Asus N56VM review: Asus N56VM

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Great keyboard and touchpad. Good performance for mainstream. Great audio for a laptop. Matte screen. Backlit keyboard.

The Bad Screen text isn't as sharp as it should be despite ClearType tweaking. Visible vertical lines and graininess indicate a lower quality panel. No Bluetooth.

The Bottom Line Asus' N56VM is quite a decent laptop, and so it's a huge shame it's been lumped with a lower-quality screen that significantly impacts the user experience. If you can find the full HD option it may be better, but we'd bypass this one.

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The N56VM is an uplifted mainstream laptop. At AU$1499, it only carries a one year warranty — an indication that Asus hasn't placed it in its premium range.

It's got great speakers though, that are made subtly — but appreciably — better when you plug in the optional passive subwoofer. The Bang and Olufsen supplied set actually deliver, rather than being nothing more than branding and software attached to poor hardware.

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0: 4
  • Optical: Blu-ray/DVD±RW
  • Video: VGA, HDMI
  • Ethernet: gigabit
  • Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n
  • Audio: 2.1 Realtek HD audio

It's got a large, usable Elan touchpad, and a backlit soft-touch keyboard that, after some adjustment, you begin to prefer to the short-throw, clacky laptop keyboards of norm.

It even runs on a Core i7 3610QM, with 8GB RAM to back it up, a 750GB hard drive and a Blu-ray drive. The rebadged GeForce 540M makes an appearance as a GeForce 630M, and pairs with an Intel HD 4000 for battery saving.

The interior powdered-aluminium look is pleasant enough, and the brushed metal lid lends an air of sophistication; so it's a shame the screen isn't very good, spoiling the whole package.

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Where to Buy

Asus N56VM

Part Number: CNETAsus N56VM

Typical Price: $1,499.00

See manufacturer website for availability.