The notebook market is often viewed as a crowded and complicated mash-up of brands, specifications and features that basically no one but those of us that work in the industry have any hope of ever fully grasping. I'm here to tell you that is not the case: we don't really fully grasp it all either. But we do get a a lot more hands-on time with some of the best (as well as some of the worst) mobile designs and that allows us to share our results with our readers to help them make informed purchasing decisions.
When someone asks me what laptop they should buy, I always tell them this is a loaded question that depends on so many variables that giving a quick answer is nearly impossible. Luckily for most of us there is a happy medium that most users will fall into in terms of their wants and needs for a computer and today's option, the ASUS N61Jv, is a great option for that mass audience. If you aren't looking for a mobile gaming powerhouse, or a lightweight all-day battery life work horse, the $900 option we are reviewing today should be on your short list of options.
ASUS N61Jv Specifications List
The N61 series of notebooks is considered a "multimedia" option by ASUS which basically means it sits in the middle of the spectrum for features, performance and battery life. Looking at the spec sheet below I think you have to come away more impressed than the modest price point might first indicate.
Obviously the list above covers several models of the N61 series, but our N61Jv sample consists of some specific options:
- Core i5-430M processor
- 500 GB 5400 RPM hard drive
- 4GB DDR3-1066
- Windows 7 Premium
The mid-range Core i5 processor helps keep the price down though with clock speeds as high as 2.53 GHz with Turbo Boost on the dual-core HyperThreaded performance shouldn't be an issue for most users doing basic computing tasks. The 500GB hard drive provides reasonable storage capacity for this to be a desktop replacement and enough and the 4GB of memory should be enough to keep your applications and Windows 7 happy.
Other key features for the N61 are the 16-in display that runs at a resolution of 1366x768 which is pretty standard for screens of this size and quality; many users might have wanted a higher resolution for a screen that you will in general be sitting closer to than a regular monitor. The NVIDIA GeForce GT 325M GPU provides a better graphics base than anything Intel could offer though it won't be breaking any mobility performance records. What it does bring to the table is support for NVIDIA Optimus technology
which allows the notebook to quickly cycle between integrated, lower power Intel graphics and the higher power, higher performing NVIDIA discrete graphics on the fly.
There is a lot more to discuss for this machine but let's see what else the N61Jv offers while perusing the inside and out.