C 2018
Notebookcheck

Asus N552VX-FY103T Notebook Review

Marcus Conrad (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 03/18/2016

Everything but battery mode, please. A successful build and configuration are omnipresent. Compared with its predecessor, the casing looks slimmer and that is a positive. Quad-core, GeForce GTX 950M graphics card and 8 GB of DDR4 working memory lead us to hope for a gaming-suitable multimedia all-rounder.

For the original German review, see here.

Asus' N552VX-FY103T is one of the premium models of multimedia all-rounders. Thanks to a Skylake processor and GeForce graphics core, the user is equipped for most application scenarios.

Intel's Core i7-6700HQ processor (8 threads) meets a gaming-suitable Nvidia GeForce 950M graphics core in our review sample. The current model does not have anything in common with previous models of the N550 and N551. Although at a first glance, the former models look thicker and less appealing,  they feature removable and stronger batteries. The review sample is a progress just in terms of its looks - but this is a matter of taste.

Our in-depth report reveals how the device fares in each individual test. The former Asus N551JK-CN116H serves as a direct comparison. Similarly or even better configured opponents with a maximum price of 1000 Euros (~$1121) are Asus' GL552JX-CN154T and Acer's Aspire V5-591G-71K2, as well as rivals with less computing but more graphics power (Nvidia GeForce 960M), such as the non-touch version of Lenovo's IdeaPad Y700 15ISK 80NW (touch-model tested at Notebookcheck).

Asus N552VX-FY103T (N552 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M - 2048 MB, Core: 993-1124 MHz, Memory: 2002 MHz, DDR3, ForceWare 359.06, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2133, Hynix HMA 41GS6AFr8N-TF, 2 memory banks, 1 filled, max. 16 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, LG Philips LP156WF6-SPB5, AH-IPS, 262k colors, 6 bit eDP (2 lanes) 30 pins, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point HM170
Storage
Toshiba MQ02ABD100H, 1000 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 1000 GB SSHD @ 5400 RPM + empty M.2 slot (2280)
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 0 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio in/out jack, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC, 1 RJ 45 (Ethernet)
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GUE1N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29.9 x 383 x 260 ( = 1.18 x 15.08 x 10.24 in)
Battery
44 Wh, 3200 mAh, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: by ICEpower Bang & Olufsen Technology, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, power supply, power cable, quick start guide, warranty card, Office (trial), McAfee Internet Security (trial), Evernote 5.9.2, Dropbox (25 GB), Foxit PhantomPDF, CyberLink PhotoDirector 5 & PowerDirector 12, Asus software, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.53 kg ( = 89.24 oz / 5.58 pounds), Power Supply: 554 g ( = 19.54 oz / 1.22 pounds)
Price
1000 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

To put things straight: Asus' N552VX is not much slimmer than its predecessor. However, the clever design of the matte-black underside suggests a slim laptop.

Light brown, silver and black dominate the casing. The latter is found on the display's matte bezel and non-slip structured underside. Asus promotes the N552VX as "One-Body Aluminum Casing". Unfortunately, this is not true because the base is composed of two components and the lower part is plastic. However, the upper side shimmers in aluminum that defies fingerprints quite successfully. The same is true of the lid's aluminum back. It looks like the concentric cut familiar in Asus' ZenBooks with an illuminated Asus logo in the center. In addition to the rounded corners and successful surfaces, the concentric perforated grille below the hinges set visual highlights.

The base can be easily warped with a lot of effort. It does not produce any noises. The stability and apparently impeccable build quality convey a solid impression despite a lot of plastic. The display's lid is easy to open with one hand and rocks only slightly during movements. Attention has been paid to ensure sufficient stability here.

Connectivity

The diversity of interfaces in the N552VX-FY103T is satisfactory. Compared with the predecessor, a USB 3.0 Type-C (max. 5 Gbps) has been added. Unfortunately, it is not a USB 3.1 Gen2. This  was confirmed by the technical support of Asus Germany upon inquiry. Consequently, this USB 3.0 Type-C does not provide either Thunderbolt or DisplayPort. In addition, three "standard" USB 3.0 (max. 5 Gbps) ports, an Ethernet socket and 3.5 mm combo audio in/out jack are installed. Two external monitors can be connected via a mini-DisplayPort and HDMI out. These interfaces and  the DC-in are located on the left. Too bad: Virtually all the ports have been positioned very close to the front, which could lead to obstructions when extensively used. An optical drive is also present. Only CDs/DVDs are compatible with the review sample, but Asus promises configurations with Blu-ray and 4K panels in future. We can only hope that this promise will be kept.

The SD card reader is situated on the front. We test its performance with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference SD card. According to AS SSD, the SD card reader achieves 84.7 MB/s in read and 55 MB/s in write. Copying 250 JPG image files (approx. 5 MB each) was performed at 54 MB/s. These results are average.

