Multipurpose 15-inch Laptop With Touchscreen


It is still possible to find the ASUS N550JK and even some newer models like the N550JX but the model is being phased out by the company for more specialized systems. If you are in the market for a new full featured 15-inch laptop, check out my Best 14 tp 16-inch Laptops for a list of options that might still be available.

The Bottom Line

Aug 15 2014 - ASUS designed the N550JK-DS71T as a multimedia laptop that could do just about any task without it looking pretentious like many gaming laptops.

The system offers a nice mix of features and performance that can go from an office environment to a mobile gaming event. There is still room for improvement on the system though as the storage performance is well below what a system of this nature should have and the ability to upgrade it by the average consumer is difficult to impossible.

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  • Excellent Multitouch Display
  • Strong General Performance
  • Internal DVD Burner


  • Storage Performance is a Bit Slow
  • Difficult To Upgrade for Average Consumer


  • Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad Core Mobile Processor
  • 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 1TB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • Dual Layer DVD Burner
  • 15.6" WUXGA (1920x1080) Multitouch Display with 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M 2GB DDR3 Graphics
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac, Bluetooth
  • Three USB 3.0, One Mini-DisplayPort, HDMI, SD Card Slot
  • 15.1" x 10" x 1.1" @ 6 lbs.
  • Windows 8.1

    Review - ASUS N550JK-DS71T

    Aug 15 2014 - ASUS keeps the design of the N550JK very similar to the previous ASUS N56 series laptops. It still features a silver aluminum body and keyboard deck with the back of the display featuring a gray black color. The lid is textured along with swirls of holes above for the speakers.

    One difference here is the keyboard is now the same color as the deck. The system dimensions are also the same with a one and a third inch thickness and a weight of six pounds making it heavier than some of the newer laptops but it provides space for some of the features many are dropping.

    Powering the ASUS N550JK-DS71T is the Intel Core i7-4700HQ quad core mobile processor. This isn't the most recent or fastest of the Intel processor but it still provides more than enough performance for those that are looking for a fast mobile computer. This combined with the 8GB of DDR3 memory means that the system can handle demanding computer tasks such as desktop video editing or PC gaming without a problem. The only real downside is that the system is not very easy to open to access the internals for upgrading the memory such that the average consumer would have to take it into a specialist to upgrade.

    The goal for ASUS with the N550JX-DS71T in terms of storage is capacity rather than performance. This is why they use a one terabyte hard drive that provides it with a large amount of space for applications, data and media files. The downside is that it uses a 5400rpm spin rate drive which reduces the performance compared to systems with faster 7200rpm drives or even solid state hybrid drives.

    Now if you need to add extra storage space for hte system, there are three USB 3.0 drives for use with high speed external storage drives. Unlike many newer general purpose laptops, ASUS still features an internal DVD burner for playback and recording of CD or DVD media.

    While the original N550JK laptop models from ASUS used a matte 15.6-inch display, this version features a glossy coating 15.6-inch display that is multitouch capable. This means that is a bit more prone to glare and reflections than the non-screen versions but the touchscreen is very useful with the Windows 8 operating system. The resolution if 1920x1080 for supporting 1080p HD video and the color and contrast levels are quite good making this a very solid screen for the laptop. The graphics for the system are handled by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M graphics processor. This is a mid-level graphics processor that does allow the system to play games but it will often require that the detail levels be turned down or the resolution reduced in order to keep the frame rates smooth. After all, this is a general purpose multimedia laptop and not a gaming system like their G series.

    Pretty much all the ASUS laptops uses the same isolated chiclet design these days which is good. The only real difference is that the keyboard keys are now the same silver color as the keyboard deck unlike past models that used black keys. The layout is nice with a full keyboard and numeric keypad. It offers larger size shift, control, enter and backspace keys with is welcome. Overall the comfort and accuracy of the keyboard is very good. It does feature a backlight for use in low light conditions. Thre tackpad is a nice large surface that features integrated buttons. It had no problems with accuracy with standard pointing or multitouch gestures.

    The internal battery for the ASUS N550JK uses a 59WHr capacity pack. The company does not give and estimate for how long this should last but in digital video playback tests, the laptop was able to run for four and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. This is about average for a laptop of this size and battery capacity but still far short of the up to eight hours that the Apple MacBook Pro 15 is able to do in the same test.

    Pricing for the ASUS N550JK-DS71T is around $1099. This is a reasonable price given the features of the system. In terms of competition, there are few systems now that offer a similar level of dedicated graphics and optical drive that are not specifically designed for gaming. The closest competition would include the Cyberpower Xplorer X6-9300, HP Pavilion 15 and Toshiba S series. The HP and Toshiba a general purpose laptops while the Cyberpower is designed for gaming. The HP is the most unique of these because it is much more affordable but uses the AMD A10 processor that doesn't have as much performance or battery life. Toshiba's S series is closer with a similar level of performance and all but once again battery life is much less. Finally, the Cyberpower is a near match but doesn't have the same level of build quality of the ASUS.

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