by Rob Williams on March 2, 2009 in Systems
Looking for a well-rounded notebook that won’t break the bank? That’s a lot easier to pull off today than it was a few years ago, and ASUS proves it with their N50Vn. For its $1,149 asking price, this 15.4″ notebook offers a lot for the money, including the ability to not only get your work done, but even get some gaming taken care of as well.
When all said and done, I’m left impressed with ASUS’ N50Vn. I admit that I’m not overly enthused by the aesthetics (the hood is great, but the color scheme isn’t for me), but that’s a matter of opinion. You can easily form your own with the help of the numerous photos on the first page. Aside from that personal gripe through, I love what’s offered here, and for the price, you really do get a good bang for your buck.
To see how this particular notebook compares to the competition, where pricing is concerned, I paid a visit to Dell’s US website to build a comparable machine. In this case, their Studio 15 notebook is the only 15.4″ model they offer, so I built on top of one of their preset configurations.
When all said and done, ASUS’ notebook costs $75 more, but you do get quite a bit for that nominal fee. Dell’s notebook, for example, was using an ATI Radeon HD 3450, whereas this ASUS contains a much faster GeForce 9650M GT. In addition, Dell’s notebook included a 1280×800 resolution display, whereas this one uses 1440×900 – another big improvement. For the most part though, both notebooks scale well with price, and the important thing to take away from this is that the N50Vn is priced-right, in relation to the competition.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that the N50Vn also includes both a mouse and a notebook bag. ASUS has always done a great job with their carrying bags, and they really add a lot of value to their notebooks. The mouse is a branded Logitech V100, which is strictly a notebook offering. I personally prefer to use a desktop mouse even on a notebook, but if such mice strike your fancy, it should be fine (the caveat is that it lacks thumb buttons).
As I mentioned, the color scheme of the N50Vn doesn’t do too much for me personally, but I can’t help but walk away from this review excited about the product. I still find it incredible how much value is locked in to notebooks nowadays. Just a few years ago, if you picked up a $1,149 notebook, it would be underwhelming in many regards. That’s not the case whatsoever nowadays, especially with the N50Vn.
Included here are sweet mid-range components (CPU and GPU are both very capable), a large display with a good resolution (1440×900), one of the best mobile keyboards I’ve used to date, a slew of connectivity options, many security-related features, a robust selection of ASUS’ own software, a well-designed carrying bag and much more… all for a good price.
I might try to hold onto this one for just a little bit longer…
- Great performer – both CPU and GPU are excellent for all-around use.
- Good amount of connectivity (HDMI and eSATA especially).
- Features one of the best keyboards I’ve used on a notebook.
- ASUS’ software collection is robust and useful.
- Features Splashtop for those who enjoy it.
- Offers the ability to easily swap out the hard drive or memory.
- Many security features (fingerprint reader, web cam logon, TPM).
- Keeps relatively cool even after long periods of use.
- System restore implementation is one of the best available.
- Priced right (this particular model is $1,149).
- 32-bit version of Vista installed (we’d like to see 64-bit).
- Large amount of pre-installed software.
- Display’s viewing angle allowance leaves a bit to be desired.
- Battery-life is sub-par, but typical of similar notebooks (~3 hours reading, ~2 hours movie).
ASUS N50Vn-B1B 15.4″ Notebook
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