I’ve had my brand new G73JH for a couple of weeks now and feel that I can comment on it, and so I will. First off I ordered mine online from TigerDirect.ca for exactly $1900.97 dollars Canadian after tax and shipping and I can say that I do not regret a single cent. I’m not here to review TigerDirect but I will say that their shipping was quick and buying was easy, I highly recommend them for Canadian customers looking for an alternative to Newegg.com.
Now on to the main event: the box it came in was large and well padded as it should be when shipping internationally. The box prominently showed the very impressive warranty Asus includes with this laptop, a two year accidently damage, surge, water, fire all included and it’s the best one I’ve ever seen without extra charge. My first impression when sliding the laptop out of the box and getting over the giddiness brought on by unboxing a new gadget for the first time was “man this looks menacing” and it really does. The laptop is large the biggest I’ve ever seen partly due to the massive 1080p, 17 inch screen and partly because of the design of the heat exhausts and battery compartment. I say heat exhausts because they really are, the design of this laptop is based on a stealth bomber which actually comes though and makes the shape seem ominous and rather alien especially when closed. Also of note the power brick is quite large, not anywhere near XBox 360 large but bigger than average.
The keyboard is a chicklet style board and very well spaced making the keyboard on par with an expensive desktop one. The keyboard is also backlit which if nothing else makes it look cooler, not quite as cool as the more expensive Alienware laptops but much more so than some in the same price range and if you would prefer a more toned down look you can change how bright the backlights are or if they are even on. The hand rests are some sort of rubber that along with the back of the screen will thankfully not smear. The touchpad is just massive almost double the one on my old laptop and is pretty responsive,
All the ports on this laptop are thankfully on the sides, one side has your ethernet/LAN, mic, 3.5mm headphone jack, two USB ports, the other has a VGA, HDMI, card reader slot, and two more USB ports for a total of four available. All indicator lights are on the front, battery, wifi, disk usage, ect.
Near the bottom of the screen are four buttons one on the right for power and three on the left for the keyboard and glow lighting, the twin turbo mode and one for switching the screen modes between Gamma correction, Vivid, Theatre, Soft, Normal modes.
The twin turbo mode overclocks your 1.6GHz Quad core i7 720QM to about 2.53GHz but from what I’ve been reading this can actually hurt performance because it conflicts with the Intel Turbo boost software which allows your processor to run faster when an application requests more power. I did miss dedicated hardware buttons for media control but its a relatively small gripe and one that very few people will require.
Graphics performance is impressive as it should be in a gaming laptop not quite the extreme power you can get from the best of the best but the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 is still one of the most or possibly the most powerful single mobile graphics card. Some other gaming rigs come with dual GPU’s but the 5870 is more than enough, I can run Crysis at max setting except for the Anti aliasing and Starcraft 2 totally maxed without slowing down anything else. When I was researching I had trouble finding the Windows Experience Index ratings online so here:
As you can see your RAM is very close to Windows max rating of 7.9 and your graphics are not far behind, its a shame that it is all dragged down to 5.9 by the dual 320 GB 7200 RPM drives, but if you feel up to voiding your warranty or I believe you can send it to Asus to install a SSD to bump that score up a lot. The Experience index isn’t the best judge of your PC but I’ve always found it quite useful and accurate. One other thing I’d like to mention along with the impressive video quality and performance is the audio: I’ve never owned a laptop worth quite this much but the built in sub woofer makes the sounds coming out of this otherwise silent machine beautiful.
That’s all I can say for the hardware, and the software is pretty much up to you you do get some bundled software, a face recognition program that allows you to log in to Windows without a password, an audio enhancement program (Creative, I’ve seen many people who have this program cause system instability and crashes), a program for customizing your BIOS start screen, Asus Fastboot which actually could be useful because it delays programs from starting up until Windows is ready resulting in faster boot times. Other than that there are a bunch of other bloatware apps that come included against your will I suggest removing them but they won’t make a huge impact on this powerhouse.