The Bottom Line
Jan 3 2012 - ASUS positions its N73SV as a multimedia laptop between the general purpose K73 and the G74 gaming laptop. Overall, it does its job with media quite well thanks to the large full resolution HD display, Blu-ray compatible drive and some solid speakers not to mention quiet operation for a large laptop. Performance is good from the system but there are a few nagging issues that make it less than stellar. The keyboard suffers from being way too soft making it less suitable for anyone who plans to type on it for extended periods of time. In addition, this laptop is one of the larger on the market compared to other multimedia and general purpose 17-inch models.
- Good General Performance
- Blu-Ray Drive With Full HD Screen
- Runs Very Quiet
- Soft Keyboard Difficult To Use
- Rather Large For A 17-inch Laptop
- Intel Core i7-2630QM Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 6GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 750GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Blu-ray Reader And Dual-Layer DVD Combo Drive
- 17.3" WUXGA (1920x1080) LED Backlit Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- One USB 3.0, Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.8" x 11.4" x 1.5" @ 7.5 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - ASUS N73SV-DH72
Jan 3 2012 - The ASUS N series laptops are design for multimedia and entertainment. This means it has a decent level of performance but it isn't going to be exactly in the same league as the gaming oriented G74 series laptops. The N73SV-DH72 is based around the Intel Core i7-2630QM which is the lowest clocked of the quad core processors in the second generation Core i series. This is beneficial for anyone that is doing multitasking or heavy threaded tasks such as desktop video. The 6GB of DDR3 memory help it also with more demanding tasks and is just in the right spot for most users to keep the experience with Windows 7 smooth.
Storage features for the ASUS N73SV-DH72 are pretty common for a laptop priced around $1200. It offers a sizable amount of space for applications, data and media files thanks to a 750GB capacity hard drive. The downside is that the drive spins at the more traditional 5400rpm rate that means it isn't quite as fast at retrieving or writing files as faster 7200rpm drives or newer solid state drives. The optical drive is a combo drive that has the ability to playback Blu-ray movies which is nice given the high resolution display making it a portable high definition media player. The drive also has the ability to playback or record CD or DVD media. For high speed external storage, ASUS includes a single USB 3.0 port. Unlike past N series models, this one does not feature an eSATA port shared with the USB 2.0 ports.
As mentioned previously, the 17.3-inch display of the ASUS N73SV-DH72 features a full high definition 1920x1080 resolution. The display itself offers a very bright image with nice color saturation that really stands out when playing a Blu-ray movie. It does use a glossy coating as most consumer laptops do these days which make it less than suitable for using outdoors or in certain lighting conditions. The graphics themselves are handled by a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M graphics processor that also shares duty with the built-in Intel HD Graphics 3000 from the Core i7 processor thanks to NVIDIA's Optimus technology that selects the most appropriate graphics for the tasks at hand. Now, this isn't a high end graphics processor so it isn't going to make this a major PC gaming rig and it will definitely have trouble trying to push any game up to the full panels resolution. It will be able to handle more modest graphics levels at lower resolutions for those that want to play on the side. It is a bit more beneficial for those looking to use their system for more than just graphics with programs such as Photoshop.
ASUS has been known for producing some high quality isolated keyboards in the past couple of years. While the layout of the N73SV is familiar with a decent design, the feel of the keyboard is off. There is just too much flex in the keyboard for a pleasant typing experience. The keyboard could also be more spacious as there is plenty of space on the left and right sides of the laptop desk to provide more room for the arrow keys. There also are a few multimedia hot keys to the left that feel almost out of place. The touchpad is a decent size and works fairly well but the trackpad buttons are fairly noisy with a loud click. It certainly beats integrated buttons in terms of function but the noise is distracting.
The battery pack included with the ASUS N73SV-DH72 is a typical size for most 17-inch laptops with a modest capacity rating of 5200mAh. In DVD playback tests, the system is able to run for just under three and a half hours before going into standby mode. Blu-ray playback is a bit more demanding so users should expect under three hours. More traditional usage of the laptop should yield just over four hours. This is decent but certainly no where near the class leading Apple MacBook Pro 17 that can achieve nearly seven hours of standard use.