Asus G60Vx review

21 Aug 2009

Power, strong build and plenty of style and panache make this a gaming laptop worth paying for

Price when reviewed: 
1,339(£1,338 inc VAT)
5

In a world where technology is steadily shrinking, gaming laptops are a stubborn exception to the rule. Uncompromised gaming power requires powerful components, and while that's fine in the roomy environs of a desktop tower, it's more of a challenge in a notebook chassis. Asus' G60Vx adopts the usual solution to the problem: make the laptop twice as bulky as usual.

To be fair, though, it's nowhere near as big as some of the monsters we've seen recently: at just 3.42kg, it's feather-light in comparison to the 6.1kg Asus W90, and Alienware's 5.5kg gaming goliath, the M17x.

And where many of Asus's previous gaming laptops resembled souped-up Golf GTIs - all UV lights and hulking exhausts - the G60Vx ushers in an altogether more understated charm. The glossy white lid shimmers attractively, and stands in stark contrast to the minimalist interior. Matte-black pools around the metallic trackpad, with gloss black engulfing the keyboard surround and screen bezel.

Asus G60Vx rear

Game on

It might not be a world-beating partnership, but Asus pairs a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 with an Nvidia GTX 260M graphics chipset to good effect. The kind of person interested in a gaming laptop probably isn't too concerned with how fast Microsoft Office will run, but the Asus is pretty nippy, as a score of 1.30 in our real-world benchmarks ably demonstrates.

Turn your attention to more entertaining pursuits and that Nvidia chip comes into its own. We pitted it against our Crysis benchmarks and it wasn't until we cranked the resolution to 1,600 x 1,200 with high detail settings that the Asus finally admitted defeat; even then an average of 24fps is close to playable.

But, unless you decide to hook up an external monitor or HDTV - which, incidentally, would be a great way to take advantage of the G60Vx's Blu-ray reader - you're never going to have to run games at such a high resolution. Its rivals might pack in 17in and 18.4in displays, but the Asus saves weight, and money, by opting for a more modest 15.6in screen with a relatively low native resolution of 1,366 x 768.

Details

Price ex VAT £1,164
Price inc VAT £1,339
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
Performance 5

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 392 x 268 x 49mm (WDH)
Weight 3.420kg
Travelling weight 4.2kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core 2 Duo P8700
Motherboard chipset Intel PM45
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M
Graphics card RAM 1.00GB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 640GB
Hard disk usable capacity 596GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Seagate ST9320325AS
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Optical drive LG CT10N
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch yes
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 1
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 1
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 1
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 3
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Above keyboard
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 2.0mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case yes

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 2hr 22min
Overall application benchmark score 1.30
Office application benchmark score 1.29
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.45
Encoding application benchmark score 1.12
Multitasking application benchmark score 1.35
3D performance (crysis) low settings 24fps
3D performance setting High

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
OS family Windows Vista
Recovery method Recovery disc