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ASUS latest masterpiece of mobile engineering is the super shiny, super-sized NX90JQ laptop. Launched here in Taipei just a few days ago it eschews an elegance any coffee table needs. Designed by guru David Lewis, it’s the first laptop to feature polished aluminium, which in this case covers the top and wrist area with a gentle roll over the front facing edges.

Inside the keyboard features not one but two touchpads either side. Being at both edges is not only more natural in relation to where your arms are and where the mouse usually is, but both left or right-handed people can use the NX90 evenly. The functions of each can be customised in certain applications too, ASUS claims. Finally, it keeps the aesthetics very simple and appealing, as visually the split between the thin bar of reflective aluminium and rectangular black plastic above clearly looks good.

ASUS NX90 Laptop

ASUS NX90 Laptop has two touchpads and copings of polished aluminium

The new form factor is a marvellously long 18.4 inches; the widescreen LCD is surrounded by two Bang & Olufsen ICEpower speakers that feature ASUS SonicMaster Premium technology. These also continue the curvaceousness as they round at the base and double up as the hinge for the whole lid. The clever engineering comes from the fact that they sit either side of the keyboard so manage to score two design goals in one: the whole thing is just 4.5cm thin, while the speakers themselves get the extra depth needed to deliver fantastic sound quality.

ASUS NX90 laptop, on show

ASUS NX90 laptop, on stage

Don’t mistake these cans for whiny tin-generators, they can punch noise to fill even the ballroom we were sitting in, and retained the crisp clarity of audio fidelity even when turned to 11. ASUS explained that it could obtain the audio quality from several key factors. Firstly, the speakers were as large as possible and circular, in order to produce a greater much dynamic range even at elevated volume levels. The  11W amplifiers have a 300 per cent larger power supply than normal notebook parts, and coupled with 32nm transducers (60 per cent larger than usual) and108cc chambers (again, 120 per cent larger than standard), this all combined is a major part of the bar setting audio experience. You see, that’s not all.

ASUS Chairman, Mr. Shih, and ASUS CEO, Mr. Shen present the NX90JQ

ASUS Chairman, Mr. Shih, and ASUS CEO, Mr. Shen present the NX90JQ and Bamboo U33Jc

Inside ASUS has procured a bespoke sound chipset – because you can’t have speakers without a good DSP to start with, and each speaker reduces noise by using a dual power input method. This balanced method reduces audio noise that would otherwise occur in such tightly packed electronics, as power is normally shared between multiple computer parts: CPU, LCD, WiFi, Hard disk… etc. Unfortunately due to its limited space, the sound sub-system cannot be isolated perfectly, but this design is about as close as you’ll get.

On the subject of hardware, the NX90JQ continues to use only the best silicon, featuring the latest Intel Core i7-72QM CPU, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, 1TB of storage (two 500GB drives) and an Nvidia GeForce 334M 1GB with Optimus Technology.

At nearly 85,000NTD (just over $2,500 USD) it’s not cheap, but you do get what you pay for: a unique, boutique product that oozes quality from its design and build to the hardware within.

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