ASUS is considered by many to be second only to Apple in innovative product design. Some people might even argue that ASUS design is superior to Apple's, but that is the realm of opinion. When ASUS unveiled un the NX90 among other laptops at CES 2010, it created quite a stir among journalists and analysts present at the press conference. My personal interest was piqued when this laptop was shown because ASUS touted the NX90 as conquering one of laptops most glaring weaknesses in my opinion - weak speakers with 'tinny" sound. Below is a press release from ASUS outlining the NX90's merits.
ASUS PR: The new 18.4" ASUS NX90 multimedia notebook revisits the forgotten aspects of portable PC design, injecting excitement and a sense of premium luxury to a product treated by other manufacturers as a mere commodity. The NX90, crafted with input from renowned designer David Lewis and technology co-development with Bang & Olufsen ICEpower®, comes in as a notebook that's on a par with full surround systems in terms of audio quality through the ASUS SonicMaster sound standard. It is further a style icon, meant to take centerstage at the home and add a touch of class to any décor.
Birth of an Icon
The NX90's unique form and advanced technology have benefitted from the experience of award winning designer David Lewis, who took part in developing the new multimedia notebook. Mr. Lewis' studio is known to design buffs and audiophiles the world over as one of the main forces behind the hallmark Bang & Olufsen look. Thus, eye-catching multimedia gear has been a staple of his studio for many years.
With the NX90, ASUS designers and Mr. Lewis have sought to change the perception that users have of notebooks, taking them from mundane tools to symbols of craftsmanship and multimedia excellence.
"What we were going for was a piece of design and art that people could place in the center of their home and take great joy in its appearance. To me, it's not just a machine, the objective was to create a style to challenge the way people regard notebooks", said David Lewis when speaking of the NX90.
Breakthrough in Notebook Design
NX90 marks a departure from conventional notebooks, bringing PCs to the side of interior design. The polished aluminum body reflects room ambience, adding to the atmosphere of any environment and therefore fitting in unobtrusively. Not only that, the large size and unique looks spruce up any location, something the spectacular audio quality takes even further.
By placing speakers outside the chassis and alongside the screen, designers have ensured sound wraps around users and their surroundings. Meanwhile, the interface itself has been refreshed, with dual touchpads that enable true two-handed usability, creating a virtual mouse through the addition of a second touch surface. The oversized palm rests provide ample room for comfort even during prolonged sessions, one of the perks of a true multimedia desktop replacement portable PC.
New Standards—Audio as It's Meant to be Enjoyed
The new SonicMaster sound standard stands as one of the key attractions of the NX90. Developed by the ASUS Golden Ear team through significant cooperation with Bang & Olufsen ICEpower®, SonicMaster represents a new milestone in PC audio by which all sound performance on computers can be judged. It guarantees the best quality audio available to users, bringing PCs to the level of dedicated high fidelity surround systems.
SonicMaster comprises harmonized hardware and software tuning, optimized to render high definition surround audio that's true to life and wider in range than ever experience on a notebook. The exacting standards implemented in SonicMaster guarantee crystal clear reproduction, deeper and richer bass, and an overall power upgrade that's sure to amaze anyone listening in for the first time. Particular emphasis has been placed on liveness, or recreating audio in a lifelike fashion. This results in vocals and overall feel very much akin to a live concert, miles ahead of the muddy, muted and tinny sound people have come to expect from notebooks. The amazing results attained by SonicMaster serve to augment not only music playback, but also gaming, movies and voice communication.
Designed for the Sound Lover
Due to its focus on multimedia, the NX90 also ships with the Rotation Desktop interface, which makes the most of the twin touchpads mentioned earlier. This unique technology ups the multimedia control ante with new gesture input that's intuitive for accessing and making the most of music and video content on the fly with two handed DJ-like controls. Photo zoom, web page and document scrolling are also a breeze with the Rotation Desktop.
Put together, these features make the NX90 the most personal and singularly impressive notebook PC ever produced—it has to be experienced to be truly appreciated.
These are large boasts being made by ASUS. As with all marketing claims, I am skeptical until I see hard evidence proving or disproving the marketing copy. I am interested in hearing your thoughts. Is ASUS going in the right direction or is the NX90 merely another gimmick employed to sell laptops?
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