Asus N552VX Review and Photos Collection

Everything but battery mode, please. A successful build and configuration are omnipresent. Compared with its predecessor, the casing looks slimmer and that is a positive. Quad-core, GeForce GTX 950M graphics card and 8 GB of DDR4 working memory lead us to hope for a gaming-suitable multimedia all-rounder.

Asus' N552VX-FY103T is one of the premium models of multimedia all-rounders. Thanks to a Skylake processor and GeForce graphics core, the user is equipped for most application scenarios.

Intel's Core i7-6700HQ processor (8 threads) meets a gaming-suitable Nvidia GeForce 950M graphics core in our review sample. The current model does not have anything in common with previous models of the N550 and N551. Although at a first glance, the former models look thicker and less appealing,  they feature removable and stronger batteries. The review sample is a progress just in terms of its looks - but this is a matter of taste.

Our in-depth report reveals how the device fares in each individual test. The former Asus N551JK-CN116H serves as a direct comparison. Similarly or even better configured opponents with a maximum price of 1000 Euros (~$1121) are Asus' GL552JX-CN154T and Acer's Aspire V5-591G-71K2, as well as rivals with less computing but more graphics power (Nvidia GeForce 960M), such as the non-touch version of Lenovo's IdeaPad Y700 15ISK 80NW (touch-model tested at Notebookcheck).


To put things straight: Asus' N552VX is not much slimmer than its predecessor. However, the clever design of the matte-black underside suggests a slim laptop.

Light brown, silver and black dominate the casing. The latter is found on the display's matte bezel and non-slip structured underside. Asus promotes the N552VX as "One-Body Aluminum Casing". Unfortunately, this is not true because the base is composed of two components and the lower part is plastic. However, the upper side shimmers in aluminum that defies fingerprints quite successfully. The same is true of the lid's aluminum back. It looks like the concentric cut familiar in Asus' ZenBooks with an illuminated Asus logo in the center. In addition to the rounded corners and successful surfaces, the concentric perforated grille below the hinges set visual highlights.

The base can be easily warped with a lot of effort. It does not produce any noises. The stability and apparently impeccable build quality convey a solid impression despite a lot of plastic. The display's lid is easy to open with one hand and rocks only slightly during movements. Attention has been paid to ensure sufficient stability here.


The diversity of interfaces in the N552VX-FY103T is satisfactory. Compared with the predecessor, a USB 3.0 Type-C (max. 5 Gbps) has been added. Unfortunately, it is not a USB 3.1 Gen2. This  was confirmed by the technical support of Asus Germany upon inquiry. Consequently, this USB 3.0 Type-C does not provide either Thunderbolt or DisplayPort. In addition, three "standard" USB 3.0 (max. 5 Gbps) ports, an Ethernet socket and 3.5 mm combo audio in/out jack are installed. Two external monitors can be connected via a mini-DisplayPort and HDMI out. These interfaces and  the DC-in are located on the left. Too bad: Virtually all the ports have been positioned very close to the front, which could lead to obstructions when extensively used. An optical drive is also present. Only CDs/DVDs are compatible with the review sample, but Asus promises configurations with Blu-ray and 4K panels in future. We can only hope that this promise will be kept.

The SD card reader is situated on the front. We test its performance with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference SD card. According to AS SSD, the SD card reader achieves 84.7 MB/s in read and 55 MB/s in write. Copying 250 JPG image files (approx. 5 MB each) was performed at 54 MB/s. These results are average.

Although the status LEDs on the laptop's front edge are not in the area of the input devices, they are clearly visible. This is particularly helpful at night since status LEDs in the vicinity of the input devices might prove distracting. One LED shines orange when the battery is low and green when fully charged. All other LEDs shine white.


Thanks to the very high-quality Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 4.0 module, Asus' N552VX-FY103T achieves high speeds in either the 2.4 or 5 GHz band. This pays off, particularly in city centers, as well as in office or apartment buildings where 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi usually prevails and interferes with the user's own transmission rates. The option of using the 5 GHz band has advantages here.

The author setup a personal test scenario in a reinforced concrete apartment building (12 other routers). A 2.4 GHz band router, which was deliberately hidden unfavorably behind a 49-inch screen, was used for connecting to the Internet. Although the author closed all the doors, the connection remained stable with at least 2 signal bars in every corner of the apartment. The reception was excellent with 5 bars in the front yard (25 m/~82 ft linear to the router through a window). The review sample's reception was impressive in this intentionally unfavorable test setup. Therefore, problems will be unlikely whether at home with a good router or in an office building with a run-of-the-mill router.


In addition to the power supply, only the instructions and warranty notes were found in the box. No recovery media or a recovery partition was included.


Unfortunately, traditionally removable batteries and maintenance hatches are no longer a matter of course even in larger, high-performance laptops such as the review sample. At least, Asus has incorporated a maintenance hatch that is secured by two screws. It is easy to open and allows accessing the hard drive and two RAM banks, but not the fan or, regrettably, the empty M.2 SSD slot (22x80mm/~0.86x3.1in).


Asus includes a 24-month limited warranty from the date of purchase. The battery's warranty is limited to 12 months. More information can be found on Asus' warranty card.


We also find an island-style (chiclet) keyboard here. All keys, including the function keys and the narrower 1 cm (~0.4 in) number pad, are flat. Once again, Asus has incorporated the power button in the keyboard's upper right. Play, stop, forward & back are mapped on the arrow keys. Everything else is found where expected.

Thanks to the sufficient drop, distinct pressure point and the lightly cushioned stroke, typing is very convenient and quiet (personal subjective impression). The author did not discover any flaws in quality (clattering, yielding). When the three-level keyboard backlight is disabled the black-gray lettering of the flat, non-slip keys provide a good contrast - at least during daytime. The letters glow in bright white-blue when the light is turned on. They are then quite legible only in dimmed surroundings (including dimmed screen brightness).


The keyless ClickPad makes a compelling impression. Its surface is quite smooth, which provides an outstanding tactile contrast to the impeccably cut aluminum edges. A 4 mm (~0.16 in) wide area that does not detect touch is found in all edges of the touchpad. Thanks to the touchpad's above average size and superb responsiveness coupled with good accuracy, the author could dispense with an external mouse without any problems. Drag & drop always functioned reliably. Subjectively, the "keys" with a pleasingly short drop provided the author with ideal resistance and crisp pressure point. They confirmed every click with a restrained audible feedback. Up to four fingers are detected at the same time. Asus' Smart Gesture enables configuring four-finger gestures comfortably.


Asus promises different configurations in future that will also include 4K screens. At the time of testing, "only" the LG Philips LP156WF6-SPB5 as installed in the review sample was available.

A Full HD panel is recommended for 15.6-inch formats. The screen in our review sample is a matte, 15.6-inch, AH IPS screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio and has a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels (Full HD). Its average brightness of 304 cd/m² (336 cd/m² maximum) is a very good rate that is clearly above the average for this category. The brightness is not dimmed in battery mode (336 cd/m² maximum). Backlight bleeding on a completely black screen (RGB: 0,0,0) is only visible to the naked eye in a dark room, but already in level 6 (144 cd/m²), see screenshot. This increases at higher brightness. Minor clouding (white spots) exist in the upper left and right corner and lower center. The keyboard backlight was enabled for determining a reference rate of the backlight bleeding intensity. Neither backlight bleeding nor clouding were visible in the evening in a dimmed room, even on a black picture (RGB: 0,0,0).