on December 23, 2012
I agree with most other reviews here. It is large and heavy, but overall has a good design. I'll add a few notes about upgrading.
You can get to 16GB by purchasing a 2x 4GB package from Crucial and installing them in the user accessible area under the laptop. Unofficially, it will support 8GB sticks, so you can purchase a 2x 8GB package and get 24GB total (2x 4GB factory installed + 2x 8GB user installed). If you really wanted, you could also replace the two factory installed 4GB sticks with 8GB sticks to get 32GB, but you need to take apart the laptop to get to them (void warranty).
There is only one hard drive bay (occupied by 500GB drive) so you can't easily just drop a 2.5 SSD drive in. Here are your options:
1. Replace the existing 500GB HDD with a 2.5 SSD. With only the SSD drive, you won't have much space for bulk storage.
2. Replace your DVD drive with a hard drive caddy and install a 2.5 SSD in the caddy. This allows for the SSD and 500GB HDD, but you lose your internal DVD. You can always purchase an external USB DVD drive.
3. Get an mSATA SSD. In order to get to the mSATA slot, you have to take apart the entire laptop (void warranty). It is a real pain to do this, but in the end you'll have your SSD, 500GB HDD and your DVD drive.
I ended up taking apart the laptop, replacing the two factory installed 4GB sticks with 8GB sticks and installing a 256GB mSATA SSD. The remaining 2x 4GB sticks were then reinstalled in the user accessible memory slots. So I now have 24GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, 500GB HDD. Later, I'll probably replace the 500GB HDD with a higher capacity and higher RPM HDD.
NOTE: Taking apart the laptop was no easy task. Do not do this unless you have experience and are willing to accept the risk of breaking your laptop. I've been told that this voids your warranty.
on June 4, 2012
I just received my laptop on 6/1 (ordered 5/30) and here is my review after a few days of tinkering. For those of you that do not wish to read through the entire review, here is a summary ~
- Beautifully sleek
- Back-lit keyboard with adjustable brightness settings
- Condensed full-size keyboard
- Soft and comfortable palm rest
- Extremely fast 3rd generation Core i7 quad core processor
- Four USB 3.0 ports instead of just one
- Insanely quiet fans
- Comfortably cool in all situations
- Extremely large power brick
- VIA drivers for sub-woofer
The ASUS G55VW-ES71 far exceeds expectations when it comes to gaming or any other heavy processing activities, and it performs all of its duties while encased in one of the most beautiful laptop shells ever designed. The keyboard is laid out in a Chiclet style with each button as its own "island," and ASUS managed a 10-key number pad on the right hand side. The lighting behind the keyboard is adjustable, making it the perfect the brightness for anyone. The palm rest is layered with a soft mat material resulting in a comfortable gaming and typing experience.
The incorporated processor is blazing fast. Intel's new quad-core processor with eight threads lives up to expectations with a Windows Experience Index of 7.6 (out of a possible 7.9). Memory on this beast of a machine scores at a 7.8, and the graphics chugs up a more than respectable score of 7.3. This machine is only bottlenecked by the hard drive score of 5.9 (the only one out of all the categories that does not score a 7 or higher). Not to fret, with a little bit of dedicated time, replacing the factory hard drive with a shiny Solid State Drive (SSD) is quite a breeze, boosting this category's score to the max of 7.9. This of course means that the lowest score for this machine would be the GTX 660M's score of 7.3, but there should not be a soul who would be mad about the graphic card's performance when comparing to other similar machines.
ASUS took no expense in giving their users the best of the best. Keeping in consistency with the machine's speed, ASUS decided to load this rig with four total USB 3.0 slots. No more finding or struggling to look for more USB 3.0 inputs for your external hard drives because the manufacturer only decided to upgrade one of the four USB inputs to the 3.0 generation, now you can plug it into any of the USB slots and you will experience the glory of USB 3.0 speeds. The cable gets in the way for the USB slot in the back? Plug it in on the side! The user experience gets better. Usually gaming units such as the G55VW will need increased airflow to keep all its parts running cooler and lasting longer. This usually meant that the fan would have to run incredibly fast and loud. ASUS took the liberty to design a machine that runs comfortably cool and indescribably quiet! Whether you're on your bed instant messaging and gaming or you're at your desk, well, instant messaging and gaming, you will be able to relax without the noticing your laptop blazing on your leg and you will not be disturbing anyone else in the vicinity with what sounds like a giant portable fan that other gamers are lugging around.
