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New laptop: ASUS N53? Non-Gaming

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 23, 2011 6:27:36 PM

My current laptop is an HP DM4 (1st gen i5-2.4Ghz, integrated Intel video, 8 GB, 128 GB SSD, 500 GB HD in optical bay, 14" 720p display, Win7 x64 Ultimate) that is generally used as a desktop (lid stays closed, with bluetooth keyboard & mouse, and 2 external monitors (1600x1200 via HDMI-DVI adapter and 1280x1024 via VGA).

I really dislike the cramped 1366x768 screen. I find that the SSD works great for the host OS (Win 7 x64 ultimate), and all of my VMWare guest OS virtual disk drives, but the 8 GB of ram is a bit restrictive for more complex scenarios, and I'd like to have a few more CPU cores to share the load between the host and VMs.

1. What is your budget?
~$1,200 USD (excluding the SSD)

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15" (17" is too large, not even an option)

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Must have 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Desktop replacement -- portable development workstation.

5. How much battery life do you need?
4 hours, minimum -- more preferred.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Not generally. Perhaps an occasional FLASH game to kill a few minutes...


7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Software development:
* VMWare Player or Workstation, generally running at least one VM of Windows Server 2008 R2 with SQL Server 2008 / IIS.
* MS Visual Studio 2010 (generally 2 or 3 instances with different large solutions going at once).
* MS SQL Server 2008 R2
* Wireshark network sniffing
* General web-surfing and office apps...


8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Not really a concern since I'll be replacing whatever HD it comes with with a 256 GB SSD, and will have 500 GB+ drive either in optical bay or external for less performance-critical stuff.
I've been using a 128 GB SSD with 500 GB 7200 RPM drive in optical bay adapter, and never have a need for an optical drive.


9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
NewEgg.com, or a specific vendor site if appropriate.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
2+ years (3+ if I'm lucky)

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
None, or whatever is cheapest -- see #8, above.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
ASUS, XoticPC, Sager, etc... anyone who offers more than 8 GB max RAM with a quad-core and 4+ hours battery life...

13. What country do you live in?
USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I'm leaning towards the ASUS N53 at NewEgg.com:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220996

Any feedback appreciated (in particular any real-world experiences with the ASUS N53, mentioned above).

Thanks!

More about : laptop asus n53 gaming

June 23, 2011 7:01:17 PM

I have a ASUS N61JQ and I only get about 2HR and 30min of battery life, and that is at lowest settings. You will get about 4 HR of battery life on the N53 on battery saving mode. The N53 is very similar just a different model (better of course).

I love my laptop, it is very good. So I say if you need a new laptop, the N53 is a great choice, fast speed, ASUS makes good stuff, your battery life is better.

I am not sure how much laptop's cost with Sandy Bridge, but I would look into that before you buy.
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June 23, 2011 8:56:07 PM

Shpati said:
I have a ASUS N61JQ and I only get about 2HR and 30min of battery life, and that is at lowest settings. You will get about 4 HR of battery life on the N53 on battery saving mode. The N53 is very similar just a different model (better of course).

I love my laptop, it is very good. So I say if you need a new laptop, the N53 is a great choice, fast speed, ASUS makes good stuff, your battery life is better.

I am not sure how much laptop's cost with Sandy Bridge, but I would look into that before you buy.


Thanks for the input -- I also have had good luck with Asus products in the past, which is one of the reasons I'm considering it.

Yeah, reviewers are claiming between 4 and 5 hours of battery for this N53 configuration, and it's not expensive at all (for the specs) at $999 USD.

Thanks or the feedback.
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June 28, 2011 5:06:47 PM

Anyone?
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June 30, 2011 5:51:21 AM

Just in case anyone stumbles upon this thread later, here's what I wound-up doing:

After exchanging e-mails with a rep at XoticPC.com, I went a head and ordered the ASUS, linked above, from NewEgg -- along with 16GB RAM, and a 256 GB SSD.

Xotic didn't have anything that could meet my needs in terms of my 4 hard requirements:
1. 4+ hour battery life
2. 15"-class 1080p display
3. i7-2630qm
4. Expandable to 16GB RAM
Even though they carry several ASUS N53 variants, they didn't have any 16GB/1080p configurations like the one new egg carries (N53SV-XV1).
They have an MSI model that has the 16GB and 1080p, but only with an nVidia 560M (rather than an optimus enabled model), and he said people were only getting about 2 hours battery life with it.

Then to make things worse, the sales rep didn't know what the heck he was talking about and tried to scare me away from the model at New Egg, saying he's never seen an N53 that could take 4-sticks of memory (even though his company's website offers such -- albeit without the 1080p screen)... very disappointing, after hearing such good things about them in the past. I was looking forward to dealing with Xotic, since they generally offer laptops without an OS and without a HDD, which would've saved me a bit of money since I will be removing the HDD from this ASUS as soon as it is delivered and installing my own copy of Windows 7 Ultimate on a new 256 GB SSD.

At least I feel better about picking the ASUS N53SV-XV1, since there appear to be no direct competitors for the feature set.
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July 7, 2011 7:03:54 PM

It arrived earlier this week. It does indeed kick-butt as much as I'd hoped. I got the two 8GB kits of GSkill DDR3 on coupon for $50 each, so that was a nice little bonus.

I'm still waiting for the optical drive adapter to take the 500 GB Seagate internal, it should be here Monday. 16GB RAM is crazy! I've got my Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server 2008 dev environments, and server VMs running like a champ.

I think I'll play around with RAM disks a bit and see if I can use a gig or two for my browser-cache to save wear-cycles on the SSD.

Life is good.
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July 18, 2011 1:36:12 PM

Best answer selected by jpishgar.
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July 18, 2011 1:36:17 PM

This topic has been closed by Jpishgar
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