Using the ASUS N53SV

After looking at all the ports and hardware the ASUS N53SV sports, it’s time to start using the notebook. This is a large notebook, and the first thing you notice is that the machine is no lightweight. If you are a very mobile user or business pro that is always on the road, this notebook might be a bit bulky for you. Users that need a machine that is comfortable to use as their only computer will like the size. The machine offers decent battery life.

We charged the ASUS N53SV and used it for most of a day, after which the machine still had power left over. Battery life is one of the most subjective measurements of a notebook, so mileage will vary depending on what you are doing with the machine. If you are playing lots of video games, it will consume even more power.

The ASUS N53SV is equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M graphics processor that has very nice performance. The notebook also supports NVIDIA Optimus technology to allow it to change between that NVIDA graphics processor and the integrated Intel HD graphics processor when the power of that NVIDIA graphics processor isn’t needed. This allows the machine to get the best of both worlds with respect to battery life and performance when needed.

The optical drive the ASUS N53SV uses is DVD writer. The notebook does well on playback with DVD movies and streaming. The graphics processor handles the streaming of HD video with no skipping or stuttering. The video we streamed from Hulu Plus was smooth and didn’t stutter or skip. It looked just like we were watching it on a TV. We did notice that the video quality isn’t perfect. The video is pixilated and gets blocky looking in fast action scenes, and you will notice some blocky looking pixels in dark scenes where the ASUS N53SV is lacking somewhat in black levels and contrast. Overall, the video streaming quality is good for the notebook’s category.

The sound system in most notebooks is an area that the makers just skip. I was excited to see that the ASUS N53SV has premium audio using ICEpower from Bang & Olufsen. Bang & Olufsen is a high-end audio brand that makes some very expensive headphones and speakers for audiophiles. The promise of high-quality audio didn’t live up to the real world performance though.

The audio system had a great deal of distortion at high volume settings, and the distortion was also present at moderate volumes. The speakers had a noticeable rattle that was most apparent when the commercial announcer on Hulu would come on or when anything with bass was played over the speakers. This was very disappointing. The good aspect of the audio system is that the ASUS N53SV has plenty of volume if you put the notebook on a desk and watch video from across the room and hear the audio. The machine has HDMI output that will let you shoot the streaming video out to your TV or home theater system.

Shane is a long-time computer lover who got his start in the days of the Commodore 64. Shane has reviewed notebooks and related peripherals for Computer Shopper and Laptop Magazine and writes for some of the most popular technology websites.