I was a bit hesitant to order this computer when I saw that there were currently no reviews for this version of the laptop. However, upon using this computer for two weeks I must say that this laptop has met and exceeded all of my expectations. I am very happy with my purchase
Previously, I used a Dell Inspiron laptop, which I purchased four years ago for school. That computer was getting old and running slower. I wanted a new computer that would be very functional as both a work station, gaming laptop, and media player.
First off, the laptop is beautiful. It is very sleek and shiny, with a large, 16-inch wide-screen display. There are blue/white lights on the side that light up depending on which graphics card you are using (more on that later). The display is very bright and seems to "pop," I love the look. The only downside is that the case attracts fingerprints. Use the cloth that comes with the computer in order to clean it!
More important than the outside is what is inside. Here, the Asus N61JV-X4 has blown me away thus far. The i5 processor is blazing fast: It takes a fraction of the time to load documents and web pages. The start-up time is virtually non-existent. As a part time gamer, I also wanted a computer that could handle modern PC games. The combination of the i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 1 GB NVIDIA graphics card certainly meets the bill. For example, Starcraft 2 was released in 2010 and it runs great even on high settings. The N61JV-X4 is capable of running every game I could think to research. What is neat about the computer is that it can switch from internal graphics to the high-powered NVIDIA card. So, when I am browsing the web or working on a word file, the computer uses less power (and battery life) by using the internal card. When I am destroying alien civilizations, the NVIDIA card kicks in and delivers the goods. The lights on the side of the case change from blue to white when the NVIDIA card is being used, which is a neat touch.
Audio on the computer is good, but not great. However, you expect that from a laptop. The speakers are located above the keyboard. I haven't been able to use the webcam on a regular basis quite yet, but it appeared to deliver an adequate picture. The computer also has a USB 3.0 port which is "10x" faster than the standard USB ports that I am used to. I really noticed a big difference when I was transferring my picture files from my old computer.
Despite my enthusiasm for this product, there are a few downsides. Switching from Windows XP to Windows 7 is not too difficult, but it has taken me some time to adjust to the new OS. It is difficult to find some parts of the computer. Obviously, this is not a criticism of the actual hardware, but just something to keep in mind if you too are switching from XP.
I do have two main complaints:
1. For some reason, nearly 30 GB of the hard drive is partitioned when you first start up the computer. Apparently there is a way to undo this partition, but from my limited research it seemed like I would have to do a fair amount of retooling. I am not very good with computers, so I decided to leave it be. I wish I knew why there is this partition.
2. Along the same lines, the computer has a fair amount of "bloatware" loaded on to start with. It took me about the first two hours of my ownership to remove unnecessary programs. It is also hard to tell which programs are vital and which can be safely deleted. I used this guide: [...]-asus-utility-bloatware-guide.html to help remove some of these files. Clearing unneeded programs will not only save space on the hard drive but also make the computer load faster upon start up. I hate having all of these files clogging up my brand new computer.
One other adjustment has been the keyboard. This is a minor complaint, but the four arrow keys are much smaller than normal. I often find myself pressing the wrong key. It seems as though they had to squeeze the number pad to fit on the keyboard. If I did a lot of number crunching, this would be useful, but as it is I almost never used the number pad. I'd rather have some of the other function keys be a bit larger. Besides those small keys, the rest of the keyboard works great and hopefully won't fall apart like my Dell's.
ASUS products seem to be very sturdy and well made. No problems thus far with the charger, which was a big problem with my last laptop. Hopefully it remains this way.
Overall, I highly recommend this product for anyone that is looking for a computer for both work and play.