ASUS N53S Core i7-2630QM Sandy Bridge 15-in Notebook Review
Introduction and Specifications
Brushed aluminum has become synonymous with luxury electronics, and the ASUS N53’s (N53SV-A1) exterior is clad in it like a suit of armor. The lid and palmrest are both coated the velvet-smooth metal, resulting in an instantly impressive finish. The usage of aluminum on the N53 has a dark gunmetal tint – like the ASUS U33JC Bamboo laptop we reviewed some time ago, the N53 goes for elegance rather than flash.
Laptops are compromises. Despite continuing reductions in processor power draw and the physical size of hardware, there are still trade-offs that must be made. Batteries can be made larger to provide better portability, but this increases weight and size. Laptops can be made smaller, but this can make the user interface uncomfortable, and limits the hardware inside. Powerful processors and GPUs can be stuffed inside, but this increases weight and cost while it reduces battery life. And the list goes on and on.
Not all compromises are equal, however. There is a reason why 15.6” laptops are the most popular and, contrary to the belief of some tech-heads, it isn’t because consumers are stupid. Rather, it’s because many people don’t move their laptops very far very often. But even in this large category we have a wide range of products; while the recently reviewed Toshiba C655 and ASUS G53 have the same display size, they couldn’t be more different otherwise.
And now we come to the ASUS N53, a laptop that seems from afar to the ultimate compromise - a laptop that may not be the best at anything but offer a lot of everything. Let’s take a closer look.
The Core i7 processor is quad-core, but the slowest model available. The GPU is quick, but not as fast as what you’d find in a “true” gaming laptop. The 15.6” display is as mainstream as you could ask for, and while the 750GB hard drive isn’t the biggest you could stuff inside a laptop, but its close. Even the price is a compromise; at $1099 it’s not a bargain, but it’s not outrageously expensive.
But compromise isn’t bad. Laptops are often asked to do many things, and a laptop that can do most things well may be a better choice than a laptop that can do some things perfectly, but at the price of doing other things poorly.