Sep 16, 2012

Posted by in Featured, Laptops & Tablets, Reviews | 279 Comments

ASUS N56VZ Review, not your ordinary multimedia laptop

 

The N-series laptop of ASUS is geared towards those looking for a superb entertainment experience on a mobile PC. The 15.6-inch ASUS N56VZ belongs to the latest line of notebooks having Intel’s 3rd generation Ivy Bridge processor to go with its premium multimedia features.

ASUS N56VZ 01

I’ve spent a few weeks with this laptop and it was a blast playing with it. Before, I walk you through its awesome features; let’s talk about the awesome design that went into this laptop. Yes, “awesome” seems to be the apt word.

Design

ASUS N56VZ 02

The lid on the ASUS has a dull black semi-matte finish for a not-so-common look. It’s not really glossy but not matte either since it reflects light and attracts a few smudges but hides them with the hairline-textured finish. Dead center is the ASUS logo which lights up when in use, a copied-touch but looked nice nonetheless.

ASUS N56VZ 06 ASUS N56VZ 07

Opening the lid will reveal a Macbook-like design but with a twist. It has the backlit chiclet keyboard on a spacious anodized aluminum body but what made this unique are the tiny holes in a concentric pattern overlapping the upper area of the keyboard. These are actually speaker holes which are cleverly integrated in the design of this laptop. Color me impressed.

ASUS N56VZ 08 ASUS N56VZ 09 ASUS N56VZ 12

The ASUS N56VZ has a full complement of connectivity ports. You’ll get 4 USB 3.0 ports (two on each side), a Blu-ray disc drive, VGA, HDMI and a LAN port. The multi-card reader is conspicuously situated on the front end of this notebook. Update: The one that will be available here will only have a DVDRW drive to bring down the cost which we don’t have a problem at all.

Keyboard

Keyboard layout seems standard for 15-inch notebooks these days with a number pad on the right with the arrow keys positioned in between letters and numbers. A layout I particularly dislike since it’s easy to mis-click the arrow keys. There are dedicated Page Up, Page Dn, Home, and End keys on the upper right which you’ll find useful. What’s missing are dedicated multimedia keys which I would want on my multimedia laptop. Not even dedicated volume controls are present.

ASUS N56VZ 05

Keys are rubbery with a soft tactile feedback and don’t make any noise. If you’re fond of those soft, rubbery and silent keys then you’ll enjoy typing here. Typing experience is just average, can’t say anything extraordinary about the experience as I type this review.

ASUS N56VZ 04

There’s also a generous-sized touchpad which is responsive to touch including multi-touch gestures like two-finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom. The click buttons are embedded on the touchpad itself but doesn’t feel stiff to press; I just prefer raised click buttons which I can easily press with the side of my thumb.

A thing of note – since the size of the touchpad is large, it’s easy to activate it with your palm while typing so better use a mouse and just disable the touchpad whenever you can.

ASUS N56VZ 03

There’s this lonely button on the upper-left portion just above the keyboard which serves as a quick-launch button. You can completely customize its function from launching an app to changing a setting on your notebook.

Display

Firing up the laptop, the Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution on its 15.6-inch screen blew me away. The matte screen also prevents glare to make viewing enjoyable even under bright conditions.

ASUS N56VZ 10

I quickly copied a 1080p video of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and was amazed by the clarity and sharpness of the scenes from this laptop. Details are crisp and 150゚viewing angle is wide for a bunch of friends to watch movies with you without crowding your space. It was also my first time to play Diablo III on a Full HD resolution (on a small 15.6-inch screen at that) and I appreciate the sharp details that the ASUS N56VZ gave me.

On top of the display is a high-def 2.0 megapixel webcam which can also use to capture 720p stills and 640 x 480 video using the bundled ASUS LifeFrame software.

