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ASUS G73Jw Gaming Notebook: Toothless Monster?
The previous gaming laptop we reviewed, the MSI GT663R was really nice in terms of performance and looks. Of course it came at a slightly expensive price tag but then gaming laptops with good specifications are usually priced liked that. ASUS has come out with the G73Jw gaming notebook and after their previous G53J gaming laptop; we certainly had high expectations from the G73Jw. What does it turn out to be?
Sleek looking for sure
Design and Build Quality
If you’ve seen the G53J, it’s quite apparent that ASUS has not added much to the design of the G73Jw. Nevertheless, there’s absolutely nothing to complain about the G73Jw’s stealth fighter like design. Those straight cut edges and the vents behind really look attractive. The notebook might be a little bulky and heavy at approximately 3 kilos but then you cannot really take that as a negative given that most gaming laptops weigh the same.
The same goes for the ergonomics of the G73Jw. The notebook is really comfortable to use. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to keep this heavy tank on your lap while using it but on the desk, the 17.3-inch 3D-enabled screen is big enough for comfortable viewing and the keyboard might feel small. I feel the space around the keyboard should have been utilized a little more. Also the whole panel and the keys seem to be a tad loose and even the Chiclet design doesn’t do justice to it in any sense. The trackpad is quite responsive and the buttons are comfortable and spacious to use. The quick launch buttons for turbo boost, 3D vision and backlighting are a good addition and adds to user convenience. The vents behind are pretty big and give the G73Jw a nice look overall.
In terms of finishing, I really liked the rubberized finish that you get below the keyboard. The build quality of the G73Jw in general also feels really rugged. Apart from the notebook being slightly on the heavier side, I was pretty impressed by everything else that the G73Jw has when talking about its design and build quality.
The one feature of this notebook which is the same as the G53J is the in-built ability to play 3D content. There’s a pair of 3D glasses by NVIDIA bundled with the G73Jw and you don’t need any external attachment to play 3D stuff on the notebook. Other than that, ASUS has given some spotlight to the three quick launch buttons stowed at the top left of the laptop.
There’s one for toggling 3D vision, another for toggling the turbo-boost and the third has options to control the backlight of the keyboard. So while the first two are for performance, the third just adds to the coolness quotient of the G73Jw.
While those are the two prime features of this laptop, the G73Jw boasts of a quad-core Intel Core i7-740QM processor clocking 1.73 GHz, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 460M graphics card. It also comes with two 750 GB disk drives (which are not setup in RAID) to give you a total storage capacity of 1.5 TB.
In terms of connectivity, the notebook also has Wi-Fi 802.11 n capability and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR. The notebook also has well placed USB ports with three USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port. There’s also an optical Blu-Ray 4x combo drive at the left side of the G73Jw.
So the major features and specifications of the notebook look good on paper and all that remains is running the G73Jw through its paces.
We ran the laptop through our normal set of benchmarks to calculate the processor and graphics card capabilities. The numbers looked pretty good, but if you take a look at those of the MSI GT663R, it’s quite obvious that these will look pretty average. While simple tasks like video encoding and file copy are pretty quick, the heavier (and should I add, Main) tasks like gaming had a very poor score.
And this is where the G73Jw gets trumped
Even at a lower resolution and medium graphics, Mafia 2 got an average of only 46 fps. However, it pales in comparison to the MSI GT663R which got 33 fps at a 1080p resolution and maxed out settings. We definitely tried to max out the settings on the G73Jw as well but it gave us a very poor 21 fps! After looking at the benchmarks, it’s clear that you can game on this but it’ll be advisable to lower the settings to medium or normal. It also means that upcoming games which require a lot more intense specifications might not be handled well with the G73Jw. Other synthetic benchmarks saw a small rise but that was very negligible.
The turbo boost option did not see much of a change in performance either. We ran a gaming benchmark which saw a difference of 2 fps and another synthetic benchmark had a similar effect. However, there was a slight difference in the graphics by about 4 percent or so.
And when it comes to the viewing angles of the screen, it’s pretty decent normally but once you go at a wider angle, content on the screen is not very visible. Also, battery life is average with the G73Jw conking off in an hour after a heavy battery benchmark test.
Despite a lot of neat features and some decent specifications, the G73Jw disappoints where it matters the most. This notebook performs averagely and would probably be a good buy had it been priced lower. Although the MSI GT663R comes at Rs. 1,49,999 it gives you a better value in comparison to the G73Jw which sets you back by Rs. 1,13,399. Sure it’s about 37k less, but if you’re buying a gaming laptop, you might as well go the whole nine yards.