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ASUS N551JK Intel Core I7-4710HQ 12GB 1TB HDD 15.6in FHD GTX850 4GB Blu-Ray Windows 8.1 Notebook

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ASUS N551JK Intel Core I7-4710HQ 12GB 1TB HDD 15.6in FHD GTX850 4GB Blu-Ray Windows 8.1 Notebook
Very Good
Below Average
Rating: 8/10
With 1 User Reviews

Review Date: 01/20/15
Cons: Battery life, *NO BLU-RAY or DVD PLAYING SOFTWARE INCLUDED - $60 EXTRA!!*, keyboard color and backlight color clash - best to not even use backlighting,

Pros: Fast, lots of RAM, dedicated nVidia Graphics, IPS display, best PC-based trackpad I've used, but still not as good as Apple's
I bought this machine, and I have a few things I do and don't like about it.I did install Classic Shell, and I installed a Windows 7 theme to skin Windows 8 into what I like and am used to.Things I like:- fast (compared to what I'm used to on my 2009 MacBook Pro [C2D 2.53Ghz])- lots of RAM- dedicated nVidia Graphics - handles casual gaming nicely- IPS display has good color, although I find the black level is a bit poor compared to other notebooks I looked at, but overall a better choice. The anti-glare doesn't add any 'rainbow' artifacts to the white images like some do, and works fairly good.- Startup time is fast, wake from sleep even faster. I've lifted the lid and had it awake before I can even put the screen into a full upright position. That's good!Things that are "okay":- keyboard isn't bad, but the silver keys/silver background AND white lighting all combined make the keys hard to see. I find if it's dark enough to need a keyboard light, that I can just use my monitor brightness to see the keyboard. - one of the best non-Apple trackpads I've used. It's not perfect or without fault, though. There's a delay from resting your finger on it, to moving it slowly, that I don't have on my MacBook. The feel is very similar, but the physical click is weird feeling. I still much prefer my MacBook trackpad.- speakers are so/so. The sound was wonky (music sounded like the volume was cutting in and out) until I disabled all of the special "filters" in the software the sound card uses.- 1TB hard drive, which I removed and replaced immediately with a 512 GB Crucial MX 100, and cloned the original drive to without even using it - if I ever need to go back to a pristine install, I still have the original drive in a box.- IPS display has noticeable motion blur/delayed refresh (significant ghosting observed even from just scrolling windows)Things I don't like:- Blu-Ray player doesn't even have any software to play Blu-Ray movies!!! No where did I see or read about this until I tried to play a movie disc. I chatted with Asus tech support and they said I had to *BUY* a program to watch movies, even though they sell the unit with a Blu-Ray *PLAYER*. What's the world coming to? THis machine is advertized as a "multimedia" model, and featuring a Blu-Ray player, yet it doesn't play any DVD or Blu-Ray movies. May as well not even have one, and give me a small mSata SSD or something.- Battery Life - well, my 5-year-old MacBook pro has 50% of it's battery life remaining from new (900 charge cycles) and it gets about 3 hours on a 'full' charge. This brand new unit gets 3 hours if I'm lucky.- The power connector seems like it could easily break. I hope this lasts me the 3+ years I'm planning to use this computer.Overall, I'm satisfied with my purchase. Coming from a MacBook Pro I'm a little spoiled, I think. However, this machine is easily double what I could get from a MacBook Pro of $1000 more. I have quad-core core i7, 12 GB RAM, a 512 GB SSD (replaced 1TB stock), all for under $1,500 taxes included (with some careful price-matching). I comparable MacBook Pro is $2600 plus taxes, and isn't quite as fast processor-wise. I did get VMWare Player 7 and an image of Yosemite 10.10.1 working on this notebook with good results. It's sufficient to house my important things like emails and documents so I don't need to keep two separate computers handy.

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