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Asus G73Jh review

Verdict

Blistering pace and great looks, but going hands-on reveals a few too many flaws at such a high price

Review Date: 17 May 2010

Reviewed By: Mike Jennings

Price when reviewed: £1,531 (£1,799 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
6 stars out of 6

In the world of top-end gaming laptops, where glowing Alienware logos are accepted and brash is always better, Asus is going against the grain. Its latest 17in behemoth, the G73Jh, takes more inspiration from a stealth bomber than it does a souped-up car.

Asus calls it the fastest gaming laptop in the world, a lofty claim lent credence by the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 lurking beneath the brooding facade. This is ATI’s most powerful mobile graphics chip, and its specification shames that of the last generation’s best GPUs: the 40nm die has a core running at 700MHz, 800 stream processors and there’s 1,024MB of GDDR5 RAM clocked at 1GHz.

It's hugely powerful on paper, and it fulfilled its potential in our Crysis benchmarks. Scores of 71fps and 33fps in our Medium and High-quality tests indicate that the G73Jh is more than capable of running the latest games. It made a decent fist of our Very High test at a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200, too – an average of 20fps isn’t far from playable if you tweak a few settings.

Nestling beside the HD 5870 is one of Intel’s most powerful mobile processors. We've seen the Core i7-720Q in several high-end notebooks recently, and we can see why manufacturers are so keen to use it: a result of 1.64 in our application benchmarks shows few applications are beyond the G73Jh, and only the newer 32nm Core i7 parts are significantly faster right now.

Asus G73Jh front view

The powerful internals are paired with an excellent screen. Its native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 offers plenty of desktop real estate and lends itself to watching movies, and the LED-backlit panel produces vivid colours and sharp detail with no sign of backlight bleed.

The rest of the specification is typically muscular: 8GB of DDR3 RAM is the minimum we'd want from such a high-end system, and two Seagate Momentus hard disks run at 7,200rpm and provide a terabyte of storage between them. There’s also a Blu-ray drive to take advantage of the Full HD screen.

The G73J’s stealth bomber inspiration is plain to see. The chassis is covered with dramatic angles, and the matte black finish is free of garish lights or logos: instead, the Asus and Republic of Gamers branding is kept pleasingly subtle, and the only glow comes from the blue LEDs in the status lights and power button.

As well as looking good, the chassis provides a reasonable selection of ports and sockets. The right side includes two USB 2 ports, HDMI and D-SUB outputs and a card reader, and the left has two more USB 2 sockets, an Ethernet port and a pair of audio jacks. We'd have liked an eSATA port to complete the set but it isn't a bad collection.

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User comments

Alternative specification

I notice that Currys/Dixons are selling a lower specification version of this laptop for only £1,099 inc VAT. (I don't know if this is a special specification for them or if it is a european import maybe, as I have not seen anything about such a 2nd specification for the UK)

This is with only GB of RAM, a I5-430M processor and smaller hard drives (640GB total, and I guess they could be lower specs). It still appears to have blu-ray, the full HD screen and the Radeon 5870.

Do we think this represents a bit more of a bargain for the laptop gamer or do we think the lower processor will choke it (e.g. as I understand the lower spec graphics memory chokes the Radeon 5850 in the Acer 8942G for example)?

What would be its gaming rival in that price range or a bit lower?

By mathunt on 17 May 2010

ACER SUPPORT (NON_SUPPORT)

Before you buy ANY acer product, i would advise you to try and contact their support team, and also find out if there is a complaints department! (which there is NOT).
I wish i had never had to deal with them, ive dealt with many companies and this is by far is the WORST support i have EVER encountered!

Peace ;)

By THCBlueberry on 18 May 2010

Errr...THCBlueberry?

Acer are a different company to Asus; irrelevant complaint is irrelevant :).

By nichomach0 on 18 May 2010

Ooops

sry, i was reading another review on an acer product this morning whilst on this one.. got called away and mixed up my posts when i got back.... duh

By THCBlueberry on 18 May 2010

Graphic Card Blues

Gaming laptops can, at their best, be really great for video editing. Especially now with Adobe CS5 64-bit Premiere Pro and the whole Master Collection.

This ASUS book would be optimal for CS5 if only they had made an option for an Adobe/Nvidia certified CUDA card.

See movie at: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/short-and-suite/gpu-acce
leration-and-nvidia/ for the whole story.

Otherwise the specs for this book would meet the long sought after standards for a "videography workstation". Oh well. Somebody will bring it out in a month or two :)

Bob Kiger - Videography Lab - Oceanside, CA, USA

By VideographyLab on 20 May 2010

ATI drivers

Hmm, let me think.

Do I buy a laptop with ATI graphics again with their abysmal driver support, or do I stick red hot needles in my eyes?

I'd better get the blow torch lit for the needles I suppose.

By dr_japeel on 20 May 2010

UK pricing

Does anyone know what the difference in models are between the one shown on the US Amazon site and asuslaptop.co.uk? Maybe I'm being slow, but it seems to be a very similar model, except there is about £600 difference. The UK supplier did not elaborate on what drives the massive price difference. Has anyone else come across this before?

By Parrow on 27 Jul 2010

http://www.elecachat.fr/asus-g73jh.html

Good of a notebook , there is the battery

By pcpone on 22 May 2012

ASUS G73JH battery and ASUS G73JH charger parts for laptops.

http://www.cbattery.net/asus-g73jh.html ASUS G73JH battery,ASUS G73JH charger: factory Outlet, One Year Warranty, We offer wholesale and retail ASUS G73JH battery bussiness.

By briancope on 1 Dec 2012

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