Although the status LEDs on the laptop's front edge are not in the area of the input devices, they are clearly visible. This is particularly helpful at night since status LEDs in the vicinity of the input devices might prove distracting. One LED shines orange when the battery is low and green when fully charged. All other LEDs shine white.

SD card reader & status LEDs
SD card reader & status LEDs
(DC-in) power supply, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.0 Type-C
(DC-in) power supply, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.0 Type-C
3.5 mm combo audio in/out jack, 2x  USB 3.0, optical DVD drive, Kensington Lock
3.5 mm combo audio in/out jack, 2x USB 3.0, optical DVD drive, Kensington Lock

Communication

Thanks to the very high-quality Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 4.0 module, Asus' N552VX-FY103T achieves high speeds in either the 2.4 or 5 GHz band. This pays off, particularly in city centers, as well as in office or apartment buildings where 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi usually prevails and interferes with the user's own transmission rates. The option of using the 5 GHz band has advantages here.

The author setup a personal test scenario in a reinforced concrete apartment building (12 other routers). A 2.4 GHz band router, which was deliberately hidden unfavorably behind a 49-inch screen, was used for connecting to the Internet. Although the author closed all the doors, the connection remained stable with at least 2 signal bars in every corner of the apartment. The reception was excellent with 5 bars in the front yard (25 m/~82 ft linear to the router through a window). The review sample's reception was impressive in this intentionally unfavorable test setup. Therefore, problems will be unlikely whether at home with a good router or in an office building with a run-of-the-mill router.

Accessories

In addition to the power supply, only the instructions and warranty notes were found in the box. No recovery media or a recovery partition was included.

Maintenance

Unfortunately, traditionally removable batteries and maintenance hatches are no longer a matter of course even in larger, high-performance laptops such as the review sample. At least, Asus has incorporated a maintenance hatch that is secured by two screws. It is easy to open and allows accessing the hard drive and two RAM banks, but not the fan or, regrettably, the empty M.2 SSD slot (22x80mm/~0.86x3.1in).

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Review sample with opened maintenace cover...
Review sample with opened maintenace cover...
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 WiFi module
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 WiFi module
...and removed base plate (potential risk of warranty)
...and removed base plate (potential risk of warranty)
Hynix HMA 41GS6AFr8N-TF, 2 memory banks, 1 filled
Hynix HMA 41GS6AFr8N-TF, 2 memory banks, 1 filled

Warranty

Asus includes a 24-month limited warranty from the date of purchase. The battery's warranty is limited to 12 months. More information can be found on Asus' warranty card.

Input Devices

Keyboard

We also find an island-style (chiclet) keyboard here. All keys, including the function keys and the narrower 1 cm (~0.4 in) number pad, are flat. Once again, Asus has incorporated the power button in the keyboard's upper right. Play, stop, forward & back are mapped on the arrow keys. Everything else is found where expected.

Thanks to the sufficient drop, distinct pressure point and the lightly cushioned stroke, typing is very convenient and quiet (personal subjective impression). The author did not discover any flaws in quality (clattering, yielding). When the three-level keyboard backlight is disabled the black-gray lettering of the flat, non-slip keys provide a good contrast - at least during daytime. The letters glow in bright white-blue when the light is turned on. They are then quite legible only in dimmed surroundings (including dimmed screen brightness).

Touchpad

The keyless ClickPad makes a compelling impression. Its surface is quite smooth, which provides an outstanding tactile contrast to the impeccably cut aluminum edges. A 4 mm (~0.16 in) wide area that does not detect touch is found in all edges of the touchpad. Thanks to the touchpad's above average size and superb responsiveness coupled with good accuracy, the author could dispense with an external mouse without any problems. Drag & drop always functioned reliably. Subjectively, the "keys" with a pleasingly short drop provided the author with ideal resistance and crisp pressure point. They confirmed every click with a restrained audible feedback. Up to four fingers are detected at the same time. Asus' Smart Gesture enables configuring four-finger gestures comfortably.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

Subpixel Asus N552VX-FY103T
Subpixel Asus N552VX-FY103T
Asus N552VX-FY103T backlight bleeding at 144 cd/m² (level 6)
Asus N552VX-FY103T backlight bleeding at 144 cd/m² (level 6)

Asus promises different configurations in future that will also include 4K screens. At the time of testing, "only" the LG Philips LP156WF6-SPB5 as installed in the review sample was available.

