CNET First Look
Asus N82Jv-X1Asus' graphics-boosted 14-inch laptop has some nice specs for $999, but it severely lacks battery power, and has few distinguishing features that push it over similarly-priced competition.
-Hi, I'm Scott Stein, Senior Associate Editor at CNET.com, and this is the ASUS N82JVX1 laptop. Now, prices have come down a lot this holiday season, and what you can get for $999 is a lot different that what you get a year ago. So it changes our expectations of what we're going to be getting for the price. $999 used to seem like a less expensive laptop. Now, it's towards the top of the consumer line. This laptop at $999 has a Core i5 processor. You also have NVIDA GeForce GT 335M graphics, which are definitely above average and pretty great for mainstream games. And they also have NVIDIA Optimus automatic switching graphics, which basically means that you don't have to switch them yourself and it conserves a little bit of battery life. It also has a USB 3.0 port. Now, that's brand new, and that's a kind of cool new technology for high speed data transfer. The problem is that there aren't really a lot of peripherals that use USB 3.0 at this point. It is a nice thing to have for future-proofing your laptop. In the meantime, you'll probably get a little more use out of the USB 2.0 combo eSATA port that's also included. That's also great and is compatible with a lot hard drives right now. Now, that's all great and the performance, as we said, is very good. The problems lie really a little bit ergonomically, but also with issues like battery life. The keyboard is a chiclet raised keyboard that we've seen on a lot of ASUS laptops. It's okay but it gets a little bit of flex in the middle. And the trackpad, at this point, is a little bit small compared to other laptops that we've seen in the category. Plus, its multi-touch is not really a multi-touch that we're used to. It doesn't have pinch-to-zoom. It lacks a couple of those gestural features. And it feels great. It's just it's not quite as diverse as other multi-touch trackpads that we've seen. And the battery life, we got about an hour-and-a-half, slightly above an hour-and-a-half on battery life out of this, which is really low. There's no Intel Wireless Display for wireless video transfer, and there's also no Blu-ray drive. Those aren't really deal killers at all, but, you know, again, if you're looking for something that's supposed to be a little bit of a media laptop and it's lacking those, you might kind of compromise the equation a little bit. Now in addition, the Altec Lansing speakers that are situation on the bottom edge of the laptop are okay. They're not great, and for branded speakers, we would have expected a little bit more. We've certainly seen competitors that have a lot better audio quality. In the end, I guess what we're trying to say is, this is not really a very exciting laptop. And for $1,000, you usually want something that's gonna capture your excitement, or deliver a little bit more. And while the performance on this is very good, not having a good battery life is as much a part of the experience in a laptop as is the performance, and that's the biggest not that we have on it. I'm Scott Stein, and this is the ASUS N82JVX1.