As with all products, there are some drawbacks. For this particular machine, the power brick is quite sizeable. It is heavy enough to break a toe and large enough to make an uncomfortable bulge in just about any laptop storage bag. However, the power brick does come with two Velcro ties to sort both cables. This machine comes with a sub-woofer. YES! A sub-woofer! 2.1 channels! Sounds like an exciting feature, right? Unfortunately this is not the case because VIA's drivers are not performing as expected. Instead of using the sub-woofer to compliment the sound that flows out of the laptop, it actually plays every single sound its two speaker buddies are playing. It does not provide the bass that we all would love to enjoy, just awkwardly (and most horribly) acts as a third speaker that would output voice as you would think any sub-woofer would. Luckily, the sub-woofer can be disabled through the volume properties of the ASUS speakers.
Finally, although above I said that it would be a "breeze" to swap out the underperforming hard drive for a lighting fast SSD, it also contributes to one of the few low points of this laptop. This is because cloning this hard drive one-to-one is very much impossible with any of the freeware (and some paid software like Acronis) available online. I will not get into too much detail and just say that it is due to the fact that the hard drive is formatted under GUID Partition Table (GPT), and most cloning software does not know how to handle this. As of now I have not found any software that is able to handle GPT and would greatly appreciate the knowledge of one in the comments. The easiest way for anyone to swap in a SSD is to create recovery discs at first boot and then use the discs to boot up and install on the SSD.
Final Rating: 4.9/5.
on August 27, 2012
I was thrown off by negative reviewers when I was looking to buy.
With technology as it is now, a solid state drive is kind of an essential now. It gives you huge bang for your buck. True this machine doesnt come stock with one but it has room to install one easily and its engineered so its super easy to put one in.
The risks of buying a custom laptop is that your stuck with it indefinitely , in most circumstances. I'm an amazon prime member, so I get free shipping on all my orders, and amazon is awesome about returns - so there isnt really any 'risk' in buying. So in the other gaming laptops in the 1500-2500 $ price range, that are NOT custom (MSI, alienware, Sager etc)(because in buying those, there IS risk involved - and if you get a dead pixel in your screen, or some faulty part, your looking at weeks to months of repair time, and shipping charges etc) , the options are Asus G55 or G75, or Samsung series 7 gamer or toshiba qosmio.
the series 7 and qosmio dont have slots for an SSD which as i said , in my opinion is a must have component. that being aside the only difference then is just small differences in the internal components ie 12 gb vs 16 gb ram, 660m vs 670m , things which make difference on paper but not really in the performance of the computer. I chose the g55 because 8gb of ram is way more than enough, 660 is arguably a better card than 670 and 675m because of how it can be overclocked, and further the actual performance is so close you'll never notice it anyway. now the difference between 660m vs 7970 or the 680 is huge.. so thats a different thing , but then your looking at a "purely gaming laptop" and thats kind of a losing proposition anyway. you can hand build a better desktop for 900$ for gaming and it will outperform a 2200$ gaming laptop. so.. good to keep that all in mind. so the g55 works best for me compared to all the above models because it retains some portability, the screen is big enough, and if i want a bigger screen, i can plug it into an HDTV. the g75 is awesome too but a lot of the features, for 700$ price increase may not be worth it.. namely the 670m, and the SSD and double the ram. you can buy and install your own SSD for 120$.. and double of 8gbram is useless, so the upgrade from 660m to 670 is not worth the price increase in my opinion.
im listing this all out because when i was deciding what to buy, i had almost nothing to go on. I think others looking at this laptop will be having the same questions I had, so i hope this helps. the g55 was definitely right for me. its an incredible machine, performs awesome, looks awesome. my only gripe is that to increase the volume , you need to push FUNCTION key and then F12 . which is retarded because the FN key is on the bottom left of the keybaord, and F12 is top right. its not easy to push both with 1 hand. so I hope you dont ever eat food while you watch movies on your computer LOL or your going to have a dirty keyboard. that is a seriously retarded oversight.
other than that , asus all the way - and amazon rocks - you always have 30 days to change your mind.
on May 26, 2012
I just received this computer, and I have to say it's beautiful. Before I get into the specs, let me address some things the other reviewer has said.
