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The Asus N550JK is the sort of laptop that's easy to dismiss. It's not slim, not particularly attention grabbing and lacks a stand-out feature to brag about. However, as a package it's pretty attractive. A metal finish, good core specs and decent at-home versatility make it a solid bet for people who want to game as well as work on their laptop.
The GeForce GFX 850M offers enough power for reasonable performance in fairly recent games, and using aluminium for the keyboard surround and lid gives the design a much appreciated touch of class.
You may not get many flashy extras in the N550JK, but the performance for the money is pretty respectable.
The TN screen version of this laptop has a pretty rubbish display, so make sure you upgrade to the 1080p IPS version – it's a must. Also, without an SSD, the N550JK doesn't exhibit the same sort of day-to-day snappiness as an otherwise less-powerful Ultrabook would.
Battery life is pretty poor thanks to the use of a 4-cell battery and a CPU not geared to efficiency.
The Asus N550JK is a practical laptop that is also a dab hand at games, especially given it costs a bit less than most gaming laptops. It's not very portable and the version with the lower-end display is one to avoid unless you really don't care about image quality, but otherwise this is a good buy.
Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.