The Bottom Line
May 3 2013 - The ASUS N56DP is probably going to get the most attention thanks to its 1920x1080 resolution display with anti-glare coating that does a fantastic job but it is also notable for using the AMD quad core processor. This provides it with plenty of performance for most users but it still doesn't offer the same level as Intel's quad core mobile processor and it also doesn't have the same running times. Still, with a $800 price tag and a terabyte of storage space with four USB 3.0 ports, its hard to find a laptop with a complete set of similar features.
- High-Resolution, Anti-Glare Display
- Large Hard Drive
- Four USB 3.0 Ports
- Performance Still Trails Intel Quad Core Laptops
- Battery Life Shorter Than Expected.
- AMD A10-4600M Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Burner
- 15.6" WUXGA (1920x1080) Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 7730 Graphics With 2GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Four USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, 3-in-1 Card Reader
- 15" x 10" x 1.3" @ 6 lbs.
- Windows 8
Review - ASUS N56DP-DH11
May 3 2013 - ASUS goes for a two toned color scheme for the N56DP. On the exterior lid, it is a standard black found in many laptops. On the interior deck and sides, it uses a metallic silver finish. The system offers a nice profile of just 1.3-inches thick that is fairly uniform but there is a slight bulge on the front right hand side bottom which does disrupt some of the symmetry of the design.
While most laptops tend to use the Intel processors, ASUS has decided to use the AMD APU processors for the N56DP. This model in particular uses the A10-4600M which is a quad core processor. Now this is a very capable processor that can handle pretty much any task one might have for it including digital video editing. It still isn't quite as fast in those tasks though when compared to Intel's Core i7-3630QM which is to be found in many laptops in the same price range. The processor is matched up with 8GB of DDR3 memory which make it a smooth overall experience with Windows 8 and multitasking.
For the storage, ASUS provides the N56DP with a very large one terabyte hard drive. This provides it with plenty of space for applications, data and media files. The downside here is that the larger drive spins at the traditional 5400rpm rate rather than the faster 7200rpm some other 15-inch laptops use. This means that applications and cold boot times are a bit longer than some other competing system with it taking just under half a minute to boot. Now if you do need to add even more space to the system, ASUS has equipped it with four USB 3.0 ports which is a good deal more than the two most tend to come equipped with. There is a dual layer DVD burner to handled playback and recording of CD or DVD discs.
The display panel for the ASUS N56DP-DH11 use a 15.6-inch high resolution version that supports a 1920x1080 native resolution. In addition, the coating for the display panel is an anti-glare coating that is much welcome over most consumer laptops as this helps reduce glare especially when used in bright situations such as outside. The graphics system actually has two graphics processors, the Radeon HD 7760G built into the APU and the Radeon HD 7730M dedicated processor. On its own, the dedicated processor is not particularly fast for 3D gaming but when combined with the CrossFire drivers it actually produces some good frame rates. Now the high resolution of the display will still challenge the system on the most modern and demanding games which may require lower detail settings or resolution levels. It should be noted that some games also have issues with the CrossFire setup. For those not playing 3D games, the two graphics units do an excellent job of accelerating non-3D applications.
As with other ASUS laptops, the keyboard is an isolated design. The layout itself includes a full keyboard layout with a numeric keypad. Even with the keypad, many of the keys are of a full size including the arrow, shift, control, tab, enter and backspace keys. The one downside is that the spacing between the keys feels a bit more cramped than some of their other 15-inch laptops. Overall, it has a nice and accurate feel but a few keys will take time to get used to their placement. The trackpad design is a nice large size that uses integrated buttons and is fairly flush with the palmrest area. Overall it works well enough especially with the Windows 8 multitouch gestures.
The battery for the ASUS N56DP-DH11 is rated at 56WHr capacity. This isa bit higher than the 48WHr of many other laptops on the market but still smaller than many of the other slightly more expensive models that tend to include larger batteries. In digital video playback testing, the system was able to go for just over three and a half hours before going into standby mode. This is below what many other systems in this range tend to offer. It certainly is well short of the Apple MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Display that achieves seven hours in the same test.
Priced around $850, the ASUS N56DP-DH11 offers a pretty well rounded system. Most of its competition uses the Intel Core i7 quad core processor. These include the Acer Aspire V5-571G, Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition, HP Envy dv4t, MSI CX61, Samsung NP550 and Toshiba Satellite S855. The Acer is more affordable at $750 but offers a lower resolution display and smaller hard drive. Dell offers a very similar setup but with Intel processor but it does cost nearly $1000. The HP Envy dv4t is a more compact system but has a low resolution display with a higher price tag. MSI's CX61 is also affordable at $800 but is a bit larger and with a smaller hard drive. Finally, the Toshiba is around $750 but with a lower resolution display and smaller hard drive.lt;/p>