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Quick look at ASUS N552VX – upgraded chassis but downgraded hardware

ASUS’ N series notebooks is the definition of a reliable multimedia machines and the new N552 and N752 laptops aim to bring even better user experience than before. We already did a review of the N752 (17-inch variant) and now it’s time for the 15-inch N552 to get all the attention. At first glance, the N552 is just a better version of the N551 but there are some changes under the hood that we didn’t like, unfortunately so here are our initial thoughts on the product.

You can look for more information about pricing and configurations here: http://amzn.to/1Zfh56b

Design

In terms of design, the N552 doesn’t surprise us with anything, yet adopts a few finishing touches that make the chassis more refined. We’ve got the iconic concentric brushed aluminum lid with the ASUS LED-backlit logo in the middle.


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The base adopts the same materials as before – black matte plastic at the bottom and hard silver-colored plastic for the interior, which successfully imitates anodized aluminum both to touch and appearance. And despite all that plastic, the notebook doesn’t feel cheap and provides the much-needed sturdiness. We are also met with the similar touchpad and keyboard design both of which offer excellent feedback and usability.


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On contrary to ASUS’ claims that the new generation N laptops is slimmer and lighter, the former isn’t as pronounced. The N551 was 31 mm thick, whereas the N552 measures at 29.9 mm making it a little more than 1 mm thinner. However, the N552 is noticeably lighter with 2.53 kg compared to the old N551, which was 2.7 kg.


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Hardware

Minor upgrades have been made to the chassis but little attention has been made to the hardware department. We’ve got almost identical price tag to the former N551 but somehow downgraded specs. Intel Core i7-6700HQ CPU makes an appearance again paired with up to 16GB of DDR4-2133 RAM but the GPU is less powerful than before for some reason. While the N551 incorporated the GTX 960M, the new version of the laptop uses the GTX 950M with 4GB of DDR3 VRAM. This is a serious drawback to consider as the price of the product is roughly the same. Another interesting change is the lowered battery capacity – from 56Wh down to 44Wh – that’s around 22% decrease. We hope battery runtimes won’t change as much.

However, there are some configurations with GTX 960M but, of course, you will have to spend a few extra bucks for that version.

Anyway, we have the same IPS Full HD panel, which we are eager to test, along with the wide range of connectivity options including mini DisplayPort, 3x USB 3.0, 1x USB-C 3.1, and HDMI. We are also pleased with the storage upgrade since now the machine offers M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD support rather than the obsolete mSATA.

Specs sheet

The current specs sheet refers to this particular model – configurations may differ depending on your region.


ProcessorIntel Core i7-6700HQ (4-core, 2.60 – 3.50 GHz, 6MB cache)
RAM8GB (1x 8192MB + one free) – DDR4, 2133 MHz
Graphics cardNVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M (4GB DDR3)
HDD/SSD1TB HDD (7200 rpm) + optional M.2 SATA 2280 SSD
Display15.6-inch – Full HD (1920×1080) IPS, matte
Optical driveDVD burner
ConnectivityLAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Other features
  • 3x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB-C 3.1 (Support for Thunderbolt)
  • webcam
  • integrated microphone
  • integrated loudspeakers (Bang & Olufsen ICEpower, Sonic Master)
  • RJ-45
  • HDMI
  • mini DisplayPort
  • card reader (SD, MMC)
  • backlit keyboard
Battery4-cell, 44Wh
Thickness29.9 mm (1.18″)
Weight2.53 kg (5.58 lbs)