Firstly, Asus's customer support is about the same as any other computer manufacturer, if not better. There's absolutely no way to have a bad experience with Asus, and the quality of their computers have been exceptional in my experience with them. I've never had a problem before, and I don't expect for there to be one for anyone now.
Secondly, as for the updating the internal components, there are probably guides on Youtube, and the guide is probably not included because most users won't need it.
Thirdly, yes, the power brick is quite large and heavy, but I don't see a problem considering you'll be stationary while playing, and it's a rather long cord. It's not as if you have to lay the power brick on your face while you play.
But as for the Asus G55VW -
+ The Asus G55 is a sleek, gaming-powerhouse laptop engineered specifically for long hours of use while playing the most demanding games. I can throw anything at this laptop, unlike many laptops, and know that it will never run hot. With the left exhaust port, if I remember correctly, being specifically for the CPU, the fan will run independently from the right fan at whatever speed it needs. The right fan, however, being for the GPU, will cool your GPU during long hours of hard gaming.
+ When playing games, the touchpad, keyboard, and palmrest stay at about 70 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooling system does an excellent job in capturing the heat and throwing it out of the back of the computer.... quietly. The sound from the fan is measured at approximately 30 decibels, which is not even as loud as a whisper. I was very impressed with this, as most laptops with the power that this computer has run hot.
+ The ports are in ergonomic locations. The Asus G55 features four USB 3.0 ports, with two on the right near side, and two on the far left side. On the right, this laptop has both an HDMI and VGA, alongside the DC power port.
+ The keyboard, screen, and touchpad are all phenomenal. Featuring a HD display, everything looks crisp and clear... and runs smoothly. I've got no problem playing Skyrim on Ultra, or TOR on the maximum settings.
The above is just from my personal experience with the computer, but if you want to know more, I'd direct you here.
Product Showcase Asus G55VW - Unboxing & Benchmarks (by GenTechPC)
on February 1, 2013
History of the brand and Republic of Gamers series: The name Asus originates from Pegasus, winged horse of Greek mythology. The Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand has been around for more than five years now, and this G55V series notebook, like all the Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) products promise, come with the best components. I originally purchased an Asus due to both word of mouth, and because I had seen the systems in use by my friends. Both my friends are particularly hard on PC hardware, and these previous generation ROG laptops are still working well. I have purchased two Asus. netbooks, and used these almost exclusively for past few years now. I was ready to play games with my friends that I could not with other systems not designed for gaming.
Overview of components in the system: Included in the Asus Republic of Gamers Laptop (G55VW-DH71s) list of impressive components is a quad core Intel CPU, and NVIDIA performance graphics solution. The Core i7-3610QM has a base clock frequency of 2.3 Ghz, with quad-core design. From my understanding of the TurboBoost i7 processor, some combination of drivers and software, in symphony along with the hardware and BIOS, transparently and automatically step up the clock rate as the demand for processing power increases, within the thermal capabilities of the hardware.
What's really good: That being said, the capabilities of the hardware are quite spectacular. The Asus G55V runs nice and cool, and the fans start to kick in noticeable only when the GPU reaches about 68 or 69 Celsius. While this is right at about 150 degrees farenheit, the bottom of the laptop doesn't seem to get uncomfortably warm, while the fan in the back seems to kick out a lot of heat without much noise or effort.
Transparent overclocking out of the box: Not every PC user knows what overclocking is. It has been around a long time. It the beginning no one tried it much, since it was either not easy or possible due to hardware limitations, or the PC user wouldn't want to attempt it because of the risk of overheating and killing the system once and for all. Fortunately, the G55V manages itself quite well, without any thought on the part of the user, and appears to change the hardware clock settings up or down in response to CPU and GPU demands, to save power, or to increase performance. I haven't noticed any throttling under moderate testing, the overclocking appears to be rather transparent. When doing nothing at all to tax the GPU, it will seriously underclock itself in order to save on power, and will ramp all the way up to full clock speed without any apparent lag. Perhaps more importantly, there is minimal increase in noise levels from the system fans kicking in while playing a game.
