Asus G51J 3D Laptop review
The 3D effect is better than ever, but building it into a 15.6in laptop creates more than a few issues
Review Date: 19 Mar 2010
Reviewed By: David Bayon
Price when reviewed: £1,362 (£1,600 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The 3D craze has broken free of its early-adopter shackles, thanks in no small part to the huge success of Avatar, and manufacturers are stepping up their assault on the tech-savvy public. This model of the Asus G51J is the first 3D Vision laptop, and comes complete with the necessary glasses and transceiver in the box.
It’s not the first 3D laptop we’ve seen – last year's Acer Aspire 5738DZG 3D used a polarised panel and passive glasses – but it’s the first to use Nvidia’s superior active-shutter technology. The quick-start guide will be a help for most people, but it isn’t difficult to set up: a wizard within the Nvidia drivers holds your hand through the process, and a demo animation allows you to dial the stereoscopic effect to a comfortable level before diving into any games.
The good news is that the 3D effect works exceptionally well, and we’re beginning to see game developers make proper use of it in the latest titles. Even going back to an older title such as Far Cry 2 sees the niggles from our early tests last year all but ironed out after a host of driver revisions. If major titles keep building it in from the start, we can really see it being attractive to hardcore gamers.
The 15.6in screen size isn’t the hindrance we’d imagined provided you sit close to it, and the frame of the chassis creates the appearance of a window into a deep game world. The speakers are loud and full by laptop standards, which adds to the immersion, and this well-planned bundle includes a comfortable but cheap Razer Salmosa mouse to aid your gaming performance.
If this all sounds like a glowing recommendation, there are still major issues that need to be overcome. The glasses are about as clunky and unappealing as you’d believe possible, although that’s for Nvidia to rectify. A bigger problem is that of brightness: as the shutter glasses darken things significantly the screen needs a strong backlight to compensate, and the Asus can’t match a decent 3D monitor in this respect. It meant we often missed things in the heat of battle, particularly when foes hid in the shadows.
The other main stumbling block is the graphics card. This works by producing two full-resolution images and alternating them, which puts added pressure on the GPU. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M coped as well as it could – and the fairly low 1,366 x 768 resolution makes a lot of sense to limit the strain – but it still whined audibly and roasted the desk like a hairdryer during games.
ASUS clearly the inventor of PC market
ASUS becoming the leader in innovation and quality in PC market (not only inventing netbooks but they clearly lead the way from mainboards to laptops). That means I am becoming a true ASUS fanboy!
By HopeLESS on 19 Mar 2010
So what if you are one of the huge number of people who wear glasses already? Presumably this laptop becomes unusable?
By cpicking on 20 Mar 2010
Actually, I tried the glasses on top of my glasses - and it was really ok - though my glasses are small and round, and the experience was 3D :) though I tried it with the Acer model not this one.
By nicomo on 21 Mar 2010
I love the idea of 3d gaming (believe me I need the relaxation) and after HD it would be the next big tech progression. That said the tech you need to play it will have to drop in price a fair bit before I'd shell out for it but actually seeing 3D capable computers does excite me. I do have worries over the health concerns. I am no expert but have heard that there is an increased risk of headaches with use of the 3D glasses required. As someone who suffers headaches already, this concerns me greatly.
By stormN on 22 Mar 2010
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