Slideshow

Hands on: ASUS G73J Series Republic of Gamers notebook

A 17in gaming notebook with a Core i7-720M CPU, two 500GB hard drives, 8GB RAM and ATI Mobility Radeon 5870 graphics

  • The keyboard has island-style keys and includes a number pad. The keyboard bounces slightly when you hit the keys, but overall the travel and response are good.

  • The exhaust vents are large and located either side the battery.

  • The left side has as SD card slot, two more USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port and a VGA port. eSATA is not supported, nor is USB 3.0, so you'll have to hook up a NAS if you want fast external storage.

  • The bottom panel can be easily removed to reveal the G73J's internal components. You can see the two hard drives, the RAM, the wireless module (2.4GHz, 802.11n), and the heat spreader across the CPU and graphics chip.

  • The ASUS G73J is one of the most powerful gaming notebooks on the market, yet it won't cost you a fortune; it costs $2699. Under the hood is a quad-core Intel Core i7-720M CPU with Hyper-Threading, which means you have eight virtual cores at your disposal. That's not all -- you also get 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM, an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 graphics adapter and two 500GB, 7200rpm hard drives. It's built for speed and aimed squarely at gamers, but anyone who wants a powerful notebook should be on the look-out for it.

  • There are three easily removable RAM modules, along with a fourth built-in module. The G73J has 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM and all of it is usable in the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Professional.

  • Its styling is aggressive and sporty. We love the dual exhaust system, the big hinges and the elegant badge in the centre of the screen. Its design is much different to the [[artnid:326045|ASUS G60J Republic of Gamers notebook|Review: ASUS G60J Republic of Gamers notebook]].

  • You can switch on the backlight when gaming at night and watch the keys light up.

  • Unlike [[xref:http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/section/notebooks/|many recent notebooks]], the ASUS G73J doesn't have a glossy body and instead sports a very attractive matte grey, stealth-like look. It feels good to touch, too. Its screen is glossy though and reflections from from lights could pose problems.

  • The right side has a Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, microphone and headphone ports, and an integrated Blu-ray drive. We love the slanted design of the notebook -- it looks great and feels sturdy and comfortable to use. The Blu-ray drive is matched with a Full HD screen (1920x1080) so you can watch high-def movies directly on the notebook.

  • Sound hasn't been neglected -- you even get a subwoofer to go along with the two speakers just in front of the screen.

  • The battery is small, and because the G73J is so powerful you won't get too much out of it. You might be able to watch a a movie or a couple of TV shows while not being tethered to an outlet.

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