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Asus N73SV

Asus N73SV Core i7 Sandy Bridge 17.3in laptop

Desktop replacement with B&O audio

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Security for virtualized datacentres

Review As a multi-media laptop the Asus NX90 is undoubtedly desirable but it's as big as a barge, weighs a ton and costs an arm and a leg. However, now you can get the same Bang & Olufsen sound system, full HD screen and the latest Sandy Bridge i7 processor in the altogether more practical N73.

Asus N73SV

Sound prospect: Asus' N73SV

After coughing up the best part of a grand you’ll expect your laptop to look and feel the part and the N73 doesn’t disappoint. To start with, the lid is made from brushed aluminium, which does away with most of the wobble that can all too often make even premium laptops feel flimsy. The keyboard deck is aluminium too and the speakers sit behind a rigid metal grille that occupies the space between the rear of the keyboard deck and the bottom of the smart, gloss black screen bezel.

It’s a bit of a shame then that the forward part of the deck is patterned in such a way as to show up greasy paw prints and plastered in advertising stickers from Intel, Asus, Nvidia and Uncle Tom Cobley.

Take a quick look around the N73’s nether regions and you will find a Blu-ray disc-drive, four USB ports – two 2.0 at the back with one 3.0 and one 2.0/eSATA combo on the right. There are also VGA, HDMI and Gigabit Ethernet ports, a physical Wi-FI switch, card reader and 3.5mm audio jacks. The 802.11n Wi-Fi the Atheros card is a basic 1x1 affair that only operates in the 2.4GHz band rather than the 3x3 2.4/5.0GHz cards that Apple’s best use.

Asus N73SV

Includes USB 3.0 interfacing

Being a media machine you’d expect a good screen and, sure enough, the glossy 17.3in 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit panel is a cracker, with excellent colour saturation and definition. It also commands very robust viewing angles, especially about the vertical axis, so a group of people can easily sit around it and all get a good show.

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