ASUS' N82Jv: Jack-Of-All-Trades

Our last look at the ASUS multimedia oriented N-series came in the form of the N61Jv-X2, the first laptop with an Arrandale CPU and Optimus graphics to hit the market. Sporting several of the latest and greatest technologies at the time, we came away impressed and presented it with our Silver Editors' Choice award. Nearly six months later, it's amazing how little some things have changed. Specifically, it's currently impossible to find another manufacturer that makes a Core i3/i5/i7 laptop with a midrange Optimus GPU and at least one USB 3.0 port. Yeah, it's that bad. But let's start with the specifications of the N82Jv before we go any further.

ASUS N82Jv-X1 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i5-450M
(2x2.4GHz + HTT, 2.66GHz Turbo, 32nm, 3MB L3, 35W)
Chipset Intel HM55
Memory 2x2GB DDR3-1066 (Max 2x4GB)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT335M 1GB Optimus Technology
Intel HD Graphics IGP
Display 14" LED Glossy 16:9 768p (1366x768)
AU Optronics B140XW01-V8
Hard Drive(s) 500GB 7200 RPM Hard Disk
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9500420AS
Optical Drive 8x DVD+/-RW SuperMulti
Networking Atheros AR8131 Gigabit Ethernet
Atheros AR9285 802.11n (150Mb capable)
Audio Realtek ALC269 HD Audio
Altec Lansing stereo speakers Headphone and microphone jacks
Battery 6-Cell, 10.8V, 4400mAh, 47Wh battery
Front Side 8-in-1 Flash reader
WiFi On/Off Switch
Left Side Microphone/headphone jacks
USB 3.0
HDMI
VGA
Exhaust vent
AC jack
Right Side Optical drive
1x USB 2.0
Ethernet jack
eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port
Kensington lock
Back Side Nothing
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 13.8" x 9.7" x 1.3-1.4" (WxDxH)
Weight ~5.0 lbs
Extras 2MP Webcam + Face Recognition
86-key keyboard
Flash reader (MMC, SD/Mini SD, MS/Duo/Pro/Pro Duo, xD)
Warranty 1-year standard warranty
Pricing Starting at $999 Online

There are quite a few interesting points to highlight here. First, the GPU is bumped up from the GT 325M in the N61Jv to a GT 335M; that should improve performance quite a bit, though now we're at the point where the new GeForce 400M parts should start to show up. It would be awesome to see ASUS simply halt production of the GT 335M model and upgrade it to something like the GT 435M, but "simple" switches like that never seem to happen fast enough. Regardless, the GPU should provide sufficient performance for midrange gaming, and we're definitely interested in seeing how the N82Jv stacks up to the Alienware M11x R2.

Speaking of the M11x R2, there are a few more comparisons to make there. The N82Jv is a "larger" 14" chassis while the M11x sports an 11.6" LCD, but the reality is the chassis on the M11x is hardly what one would call "thin and light". The dimensions of the M11x are 11.25" x 9.19" x 1.29" (WxDxH), so two inches narrower and half an inch shallower, with about the same thickness as the N82Jv. The M11x also weighs in at 4.4 lbs compared to 5.0 lbs, but outside of the width we're in the same ballpark. For the larger size, you get a CPU that's up to twice as fast, an optical drive, and a few other extras. And along with the extras, you also get a puny 47Wh battery compared to the 63Wh battery in the M11x.

That last point is particularly irksome, as ASUS does so well with their U/UL series of laptops. Would it be too much to ask for 8-cell 84Wh batteries to become the standard for all 13.3" and larger notebooks? Actually, ASUS does appear to have an 8-cell variant of the N82Jv in the works, but that model will most likely not hit US shelves… just like the Blu-ray combo drive ASUS models are nearly impossible to find over here (unless you get into their 15.6" and larger notebooks).

Something else worth noting is that unlike some of the other ASUS laptops, the N82Jv-X2 comes with a standard 1-year warranty. This is a SKU built to a price point, in this case $1000, and while there's plenty to like it's clear that a few extras were cut to keep profit margins up. Along with the shorter warranty, the LCD is another run-of-the-mill 768p panel with poor color and contrast characteristics. We'd love to see ASUS and others take a cue from Apple and Sony and put better LCDs into all their products… but then Apple and Sony don't have quality panels in all their products either (standard MacBook, I'm looking at you; as for Sony, the good LCDs are the exception rather than the rule unless you plunk down $1500+). Like so many other consumer laptops, the N82Jv comes out of a series of compromises and decisions in pursuit of the almighty dollar, but it does tend to err a bit more on the quality side of the fence.

