Asus N46VZ (Core i7 3610QM Processor 2.3GHz, 4GB RAM)
With its upgraded internals, the Asus N46VZ continues to be an excellent multimedia laptop, even if a slow HDD and bloatware drags down its performance. The new chassis looks classy, but it's still not as thin as we would have liked.
Asus' N-series laptops have tried to raise the multimedia bar for mainstream models by integrating better audio solutions, even to the extent of bundling an external subwoofer. The latest model, the N46VZ, not only gets an Ivy Bridge refresh, and a new Nvidia graphics chip, but also a redesigned chassis that looks cleaner and more classy than the previous generation.
Along with a matte display with enhanced viewing angles and a backlit keyboard, there is much to like about the Asus N46VZ. However, the HDD didn't get upgraded and its slow performance is even more evident in this age of Ultrabooks. It's also not helped by the amount of bloatware included, which further taxes system resources.
At around S$1,698, the Asus N46VZ isn't cheap even for a quad-core laptop with good audio and graphics performance. It also faces competition from the likes of the S$1,699 HP Pavilion dv6, which seems the better deal with a full-HD display and a faster processor. The Asus N46VZ is available now in Singapore--we have no details on its pricing and availability in other parts of Asia.