A Full HD panel is recommended for 15.6-inch formats. The screen in our review sample is a matte, 15.6-inch, AH IPS screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio and has a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels (Full HD). Its average brightness of 304 cd/m² (336 cd/m² maximum) is a very good rate that is clearly above the average for this category. The brightness is not dimmed in battery mode (336 cd/m² maximum). Backlight bleeding on a completely black screen (RGB: 0,0,0) is only visible to the naked eye in a dark room, but already in level 6 (144 cd/m²), see screenshot. This increases at higher brightness. Minor clouding (white spots) exist in the upper left and right corner and lower center. The keyboard backlight was enabled for determining a reference rate of the backlight bleeding intensity. Neither backlight bleeding nor clouding were visible in the evening in a dimmed room, even on a black picture (RGB: 0,0,0).

297
cd/m²
294
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
304
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
297
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 336 cd/m² Average: 304.3 cd/m² Minimum: 19 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 336 cd/m²
Contrast: 988:1 (Black: 0.34 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.26 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 4.26 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
88% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 57% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.35
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
Response Times
-7%
6%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
42 (18, 24)
44 (25, 19, short plateau)
-5%
40.8 (16.4, 24.4)
3%
Response Time Black / White *
26 (5, 21)
28 (11, 17, short plateau)
-8%
24 (4, 20)
8%
PWM Frequency
200 (90)
58.14
Screen
-12%
-41%
4%
-24%
Brightness middle
336
323
-4%
249
-26%
326
-3%
258.6
-23%
Brightness
304
312
3%
240
-21%
317
4%
242
-20%
Brightness Distribution
85
83
-2%
86
1%
91
7%
88
4%
Black Level *
0.34
0.38
-12%
0.48
-41%
0.31
9%
0.277
19%
Contrast
988
850
-14%
519
-47%
1052
6%
934
-5%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.26
7.4
-41%
10.15
-93%
4.14
21%
8.1
-54%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
10.49
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.26
6.24
-46%
12.13
-185%
5.46
-28%
7.23
-70%
Gamma
2.35 94%
2.98 74%
2.48 89%
2.44 90%
1.99 111%
CCT
6758 96%
8098 80%
13445 48%
7574 86%
6567 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
57
69
21%
74
30%
64
12%
36.5
-36%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
88
100
14%
97
10%
57.2
-35%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-12% / -12%
-24% / -35%
4% / 4%
-9% / -19%

* ... smaller is better

Asus N552VX-FY103T vs sRGB: 88%
Asus N552VX-FY103T vs sRGB: 88%
Asus N552VX-FY103T vs Adobe RGB: 57%
Asus N552VX-FY103T vs Adobe RGB: 57%

The illumination of 85% is solid and  subjectively conveys a homogeneous brightness distribution. The screen's brightness can be set sufficiently fine in up to 10 levels. We measured 144 cd/m² at level 6, which we also used for our battery tests. The black level of 0.34 cd/m² alongside the maximum brightness results in a contrast of 988:1. The reproducible colors cover 88% of the sRGB color space. This is a very good rate for a laptop. By comparison: Viewsonic's VP2780-4K desktop monitor designed for CAD, video and photographic applications achieves 97% of the sRGB and 67% of the Adobe color space according to our tests. Only RGB LED panels currently provide noticeably more colors. An ideal DeltaE rate is less than 3. The screen in Asus N552VX-FY103T just misses this with 5 (ColorChecker) and 4 (Grayscale). Fortunately, a bluish tint is not present. Our color profile linked in the box could further improve the screen.

Compared with the rivals, the AH IPS screen (LG LP156WF6-SPB4) in Asus' N552VX-FY103T (review sample) scores well and ends up in the second place directly behind the 15.6-inch Asus GL552JX (Samsung 156HL01-102 panel). A good outcome since not many better alternatives exist in this category to date. The brightness of our review sample's predecessor is on par and marginally better in the AdobeRGB coverage with 69%, but clearly loses ground in contrast, dE Color and dE Grayscale. Both other rivals (the Acer Aspire V5-591G71K2 and the Lenovo Y700 15ISK 80NW) are not on this high level - too bad since otherwise, Lenovo's Y700 15ISK 80NW is very promising.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
Asus N552VX-FY103T, direct sunlight behind laptop
Asus N552VX-FY103T, direct sunlight behind laptop

Thanks to an average brightness of 304 cd/m², the review sample is definitely suitable for outdoor use.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
26 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 46 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
42 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 24 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 53 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41.1 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8689 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

As is typical of IPS, the viewing angles make a good to very good impression. The user would have to find a very unfavorable seating position to provoke major distortions vertically. Asus N552VX-FY103T copes with extremely slanted viewing angles horizontally.

