The New ASUS G74SX-A1 17.3-inch notebook is aimed squarely at the mobile gamer, but will interest anyone looking for a high-end machine.
The Asus G74 measures 16.5 x 12.8 x 2.4 inches and weighs a princely 9.4 pounds.
Design inspiration for the G74 reputedly came from the US Navy’s Sea Shadow stealth ship and follows the curent fad for sharp polygonal form.
It draws its behemoth power from a second-gen Intel Core i7-2630QM CPU and NVIDIA GTX 560M 3GB GPU. The ASUS G74′s ratings on 3D benchmarks make it the fastest notebook in the West.
The ASUS G74SX-A1 ships with inbuilt over-clocking capability via the ASUS Powerd4Gear Hybrid utility, with a one-button control.
There’s a gargantuan 12GB of 1333Mhz, expandable to 16GB, and the G74 come with a 1.5TB 7200rpm hard drive. This notebook doesn’t just tick every box, it rewrites the test sheet. Actually the OS is only Windows Home Premium 64-bit, but that’s unlikely to disappoint too many buyers.
Displaywise the ASUS G74SX-A1 features a 17.3-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit screen. Above the display sits a 2.0mp webcam. The Asus G74 comes with a Blu-ray combo drive as standard.
Portwise we find 3 USB 2.0s and one USB 3 socket, WiFi-n, Bluetooth v2.1, an 8-in-1 SD card slot, VGA/Mini D-Sub 15-pin sockets, and of course headphone and mic jacks.
Visual performance is predictably epic with the 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M graphics solution. Overall the combination of full HD screen and 3GB graphics processor makes for razor-sharp images, smooth transitions, and brilliant clarity. DirectX11 support is there too.
The fearsome spec of the G74 allow it to be rigged up as a personal multimedia center – connecting to an external monitor or HDTV via the HDMI port will allow you to enjoy the immaculate 1080p playback, with high contrast and vibrant colors.
The G74′s stereo speakers, coupled with its EAX Advanced HD 5.0 sound solution, deliver a crystal-clear and rich sound. Tinny it ain’t.
The keyboard, as you’d expect on a top-end notebook, is backlit, and the G74′s keyboard features a tilt-up design to optimise control in any environment. Not surprisingly, the spec of the ASUS G74SX-A1 yields smooth multitasking at lightning speed, and the Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology accelerates individual cores to meet the task at hand.
The Asus G74′s keyboard inclines to give a more ergonomically-optimised typing/gaming experience, in addition to the rubber-style palm rests which ensure hours of RSI-free use. The extended dimensions of this beast have enabled Asus to allow more space between the keyboard and number pad, so the console doesn’t feel at all cramped.
This hard-working powerhouse needs some powerful cooling-capability, and the Asus G74 features a unique vent design which sucks air form underneath the machine and then channels it out the back of the laptop, away from the user. The fan is not at all noisy.
Under moderate usage conditions the battery lasted three and a half hours, which for such a large and powerful notebook is perfectly acceptable.
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