Asus Ultrabook N56VM - In More Ways Than One

9/17/2012 9:01:07 AM

With the whole laptop manufacturing world seeming to be completely besotted with Intel’s Ultrabook specification, it’s nice to see a good old traditional notebook come along. Ultrabooks are great, but notebooks can, thanks to their unrestricted nature, offer a lot more. The Asus N56VM is such a notebook, and it does offer a lot.

Description: Asus N56VM

Asus N56VM

Armed with an Intel 1 chip, it has all the processing power you could ask for.

This is supported by up to 8GB of DDR3 1 600MHz RAM, which is a pretty decent spec. Hard drive storage comes in either 500GB, 750GB or 1TB flavours, with the latter being rather large for any form of portable computer. And graphics are powered by a GeFore GT 630M chipset, supported by 2GB of DDR3 VRAM. On paper, that’s a more-than-decent multimedia rig, capable of pretty much anything the user would need. And when you hit the power button and start using this beauty, it doesn’t disappoint.

Visuals are shown on a 1 5.6 inch full HD screen, topped by the now ubiquitous webcam. Audio comes by way of a Bung & Olufsen ICEpower system, and the sound produced by this laptop is very good, considering.

User input is by way of a generous, full chicklet style keyboard, complete with a numpad, as well as a large track pad. The system is finished off with four USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, LAN port, VGA port, audio ports and dedicated speaker port that supports the included SonicMaster speaker system, All in all, a very nice package.

And it looks the part, too. The brushed black metal lid opens to reveal a beautifully designed grey and black interior, complete with eye-catching design elements.

The only real downside here - and where any Ultrabook wins hands down - is size. The N56VM is big, bulky and heavy. With the six cell 5200mAh battery included, it weighs in at a hefty 2.6kgs (more than twice the weight of the ZenBook Prime) and measures 3.4cm when closed (more than three times the dimension of the Asus Ultrabook mentioned before.)

But that’s the trade-off. It has a bigger screen and (oh, did we forget to mention?) a Blu-Ray optical drive. Yet another indicator of its superior performance (in its class) as a multimedia PC, It allows for easier installation of software, too, thanks to this drive, and is a more powerful machine overall than the ZenBook.

That’s really the choice that one has to make; a choice which is based on realistic necessity.

If you’re looking for a sleek work machine and you have the internet connection to support it, the ZenBook is great. But if you want to use your laptop for more than just work and web surfing, you’re going to need something punchier... and the N56VM is most definitely a great option, in that case.

Description: Asus N56VM

Asus N56VM

At a glance

Summary: If you want a portable computer for more than just work and web surfing, the N56VM is a great option.

Tech Specs: Intel i7 CPU, Up to 8GB RAM, GeForce GT M6330, Up to 1 TB HDD, 4 USB 3.0 Ports, 15.6 Inch screen

Manufacturer: Asus

Distributer: Asus


Pros: Awesome performance, Looks great, Versatile performer

Cons: Big and heavy


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