Performance

With its strong Intel Core i7-6700HQ quad-core CPU, Asus N552VX-FY103T is well-equipped for most tasks imaginable. A Core i processor (4 cores, 8 threads) is the first choice for a multimedia laptop. Unfortunately, Nvidia's GPU is only an upper mid-range model and is not really the perfect match for the high-performance CPU. Our review sample finds its limits in gaming. Nevertheless, up-to-date games (2015/2016) can be risked when willing to make compromises thanks to Nvidia's GeForce 950M (1366 x 768 pixels, no AA, medium-high details). Office software or multimedia applications are not a challenge, and even sophisticated Photoshop and PremierPro sessions (CPU-driven, GPU capacity at 30 %) are not a problem for the hardware - at least not in AC mode (see processor). Thus, users who do not prioritize games, but frequently edit and render videos should cope well with this laptop.

Processor

Cinebench R15 Multi-CPU loop, throttling only in battery mode, capacity < 45%
Cinebench R15 Multi-CPU loop, throttling only in battery mode, capacity < 45%

Asus N552VX-FY103T has more than enough power for all the standard application scenarios with Intel's Core i7-6700HQ (Skylake) quad-core processor. It is not a ULV processor (TDP: 15 watts), but a standard mobile processor (TDP: 45 watts). The CPU clocks at a base speed of 2.6 GHz, which can be boosted to 3.1 GHz (four cores), 3.3 GHz (two cores) and 3.5 GHz (one core) via Turbo. Turbo is also utilized frequently, but unfortunately only in AC mode.

Cinebench R15 delivers a fairly realistic CPU load. We looped the program and discovered that the review sample tends to throttle excessively at a load of below 45% (regular fluctuations from 800 to 3091 MHz, see screenshot). The outcome is only half the score then. Unfortunately, the graphics card (see gaming performance) presents the same picture. We have to note positively that the full performance is provided when inserting the power cord into an outlet. As soon as the battery is recharged by 45%, the performance of Cinebench R15 is the same in AC and battery mode.

The Skylake processor can only outperform its direct Broadwell predecessor Intel Core i7-5700HQ in single-thread applications (both CPUs calculate at 3.5 GHz here). The Broadwell model has the lead in Multithread applications due to its higher Turbo Boost. The improvements made to the Skylake architecture are not enough to compensate for the higher speeds of the Broadwell models. Skylake brings advantages to integrated GPUs instead. Compared with last year's Intel Core i7-4720HQ and Intel Core i7-4710HQ Haswell models, the Skylake architecture delivers a very similar performance level in single thread applications. On the other hand, according to Cinebench, Skylake shines in Multithread applications and Intel's surpasses the Core by 25% (reason: better Turbo Boost utilization).

More benchmarks and comparisons can be found in the special article about Intel's Core i7-6700HQ.

Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
Cinebench R10
-30%
1%
-6%
-2%
Rendering Single 32Bit
5453
4773
-12%
5547
2%
5104
-6%
5283
-3%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20388
10668
-48%
20433
0%
19276
-5%
20302
0%
Cinebench R11.5
-33%
1%
-5%
-6%
CPU Single 64Bit
1.68
1.46
-13%
1.68
0%
1.54
-8%
1.48
-12%
CPU Multi 64Bit
7.42
3.5
-53%
7.48
1%
7.35
-1%
7.46
1%
Cinebench R15
-32%
1%
-5%
-6%
CPU Single 64Bit
146
130
-11%
148
1%
133
-9%
129
-12%
CPU Multi 64Bit
673
323
-52%
677
1%
669
-1%
676
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-32% / -32%
1% / 1%
-5% / -5%
-5% / -4%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5453
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20388
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6672
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
39.67 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.42 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.68 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
146 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
673 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
44.81 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System Performance

Win10 (compatibility mode), reason for benchmarks crashing
Win10 (compatibility mode), reason for benchmarks crashing

PCMark 7 and 8 consistently produced errors with 0 points at the end of the 30 minute tests. This problem still existed after several updates (drivers, benchmarks, operating system) and could ultimately only be bypassed. All tests (Score, Lightweight, Work, Creativity, etc.) were performed individually. Windows 10 Home 64-bit and the "compatibility mode" (see screenshot) were presumably the reasons for this. According to Futuremark's homepage, PCMark 7 & 8 do not officially support Win10 (at the time of testing).

In addition to the processor's performance, PCMark 7 and 8 also test the performance of the graphics card, RAM and above all the storage devices.

Compared with the review sample, the former Asus N551JK-CN166H and Acer's Aspire V5-591G-71K2 are on a par since these devices, like the Asus N552VX-FY103T review sample, are not equipped with an SSD. Asus' GL552JX and Lenovo's IdeaPad Y700 15ISK 80NW have an edge thanks to an SSD.

Depending on the test, on average, Asus N552VX-FY103T reached a 20% lower score in battery mode (charged >45%) than in AC mode. It was even 50% fewer points in the battery state of <45%.

