The Asus N61 series of laptops is the first to feature Nvidia’s Optimus technology, a technology that takes hybrid graphics, in laptops, to another level altogether. While there are a number of variants, the one we reviewed is the N61Jv which, like others in this series, is essentially a true entertainment laptop.

Be it for gaming, watching movies, or even for listening to music, this laptop proves to be an ideal choice for multimedia fans. The two strongest assets that this laptop brings to the table are, its rich feature set and stunning performance. It not only offers pristine sound quality and true-to-life visual experience, but it’s as powerful as a desktop PC. Let’s see what really makes it special.

At first glance, the N61Jv comes across as a professional or business-like laptop. The black theme together with a rubberized wrist rest almost makes it feel like the Lenovo Thinkpad (yes, it’s that rugged). What breaks the monotony are the coffee-brown glossy lid and the nickel-plated satin panel running horizontally above the keyboard. The blue lights at either side of the panel enhance the look, rather than hurt the eye.

The overall build quality and ergonomics are impressive. The chiclet keyboard has well-spaced but slightly smaller keys and the multi-touch touch pad and the mouse buttons are comfortable too.
On one hand, Nvidia’s Optimus technology improves battery life by automatically switching graphics, which is a great feature to have in portable laptops. But on the other hand, using this technology in a rather heavy laptop, like this one, could be defeating the purpose. A laptop weighing 2.8 kg isn’t very comfortable to carry around on a daily basis right? Wrong, considering the form factor and the features offered, complaining about the weight would be unfair.

Considering the presence of powerful hardware, such as an Intel Core i3 350M processor, an Intel HM55 chipset, 4 GB DDR3 RAM and, to top it all, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT325M GPU, the Asus N61Jv is, undoubtedly, a powerful entertainment laptop. The 16-inch HD LED display (1366 x 768) and the audiophile-quality sound complement the package. In addition to the hardware, it is the technologies, Asus SonicMaster, Nvidia Optimus and, the latest USB 3.0 standard, that make this laptop special.
Other features are rather common.

For storage, there’s a 500 GB hard drive, so there’s ample space to store multimedia content. The native resolution of the screen is 1366 x 768, which is common to most laptops these days, but it suffices for the intended purpose. Options for external display include an HDMI and a VGA port. There are 3 USB ports and a USB/eSATA combo port, a memory card reader, a 2 megapixel webcam, an expansion-card slot, a dual-layer DVD writer, a numeric keypad and a Kensington lock slot. On the metallic panel, you’ll notice physical buttons for volume control, power options and for Windows Media Center. A physical switch is also available for wireless connectivity.

The connectivity options are common to even some mid-range laptops, such as gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth. Finally, the machine ships pre-loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) and bundles with it an optical mouse.

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