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back to article Asus NV550JV 15.6in full HD notebook - the one we didn't have to send back

When Asus sent the N550 to Vulture Central, I sent it back: the wrong model had been dispatched. Having seen so many tiresome comments following El Reg laptop reviews along the lines of “when I saw it was only 1366 x 768 I stopped reading”, I wasn’t going to proceed with this spec - and with more than these moans as …

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372GB

for an OS partition?

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Joke

Re: 372GB

You have to be prepared for an upgrade to Windows 9 which will probably take ~170Gig for a clean install.

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Tray-loading optical drive?

Just looks nasty these days.

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Re: Tray-loading optical drive?

You clearly have never had slot loader scratch the crap out of your discs.

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Re: Tray-loading optical drive?

You're right - in years and years of owning slot-loading optical drives, I've never had one scratch the crap out of my discs.

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Bronze badge

Re: Tray-loading optical drive?

A fubar upgrade of OSX on a slot loading macbook put me off them for life. Wouldn't complete the upgrade, and kept rebooting, seeing the disk and trying to run the upgrade again. Refused to obey the eject key and my universal cd-rom ejection tool (paperclip) could not save me. Took almost a day to get the damn disk out.

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Re: Tray-loading optical drive?

Reboot and hold down mouse button to force an eject.

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Boffin

Re: Tray-loading optical drive?

And you'll fit the slot loading mechanism in, how, exactly?

And keep the cost down as well?

And shock resistant?

But feel free to invent one for laptops. After all, the "cool factor" is worth it, isn't it?

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Z80

Re: Tray-loading optical drive?

When faced with a similar problem recently I did a quick bit of Googling and found that holding the option key at startup brings up a screen allowing you to select the startup volume. The eject key works from there.

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Boffin

Mandatory

When I saw 'HD 1920 x 1080' I stopped reading

screens should be at least 1920x1200 in this day and age.

I'll be waiting for the 'whiff of Apple' comments about not having a VGA port and needing to use an adapter cable with interest.

If this were to be my desktop replacement then I'd need at least 24Gb of Ram. will this device take that?

People running multiple VM's is not that uncommon these days.

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No VGA port?

It should have one. Along with serial, parallel and PS2 ports. Oh, and the ability to swap the optical drive for a floppy, whilst we,re reminiscing.

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Mandatory

1920x1080 or 1920x1200... I really wonder who would see the difference.

24GB... no. Very, very few people need that amount of RAM. Not even in their desktops.

Remember, you are looking here at an off-the shelve product. Not a highly customized-for-you device.

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Anonymous Coward

Off the shelf laptops

WTF?

My 8 month old HP Elitebook can take 32Gb Ram. (and 3 HDD's)

My old Dell 9600 had a 1920x1200 screen. Again, an off the shelf product.

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Re: Mandatory

Regrettably, 16:10 displays are extinct on laptops outside the Macbook pro. It's annoying as I find 16:9 to be a horrible aspect ratio for working (all width, no height), but there you are. The reason is simply that 16:10 displays are more expensive to produce and none of the manufacturers (apart from Apple) seem to think they're worth it, even on a high-end laptop.

A pity. If a company like Lenovo could make a nice, 16:10 laptop with a 1920x1200 matte screen, 256GB SSD and decent keyboard/trackpad (with buttons), I'd buy one now - even for £1,000+.

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Re: Off the shelf laptops

Well if you don't like it, here's an idea, don't fucking buy it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mandatory

"1920x1080 or 1920x1200... I really wonder who would see the difference."

1920x1080 is the HDTV 16:9 format. It is hard to buy a standalone monitor now in 1920x1200. Presumably the bulk production of 1920x1080 panels for TVs has produced an economy of scale.

A free-standing 1920x1200 monitor plays HD content with black bands above and below - useful for parking the player's on-screen controls. If you have 1920x1200 on a laptop then you will have those same bands effectively reducing your picture size for a given screen height.

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Re: I really wonder who would see the difference.

Many many people. 16:9 is great for watching DVDs and a pain in the ass for anything else. 1920x1200 is 16:10, the difference seems small but it is a great deal better for most work tasks. As for RAM, you don't use VMs do you. If you did you'd know there is no such thing as too much RAM.

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Re: No VGA port?

Where the hell is the telephone line modem jack???

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Re: Mandatory

1080 is not quite tall enough to display an A4 page at 100% zoom using Word 2011, so I guess 1200 might just do the job. 1440 would be better. Similarly large Excel sheets like tall screens, you can see more data without scrolling.

1080 and 16:9 is just for TV screens.

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Trollface

Re: Mandatory

> The reason is simply that 16:10 displays are more expensive to produce and none of the manufacturers (apart from Apple)

Don't take it personally but the fact that anyone with a clue would call it "8:5" may also explain why "16:10" is not a common format.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mandatory

Perhaps it's commonly referred to as 16:10 instead of 8:5 because the former is more easily contrasted with 16:9? As anyone with a clue knows though you could of course just refer to the latter as 8:4.5.

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Re: No VGA port?

Steve? Old School Steve? Is that you?

Almost didn't recognize you!

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FAIL

Re: No VGA port? Whynot VGA?

I give presentations to a lot of companies through out the country and most of them use a VGA connect to a projector. This is a cheap AND reliable way to show data. With no VGA connect This makes it far less useful.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No VGA port? Whynot VGA?

