Heat and Noise
Cooling is another item the N53SM does well; even under full benchmarking load this system remains room temperature. Only the area around the fan on the left side gets lukewarm. The single fan is large and almost inaudible while performing most tasks. It runs faster while playing games but doesn’t develop a whine or becoming annoying.
I measured an even five hours of battery life during our standard battery run-down test (Windows 7 Balanced power profile, 70% screen brightness, wireless on and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds). This is a decent time for a desktop replacement notebook.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
The N53SM is a well-rounded notebook with the exception of the screen, which ultimately kills the deal. A higher-resolution screen is required approaching the thousand dollar range. The 720p glossy panel in this unit is no better than those included in notebooks half the price.
Otherwise the N53SM has a lot going for it including good looking design, solid keyboard, pleasant speakers, and five hour battery life. Performance is fine for casual use but enthusiasts will wish for more graphics power and a faster hard drive (or SSD).
Overall we cannot strongly recommend the ASUS N53SM since the value proposition just isn’t there. Add a 1080p screen and a more powerful graphics card into the mix for the same price and this notebook would deliver a great value.
- Nice looking design
- Good speakers
- Runs cool and quiet
- Disappointing screen
- No keyboard backlighting
- So-so graphics performance