ASUS NX90JQ B&O notebook

An ASUS notebook that uses Bang & Olufsen technology to offer great audio quality

ASUS NX90JQ
  • ASUS NX90JQ
  • ASUS NX90JQ
  • ASUS NX90JQ
  • Expert Rating

    Not yet rated

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality, 6GB RAM, Core i7 CPU, 1TB hard drive space

Cons

  • Two touchpads take a lot of getting used to

Bottom Line

The ASUS NX90JQ is a desktop replacement notebook with an emphasis on sound quality -- and it sounds better than any notebook we've tested to date. But that's not all: the NX90JQ represents a significant departure from conventional notebook design in that it employs two touchpads either side of the keyboard, rather than one on the palm rest. High-end audio quality notwithstanding, it's this feature that makes the NX90JQ an intriguing proposition.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

The ASUS NX90JQ has been designed to appeal to users who want better sound quality from a notebook. It's a desktop replacement–style, 18.4in notebook for the home entertainment enthusiast. It's got plenty of style, and its design is guaranteed to intrigue many potential buyers.

The ASUS NX90JQ was launched at a soundstage in Sydney's Entertainment Quarter.

The main selling point of the ASUS NX90JQ is its supreme audio capability. SonicMaster Technology, however unimaginative its name may be, is what makes this notebook tick. It's a combination of Bang & Olufsen's ICEpower codec, bigger and stronger speakers and a class D amplifier. The speakers are 25mm in diameter, which is claimed to be 25 per cent larger than the speakers in a conventional notebook, and they are installed on either side of the screen in larger than usual speaker chambers. ASUS claims the speaker chambers are 400 per cent larger than the speaker chambers on a conventional notebook. You can see the comparison of the speakers themselves below.

On the left are the speakers in ASUS' new NX90JQ notebook, while on the right is a speaker from a conventional notebook. You can see that the speaker setup in the NX90JQ is much larger.

The larger speakers provide a better low-end frequency range than smaller laptop speakers and, combined with the new codec and amplifier, there is virtually no annoying background hissing when the volume is turned up high. We got to hear it first hand at the Trackdown Scoring Stage in Sydney's Entertainment Quarter. The sound from the speakers really filled the stage and the low frequencies were pleasant to listen to, rather than nonexistent as they are on most notebooks.

However, there is some distortion evident when you play the speakers at their maximum level, but this will depend on the type of music you listen to, too. Listening to opera, the speakers handled the high volumes relatively well and without noticeable distortion, but with rock music, the loud volumes did show up some slight distortion. Nevertheless, even when they are not turned all the way up, the NX90's speakers produce louder volume and, most importantly, cleaner sound than any notebook we've tested to date.

We were treated to a fine performance, which was recorded and then played back on the ASUS NX90JQ's built-in speakers.

But the higher standard of audio quality isn't the only feature that differentiates the NX90JQ from other notebooks: it also has two touchpads. These touchpads are located on each side of the keyboard and have been included in order to improve the ergonomic design of the notebook — you won't have to twist your wrist in order to get to the touchpad, as the touchpad will always be within reach of your left or right hand while you type. Both touchpads support multitouch gestures and you can use either the left or right touchpad to navigate the notebook's Full HD screen.

Touchpads are placed either side of the NX90JQ's keyboard — they'll take time to get used to.

Using either touchpad takes a lot of getting used to. We found ourselves constantly reverting back to touching the middle of the palm rest, but there is no touchpad there. Without a touchpad, the palm rest area is huge. ASUS representatives said the new touchpads could be used in conjunction with future applications, but they were mum on the details. At the moment an application called Rotation Desktop works with both touchpads: it's a media application from which you can select music and videos to play. It will be installed in release models of the NX90, but it wasn't available on the test machines we saw.

The specifications of the ASUS NX90JQ (ZBD-YZ055V) are typically beefy for a high-end desktop replacement. You get an Intel Core i7-720QM CPU, which has a 1.6GHz clock speed and four CPU cores, plus Hyper-Threading. There is 6GB of DDR3 SDRAM installed via three 2GB memory modules (the notebook runs a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium), two 500GB, 5400rpm hard drives, a slot-loading Blu-ray combo drive, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a webcam, an SD card reader, a hybrid TV tuner, 2x USB 3.0 ports, eSATA, HDMI, D-Sub, analog and optical audio ports and a 6-cell, 5600mAh battery.

With an 18.4in screen plus the speakers either side of it, it's not the type of notebook that's easy to leave the home with — and its battery life won't be long enough anyway. It's definitely a stay-at-home notebook and its reflective panels and very good audio performance make it a great media centre machine through which you can play all your video and music.

Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook

Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu

Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?