The previous version (which I have) has both VGA and HDMI out, but in any case I have adaptors for both HDMI-> DVI and HDMI->VGA. Given the size of the power supplies on these things (i7 with 16G of RAM does use a few watts) an adaptor or two makes no odds.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Mandatory

> you could of course just refer to the latter as 8:4.5

Of course not, as anyone with a cousin with half a clue could have told you that you just reduce the fraction to its lowest integer terms. That's just how you describe formats, otherwise there's no reason to use fractions in the first place.

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Re: Mandatory

No they don't. The controls just overlay and you have a nice 16:9 experience without stupid black bands top and bottom.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mandatory

> Of course not, as anyone with a cousin with half a clue could have told you that you just reduce the fraction to its lowest integer terms.

I'm really at a loss now if you don't get sarcasm (American?) or if this is some sort of wickedly sarcastic response that I don't fully get.

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Anonymous Coward

"It is hard to buy a standalone monitor now in 1920x1200"

No it isn't, what are you smoking, Cletus?

A very unscientific "mashing my head against google" turned up a candidate in literally seconds:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dell-U2410-24-Widescreen-Monitor/dp/B0031U1AFU

Plenty more where that came from, too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No VGA port?

Demand an integrated acoustic couple or GTFO!

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Anonymous Coward

"With no VGA connect This makes it far less useful."

Dear Random Capitalisation Bloke,

Carry a tiny little adaptor in your bag, end of problem. VGA users are now outliers, so you may as well prepare yourself now and suffer less hurt in the future.

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xyz
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Re: Mandatory

I only read the article because I thought it said "a whiff of B&Q about it".....bugger!

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Re: I really wonder who would see the difference.

"you'd know there is no such thing as too much RAM" - indeed! I regularly run _programs_ that swallow up several GB. I actually use a laptop as a real computer, so I can work without having to sit at a desk.

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Facepalm

Track pad alignment

The track pad looks like it is actually centred on the main keyboard, but the numeric keypad to the side makes that be 'not-centred' to the whole laptop and therefore screen. For touch typing that may be a good thing, but without trying it I couldn't say where would be best (in my subjective opinion). Oh, also an adaptable Left-hander.

but yes, why is it so difficult to find a laptop with a better than HD screen? HD is for television, not computing!

(Doh! icon 'cos it's a left-handed face-palm)

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FAIL

Re: Track pad alignment

To be honest, the first thing I do on a laptop with a touch pad is turn the damn thing off... if I'm actually using it while travelling, fair enough, but if there's anywhere to roll a mouse, even my knee, that's generally preferable.

A touch pad that just did straightforward things like tracking my finger, with a marked area for a click, is usable; these days they seem to decide that random touches from your palm are intended as complex clicks and anything can happen.

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Re: Track pad alignment

Could not live without a trackpad now .. then again I use a Macbook Pro and that trackpad has a tendency to just work as expected. However on a 'work' Lenovo I would agree the trackpad should be taken out and shot .. the nipple rules on that one.

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Re: Track pad alignment

"A touch pad that just did straightforward things like tracking my finger, with a marked area for a click, is usable; these days they seem to decide that random touches from your palm are intended as complex clicks and anything can happen."

Several linux GUIs (at least) have options to disable trackpad input while keys are being typed, specifically to deal with this kind of issue. I'm surprised this isn't standard in Windows.

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Facepalm

Also Mandatory

Yes, but does it run Linux?

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Re: Also Mandatory

Wasn't that in the article? I'm pretty sure the answer was essentially "almost".

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Mushroom

A note to UI designers

Stop designing interfaces to the audio/video hardware that look like something coming out of a soldering shop that received mechanical dials and random analog hardware from a B-52 yard sale, glued it together and plastered made-up and trademarked logos everywhere on the resulting box. That kind of old-style hardware was designed not because it was kewl but because there was no other way.

DOING SO TODAY IS DUMB. IT'S CONFUSING! IT'S NEEDLESSLY COMPLICATED. IT'S FOR 15-YEAR OLDS!

It gets even worse when the flexibility of a computer-interface is added in at random points (Do you hear, Amarok designer? Yes, get rid of your shitty volume control button first, then get rid of the rest of your shit too.)

Nurse, my blood pressure is off the chart again.

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Re: A note to UI designers

Upvoted - you beat me to it.

Remember when it was obligatory for DVD player software to have a UI designed to look like an especially chavvy car radio? Because people are used to watching DVDs on the car radio.

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I bought my son the pre-haswell version of this.....

Not a bad machine, looks quite good, nice screen and sound.

Has the usual PC laptop issues though, the battery is poor, the standard SATA drive is very slow, had to put in an SSD and the top bends when you're using it so the track pad gets spurious data and zaps your mouse pointer all over the screen at random forcing you to use an external one.

For its price it's not a bad machine but I think it illustrates the benefit of spending a bit more and getting something with a more solid chassis.

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Anonymous Coward

I stopped reading when...

I saw that it doesn't have an SSD drive... :-)

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Re: I stopped reading when...

A Solid State Drive Drive??

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Re: I stopped reading when...

I stopped reading when I got to the end of the article.

The notebook would be much improved by adding a second (user accessible) drive bay that could be used for an SSD or simply HDD expansion.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I stopped reading when...

"A Solid State Drive Drive??"

No: A Solid State Drive drive.

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Joke

Poor display

I stopped reading when I saw it didnt have a 4K display

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Me?

Does anyone make a laptop for work?

I do not watch films, use the speakers, or play games I program and 1080 is not enough for the development tools I use.

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JC_
Bronze badge

Dell sell the M4800 with a 3200x1800 15.6" screen.

It doesn't make much sense to shop in the consumer section and complain that the laptops don't have the features you need...

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