For two years in a row, ASUS has earned third place in our annual report on the Best & Worst Laptop Brands, which ranks the leading laptop makers based on all of the most important features. We’ve always been fans of the brand, but this year we were particularly impressed with ASUS’ risky-but-innovative designs. For instance, the ZenBook UX51v features a luxe, Retina-like 2880 x 1620-pixel display, and the Transformer Book TX300 crams performance-heavy specs into a hybrid form-factor. Both those machines — and others — made our cut for the best ASUS laptops to buy now.
1. ASUS Zenbook UX51V
With its new Zenbook, ASUS continues to take aim at the MacBook Pro throne. This sleek 15-inch notebook now has a Retina-like 2880 x 1620-pixel display, delivering crisp and bright images. However, the UX51Vz is more than a pretty face, cramming a third-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia graphics and dual SSDs into its remarkably thin frame. This is a machine that delivers both beauty and power.
2. ASUS N550JV
Looking for a capable multimedia and gaming machine, but don’t want to shell out for a top-of-the-line notebook? The ASUS N550JV features a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia graphics, a quad-speaker system and a beautiful 15-inch IPS touch screen, all inside an attractive aluminum design.
3. ASUS X550CA-DB31
This 15-inch notebook features an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive in an attractive chassis with above-average audio. If you want a handsome budget laptop with above-average sound and good enough performance for everyday tasks, the X550CA is worth the investment.
4. ASUS G750JZ-XS72
With its new Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M GPU, the ASUS G750JZ is one of the mightiest gaming laptops on the market. At $2,999, it’s not cheap, but this rig delivers some of the best gaming scores we’ve seen yet. The sleek design and 6 hours and 26 minutes of endurance (fantastic for a machine in this category) als help make this a gamer’s best friend.
5. ASUS Transformer Book TX300
ASUS’ Transformer Book TX300 is a powerful tablet and solid notebook in one. The tablet features a gorgeous 13.3-inch screen, an Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. The dock is no slouch either, offering a 500GB hard drive of its own. Throw in the Transformer Book’s all-day battery life, and you’re looking at one of the best Windows 8 laptop-tablet hybrids around.