ASUS NX90Jq - Aural Nirvana

Launch SRP: S$3888

Lend Me Your Ears

Lend Me Your Ears

On the notebook's interior, there are a couple of things that make this notebook quite unique. For a start, well, we’ve mentioned the pair of giant speakers. These aren’t just your ordinary notebook speakers. ASUS has worked closely with Bang and Olufsen ICEpower to design the speakers as well as utilizing ICEPower's MobileSound  3 audio IC for amplification and digital signal processing. This should bring about much better audio performance than usual implementations and ASUS has coined this combined solution as SonicMaster technology for easy marketing to end-users.

A closer look at the speakers based on ASUS SonicMaster technology, which is in turn co-developed with Bang & Olufson ICEpower. ASUS touts that the speakers have oversized resonance chambers that are ten times larger than those found on regular notebooks, thus improving its sonic performance. We'll soon relay our findings on audio quality from our formal testing.

Using a standard range of music genres, we put the speakers and our ears to the test (our full audio track test list can be found in our audio product reviews). Unexpectedly, we found the speakers to be soft. It certainly wasn't loud enough to justify the huge size of the notebook, and we noted significant attenuation at the low and high frequencies. This doesn’t bode well for the speakers, especially since we also found its bass to be weaker than anticipated. That's not to say that the huge tower speakers aren't any good. In fact, they actually sounded surprisingly clear and bright. Overall, the speakers are better than what you would get out of a normal laptop, but they are not a substitute for a decent pair of external speakers, which could be a lot cheaper than splurging on the NX90 notebook series.

The base of the notebook sports a nice and spacious keyboard; it's so spacious that the area below the keyboard acts as a palm rest. The only thing missing however, is a trackpad where you would normally expect it to be. Instead, the NX90Jq comes with two trackpads located at both ends of the keyboard, which sort of suggests that you could spin a gig to complete a DJ-like experience. Sadly both trackpads operate exclusively, and you can’t use both at the same time (which would have been an interesting navigating experience it were possible).

The keys are laid out in an isolated style, and the trackpads are located on both ends instead of below the keyboard.

There's also a row of dedicated buttons for controlling the multimedia functions of the notebook.

The Good
Unique design
Good performance
The Bad
Audio performance not outstanding