Audio wonks poo-poo the notion of being able to squeeze anything like quality sound from a set of multimedia speakers, let alone the teeny squeakers built into the average laptop. But Asus would have us believe its N Series is far above the average.
The four-model line-up employs SonicMaster, a catch-all term representing the combination of ICEpower technology and the expertise of the Asus Golden Ear Team. The former is the class D amplifier technology developed by Bang & Olufsen and widely used by many brands in equipment requiring efficient cool-running amplification, while the latter suggests a collective of driven and dedicated researchers working towards achieving audio perfection. We imagine they wear white lab coats and work in a place like the Ponds Institute.
Whoever they are, their contribution to the N Series amounts to the implementation of larger speaker chambers and software equalisation software, the result of which is sound of “unmatched fidelity”.
The top of the line 18.4 inch Asus NX90.
If true, it’s a certainly a good thing as, according to Asus, people now spend around a third of their day interacting with multimedia devices and that notebooks have traditionally fallen short in the audio department. We can’t help but think, however, the company is pushing the boat out too far with its claims for the N Series. Check out this nonsense:
“While others settle for middling results and tinny audio, SonicMaster delivers crystal clear sound, with bass and deep note performance equal to that of dedicated audio systems, delivering rich, impressive output.”
So you don’t need a speaker system for your home cinema, apparently – an N Series laptop will be everything you need. C’mon, Asus. Why not just say your new notebooks produce great sound for a portable computer?
On other matters, the multimedia N Series integrate Core i5 or Core i7 processors and are available in 14 inch (N43), 15.6 inch (N53), 17.3 inch (N73) as well as 18.4 inch (NX90) screen sizes.
Designed with input from Bang & Olufsen’s foremost designer, David Lewis, the flagship NX90 features a polished aluminium body that locates speakers outside the chassis and alongside the screen, so that sound wraps around the user. With dual touchpads, you can use both hands to access and operate the notebook (though we wonder at the efficacy of this) and, provisioned with a full HD LED backlit LCD, top-notch images from its Blu-ray drive are a cert. Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit is preloaded, storage is handled by 2 x 500GB drives and 6GB or DDR3 RAM.
Bang & Olufsen’s David Lewis with the Asus NX90.