However, the review sample pleased with absolutely smooth handling, insensibility to excessive multitasking, and fast program and operating system startups even without an SSD in routine use.

Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
PCMark 7
-3%
-2%
41%
36%
Creativity
7837
7266
-7%
7654
-2%
10382
32%
9899
26%
Productivity
3507
3494
0%
3382
-4%
5180
48%
5008
43%
Lightweight
3709
3941
6%
3745
1%
5889
59%
5543
49%
Score
4714
4131
-12%
4673
-1%
5829
24%
5918
26%
PCMark 8
-12%
7%
8%
11%
Work Score Accelerated v2
4503
3881
-14%
4747
5%
4972
10%
5011
11%
Home Score Accelerated v2
3452
3113
-10%
3719
8%
3637
5%
3845
11%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-8% / -6%
3% / 1%
25% / 30%
24% / 28%
PCMark 7 Score
4714 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3452 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4503 points
Help

Storage Devices

Data is stored on an SSHD by Toshiba. Its capacity of 1000 GB should be enough and is silent at 5400 revolutions per minute. The integrated 8 GB of SSD cache launches the operating system and programs quickly. The performance is average, yet sufficient for everyday use. Unfortunately, the empty M.2 22x80 mm (/~0.86x3.1in) slot cannot be accessed via the maintenance hatch. Thus, most buyers will have to be happy with the Toshiba SSHD installed ex-factory.

A YouTube video that shows how to integrate an M.2 SSD in Asus' N552VX in detail can be found here.

HDTune Pro 5.6 Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
HDTune Pro 5.6 Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
CristalDiskMark v.3.0.4 x64 Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
CristalDiskMark v.3.0.4 x64 Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
Transfer Rate Minimum: 51 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 112.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 88.3 MB/s
Access Time: 17.9 ms
Burst Rate: 71.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 3.8 %

Graphics Card

The GeForce 950M houses the same GM108 chip (Maxwell) as the older, only marginally lower clocked Nvidia GeForce 850M with 640 Shader units and a 128-bit interface for GDDR5/DDR3. The DDR3 is mostly utilized as VRAM, which prevents the GM108 chip from developing its full potential. 4096 MB places the Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2 slightly ahead of versions with 2048 MB of DDR3 VRAM. The comparison with MSI's PE60 2QD that is equipped with a GDDR5 VRAM is also interesting.

Nvidia's GeForce 950M with a DDR3 VRAM clocks at a base clock of 993 MHz, which can be boosted to 1124 MHz via Turbo. Asus follows Nvidia's specifications exactly. The 2048 MB DDR3 VRAM memory clocks at 2002 MHz.

Looking at our "Computer Games on Laptop Graphics Cards", Nvidia's GeForce 950M is three times as fast as the CPU-integrated and considerably more frugal Intel HD Graphics 530. The latter takes care of less computing-intensive (2D) graphic calculations, and thus unloads the battery, thanks to Optimus technology. Switching between both cores is automatic, but the user can always intervene manually.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
5678 Points ∼100% +24%
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
4703 Points ∼83% +3%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4624 Points ∼81% +1%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
4579 Points ∼81%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
4488 Points ∼79% -2%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
4255 Points ∼75% -7%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
4036 Points ∼100% +38%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3410 Points ∼84% +17%
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
2918 Points ∼72% 0%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
2917 Points ∼72%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
2726 Points ∼68% -7%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
2675 Points ∼66% -8%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
17554 Points ∼100% +20%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
16063 Points ∼92% +10%
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
14828 Points ∼84% +2%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
14578 Points ∼83%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
14081 Points ∼80% -3%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
9818 Points ∼56% -33%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
84441 Points ∼100% +45%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
84067 Points ∼100% +44%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
61456 Points ∼73% +5%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
58288 Points ∼69%
3DMark 11 Performance
4579 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
58288 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
14578 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2917 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The user will have to be satisfied with medium presets and the 1366x768 HD resolution in most up-to-date 3D games (2015/2016). A higher rendering quality is possible in games before 2014.

The 3DMark Cloud Gate Standard score dropped by 6% in battery mode (Nvidia Battery Boost disabled, battery state >45%), the "BioShock Infinite" benchmark (high preset) by 16%, and "The Rise of the Tomb Raider" (medium preset) by 17%. Unfortunately, enabling Nvidia's Battery Boost (e.g. 35 FPS) did not change this. Anyway, mobile gaming is not the strength of Asus' N552VX-FY103T due to the very limited battery capacity.

A similar picture as in the PCMark performance can be seen here. Moderate CPU and GPU load lead to minor throttling in battery mode (regardless of the battery state). Consequently, the graphics card's Turbo (1124 MHz) is only utilized heavily in AC mode during gaming (simultaneous CPU + GPU load). On a positive note,  the full power is retrieved as soon as the power supply is connected.

