A Book by its Cover
Thankfully, I got hold of a good deal through Best Buy for an ASUS G75VW-3D-DS73. For $1,679 + Tax (thanks to some price match negotiation), I got:
• Intel Core i7-2610QM Processor
• 12GB Ram
• Blu-Ray Disc Writer
• 17.3″ 1920 X 1080P 3D Screen
• Nvidia 3D Vision 2 glasses + Light Boost Tech
• 1.5TB Hard Drive (2 X 750GB HDs)
• Nvidia GTX 670M GPU
• 2MP Webcam
• Multiformat Media Reader
• 4 USB 3.0 Ports
• LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
• Wireless (801.11 b/g/n)
• Bluetooth 4.0 interface
I’ve owned my share of notebooks over the years. While modern laptops go for as little as $500 a piece, I’ve always spent between $2,000 and $3,000 a unit because I like to game on the go, and I know each machine is going to be worn down to naked plastic, missing rubber feet, and a computer consciousness that contemplates digital suicide.
Out of all the machines I’ve bought over the years, this is the slickest I have seen so far. The painted plastic I’ve grown accustomed too has been replaced by a hybrid of plastic and a rubbery texture. We will see how it stands the test of time, but it strikes me as being more durable compared to what I’ve used before.
Instead of having heat vents on the sides, at the bottom, or just drilled in there because they didn’t really know where to put them, ASUS did something innovative. All the ports are on the sides, and the vents are on the back of the unit. This means you could be melting your poor CPU and GPU with the latest games, but keep your lap cool by having all the air going out the back of the machine.
Over the years, I’ve usually stuck with Dell notebooks because I liked the feel of their keyboards, and they could usually be trusted sight unseen. I was pleasantly surprised by ASUS’ keyboard. First, it just feels great. I can type away at full speed, it’s responsive, and the clackity-clack just makes for a natural extension of my fingers. An added bonus is the keyboard is lit. You can easily adjust for brightness, and it’s very helpful for gaming in 3D (with glasses that darken the room) or in the unlikely case of typing away in a dark airplane (more on that shortly!).
I don’t know why, but all the indicator lights are at the front of the computer, which means they can’t be seen while the machine is on your lap. It’s really not a big deal – just a surprising design choice.
Even though the machine looks great, it has a hurdle there is no way to get around: it weighs a tonne! The computer is promoted as weighing just under 9 pounds (8.7lbs). Does that sound heavy? It is, and it’s equally a misleading statement. What they don’t tell you is that the power supply – the computer’s umbilical cord – is easily another five pounds. I call it an umbilical cord because the battery life is about 2.5 hours in very low performance mode, and maybe an hour in high performance mode. Suddenly, this computer doesn’t seem appropriate for long flights, does it?
It’s with good reason that ASUS includes a special backpack for the G75VW complete with a separate gaming mouse. It’s a great machine; just have realistic expectations.