The Asus G73SW is a 17.3-inch desktop replacement laptop with a gamer appeal with a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a dedicated Nvidia graphics processor. Other features include a 1080p HD display, a 1TB hard drive and very speedy performance.
The design of the Asus G73SW is quite stylish and definitely makes it look like a gamer's laptop. It has a matte-black finish with a design that's full of angles and crosscuts to give it a rigid, yet refined, design. Because of this, the body does get quick thick at the back toward the hinge of the screen, which makes it a little bulkier than most desktop replacements. In total, it measures 16.6 x 12.8 x 2.3-inches (wdh) and weighs over 8-pounds. This definitely isn't the laptop to be lugging around with you all day long.
The keyboard gave us a pleasant experience and the keys were adequately sized and spaced too. The mouse trackpad is also pretty nice and offers a nearly frictionless experience. It also is nicely sized to allow for full screen navigation with ease.
Asus' 17.3-inch LED-backlit display has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080-pixels, which is full 1080p high-definition resolution. The screen does have a glossy finish, so reflections from ambient lighting or sunlight are a problem. Other than that, the screen worked to display colors beautifully and it also had good brightness and contrast levels too.
In terms of connectivity, the Asus G73SW doesn't leave you wanting much more. The left side of the laptop has the following ports: HDMI-out, VGA-out, one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port and an 8-in-1 memory card reader. The right side has two more USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, microphone/headphone jacks and a tray-loading Blu-ray combo drive. It's really nice to see USB 3.0 on this laptop, but noticeably missing was eSATA, which isn't really a horrible loss in the end.
Internal specifications of the Asus G73SW include a quad-core Intel Core i7-2630QM (2.0GHz) processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive and Nvidia GTX 460M graphics with 1.5GB of dedicated memory. There is also 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth V2.1+EDR wireless connectivity built into this laptop. It also comes with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit).
One note worth mentioning is the hard drive capacity, which comes in the form of two 500GB hard drives, each with two partitions. This is a rather strange configuration because it limits your total storage and makes things harder to manage. We recommend reformatting the drives to include either one large partition across both drives or one partition on each drive to allow for one hard drive to be a mirror image of the other for backup purposes.
The dedication Nvidia graphics is definitely one of the strong assets that this laptop has because it the 1.5GB dedicated video RAM instead of sharing RAM with the system. This results in very strong performance, especially for 3D intensive gaming. In testing, this laptop could perform very well with graphics settings set on "Medium" or "High" while playing a game like Far Cry 2.
Performance with other tasks, like watching streaming HD video or video encoding, performed with lightning speed as expected. This makes a great multimedia computer thanks to the powerful internal specifications, the Blu-ray player, 1080p display and HDMI connection.