Performance

Here’s the deal, the unit we received is their top of the line model having Intel Ivy Bridge 3rd Gen Core i7 processor with 6GB RAM. However, the ASUS N56VZ which will be available in the country will only get a 4GB RAM configuration running on Windows 8 so adjust the memory score on this Windows Experience Index accordingly:

asus-n56vz-wei

This notebook is also powered by a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT650M graphics card with 2GB of RAM. The discrete graphics is slightly similar to the NVIDIA GTX660M of our previously reviewed gaming notebook, the Gigabyte P2542, but with a 100MHz slower clock speed. Nevertheless, it performs smoothly on Diablo III running on medium/high settings. Batman: Arkham City on the other hand is only playable in low settings when running on full HD.

Perhaps the most notable feature you will get out of this notebook is its sound thanks to the ASUS SonicMaster Premium technology which they co-developed with Bang & Olufsen. The ASUS N56VZ is simply made for those who are particular with the sound coming out from their devices.

First time I’ve heard of ASUS SonicMaster-quality sound output is from the ASUS Zenbook but you will truly appreciate its brilliance from bigger chambers such as in the N56VZ. Audio coming from this notebook has a wider range compared to your conventional speakers to go with the rich, crisp and clear quality. It’s like you’re listening from a premium set of speakers from your laptop and not just those mini-speakers.

ASUS N56VZ 11

The N56VZ also comes with a small SonicMaster subwoofer that you plug on to the 3.5mm port on the side of the notebook. The result is just a slight boost on the oomph of our music but is still a nice addition accessory nonetheless.

Battery life

Using the ASUS N56VZ strictly for gaming lasted me for almost an hour before it started warning me to plug to a power source. For usual tasks like surfing, watching YouTube, writing this review while listening to MP3s, you can get a little over 4 hours out of its 6-cell 5200 mAh battery. Not impressive but notebooks at this size are generally not known for their battery performance

Verdict

The ASUS N56VZ belongs to those types of notebook that can very well be your primary desktop. It’s not necessarily a gamer’s rig but should be serviceable for most high-end titles if you’re not gunning for max settings.

ASUS N56VZ 13

What we love about it is its design which admittedly reminds us of the MacBook when you open the lid but with a personal ASUS touch to give it some more style. We also love the crisp Full HD display and its wide viewing angle and most especially, the superb audio quality. What we particularly don’t care much about are the bundled junkwares ASUS puts into their notebook. Feel free to remove those you don’t need if you’re like me who’s OC about the things other people install on my machine.

Finally, what makes this laptop really attractive is its SRP which is pegged at just Php49,995 when it becomes available this October after Windows 8 becomes available in mid-December. Yes, it will come preloaded with Windows 8 according to our local ASUS contact.

Attractive design, outstanding matte display, and excellent audio to go with really good specs, and a price that’s easy to look at, we’re giving the ASUS N56VZ our Editor’s Pick Award and should be a popular choice for notebook-hunters this coming holiday season.

ASUS N56VZ Specs:
2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM
15.6″ Full HD (1920×1080) Wide View Angle LED Backlight
4GB DDR3 1600 MHz SDRAM
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M with 2GB DDR3 VRAM
Windows 8 OS
750GB HDD 1TB HDD
Backlit keyboard
DVD RW Drive Blu-ray Drive
HD Web Camera
Bang & Olufsen ICEpower® audio technology
Asus N series external sub-woofer
802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
4x USB 3.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet port, multi-card reader
6-cell 5200 mAh 56 Whrs
SRP: Php49,995


  1. With those graphics, I was actually expecting this to retail at Php80-100k until I read that SRP.

  2. BOOM! i want this one if i have the money, its sad i dont. :(

  3. It has Windows 8 in it but touch screen ba ito?

  4. i want the n76 variant :(

    any recommended online sellers to get the n76?

  5. nice review sir! and not bad ung price for a quad-core laptop with those specs. now napaisip tuloy ako sa paggagamitan ko ng pera this christmas.

  6. Upgradable po ba yung specs ? Manual po

  7. I’m a happy Asus customer. My K40IJ is more than 2 years with me with no problems and no reformatting whatsoever. I’ll definitely go for another Asus laptop, probably not as expensive as the N56VZ :)

  8. I prefer the HP pavillion DV4. almost same specs and price but with beats audio speakers. :)

    • you have to listen to this laptop to really appreciate the sound output it gives… it will blow you away.

