Great building quality, good performance and innovative design push the gorgeous Asus N56VM to the top of the Ivy Bridge line.
With a light Asus logo between dark metal lid, the frame is harder than any plastic Asus laptop, this 15.6-inch laptop brings back the feeling that it is worth.
With 2.75kg, it is not the lightest 15.6-inch model here, but the offset is the construction quality that can prevent bomb. The dark metal lid is strong, and the area around the keyboard is made of metal, the chassis is at the second position about stiffness, after MacBook Pro. Even it’s quite beautiful: the circles from the corners of the keyboard bring back a bit attraction; it has elegant, simple design.
Take a look at the excellent keyboard, and you will notice that Asus has decorated N56VM with Bang & Olufsen ICEpower brand. At default settings, the speakers seem muffled, but if you dig into the audio panel, Waves MaxxAudio improvements bring incredible improvement, increased treble and bass. Another strange thing, Asus includes small subwoofer in a box that has the size of a bottle of carbonated water. Plug this into the speaker, bass provides warmer, more rounded sound. From the audio perspective, N56VM has incredible ability.
The screen is also a visual party. It is 15.6-inch Full HD screen with impressive wide viewing angle and anti-glare surface, helping prevent the reflections that cause distraction. The picture quality is not as good as Sony VAIO E Series, but it only lose Dell Inspiron a little. It’s better than the competition with 357cd/m2 brightness, 566:1 contrast ratio adds to the stable color reproduction image to create bold, attractive image.
Quad-core processors help N56VM achieve 0.95 results in our tests, it does not lack of power, but the graphics performance is not as good as the best laptop. GeForce GT 630M GPUs achieves an average frame rate of 18fps in the test, Crysis requires heavier and slower than Inspiron and Samsung Series 5.
Big keyboard with the Scrabble-tile keys on a metal border, there is no signs it is bent. Asus did well with the touchpad. The right click with two fingers, pinch and zoom motion brings back natural feeling, the touchpad is compressed with one strong click.
Big keyboard with the Scrabble-tile keys on a metal border, there is no signs it is bent.
There are some things to criticize in other aspects. Blu-ray reading device is interesting at this price, 4 USB3 ports is a plus, and 1 optical audio output will satisfy those who want to take that perfect sound to external DAC or amplifier. When considering the power and the screen, you will see that even battery life is also quite good with 5 hours 24 minutes of light use.
We rarely see a laptop that achieves perfect balance, but Asus N56VM is close to it. With perfect sound, great screen and good speed change, the winner in the Labs section this month is an amazing comprehensive laptop.
· Supplier: www.uk.insight.com
· Test score: 0.95
· Crysis (High): 18fps
· Light use battery: 5 hours 24 minutes
· Performance: 5/6
· Battery life: 3/6
· Design and features: 5/6
· Value: 5/6
· Total: 5/6