Performance in everyday use: When not gaming and actually working on the laptop, the system is really not taxed at all when using programs that are notorious for requiring lots of resources such as multiple tabs and internet browsers being open, along with Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat reader. I have not tested the computer processor extensively, but a quick run at 100% power during a test for 1 minute, the system neither started to run hot, nor did it become unstable at factory clocking settings. This is expected, but the lack of noticeable fan running when performing a heavy workload is something that makes using the system very pleasant. Without overclocking the PC, which is what any rational PC user would do when carrying about their normal business, I would suspect that the system will offer good performance, stability, and longevity due to the superior cooling system.
Pushing the limits of the hardware: More compact and previous generation laptops seem to make a lot of noise when their cooling system is pushed to the extreme, so I think it is safe to say that this PC is very overclock friendly based on a perusal of the forums, and anecdotal reports from my friend's laptop which is essentially the same model as this one, with a larger screen. The Republic of Gamers forum offers much advice and support to users wanting to push the limits of the hardware to new extremes. Interestingly, this current generation hardware doesn't need much of a push in my opinion, at this point in time.
Weaknesses in the hardware package: The weakest link in the system appears to be the "mere" 7,200 RPM mechanical hard drive, which is definitely a high performance laptop drive. After defragmenting the drive a few times, the computer seems adequately fast with the installed hard drive from the factory. Once booted up, I do not notice any times that the system has any noticeable lag. Indeed, the RAM specs are impressive, as are the CPU and GPU specs. The 7,200 RPM drives are actually quite fast, but with an SSD this computer will supposedly load Windows 7 in less than 20 seconds (possibly closer to 15 seconds according to test data from some of the latest hard drives). As the cost of hard drives continues to drop, as the capacity and speed increase, the SSD hard drive might be a smart upgrade at some point, but for my uses I really don't notice any lack of performance. I have used about 80 GB, and 400+ GB remain. My friend upgraded his to the SSD, so part of the urge to update is the "gotta have it factor" associated with the latest hardware, better known to professionals as conspicuous consumption.
Some performance data while playing a game: As I am typing this review right now, the battery suggests that there is more than 2-1/2 hours left on the charge. With five programs open, including Microsoft Office Word, multiple windows and tabs, the processor hovers around 1% usage. Add a game to the mix, such as Age of Empires III on maximal graphics settings, and the CPU hovers around 12%; this is with the game not paused, a large map, and the game on normal speed. It is utilizing almost 4 GB of the RAM at this point. GPU-Z tells me I'm using only 511 MB of graphics RAM, and the core clock is running at 835.2 Mhz on A/C power. The Republic of Gamers forums have all sorts of suggestions about which program to choose for overclocking, and how to completely disassemble the laptop if one wishes to replace the two more difficult to get to RAM sticks, and mSATA slot. This PC really has spectacular hardware.
Tree huggers versus performance: The system is actually an EPA Energy Star, and plenty of power options exist to save on power. I do not plan on overclocking at the moment, as the performance is excellent for the games that I have tried. I tried a demo of Company of Heroes, and downloaded a few benchmark tests just to make sure everything was in working order. My 3DMark scores, while not super impressive, are very respectable, and this system seems to have a near top of the line NVIDIA GTX 660M, while the CPU performance tests also came back with very good marks. More importantly, Flight Simulator X runs on the highest settings with a seemingly high and playable frame rate, and this program is notorious for taxing even the best systems when it came out just a few years back.
The Graphical Processing Unit: The NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX series 660M 2GB is fairly impressive. With an 80 GB per second memory bandwidth, and 384 unified shaders, the performance is very respectable. Reviewers found that one or two of the most demanding games might require a slightly lower than 1080p setting in order to run at maximal frame rates, the performance is excellent on marginally demanding newer games like Age of Empires III or Flight Simulator X.
