Are you looking for a powerful 15.6″ laptop but don’t know which one to pick? Let me represent you one idea: ASUS N550JX-DS71T. It’s packed with power, thanks to Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and dedicated graphics. But there are many things you should consider, not just the raw performance. So let’s see if this ASUS is the right answer for your laptop needs.
One of the most powerful mobile processors, the Core i7-4720HQ, is installed on this laptop. It’s a quad-core CPU, offering a nice clock speed of 2.6GHz. With turbo, that’s increased even higher, all the way to 3.6GHz. It’s a lot faster than new, ultra low voltage Core i7s that have received a lot of attention lately: this model reaches over 8000 points in CPU Mark tests, while those 5th generation ULV ones receive only half of that. So don’t mix up these two i7 families. The i7-4720HQ is an extremely capable processor, and any program you throw at it the CPU will handle without problems.
ASUS N550JX-DS71T sports 8GB DDR3L SDRAM. It looks like it’s installed on one module. The motherboard has a free slot for memory upgrade, with 16GB being the maximum RAM this system supports. So adding more memory is not only possible but convenient on this model.
There’s one terabyte hard drive installed. It’s obviously good for those who value huge storage over performance. You also have the option to purchase this laptop with a 240GB solid-state drive and full 16GB RAM. That one is considerably more expensive than the HDD version, so pick your poison. There’s no space for additional storage drive unless you remove the built-in DVD drive.
Screen and graphics
ASUS N550JX-DS71T’s glossy screen should be excellent. It’s sized at 15 inches and offers 1920×1080 resolution. Not only that should put a smile on power users face, but IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel is a nice treat as well. It translates to great viewing angles and overall good image quality. Furthermore, the display has a touch screen, which many see as an useful feature. I don’t personally care about it, but understand that many want to get it for this kind of Windows 8.1 laptop.
Appropriate for this high price, a dedicated graphics card is available. It’s much, much faster than integrated Intel HD chips found in cheaper notebooks. You should reach +35 FPS on games like Battlefield 4 with settings turned high and resolution Full HD. Even the most demanding ones, like Assassin’s Creed Unity will get around 30 frames per second on medium details.
ASUS N550JX-DS71T has three USB ports, all are version 3.0. That’s excellent for fast transfer speeds with your peripherals. Using the notebook through an HDTV or external monitor is possible thanks to the unit’s HDMI and mini DisplayPort outputs.
As expected, networking is golden on this model. Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 port and dual-band 802.11 A/C WiFi are present. Bluetooth 4.0 is enabled, too.
The laptop features a DVD burner on the right hand side. Also an MMC/SD/SDXC card reader is built-in. The HD webcam is ideal for Skype video.
Anything else to keep in mind?
ASUS N550JX-DS71T is not perfect. It weighs 5.73 pounds, which isn’t lightweight – not even compared to other 15″ models weighing around 5 lbs. And thanks to the power hungry processor, the replaceable 4-cell battery isn’t going to work for too long either. Around four hours is what you can realistically expect.
The keyboard is backlit and a numeric keypad is installed on the right hand side.
Summing it up
ASUS N550JX-DS71T is definitely geared towards gamers and power users. It’s even compared to MacBook Pro by some, although this ASUS is a lot cheaper. It might actually make sense to choose this model over MacBooks, for a variety of reasons. Most obvious is the processor, with i7-4720HQ offering heaps of performance with no dangers of programs slowing down. Also, if you opt for the SSD version you’ll experience booting up times less than 10 seconds. Three USB 3.0 ports are useful to have, as well as a Full HD display with dedicated graphics. Most games will run fluently with full eye candy. This all costs a lot of money, but to me, it looks like the price is justified. If you have the dough, I recommend going for this high-end ASUS.