So it's been six months since ASUS announced its new N Series laptops, but who's counting? Okay, we are, but there's good news, at least for the dear Brits -- the 15.6-inch N53JN and the 17.3-inch N73JN are now available in the UK. The N53JN will range from £649.99 to £999 ($1,005 - $1,545) and has an impressive array of specs, including a Core i5 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GT325/415M graphics with Optimus, 320GB of storage, a Blu-ray drive and USB 3.0 ports. The wider £1,099 N73JN is pretty much identically configured, but has 640GB of storage (with two 320GB drives). However, ASUS is hoping the major lure of these systems will be its new SonicMaster sound technology, which has been developed with Bang & Olufsen ICEpower. The press release claims the audio feature is not a "gimmick" and that ASUS's "Golden Ear" team toiled over the audio fidelity...for months we assume. There's some bold assertions, but we guess there's really no knowing what these bad boys really sound like until you take one home and pump up the volume.
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ASUS N53JN and N73JN

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The new ASUS N Series and SonicMaster propel laptop audio to a new level

Developed in conjunction with Bang & Olufsen ICEpower®, the ASUS SonicMaster standard delivers the most advanced multimedia features available for laptop PCs

The new N Series from ASUS is the first ever range of laptops to address the problem of sub-standard audio on portable PCs. Two new Intel® Core™ i5 models are available, 15.6" and 17.3" screens, and both combine superior audio technology with eye-catching designs. Each new model also features the latest NVIDIA® GeForce 400M 3D chipset with Optimus™ technology for outstanding power source-optimised graphics performance.

For further information about ASUS SonicMaster, please see:
* www.techinstyle.tv/technology/behind-the-scenes/discover-the-secrets-behind-asus-sonicmaster
* www.techinstyle.tv/products/laptops-netbooks/experience-superlative-sound-with-the-new-asus-n-series
* www.techinstyle.tv/blogs/five-sound-reasons-to-listen

A superlative Sound Standard
Realising that people spend up to a third of their day using multimedia devices of some description and that most laptops fall short in delivering high-quality audio, ASUS went back to the drawing board.

Working with its own 'Golden Ear' team and the acclaimed Bang & Olufsen ICEpower® innovations house, ASUS focused on ways to develop natural sound that wasn't compromised by the constraints posed by laptop computers, but instead capitalised upon them. The result represents a new standard in laptop audio - ASUS SonicMaster.

SonicMaster isn't a gimmick, but a new professional audio certification programme for portable computers. SonicMaster-compliant laptops like the new N Series incorporate large speaker chambers, more powerful amplifiers and extensive software processing to deliver breathtaking audio fidelity.

Multimedia mastery
Superlative audio is only one facet of the new N Series' multimedia mastery. The NVIDIA GeForce 325M and 400M Fermi-based 3D graphics chipsets provide excellent DirectX 11 performance, complete with hardware-acceleration for silky smooth HD video playback.

ASUS Video Magic technology further enhances image quality by expertly upscaling SD content and automatically enhancing image quality.

Combined with LED-backlit screens with a zero dead pixel guarantee, the new N Series are laptops that are a feast for the eyes - and ears.

Win more music with ASUS SonicMaster!
To celebrate the launch of the new N Series, ASUS is planning a series of competitions for end-users. Prizes include concert tickets and HMV vouchers, and details will be announced over the coming weeks on the ASUS Tech in Style Twitter account - see www.twitter.com/techinstyle.

The competitions kick off with the chance to one of three pairs of tickets to experience the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring at The Royal Albert Hall. Entries must be made via ASUS Tech in Style at www.techinstyle.tv/sonicmaster and you can find full details at the site.

Pricing and availability
The ASUS N Series N53 and N73 will be available UK-wide from a number of retailers and etailers including Comet*, Micro Anvika, Selfridges and Amazon.co.uk. Prices start from £649.99 SRP inc VAT.

(*N53 will be available from Comet at http://www.comet.co.uk and in-store from early November – perfect timing for Christmas)

Product Specifications (Note - may differ slightly depending on retailer)

N53JN

* Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-520M (2.4GHz - 2.933GHz) or Core™ i3-370M (2.4GHz)
* OS: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit
* Display: 15.6" HD TFT (1366 x 768, Color-Shine)
* Graphic Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT325/415M, 1GB dedicated graphics memory with NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology for outstanding power source-optimised graphics performance
* Storage: 320GB/500GB (5400rpm)
* Memory: 4096MB (2048x2) DDRIII 1066 RAM
* Optical Drive: Blu-Ray Combo
* Wireless: 802.11 BGN
* Webcam: Yes
* Numeric Keypad: Yes
* Bluetooth: 2.1 + EDR
* Keyboard: 19mm full size 88 Key with MS Windows function keys, Numeric Keyboard
* Card Reader: 7-in-1 (SD, MMC, MS, MS-Pro, XD, Smart Media, mini SD w/ adapter, MS-Duo)
* Interface: 1 x VGA port
* 1 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 ports
* 1 x e-SATA/USB2.0 Combo
* 1 x LAN RJ-45 jack (10/100/1000MBit)
* 1 x HDMI (1080p support)
* 2 x Audio Jacks (Headphone, SPDIF/MIC-in)
* Kensington Lock
* Audio Audio designed by Bang & Olufsen ICEpower®
* Integrated microphone
* ASUS SonicFocus audio technology
* Battery: Li-Polymer 48WH (6 cells: 4400mAh)
* Dimensions & weight: 391 x 266 x 30.5-40.5 mm; 2.9Kg
* Warranty: 2 year global collect & return
* Price: £649.99 - £999 (SRP inc VAT)

N73JN

* Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-520M (2.4GHz - 2.933GHz)
* OS: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit
* Display: 17.3" HD+ TFT (1600 x 900, Color-Shine)
* Graphic Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT325M, 1GB dedicated graphics memory with NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology for outstanding power source-optimised graphics performance
* Storage: 640GB (2 x 320GB, 5400rpm)
* Memory: 4096MB (2048x2) DDRIII 1066 RAM
* Optical Drive: Blu-Ray Combo
* Wireless: 802.11 BGN
* Webcam: Yes
* Numeric Keypad: Yes
* Bluetooth: 2.1 + EDR
* Keyboard: 19mm full size 88 Key with MS Windows function keys, Numeric Keyboard
* Card Reader: 5-in-1 (SD, MMC, MS, MS-Pro, XD)
* Interface 1 x VGA port
* 1 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 ports
* 1 x e-SATA/USB2.0 Combo
* 1 x LAN RJ-45 jack (10/100/1000MBit)
* 1 x HDMI (1080p support)
* 2 x Audio Jacks (Headphone, SPDIF/MIC-in)
* Kensington Lock
* Audio Audio designed by Bang & Olufsen ICEpower®
* Integrated microphone
* ASUS SonicFocus audio technology
* Battery: Li-Polymer 48WH (6 cells: 4400mAh)
* Dimensions & weight: 420 x 287 x 36.7-40.5 mm; 3.4Kg
* Warrant:y 2 year global collect & return
* Price: £1,099 (SRP inc VAT)

About ASUS
ASUS, the world's top 3 consumer notebook vendor and the maker of the world's best selling and most award winning motherboards, is a leading enterprise in the new digital era.

ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today's digital home, office and person, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, displays, desktop PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia, wireless solutions, networking devices and mobile phones.

Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 3,268 awards in 2009, and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with the Eee PC™. With a global staff of more than ten thousand people and a world-class R&D team of 3,000 engineers, the company's revenue for 2009 was US$7.5 billion.

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ASUS N53JN and N73JN with Blu-ray and SonicMaster sound now available in the UK