    • Walang kwenta Beats Audio ng HP, kahit yung sa concept store nila sa HP SM North Edsa ang pangit. Wala pang binatbat sa N55SF ko, eh paano pa yung sa N56 series.

      Super saya ng subwoofer, panalo talaga sa specs at price

  9. I would like to clafify is the P50K SRP for i7 or is it more on i5?
    Is it confirm from Asus Philippines, the Asus n56VZ will be available by October?

    • that’s what my contact from ASUS says… 50k for the i7. no i5 config will be released here. it will be available after Windows 8 becomes available.

  10. Confirmed from Asus Philippines?

    Wow that’s great news! I’ve been asking Asus and no updates but hey,

    finally an i7 for an N-Series! Is it pre-intalled with Windows 8?

    When is their estimated launch for the N56vz next month?

    I’m excited!

  11. BTW, how much difference in terms of multi-tasking or gaming for Asus’s GT650(ddr3 VRAM) vs GTX 660? Given its just a 100mhz difference?

    If its possible, any benchmark or comparison? (maybe asus n56vz with Gigabyte P2542 [or better yet Y580] hehehe)

  12. wait lang meron ba yung windows 7 home premium yung preloaded ,ayaw ko mag windows 8 ang pangit eh

    • mukhang wala eh. yun din sabi ko eh, pano yung mga ayaw pang magshift to windows 8. pero win 8 talaga kasama pagilalabas nila. unless magbago isip ng asus.

  13. Just want to clarify…

    15.6″ HD (1366×768)/Full HD (1920×1080)/Wide View Angle LED Backlight

    Is this particular model sporting a Full HD resolution?

    @Kevin

    Why is it pangit ang windows 8? Anong flaws nya? tnx

    • hindi ko lang siya type parang pa ng touch screen kasi para sakin parang di naman pang pc eh ,hindi ko lang talaga type ,etong laptop siguro bibilin ko papalitan ko na lang siguro ng 256 gb ssd external ko na lang hdd niya space para sa mga movies

    • hi leo,

      thanks for clarifying. i missed that part. the resolution is full hd 1920 x 1080.

  14. Hi again Calvin, I would like to clarify about your information for Asus n56vz specifying the i7′s SRP of P50k.

    I just happen to saw this brochure of Asus (Product Guide for August) and its indicating an Asus n56vz i5 variant, with a SRP of P47K.

    I hope Asus can clarify this. We are looking forward to this.

    PS: Sent you an email, with pictures of it of the brochure.

    Thanks!

    • that was the original plan… the core i5 version already. actually this review has been sitting with me for a few weeks before i released it pending the official specs that will be available in the market. good thing they decided to go with core i7 but with a later release date.

  15. Wow you’ve made my day! what a great news! So hooray for i7!

    Thanks so much for the great information, Calvin!

    So they plan to release this after the launch of Windows 8, so probably the release date for Asus n56 is around November?

  16. Just searched this, saw a vietnam reseller with the updated or latest i7-3630 asus n56vz.

    Is there a chance, this upcoming asus n56vz with W8, will have also the latest processor?

    http://laptopnew.vn/Asus-N56VZ-S4023V

  17. Very good review! Hinihintay ko na lumabas ito sa dito sa pinas. Pwede po ba sir Calvin na magreply kayo sa message ko once meron na dito sa pinas? Thanks and God bless!!!

  18. patanung lang ulit ,tungkol sa ram gano kataas yun pwede iupgrade? 8gb?tska alam niyo ba kelan lalabas yun samsung 840 ssd dito sa pinas?

    • and also ok lang ba yung feel nang touchpad niya? hindi ba matigas left/right click niya? wish na may magoffer nito na windows 7 kasi nakakatamad mag download ng mga drivers pa

  19. My sister just bought this model (Asus N56VZ) in Dubai for me. It’s almost 50K.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/387098_10151225731588824_632399531_n.jpg

    Plus, it has a lot of freebies (4GB Touchmate, Toshiba 320GB External HDD, software like Antivirus, Generic Headset, Mouse, etc).