The GPU stress test FurMark (multi GPU) produces high GPU load. The outcomes: Battery state < 45% = significant throttling (regular fluctuations from 600 to 1124 MHz); battery state > 45% = no throttling. These results are similar to those in the Cinebench R15 test.

Nvidia's GeForce 960M installed in Lenovo's IdeaPad Y700 15ISK 80NW is considerably stronger with 4096 MB of GDDR5 VRAM; we did not notice any throttling in Lenovo's laptop.

Rise of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
21.4 (min: 19, max: 24) fps ∼100% +2%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
21 (min: 19, max: 23) fps ∼98% 0%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
21 fps ∼98%
1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
37.7 (min: 35, max: 41) fps ∼100% +8%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
37.5 (min: 35, max: 42) fps ∼99% +7%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
35 fps ∼93%
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
46.5 fps ∼100% +68%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
38.3 fps ∼82% +38%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
27.7 fps ∼60%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
26.9 fps ∼58% -3%
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
26.5 fps ∼57% -4%
1366x768 High Preset
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
122.5 fps ∼100% +45%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
99 fps ∼81% +17%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
84.3 fps ∼69%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
78.2 fps ∼64% -7%
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
62 fps ∼51% -26%
1366x768 Medium Preset
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
137.3 fps ∼100% +35%
MSI PE60 2QD
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
113 fps ∼82% +11%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
101.5 fps ∼74%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
96.2 fps ∼70% -5%
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
67.9 fps ∼49% -33%
Dirt Rally
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
24.6 fps ∼100% +13%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
22.2 fps ∼90% +2%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
21.7 fps ∼88%
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
20.7 (min: 16, max: 33) fps ∼84% -5%
1920x1080 High Preset
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
60.2 fps ∼100% +7%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
56.3 fps ∼94%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
52.2 fps ∼87% -7%
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
38.8 (min: 28, max: 55) fps ∼64% -31%
1366x768 Medium Preset
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
106.4 fps ∼100% +17%
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
102.9 fps ∼97% +13%
Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
90.7 fps ∼85%
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
53 (min: 36, max: 76) fps ∼50% -42%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 101.584.327.7fps
Dirt Rally (2015) 90.756.321.7fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 3521fps

Emissions

Noise characteristic
Noise characteristic

System Noise

The fan in Asus' N552VX-FY103T was always active even while idling (system cooling guideline: active). However, it was quiet at close range and consequently hardly discernible from normal ambient noises. The speed climbed when Prime95 was enabled, and a subtle noise could be heard at a distance of approximately one meter (~3 ft). The waste heat increased even further when the GPU stress test FurMark was added, and the noise became perceptibly louder; it was still restrained and not very distracting. Our review sample's noise behavior was pleasant in all load scenarios.

Only the idle noise level is expected in normal office use. 30 dB(A) can be described as barely audible and up to 34 dB(A) as quiet. The fan's higher noise level will hardly distract games or the video night due to music or ambient noises.

The noise production of our comparison laptops in this test is on par with 30 to 33 dB(A). Lenovo's Y700 15ISK 80NW and Asus' GL552JX' are almost inaudible with 30 dB(A) in idle min and avg. The review sample (37 dB(A)) and Asus' GL552JX (36 dB(A)) are both audible but still quiet in medium load. Lenovo's Y700 15ISK 80NW is the loudest (46 dB(A)) under full load. However, this noise level is superb in view of the performance in conjunction with the compact size. The stronger Nvidia GeForce 960M graphics card also prompts the cooling system to maximum performance.

Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
Noise
-2%
-2%
5%
-0%
off / environment *
31.3
Idle Minimum *
33.1
32.1
3%
32.6
2%
30
9%
30.4
8%
Idle Average *
33.2
32.9
1%
32.6
2%
30
10%
30.5
8%
Idle Maximum *
33.2
33.7
-2%
32.6
2%
31.3
6%
33.3
-0%
Load Average *
37.7
42
-11%
42.7
-13%
36.9
2%
41.4
-10%
Load Maximum *
43.4
44.8
-3%
45.5
-5%
44.7
-3%
47
-8%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
33.1 / 33.2 / 33.2 dB(A)
HDD
33.3 dB(A)
DVD
37.7 / dB(A)
Load
37.7 / 43.4 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1 Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 31.3 dB(A)

Temperature

Asus N552VX-FY103T stress test Prime95 & FurMark AC mode
Asus N552VX-FY103T stress test Prime95 & FurMark AC mode
By comparison: Cinebench R15, battery and AC mode (throttling & full performance)
By comparison: Cinebench R15, battery and AC mode (throttling & full performance)

The review sample does not heat up excessively on the outside. We measured a maximum temperature of 41.5 degrees Celsius (~107 degrees Fahrenheit) during the stress test (Prim95 + FurMark). It gets much warmer inside with up to 96 degrees Celsius (~204 degrees Fahrenheit). However, high temperatures are not recorded during normal use (no stress test). Therefore, nothing but the battery's low capacity stands in the way of the laptop’s use.

