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New Asus G71GX-RX05, Best Buy version

Iamcanadian7

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Messages
251
Location
Winnipeg, MB
So I just picked up the Asus G71GX BB version from the states, and it's quite the machine for the price. Spec below:

Size: 17.1"
Weight: 8.8 Lbs
Processor: Intel C2D P8700 2.53 GHZ
Ram: 6GB DDR2 800
Video Card: Nvidia GTX 260M 1GB
Screen: 1440x900 LCD
Hard Drive: 500GB 5400rpm
Optical Drive: DVD Burner
Wireless: B/G/N
Battery: 8-Cell

After scouring the internet for about a month and a half reading every review I could find and comparing probably 50 different laptops/laptop configurations, I finally settled on an Asus system. I wanted something reasonably priced (under $1500CDN) that would be able to handle pretty much any game I threw at it, as well as handle my school needs for the next 2 or 3 years.

I saw that Best Buy had both the G51 ($1049USD) and G71 ($1149) systems that were basically downspecced versions of the ones from Asus directly. ie, lower screen res, dual instead of quad core, single harddrive. I can live with that for the kind of savings they were offering, around $800. So I went down to the states to check them both out.

I was planning on buying the G51, with the 15.6 inch screen, but after seeing the system in person, I changed my mind to the G71 rather quickly. The G51's keyboard was awful, by far one of the worst laptop keyboards I've encountered flex wise. It was like trying to type on a trampoline. The backlight was a nice feature, but what good is a lit up keyboard if you can't type on it? Also, the G51 has a rubber like texture on the palm rest, I know some may like this feature, I however, did not. It made the system feel cheap and cheesy in my opinion. The 6-cell battery only gave about an hour and 45 minutes, which is a little low for my liking, I was hoping for at least 2 hours out of my notebook.

The G71 on the other hand, had a great keyboard with a surprisingly little amount of flex. The keys are all in the correct place, however the number pad has only 3 rows, not a big deal for me. The system feels very well built with thick plastics on the palmrest and only minor screen flexing when opening from either side. There are 5 LED lights on the exterior of the case, all but one can be disabled if you prefer no lights. The touchpad is nice and large with just the right amount of sensitivity, and the touchpad buttons are brushed aluminum and have a very solid feel to them.

The performance is great, it hasn't had trouble with any game I've thrown at it so far. Even Crysis fares well on this system when run at the 1440x900 resolution with med-high settings. The processor is overclockable to 2.9 Ghz via Asus's built in tweaking utility, it also has a power saving mode in which I can squeeze about two hours and 5 minutes from the battery. Not bad for a 17" gaming laptop I'd say. I have not yet tried to overclock the video card, but its supposedly possible with modified drivers. The temperatures are kept in check by a decent cooling system. The chip idles at about 40 and the graphics card at about 58. Load temps are about 60 on the chip and 80 on the graphics card. There was an issue with the graphics card overheating and throttling down performance, but this has been fixed via an updated BIOS from Asus.

Asus's Expressgate is a nice feature in a laptop, I've always found it wasted in a desktop, but if you just want to check something quick on the web its nice to be able to avoid loading the entire OS and just get a web browser. The laptop also come with a free upgrade to Windows 7 via Asus directly when it's released.

The screen resolution is great for this size of screen, I would prefer a 1680x1050, but this works just fine. Blue ray was also removed in this BB version, again though, something I would never use so it's not important to me. Beware if you are looking for a light laptop. This thing is an absolute beast, not only is it physically bigger than most 17" laptops, your looking at 10 pounds including the ac adapter to carry around. I, myself have no problem carrying 15-20 pounds worth of stuff, but for others that's not ideal. I went through 5 different 17" bags before I found one that this laptop fits into to give you an idea of its size.

As with any system, there are a few issues I have with the system. The USB and firewire ports are hidden behind little magnetic doors on the sides. It looks sleek, but I fear its just something else to break and may just remove them altogether. The glossy finish looks great when it's clean, but it picks up fingerprints real quick. I would have liked bluetooth, but I understand they were trying to remove what they could to keep the cost down. The one thing that irked me the most was the lack of a hard drive bracket for the second hard drive bay. It's not just Asus that does this either, I've seen this in HP's and Acers alike. If your going to give a laptop the option for two harddrives, give me two brackets god dammit! With a little modification though, my storage drive is now nice and snug.

All in all I am very happy with this laptop, especially for the price. I paid exactly $1357.22 CAD, which in my opinion, is very reasonable for a well built, quality machine that can handle anything I can throw at it. I'll post up some pictures tomorrow of the system itself.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Feb 26, 2007
Messages
13,410
Location
Montreal
I don't want to insult your purchase or anything but I have never seen the allure of laptop gaming, especially when said laptop weighs in at almost 10lbs.
 

bojangles

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Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
2,663
Location
Oakville, ON
I agree too SKY. Gaming is and will always be for desktops. However there are some people that are constantly moving so perhaps there is a market for this.

Now, does anybody have any suggestions for a 17"+ laptop for my mom that's less than $1000? It's for her vision impairment.
 

silent1mezzo

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Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
384
Location
Toronto
I don't want to insult your purchase or anything but I have never seen the allure of laptop gaming, especially when said laptop weighs in at almost 10lbs.
I'd have to agree whole heartedly. That laptop is a beast and a great price at that, but it's hardly portable. At 8.8lbs you don't want to be lugging that around that much.

That being said, that thing is nuts and really well priced for those specs. Let us know how the GPU overclocking goes.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
13,410
Location
Montreal
Yeah, the specs and the price are good. However, "portable" is a term that is open to discussion. Climbers up Mount Everest pack a ton of "portable" kit but then load down their Sherpas enough that they fall backwards down the mountain.

When it comes to a gaming system I would just rather have a desktop that is easy to upgrade plus a $400 netbook than a $1400 laptop.

Then again, the specs of that machine are amazing.
 

Iamcanadian7

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Messages
251
Location
Winnipeg, MB
I realize many people thing a gaming laptop is a strange thing to buy. They are big, expensive, run hotter than most and usually have rather poor battery life. I however wanted the portability of a laptop so I'm not tethered to my house when I want to game. I've been carrying it, as well as a laptop cooler that weighs 5 pounds, for about a week now and I don't find it unbearable. My backpack in high school weighed much more with all the textbooks stuffed into it. It's all personal preference though, I know most people don't want to lug around all that weight.

Pictures are below:

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Arinoth

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
9,254
Location
Halifax
I agree too SKY. Gaming is and will always be for desktops. However there are some people that are constantly moving so perhaps there is a market for this.

Now, does anybody have any suggestions for a 17"+ laptop for my mom that's less than $1000? It's for her vision impairment.
You could try seeing if having the magnifier application that comes with all windows OSs help at all before going for a 17"+ laptop
 

Jon_di2

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
876
Location
Toronto, Ontario
I have to disagree, I used my xps M170 in university, best purchase ever. It was lighter then books and binders and I could play games when I was bored in lectures, in between classes when I didn't have time to go home, etc...

Obviously gaming laptops aren't for everyone, but they are great to have if your never home.
 

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