    I’ve read somewhere that it’s upgradeable to 16GB eventhough they claimed that the maximum capacity of RAM can be install is 8GB.

    Though the unit will arrive this December together with my sister so I can’t comment yet about the unit.

  20. where can we get this notebook here locally? any shops?

  21. ASUS Philippines says:

    Hi all,

    Thank you to the very welcoming feedback towards the ASUS N56VZ, its just currently holiday in the Philippines but I will get a feedback of the latest status of the N56VZ by Tuesday at the least.

    • Thanks asus!

      Hope the n56vz will be using the latest i7-3630qm, to make it really interesting!

      hope to hear from you next week.

    • c’mon! release it already :DDD

    • It’s tuesday today hope to hear from asus philippines already. It’s been a month of waiting :D.

      • hahaha. ooooops. For the excitement i have with this product i mistakenly thought that it’s tuesday. It’s still monday. Tomorrow’s Tuesday. :P

    • Any Update about the status of N56VZ?

    • Asus…… where are you???

    • any news as to when will this land in the philippines? deciding to gets this or the macbook pro 15 inches…hope it’s an i7…

      • Louisse Anne says:

        They say thats its an i7. And that we just have to wait this very november for the availability. But i really hope not in the second half.

    • ASUS Philippines says:

      Hi Everyone,

      Apologies for the late reply, the ASUS N56VZ’s latest availability will be Mid of December 2012.

      As an added bonus for this anticipated model, we decided to upgrade the DVD-ROM drive into a Blue-Ray Disc Drive. For the same price of SRP Php49,995.

      Updated Specs

      Intel Core i7 / 4GB RAM / NVIDIA GT650M 2GB / 1TB HDD / 15.6″ FULL HD Wide Viewing Angle Matte Screen / Windows 8 / Blue-Ray Drive + Backlit Keyboard and Bang & Olufsen Speakers

      Thank you so much for the overwhelming feedback towards this unit, we hope to see more as the unit arrives right in time this Christmas Season.

  22. Nice review.

    is there any date given by Asus, for it to be available here in Philippines?

    The fan page of asus in facebook, isn’t very accommodating.

    • Louisse Anne says:

      They said that anytime this november it will be here but they dont have any exact date to give us. We really have to wait for their annoucements. =)

    • it’s hard to wait for something uncertain. c’mon Asus Philippines! wake up! move! now!

      • I have a hunch, whats delaying them, is…

        they are probably focusing more on newly launched W8 Asus Vivo Tabs and Zenbooks rather than the N Series, which was launched as early this May.

        Still Asus n56vz has a lots of promise, for serious laptop users… I hope they (Asus) wont disappoint us.

    • Asa pa! ang bagal bagal maglabas ng ASUS ng produkto, balita ko na nakuha ko sa Octagon, product manager kasi nila ayaw maglabas ng high end products kasi walang tiwala na mabebenta sa pilipinas.

      Ilang buwan na ako nagiintay sa notebook na ito, its a good alternative sa macbook pro kahit mabigat pero mukhang walang balak talaga asus philippines.

  23. ayaw nila maglabas ng highend pero bakit yug asus taichi nirelease na nila?

    • It’s mid november already!

      When is it gonna be available?

      Don’t tell me, by december or early next year?

      Why can’t they tell us the real time frame or atleast whats keeping them too long.

      Our neighbors like SG, HK, Malaysia, even Vietnam have already this laptop. why cant we?

      Tell me…

      • Clearly, Asus doesn’t care very much that we’re on standby for their promised advisory. Would’ve been better PR if they hadn’t commented here. How much effort does it take to say, “Not coming in– sorry” or “January 2013, maybe”?? Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by Sony & Toshiba responsiveness all these years.
        Already looking at Lenovo Y580 or Toshiba with the optional international warranty. Too bad there’s no comparable Vaio model.