The processor performs the Prime95 stress test (without FurMark) at the maximum Multithread clock of 3.1 GHz in AC mode. It throttles in battery mode (see Processor). The GPU also runs at full speed (1124 MHz) during the FurMark stress test (without Prime95); it throttles in battery mode (see Gaming Performance).

The CPU in the Asus N552VX-FY103T review sample performs the Prime95 Large FFTs + FurMark stress test (runs for at least one hour) almost consistently at full speed in AC mode (4 cores, 3.1 GHz). Throttling, i.e. clock rate drops to below the base speed of 2.6 GHz, is not observed. The graphics core stably maintains its full clock of 1124 MHz. The CPU and then the GPU run at full speed, quickly alternating (battery state: < 60%). The graphics core remains at 281 MHz when the battery state drops to below 60% (and then rarely fluctuates between 600 and 1124 MHz); the CPU then clocks at 800 MHz (and also rarely fluctuates to 3.1 GHz).

Outcome: Throttling - unfortunately yes in both processor and graphics core, but not due to critical temperatures and not in AC mode. As soon as the power supply is connected, the CPU and GPU clock at full speed again. The temperatures do not reach critical rates in normal use or during games. Throttling is still recorded in battery mode (see Gaming Performance).

Presumably Asus has made modifications to compensate for the battery's low capacity at the cost of performance in battery mode. Fortunately, these performance losses are only an issue in battery mode when performing tasks that load the CPU and GPU simultaneously. The subsequent 3DMark 11 (with power cord) achieves the full score after the Prime95 Large FFTs + FurMark stress test.

Max. Load
 39.4 °C
103 F
33.9 °C
93 F
27.5 °C
82 F
 
 41.5 °C
107 F
36.6 °C
98 F
28 °C
82 F
 
 30.4 °C
87 F
32.2 °C
90 F
28.9 °C
84 F
 
Maximum: 41.5 °C = 107 F
Average: 33.2 °C = 92 F
25.4 °C
78 F
30.8 °C
87 F
39 °C
102 F
25.6 °C
78 F
38.1 °C
101 F
38.4 °C
101 F
27.5 °C
82 F
26.5 °C
80 F
27.6 °C
82 F
Maximum: 39 °C = 102 F
Average: 31 °C = 88 F
Power Supply (max.)  51.9 °C = 125 F | Room Temperature 24.1 °C = 75 F | FIRT 550-Pocket

Speakers

Asus N552VX-FY103T Pink Noise
Asus N552VX-FY103T Pink Noise

If disregarding the complete lack of bass, the two upward-facing speakers do an excellent job (for a laptop). Dialogs in videos sound rich and natural. The maximum volume should be sufficient for medium-sized rooms of up to 20 m² (65 ft²). Sound is rendered clearly, without any distortions whatsoever (also in Enya - "May It Be") and it does not annoy with fluctuating volumes even at high levels. The default driver offers superb configuration options for adapting the audio quality (equalizer presets & user-defined modifications, ambient effects, virtual surround, etc.). Configuration via the AudioWizard is also available. The author did not use this since the following two settings already provided outstanding results. Low-pitches (not bass) can be set very well via the equalizer preset "Club" and "Live". Dynamic and surround are exceptional for a laptop when the option "Virtual Surround" is enabled. Less is sometimes simply more, and it is user-friendly to achieve such good results with these small setting options.

Weighty tracks like Madonna's "Frozen" are rendered sufficiently and are not at all as flat and tinny as known in laptops. However, the user should not expect to find a Bose home audio system in a laptop.

The sound quality of the audio jack in conjunction with a good headset makes a very good impression. Superb results in dynamics and basses are achieved thanks to the default driver's good configuration options. The internal speaker and audio jack of Asus' N552VX-FY103T are controlled via the integrated HD Audio Controller of Intel's Skylake PCH-H.

Energy Management

The power supply has a nominal output of 120 watts
The power supply has a nominal output of 120 watts

Power Consumption

All comparison devices, including the Asus N552VX-FY103T review sample, are on a similarly good consumption level. Unfortunately, the consumption of Lenovo's Y700 15ISK 80NW was not measured.

