0, 2 x USB2.0
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 15 x 10 x 1.1~1.3 inches
  • 6 pounds

If you want buy a gaming laptop at this price, you may like:Gaming Laptop around 1000$ comparison

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