    • i think i’m, gonna go for lenovo y580…Asus just sucks BIG time here..they know a lot of people are already waiting for n56vz to be released & i think we have waited long enough

      • Louisse Anne says:

        You’re right @cha. Im beginning to think of an alternative and thats lenovo y580 too. So sad. =\

      • I agree. Y480 was originally my first choice but after this review, I knew Asus will be better for me given the brand reputation…

        but now, after uncertainties from Asus, after so much waiting, its getting tiring already.
        u
        Plus, Y580 is already available and with better gtx card 660m, not bad actually!

        So what do you think Asus…

        You choose to stay quiet and indifferent, while slowly but surely, your loyal customers are now looking at your competitors product?

        Start the new week right by telling us which is which, say yes or no if its available. Have the courtesy naman guys!

        Please!

      • Totally agree. Lenovo y580 was my alternative to Asus n56vz. If Asus won’t release any information about this product. I might consider buying the y580.

  24. its stupid to think pinoys can’t afford their high end product or their market research is poor, so what will it be? macbook pro 15 inches, g55vz, u500…@cha @Louisse Anne @Bogus, seem it’s another waiting period, came across this model from ahem, achoose, same specs as the n56vz but with ssd, zenbook i think, 15 inch screen…

    • @aldy

      yes I totally agree, it’s a very excuse if they’re telling us, they’re tentative because its such a high end product.

      You know what, its bulls**t, why? They are currently selling the much more highend and more expensive ROG Asus G55 which sells P60+.

      Now hows that for an excuse?

      Common Asus, you’re such a reputable brand, a highly respectable one, inface our IT would always recommend you Asus if I look for computer staffs.

      Being at the top in the market, a reputable brand, please act like one. The way you’re treating us is like your very much new in the business.

      You have lots of competitors out there who are now more aggressive, before it was HP or acer, then Samsung, now its lenovo. I think you should be aware of that, Im sure you do.

      We’re not mad, but fustrated at how you’re treating us customers or potential buyers.

      Whats really keeping you delayed?
      Or you’re not really serious selling this model?

      Tell us straight, pls!

      • Asus must make really good stuff if some prospective customers are turning the other cheek. Its too bad that they have iffy local reps then. My own kid wanted a Zenbook for grad school, but I’ve decided to get her a Mac Air. After-sales service & good customer relations are important issues and can cause worse trouble than mere frustration.

        I’ve been using computers for too long, I guess. Good luck with Asus.

    • There is no use waiting for this very beautiful product, I’ve tried to get a Zenbook Prime yet fail to see one as an actual unit. I ended up buying a Macbook Air with no regrets, I don’t care if they are better in specs if there are no stocks.

      I was so stupid to be mislead by ASUS of their newspaper ad for their Zenbook Prime, but only ended me up in frustration finding the unit.

      Plus I hear the same issue with their Transformer Infinity, they arrived late and overpriced. So in end point, don’t get your hopes up with ASUS. I’m sure it will be outdated by the time it arrives here.

      • Don’t be frustrated anymore. It’s more worth the wait with its better specs. We just have to believe with the date they said. :D

  25. Mid-December na raw. Same price but slightly better specs including blu-ray.

    • ASUS Philippines says:

      Hi Everyone,
      Apologies for the late reply, the ASUS N56VZ’s latest availability will be Mid of December 2012.
      As an added bonus for this anticipated model, we decided to upgrade the DVD-ROM drive into a Blue-Ray Disc Drive. For the same price of SRP Php49,995.
      Updated Specs
      Intel Core i7 / 4GB RAM / NVIDIA GT650M 2GB / 1TB HDD / 15.6″ FULL HD Wide Viewing Angle Matte Screen / Windows 8 / Blue-Ray Drive + Backlit Keyboard and Bang & Olufsen Speakers
      Thank you so much for the overwhelming feedback towards this unit, we hope to see more as the unit arrives right in time this Christmas Season.

      • that’s good news..i just hope it’s for real -_-

      • WOOOOOOOw. It would be really much better if it’d be released before the mid of December. IM SO EXCITED!!!!!!wew. With so much better specs. This device will be so much more worth the wait thanks for the UPDATE. Now we know why the delay. <3

        • ASUS Philippines says:

          Because we don’t want to provide the Core i7-3610QM if there is already the 3630 so we opted to get the latest specs.

