Asus readies a 4K capable metal machine

If you like metal, fast processors, faster storage, and a screen that screams the future, the latest laptop from Asus could just win over your fleshy heart.

Proving Apple isn’t the only company investing in metal as a main material for computers, Asus is at it again with a new series of laptop that screams “Zen” even if it’s actually something else.

For years, we’ve seen that Zen range take on the MacBook Air, with a very very similar design and premium materials, but running Windows instead of Mac.

We’re not quite sure if the Zen is still around, but this new model is part of an “N” series, which rhymes with Zen, so we can kind of see what Asus is doing here.

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The model in question is the “N552”, and it’s one where even though it’s not a proper Zen, it doesn’t mean to be, with a design that isn’t completely the same, though providing a “thin enough” computer made from metal and stuffing in a sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor. Alongside that high-speed chip, you’ll find Nvidia GTX 960M graphics, up to 8GB RAM, Windows 10, and storage either running on PCIe SSD or SATA drives, which is easier translated as “really fast” or “just plain fast”.

There’s a 15.6 inch screen size here with an In-Plane Switching display being used here, suggesting good colours from every angle, and either a Full HD or 4K Ultra HD panel here, depending on how much you want to spend. If this is just jargon, interpret the Full HD as “regular nice looking” versus 4K’s “pin prick sharp nice looking”, because that’s essentially what they translate to.

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The screen also delivers a wider colour gamut than standard screens we’re told, while an “Eye Care” mode reduces the amount of blue light emitted by the screen to keep your eyes looking comfortable, which will be a factor for some.

Outside of the screen and processing guts, you’ll find some pretty high-end parts, with a USB 3.0 port, a Type C USB port (like phones and tablets are beginning to get), an SD card slot, and an older HDMI 1.4 port (sorry, no 2.0 here), while networking access is handled over 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, and Gigabit wired Ethernet.

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If you’re wondering whether this is for you, the 15 inch size and inclusion of an Intel Core i7 processor with a mid-range mobile graphics chip suggests the Asus N552 is more for people keen on playing a big of games or processing some graphics and moving images, so if you need something that can handle video or photos, the Asus N552 may well be it.

Pricing for the 15.6 inch N552 starts at $1599 with JB HiFi and the Asus online eShop being the first places to get it, while select stockists will also be home to this computer, too.

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