PC And Laptop System
My laptop has one and only output
port for audio. Can I have surround sound?
Most of the surround sound speakers are
designed for PC with 3 audio jacks: one for the front speaker, one for rear
speaker and one which was shared between the center speaker and super bass one.
A few of laptops have 3 jacks; therefore, these speakers can’t provide the real
If you desire such speakers, the best pick
for you is a dedicated sound card out of the USB. It will allow you to connect
the speaker with your laptop while it doesn’t have the relevant output ports.
Of course, it means that you have just 1 USB port; as a result, if you don’t
have any ports left, a USB hub should be used. Creative has sold ExpressCard
Sound Blaster X-Fi at the price of $39, but basically not all laptops have
slots for ExpressCard.
Some laptops have digital S/PDIF output
ports, then you can plug them into AV amplifier or the speakers equipped with
S/PDIF. In case your laptop has an HDMI output port, you can use it to provide
audio to the AV recorder.
$953 (VAT included)
The N-series laptops of Asus have tried to
improve its sound quality but this latest version is the best until now. Apart
from a set of Bang & Olufsen speaker, N55SF is equipped with an external
subwoofer to improve the bass effect.
Certainly we could figure out the
differences during the test tracks with the plugging of subwoofer. Bass was
much more powerful when the subwoofer was connected which made us satisfactory
to enjoy the music or watch movies by using Blu-ray optical drive without
headphones. Bass was best at over half volume; therefore, it was hard to hear
any rumble sound at any lower level.
Towards those loved games than movies,
N55SF is well equipped to play the latest games thanks to the dedicated Nvidia
GeForce GT 555M graphics card. It has 2GB of video memory and even could
process our Dirt 3 test at 1,280x720 resolution; with High details and 4x
anti-aliasing. The frame rate at 59fps is as smooth as silk and proves that it
can handle most of the available games in high resolution.
Its desktop performance is absolutely
outstanding due to the quad-core Intel Core i7-2670QM processor (2.2GHz). It
can also runs Turbo Boost to 3.1GHz for a better single-threaded performance
and 6GB RAM allows it to run several heavy applications simultaneously. Our
multi-media test used both single-threaded and multi-threaded applications, but
they weren’t the opponent with N55SF – the overall score was 79, which was 20
points less than our reference desktop PC, and definitely quick for a laptop.
Optimus graphics switching technology of
Nvidia enables it to turn off the dedicated graphics card when you don’t play
games, which enhances the battery life. In the light duty test, this laptop
lasted for 4.5 hours, quite reasonable with a powerful laptop, but it wasn’t as
long as the all-day battery of the latest ultraportables.
There was no difficulty in using N55SF in
the sunlight or bright office light thanks to its semi - antiglare display
screen. Most of the multi-media laptops take advantage of the mirror screen for
a more vivid color display, but the coating was absolutely balanced between
image quality and anti-glare effect. However, the colors seemed to be a little
bit pale and everything looked firm and fresh in the 1,600x900 resolution. It
wasn’t high enough to watch HD movies at its full 1080p by using Blu-ray
optical drive, but still enough to work on two documents simultaneously. The
viewing angle isn’t the best but it has wide view angle which allows you to
find your own angle to go well with your typing position.
Not as other Asus laptops, N55SF isn’t
equipped with the Chiclet-styled isolated keyboards – instead, the group of
keys is placed closely which doesn’t provide plenty of room for your fingers,
regardless of the size. The numeric keypad is crammed at the side, but it just
equals 2/3 the normal size, which makes it difficult for those have big hands.
The keys have great springy effect, but we aren’t fond of the multi-media
shortcut key placement at the left of the keyboard. We were always turning on
the mute mode of the system when reaching the Ctrl key.
Touchpad works far better. It is made from
plastic which is as smooth as the rest of its chassis and less friction. Its
size absolutely goes well with the screen resolution. The big-sized keys have
the noticeable dead spot at the place they meet. However, it was still
comfortable to use.
With the great combination between
performance and price, N55SF is such an incredibly perfect laptop. Even you
want to play games, watch movies or enjoy the music, it all has. The display
screen is great, though N55SF isn’t the lightest laptop on the market, it is
still surprisingly portable. It is such a light alternative for desktop PC and
performance and outstanding sound make it an ideal multi-media laptop. Laptop
for desktop replacement: Intel Core i7-2670QM (2.2GHz), 6GB RAM, 640GB disk
drive, Nvidia GeForce GT555M graphics, DVD+/-RW+/-DL BD-ROM, 15.6” widescreen
LCD, Windows Home Premium 64bit, 37x379x261mm, 2.7kg, 2 years RIB warranty.
Power consumption: 1W standby, 20W idle, 133W active.