          1TB HDD / BlueRay Disc Drive / Core i7 3630QM is definitely worth the wait.

          All the upgrades for the same price.

      • Can you give an exact date? not like mid early and late?

      • Yeah, could we get an exact release date?

  26. Wow! Now thats a christmas gift!

    Long time no hear Asus… So is this finally for real?

    How about the specs i7 specs? Still 3610qm or the latest 3630qm?

    Wow, from 750GB to 1TB!!! Thats quite an upgrade!

    Where will it be available?

    • Thanks again Calvin for the great news and to you Asus!

      Please keep it up!

      Hope to hear from you soon!!! As in soon hehehe

  27. Will the operating system will still be Windows 8?

    Can the buyers opt for at least Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional or MS-DOS??

  28. WOW! The spec per price comparison is giving me a nerdgasm. LOL
    Great piece of equipment here, better than the current competition in the same price range. One question though, how heavy is it?

  29. if this is true count me in, no exact date?

  30. Still awaiting a confirmed date for the release.

  31. mood: restless waiting for this unit…

  32. I really really hope it will we availble by mid of December.

  33. Calvin, any update? Ti’s December 5th already. I’m eager to buy it already!

  34. update please…

  35. wag nyong sabihin nabago release date at next year pa?!? omg

  36. naman…

  37. Wala parin exact date? :(

  38. Still no updates? I need this laptop before Christmas. please.

  39. Louisse Anne says:

    The response to this laptop is overwhelming. Asus better be good. Lets just wait for december 15, the latest date we expect n56 to arrive. (they say. And we: hoping so bad =)

  40. called electroworld & di pa nila alam ang Asus N56VZ -_-

    • Checked the Electroworld in SM Manila, the salesman there was clueless about it. Had no information about the unit or whether they’d have it within the week or not. Never even heard of the model.

      • what a shame, right shane? :p…..but one of their staff told me that they will inquire about it from Asus Philippines then will inform me na lang if available talaga & price if meron nga…still waiting for that staff’s reply

  41. So is it ever coming out? parang antagal nang naannounce pero hindi pa lumalabas… baka outdated na specs neto bago pa maging available. Bakit pa innannounce ng maaga?

  42. whappack26 says:

    Been planning to buy online but because it’ll be better to get it locally for easy replacements (if ever), I opted not to. Now, I’m regretting my decision. Baka nga outdated na yung unit na ‘to pagkarelease. So much potential, sinira ng “strategy” ng local distributors natin. Tsk tsk.

  43. disappointed :(

  44. oppah!

    here we go again!

    looks like another waiting game for us!

    by the time CES 2013 starts next month, who knows, they will aoon launch the Asus n66 or the next N-Line series for 2013…

    Asus Philippines is sooooooooooo slooooooooowwww

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

  45. The one in Electroworld called their merchandiser and this is what she told me:

    “Based on our merchandising they said that the unit is upcoming to asus then we dont have exact date if Asus will give us a stock.”

  46. see I told you all, its worthless to wait for this beautiful product. Until now there is no stocks to be seen, all of your bonuses will be gone before it reaches here.

    From my searching for the Infinity, Zenbook Prime and even that stupid Nexus 7. All delayed.

    Most probably the next generation notebook N57 will come out by CES 2013. So…..good luck indeed folks.

  47. Asus Philippines where are you? so sad

  48. Gangnam Style says:

    Asus is sleeping again…

    even electroworld are clueless, so

    they even don’t give updates to their distributors.

    lets give them an ultimatum, when is it really available?

    pag ganyan laging na de-delay, what kind of a service is that?

    its past tuesday, and no updates again as usual from Asus.

    its their 3rd time they made us wait for a specific date and

    poof!!! Drawing lang pala si Asus!

    Oooppppahhhh!

  49. we’ve been fooled again. i think the “Asus Philippines” who has been replying here is NOT the real Asus Philippines

  50. Can somebody confirm this on Asus Facebook page. is it really Asus philippines that give out information on this site?

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