May 14, 2012
- USB 3.0, Bluetooth & Blu-ray
- Thunderbolt port
- Comfortable keyboard
- Benchmark performance falls a little short
The Asus G75VW-DS71 is a 17-inch desktop replacement notebook with a strong focus on gaming performance. Asus built it to have speed, especially the graphics performance and with the inclusion of a Thunderbolt port. While having good overall performance, it does fall a little short of what we expected.
This laptop is definitely designed to be after the Alienware market because of the appearance and internal specifications. However, it does compare to other gaming-centered laptops. Last week we reviewed the MSI GT70, another 17-inch gaming PC. It had excellent performance, a Blu-ray burner as well as an updated, third-gen Intel Ivy Bridge CPU. The Asus G75VW has a similar price (~$1600) and almost comparable performance.
Asus designed the laptop to look like a powerhouse with some flare to go along. It has a plastic gray lid with an Asus and Republic of Gamers logo right in the middle. The whole thing measures 16.3 x 12.6 x 2.0-inches and weighs 9-pounds, which is a tad thinner than the MSI GT70 but the same weight.
When you open the lid, the keyboard is part of an aluminum deck that runs uniformly across the laptop. The island-style keyboard and full numeric pad offered a good overall experience. Keys had a good amount of click to them and no keys were out of place or awkwardly sized. The 4.0 x 2.5-inch touchpad offered enough space for multitouch gestures and the surface was smooth and frictionless.
The 17.3-inch display has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080-pixels, which is full HD. While providing an overall good visual experience, we felt the display was a little dimmer than most. However, it does have wide viewing angles, which is something the MSI GT70 lacked.
Asus includes four USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt port, HDMI-out, VGA-out, audio ports, Ethernet and a 3-in-1 memory card reader. There is also 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo drive. The Thunderbolt port ensures support for future high-speed peripherals, like hard drives, when they become more prevalent on the market. This Thunderbolt port is also the same port that Apple decided to include on all their iMacs and MacBook Pros about a year ago.
The internal specifications of the Asus G75VW includes a third-generation Ivy Bridge Intel Core i7-3610QM (2.3GHz) CPU, 12GB of RAM, dual 750GB 7200RPM hard drives and NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 660M graphics with 2GB of dedicated video memory. While these all sound like fantastic internals (and they are), but oddly in this computer they fall a little short of the competition.
In comparison with the MSI GT70 we reviewed only a week ago, they both have the same CPU, RAM and same hard drives (except the Asus model has two of them for double the storage). When the Asus model was put through PCMark 7 benchmarks, it earned a score of 3,086. This is almost 1,200 short of the MSI comparison.
All that said, however, the performance of this laptop was very good and we had nothing to complain about aside from the synthetic benchmark testing. During normal use, you shouldn't notice a difference between any other laptop with similar specifications. In our gaming tests, we got very good results with the graphics settings on "High" for all 3D games that we tested. Only when the settings were set to "Extreme" or the maximum setting is when we noticed some slow-downs.
Battery life turned in at around 3-hours, which is about on-par with other desktop replacements and the MSI GT70 comparison laptop.