The capacity of our review sample's 120-watt power supply is sufficient. The battery is still recharged even during full load using Prime95 + FurMark (109 watts). The time needed for recharging the battery is acceptable, but could definitely be faster, particularly in view of the low-capacity battery installed here (44 Wh, 3200 mAh). A full recharge from 7 to 100% takes 2 hours 20 minutes and recharging from 7 to 85% "only" takes 1 hour 24 minutes.

Asus N552VX-FY103T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ, Toshiba MQ02ABF050H (SSHD 500 + 8 GB)
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15ISK 80NW
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
Power Consumption
-6%
3%
4%
Idle Minimum *
7
8.6
-23%
6
14%
6.2
11%
Idle Average *
10.9
12
-10%
9.8
10%
10.3
6%
Idle Maximum *
12.9
13
-1%
11.4
12%
12.2
5%
Load Average *
72
72.2
-0%
84
-17%
77
-7%
Load Maximum *
109
104
5%
113.5
-4%
105
4%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.3 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 7 / 10.9 / 12.9 Watt
Load midlight 72 / 109 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

The capacity of every battery has to be considered when assessing the battery life. Our review sample: 44 Wh, 3200 mAh; the Asus N551JK-CN166H: 56 Wh, 5200 mAh; the Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2: 56 Wh, 5000 mAh, the Asus GL552JX: 48 Wh, 3200 mAh; The Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 15ISK 80NW: 60 Wh, 4050 mAh. Other battery capacities were not available at the time of testing.

Unfortunately, DVD and load runtimes are very tight. The Wi-Fi time is just satisfactory. Asus has managed to provide acceptable runtimes despite the battery's low capacity (probably thanks to the well-directed modifications). However, these modifications have some unwelcome side effects. To be more precise: Throttling in battery mode as mentioned in Processor and Gaming Performance.

The Asus GL552JX does not do a better job and delivers similar outcomes here. At least a 56-Wh battery should be matter of course in the multimedia performance category - particularly in a model that Asus promotes as "Exciting, when best meets best" on their German website.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 57min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
4h 28min
DVD
1h 57min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 08min
Asus N552VX-FY103T
44 Wh
Asus N551JK-CN166H
56 Wh
Acer Aspire V5-591G-71K2
56 Wh
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
48 Wh
Battery Runtime
17%
51%
-3%
Reader / Idle
357
436
22%
715
100%
223
-38%
WiFi v1.3
268
255
-5%
221
-18%
Load
68
76
12%
108
59%
100
47%
WiFi
271

Pros

+ not throttling in AC mode
+ very good Turbo utilization in AC mode
+ very good and quiet backlit keyboard
+ very good touchpad
+ very good screen
+ low emissions and temperatures
+ empty M.2 slot
+ quad-core i7, 8 threads
+ dual-band WiFi
+ superb audio quality
+ well-build casing with aluminum parts
+ classy visual highlights, successful design

Cons

- medium to high throttling in battery mode depending on application
- non-removable battery and low battery capacity
- Geforce 950M only with 2048 MB DDR3
- M.2 slot not accessible via maintenance hatch
- no access to fan (disassembly needed)
- scaled-down numpad
- neither BluRay nor 4K panel available at test time

Verdict

In review: Asus N552VX-FY103T. Review sample courtesy of Asus Germany
In review: Asus N552VX-FY103T. Review sample courtesy of Asus Germany

Nvidia's GeForce 950M graphics card alongside 2048 MB of DDR3 VRAM is not really suitable for ambitious gamers. Up-to-date games will require lowering the graphic details and/or resolution. However, all other application fields of the multimedia sector are completely covered. Thus, users who can forego regular high-preset gaming sessions and normally use the laptop in AC mode will get a thoroughly successful platform with the Asus N552VX-FY103T. The build is impeccable, the same as the screen, sound, input devices, (AC mode) performance, temperatures and emissions.

Unfortunately, the jack-of-all-trades that many had probably hoped for was not discovered here.

At a price of less than 1000 Euros (~$1121), the review sample is currently a solution with a good price-performance ratio. A good, 30% higher-priced alternative is Acer's Nitro Black Edition VN7-792G-74Q4. It is a 17-inch laptop that also suffers under throttling in battery mode. Throttling is a foreign word for Lenovo's Y700 15ISK 80NW, but it loses points in screen rating.

Asus N552VX-FY103T - 12/09/2016 v6
Marcus Conrad

Chassis
83 / 98 → 85%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
96%
Connectivity
55 / 81 → 68%
Weight
60 / 20-67 → 85%
Battery
78%
Display
86%
Games Performance
75 / 85 → 88%
Application Performance
85 / 92 → 93%
Temperature
93%
Noise
82 / 95 → 86%
Audio
80%
Camera
52 / 85 → 61%
Average
78%
85%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus N552VX-FY103T Notebook Review
Marcus Conrad, 2016-03-18 (Update: 2018-05-15)