With elegant dark colors you will not shout into the surroundings your tawdriness. Notebook looks decent and thanks to details such as matte finish, glossy lid with hexagonal pattern and the same stripe of pattern above the keyboard creates representative complement of your desk. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
After three months first plastics creaking emerged from where the right wrist lays.
Disappointing for me is the display lid, which has no lock and is only closed. Retaining latch holding the screen gave me safer feeling on my old Toshiba. To open the display you need just one hand. The question is how long will two small hinges keep 14-inch display from straining. The lid opens only to an angle of 130 degrees. Sometimes more is needed.
Above the keyboard, there are only two control buttons, right one turns on/off the machine and the left one switches between consumption schemes. Keyboard shortcut for volume adjusting, launching programs, media control are missing. If you turn on the laptop in the library prepare yourself for loud Windows jingle, because until the system is fully started the sound could not be turned off.
Keyboard is fast, keys respond without any problems. Function keys are, with the exception of F3 and F4, always associated with the laptop control. After pressing them a 3 seconds round animation measuring 10cm (4 inches) appears in the middle of the screen. While watching the movie or playing a game it makes me nervous.
Touch pad has the wrong surface, similar to display lid. This slows rapid mouse gestures. However, I do not play games with the touchpad, so it does not matter to me. The touchpad is large, broad and sensitive everywhere. Two finger movements move across the document or images. Unfortunately, that´s all. My Vaio allows continuous moving by swirling spin, or zooming with two fingers. Also marginal regions, allowing movement up/down and side to side by dragging, are missing. Mice buttons are combined into one long block and when pressing them a click sound is audible. Sometimes it may be annoying.
Connectors are grouped at the sides and front. Due to the lid, there is a no room for connectors in the back. Right connectors are covered by plastic cover, which masks them with continous lines. It's nice, but constraining.
In addition to the network connector, there is a USB 2.0 and e-SATA combined with other USB 2.0 under the cover. To disconnect the network cable, you have to lift the notebook. It is because the ocking lever is facing downwards, and is touching opened cover. On the right side there is also Kensington and DVD drive.
On the left side, there is a USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA ports and 3,5mm audio input/output. In the front there is Wi-Fi button and 5 in 1 memory card slot. Both are poorly designed. You won´t find the Wi-Fi with your finger, so you have to look down every single time you will need it. It is difficult to pull out inserted memory card. Because of the beveled profile you will often press the edge of port, instead of the memory card.
Display and sound
14-inch LED display is the most appropriate for a traveller´s notebook. It fits into your briefcase; you catch it with one hand and it is comfortable to work at. With a resolution of 1366 x 768 WXGA it is easy to write in Word. The letters are big and clearly visible. You will appreciate that the subtitles are bigger compared to 13.3-inch display. It is comfortable when watching movie. LED backlight is strong and, equal across the screen. Glossy screen is however serious disadvantage. One can eliminate this with a matte film at approximately 15,-€. You will appreciate that when working with lamp, or outside at the sun. Strong brightness of 240cd/m2 makes the work at the sun easier and partlially eliminates the reflection on glossy surface. When applying this mate sheet, be careful especially at the borders. I didn´t fit it well and when the monitor is turned off it can be seen at the edges. Luckily when the monitor is turned on, it is not visible.
The screen is 16:9, which is a sad standard. This is a disadvantage at work, while for gaming and watching videos it is improvement. Personally, I would prefer 4:3, but it is an anachronism. When closing the screen I used to put on a piece of paper on the keyboard because greasy buttons may be stamped on the display. The fact that the keyboard is greasy is not visible, because the matte finish.
The image is visible from the side only to some extent. At an angle of 50 ° colors are starting to invert.
Seen from above the colors lose their intensity.
Sound is a weakness here. Without headphones or external speakers the music is misery. The speakers are only rattles with no bass, weak middle and over pulled high tones. Overall, the sound is weak and you can’t hear it more than 3 meters far. Declaration of the Asus Co. about “super multimedia with amazing musical experience” is a pure lie when talking about this laptop.
Webcam can take pictures at a resolution of 1600x1200 which is 2 megapixel.
Quad core processor Intel Core i7-720QM is one of 2010 models, and with 4x1, 6GHz speed assisted by 1GB Nvidia GeForce graphic card GT335M CUDA, 4GB DDR3 1066/1333 MHz RAM and 64 bit systems it is capable to handle everything I tried. I had no issues while watching HD video, downloading and sending data on the Internet, ripping CD and playing flash game at once.
Don´t be threatened by core´s low-frequency of 1.6 GHz. Intel Turbo Boost allows you to overclock the core up to 2.8 GHz. But not all cores may be overclocked to this speed. Each core operates with two threads. Therefore, there are eight threads available for programs. If all threads are used simultaneously overclocking rate is 4x1.2GHz, when using only two cores overclocking rate is 2x2.25GHz. Only if there is a single core used to calculate overclock rate is 1x2.8GHz. Such a situation is unlikely.
Nvidia GeForce GT335M is comparable with ATI HD5650. The card supports PureVideo HD, it accelerates HD video decoding, i.e. GPU is decoding MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264, WMV9 and VC1 video. CUDA Technology, OpenGL and DirectX set the processor free from graphics processing. The difference in image processing is not visible on 14-inch display, but when connected with a large screen via HDMI, you'll see the difference between 1080p from this laptop and 720p from another.