A Closer Look at the ASUS N82Jv-X2
POST A COMMENT

33 Comments

View All Comments

  • Hrel - Sunday, September 12, 2010 - link

    GPU = DX10. Simply foolish to buy that as we near 2011
    Screen resolution = 1366x768. Seriously?! When will they learn?

    Just a personal thing, but I'd prefer a 15" laptop just cause I want a numpad.

    Asus if you're reading this:
    Screen resolution of 1600x900 or greater. (Preferably a contrast ratio of 500:1 or higher)
    Battery size of 60Wh or greater. (Preferably 84Wh)
    GPU = Nvidia DX11 with similar performance to the AMD HD5650.
    CPU = Intel dual core w/ HT @2Ghz or greater with 3MB L3 cache or greater.
    HDD = 7200rpm 320GB or greater. (500GB Seagate MomentusXT hyrbrid drive would be best.)

    Don't price it over $1000. Go over to cyberpower.com, they build a similar system to this on a Compal whitebox for under 1K.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Sunday, September 12, 2010 - link

    you know, even if they stuck with the "standard" quality screen but upped the resolution I'd be happy. Just offer an upgrade to a better screen for 100 bucks or so. The batter can't give though, anything under 60Wh is ridiculous. Reply
  • Hrel - Sunday, September 12, 2010 - link

    Just to clarify the GPU choice, I'm totally ok running games at 1280x720 on my laptop. High end all "eye candy" on gaming is what my desktop is for. That doesn't mean it's ok to make the screen low resolution. 1600x900 or higher or I won't even look at it. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, September 12, 2010 - link

    Yeah, but you can't do 1600x900 gaming I think is the rationale. Or something. I got this laptop a couple weeks back, before the DX11 400M announcement, which arguably steals some of the thunder as well. I just really hope the inevitable update can give us the bigger battery, better screen, and at least a 435M. That would be a very sweet laptop, and it shouldn't be hard to take the N82Jv and make those tweaks in less than a month. Sell off the low-end screen in other models and make a nice "N82 Pro". Reply
  • kmmatney - Sunday, September 12, 2010 - link

    The 16:9 display was the worst thing to ever happen to laptops... Reply
  • beginner99 - Sunday, September 12, 2010 - link

    this.

    16:9 is bascially only useful for games and movies. for browsing or office work it's a pain in the ass. even 16:10 can be annoying for that.
    Reply
  • teohhanhui - Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - link

    I find 16:10 to be perfect for side-by-side comparison or just for viewing 2 pages of a document at a time. Reply
  • FH123 - Sunday, September 12, 2010 - link

    Screen resolution = 1366x768. Seriously?! When will they learn?

    This comment scares me. Am I the only one who doesn't value resolution highly? I've used Windows 7 and still found plenty of software not fully optimised for high DPI, so I'd rather stick to the above resolution. I'd simply want a good display in that resolution.

    I am the owner of a Thinkpad T410s with a 1440x900 display. Better, right? At least still 16:10? Wrong! Contrast ratio 95:1, black-level 2.9 cd/m2. I've no doubt the Asus' screen is crap, like Jarred says, but there's worse to be found in the high-end business segment. Basically I think I'd kill for the Asus' screen at twice the contrast and 1/3 the black-level!
    Reply
  • synaesthetic - Sunday, September 12, 2010 - link

    Windows 7 is designed for a minimum vertical pixel count of 768, so really, 1366x768 should only be present on laptops in the sub-13" size category.

    This is how I see it...

    There's just no point in robbing yourself of more vertical pixels. And fix the "standard netbook resolution" of 1024x600 to actually be 16:10 instead of 16:9.4 or whatever it actually is.

    1366x768 is a stupid resolution and deserves to go away.

    10": 1024x640
    11-12": 1280x800
    13-14": 1600x900
    15": 1600x900 or 1920x1200
    16" and up: 1920x1200

    Accept no substitutes.
    Reply
  • synaesthetic - Sunday, September 12, 2010 - link

    Correction: 15" should be 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 depending on preference. 1600x900 is the only good 16:9 resolution IMO, and it's pretty much perfect on a 14" panel. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now