Hands-On With Asus N53J, a 15-inch Multimedia Notebook for $999

Today, Asus announced the N53Jf, its newest 15-inch multimedia notebook, which boasts Nvidia’s new GT425M GPU (with Optimus), an Intel Core i5 processor, and a USB 3.0 port.

While the 15.6-inch screen has the standard 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, its speakers were developed by Bang & Olufsen ICE, and Asus’ Sonic Master utility lets you adjust the vocal clarity, surround sound, and bass, which should please audiophiles somewhat.

The N53Jf, which will retail for $999, we be available by the end of September.

Stylistically, the N53J looks like a descendant of the N61J, in that there’s a speaker grille running the length of the deck above the keyboard. Just below is a transparent bar with buttons for power, playback, etc., that light up when pressed. A subtle, but nice touch.

While it looks like metal, the lid is made of a scratch-resistant plastic. The keyboard deck is made from aluminum, though. When we were listening to movies and music played on the N53J, we were impressed with the fidelity as well as the bass response.

The keyboard was nice and firm, although in order to accommodate a full number pad, a few of the keys–namely, the left Shift key–were squished, and the Enter button is also an odd shape. However, we liked the large touchpad, and the mouse button below, despite being a single bar, was very easy to press.

Stay tuned for our full review.

Price: $999

Processor: Intel Core i5-460M

Memory/Expandable to: 4GB/8GB

Screen size/resolution: 15.6 inches/1366 x 768

Graphics: Nvidia GT425M with Optimus

Hard Drive Size/Speed: 500GB/7200 rpm

Optical drive: 8X DVD Supermulti

Wireless: 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1

Ports: One USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, 5-in-1 card reader

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  1. david stillwell Says:

    The keyboard is not backlit.


  2. Mugsy Pinckrton Says:

    Once again ASUS has a chance to make the perfect 15inch laptop and blows it.
    Why ASUS refuses to put backlit keyboards in any of their laptops is just strange. If they are concerned with Battery life that would be O.K. but they cripple all these new laptops battery life with only a six cell battery. Why no 8 cell battery option is again strange. This laptop will get only 2.5 hours of juice with these specs. They did the same thing with their new UL series laptops also offering a 6 cell only. The Display resolution should be higher as well.Another area that ASUS keeps missing. Not offering a Higher Screen Res. 1920 x1080 is a deal breaker.
    ASUS seems to be cutting corners anyway they can when it comes to certain things. They make good laptops I have not had any hardware issues with three I have owned. I just wish for the prices they charge the things they leave out other brands offer them or include them at this price range. Come on ASUS you will sell a ton of your new UL series, N series, and Bamboo series laptops if you just add 4 things.
    1. 1920 x 1080 screen option
    2. Backlit Keyboard
    3. 8 cell Battery Option (adds weight but it = 5-6 hours of juice instead of 2.5)
    4. Two separate mouse buttons, the annoying stiff single bar has long been a complaint by many.
    Priced around $850.00
    $999.00 is too high for these Specs. Samsung, Toshiba and HP all offer the same
    or more for less.
    Still for what this has and what it doesn’t. This is a solid setup for a laptop. It probably will be 4 star rated once
    reviewed minus only for battery life. If it goes on sale for less. Definitely worth the purchase.

  3. Ben Says:

    2.5h of juice: it might be more, they are using optimus to swtich between the nvidia and an integrated intel HD.

  4. Ray Says Says:

    1366 x 768 res are they nuts on an upscale 15″ notebook? No back-lit keys and a single mouse button are all deal breaker.
    Asus I love their notebooks and mobo but they are really cutting corners all over the place I guess to hit a price point and that’s a major fail.

  5. Niboo Says:

    david stillwell:
    Can you please explain why it is a deal breaker that it does not have a backlit keyboard? Why would you look at the keys? :)
    (For the few special keys that I use very seldom and have to look for (Insert for instance), I found that the backlight from the screen makes them readable in the dark anyway)

  6. Silvia Says:

    On their site it says that the N53 series will have FULL HD (or at least the option for it).

  7. Green hornet Says:

    When will this review be out?

    Also, will you be reviewing the ASUS N43JF?

  8. jennifer53 Says:

    While the 15.6-inch screen has the standard 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, its speakers were developed by Bang

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