To compare the performance tests check http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/asus-n82jq-a1.aspx?mode=benchmarks#axzz17K0VHVm5 or http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Asus-N82JQ-Notebook .40165.0.html. For example, in the overall test of PCMark Vantage Asus was about 30% better than other conventional laptops currently sold.
Windows 7 HP 64, with all updates, uTorrent and Skype programs is entirely opened in one and a quarter minutes.
When comparing 14-inch machines I considered N82JQ vs HP Envy 14th. They are of comparable performance, the price of HP is ¼ higher. HP offers a nice gadgets such as two switchable graphics (integrated and ATI), inserting DVD drive, backlit keyboard, better speakers. Whether it justifies the price difference of 300,-€ is up to your assessment. The 15-inch competitor is e.g. Acer AS5740G Asus with ATI Radeon 5650 which is slightly worst and the Alienware M11X and IdeaPad Y460 which are equal to N82JQ. Regarding gaming performance, I recommend the above-mentioned reviews, since I am not playing games.
Network Adapter Atheros AR9285 802.11n works reliably and has an excellent data throughput even at greater distances. It is easy to watch HD video via Wi-Fi. Network adapter supports draft-N. Furthermore there is WLAN Bluetooth 2.1 EDR and 1Gb network card.
At the full power laptop heats up. I highly recommend using cooling pads with fans. Your reward is longer life time of your laptop and quiet operation noise. The bottom of the laptop heats up at most. The area of the hands and the keyboard is also hotter than ordinary working laptop. If you have a mouse on the left side, while not using cooling pad, you will have your hand still warm. At maximum performance the fan spins at full speed in order to cool down the processor, which is also to be heard. After you start working at full power for about half a minute fan spins loudly, then it turns into more acceptable level. When using the cooling pad, notebook operates completely silently and even while playing games you will not hear that you have a turbo under the hood.
Considering outstanding computing performance the serial 500GB 5200rpm HDD is the slowest part of the chains. It´s replacement significantly accelerates computer.
With quad-core i7 processors, dedicated graphic card, 14 inch screen you will enter into the energy crisis. To feed up such a machine requires a lot of energy. Standard battery does not have such capacity. If you plan to work elsewhere, consider buying a second battery. When charging an empty battery, you will reach 90% of capacity in one hour and 20 minutes. A full charge takes me an hour and 50 minutes.
When fully charged battery lasts
- 2 and a ½ hour when surfing the Web via Wi-Fi
- 2 and ¾ of an hour typing in Word for battery saving scheme
- 2 hours watching movie but nothing more
- 1 and ¼ hour of game play
- 3 and ¾ hour in stand-by mode in power saving scheme
With such poor battery life you will always carry AC adapter with you. The disadvantage of the supplied adapter is a short 1.5m (5 inches) long cable. I replaced it with a 3m (10 inches) cord and together with adapter´s cable it will reach almost 5m (16 inches) far.
In the stress test, power consumption climbs up to 111 watts. In the real game performance the maximum consumption is 80 watts. Accompanied adapter is designed only for 90 watts. Missing 20 watts from the stress test is to be found on the hot adapter, but the computer still works, no failure occurred.
If you want to remove the battery you need to close the screen and slide the battery out form the bottom of the laptop. Closing of the lid screen on operating machine puts the Windows into sleep mode, so remember it.
Poor battery life is a price for dedicated graphics and four cores. Core i7 has a 45W TDP. Without Optimus technology and integrated graphics card one can´t ask for more. Optimus is available only for the weaker processors i3 and i5. Unlike i3 and i5, i7-720QM doesn´t contains an integrated Intel graphics card. If you need mobility together with maximal speed within 1000,-€ look for i5 processor. If it is mostly mobility and performance is secondary, look on Acer Timeline 4820TG. If you want uncompromising performance with long battery life and you have 1400, - € I recommend HP Envy 14th. It has both, dedicated and integrated graphic card, made by ATI.
Notebook came with a lot of useless Asus programs, which should be uninstalled. But first make a complete DVD backup, because Asus has not provided them. If you will skip this, you have only accompanying CD with the drivers. At least something. After uninstalling unnecessary software, I had to re-install Wireless Console 3, because Wi-Fi stopped working. I kept camera driver LifeFrame and Asus Web Storage. Excluding these I uninstalled all other stuff starting with Micro Internet Security, because it will only annoys you with reports of activation and slow down your computer. I truly recommend Eset NOD32.
Within the three months after purchase you can buy a two-year warranty extension. This extension costs about 80,- € and includes international Pickup-Return warranty.
Let me to paraphrase, "…comparing Asus to a car it will be Mustang, uncompromising performance and crappy mileage.". N82JQ is a powerful machine that needs a lot of energy. In return you get tremendous scratch-resistant machine, nice to look at and touch, four cores, superior graphics, HDMI, USB3.0 and e-SATA. Poor battery life is the one big issue. But unless you are willing to pay almost twice (1400,- €) for the HP Envy you don´t have the same performance elsewhere in a group of 14-inch notebooks. Quad-core notebook with dedicated graphics is a rare article and one has not many to choose from. Weak speakers can be replaced by headphones, or HiFi, so they don´t hurt so much. Minor negatives such as short power cord, a few control buttons, glossy display, connectors cover are a matter of opinion and often can be reduced (power cable 3, - €, matte film for screen 15, - €).
- you need a small but powerful laptop
- life on one battery charge is not an issue
- you play games, or work with graphics
Look elsewhere if,
- you need a computer for a long time away from plug
- you have mouse on the left side
- you listen to the music without headphones or external speakers