Heat and Noise
There is a single fan that expels warm air out the left side of the notebook; this is not a good thing for left-handed users. Nonetheless the fan is quiet and keeps the notebook cool even while gaming. The left palm rest tends to get a bit warm; it's likely the processor or graphics card is located under it. The noise level is low even under full load; it sounds like a rush of air.
The N55S lasted four hours and five minutes during our standard battery rundown test (Windows 7 Balanced power profile, 70% screen brightness, wireless active and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds). This is a respectable time for a high-performance notebook like this one especially considering it has a quad-core processor (dual-core processors are more power friendly). The Nvidia Optimus technology allows the N55S to switch to the low-power integrated Intel graphics and turn off the high-performance Nvidia GeForce graphics card when not needed to conserve power.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
The ASUS N55S is a good value and a good buy. It has a great full HD display, good looks, and decent build quality. The performance is excellent; this notebook is more than capable of playing the latest games. Most of the cons for this notebook can be summed up as "could have been better" rather than simply "bad". The keyboard for example is pleasant to type on but has some layout issues; the touchpad works well but the buttons are too loud; finally, the speakers sound good but aren't particularly impressive. A definite downside is the fact that the N55S does not have a backlit keyboard like some similarly-priced competing notebooks.
There are still many things to like about this notebook, including the two USB 3.0 ports, quiet cooling fan, and four hours of battery life.
At $1,199 the N55S is an attractive multimedia notebook with solid specifications. It's worth mentioning the notebook comes with a two-year warranty standard.
Software & Support
* Ratings averaged to produce final score
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