The best things about this laptop may be interpreted as a pro or a con depending on the intended use of the PC: This laptop makes no apologies for it's size, it is actually much more modest than the 17" version of the machine, which is even an larger laptop. Again, copper cooling cores are not light, but copper is superb at moving heat. This laptop is all about performance, and the build quality is on par with Asus standards, which is excellent. While the specifications say 8.4 lbs is the weight, and the machine probably weights all of that, the machine appears smaller and lighter than it actually is when using it. Subtle details in the design make the machine appear smaller than it acutally is, which is a nice touch. The added bulk appears to be due to the space needed to accomplish what is a superb cooling system. Don't forget that this laptop also has a subwoofer. It is a nice laptop indeed.
The Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand promises innovative hardware: Indeed, as the ROG brand promises, this is the most innovative PC performance hardware. One of the best overall gaming experiences I have had is while using this hardware. The coolest part about the Republic of Gamers franchise? They actually encourage you to push the limits of the hardware to the furthest possible limits of stability. There are numerous articles on the Republic of Gamers forums, which provide very useful posts from professionals. The price point is very reasonable given the excellent performance, upgradeability, and superior design. While I don't suggest overclocking the PC beyond the factory settings, it is nice to see that some folks have overclocked, and actively share their wisdom with other fanatics.
Functionalist Styling: While at least one die hard fan of the older Asus ROG series classic designs critized the massive cooling vents in the back styled like a fighter jet, to me they seem not only understandated, but perhaps even functionalist in their design. It cannot be denied that the large heat sinks, cooling fins, and large fans perform their job well, and are quiet while doing it.
Peripherals: While I see no purpose for it as of writing this article, this G55 is equipped with a Thunderbolt port: Apple fans would be familiar with this interface. Perhaps this interface can some day facilitate access to high speed storage. For now, it is nice to say that it is there.
Audio: The sound system seems pretty nice too: The system appears to contain an actual subwoofer, so anyone who says that the machine is larger and heavier, but fails to mention the fact that it features a sub, has not given the machine a fair review. The sound quality is actually quite good from the speakers. It is of ample volume, clear, and certainly adequate for playing a game. Especially impressive, in fact, for integrated laptop speakers.
Bright LED Backlit Display: The display is a high definition display, and wide screen format. With the native resolution, I can have two full sized windows open side by side, to facilitate working on my school assignments. I can read information from a *.pdf document, and type in Microsoft Office, side by side. There is little need to connect an external display, which is what I did when I was doing school research on my Asus netbook PC. The display is bright, and clear, with no dead pixels. One website suggested that the display is manufactured by LG, which is noted for making very good HDTV displays. The screen is a nice wide HD 1080 screen, and it connects nicely to my 42" HD TV. A legacy type display port is also present, which is nice just in case an older projector requires an old school monitor cable.
Attention to Deatil: Overall, the styling is very adult, and marginally understated; unlike some high end PCs which can be particularly flashy, and have all sorts of tacky LEDs, the only LEDs to be found on this system comprise the very bright backlight behind the display, and light up the keyboard. The keyboard brightness level is adjustable, which is a nice touch. It is attention to details like this that really make this PC a joy to use. The bezel around the keyboard appears to be brushed, polished metal, which is also a nice design touch.
Keyboard: Again, Asus takes a very conservative and elegant approach to the overall styling and feel of the notebook. The keyboard is great for gamers, since it is a compressed version of a desktop keyboard.
USB 3.0: The USB ports are 3.0 spec, which means they are fast, and there are four of them.
Internal Optical Disc Drive: The system appears to feature a DVD multi-recorder, and BluRay Player, and some users have opted to remove the CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drive in order to install a second hard drive. While I don't plan on removing this drive in order to perform this upgrade, and the mSATA slot buried under the keyboard is the only other Hard Drive option, it is just as easy to simply open the back hatch and pop in a Solid State Drive in order to maximize performance, and these drives are becoming more and more affordable, even in larger sizes like ½ TB.
Upgrading the Hardware: Looking at the disassembly instuctions (I would not want to attempt this myself, as I am not a professional), not only does the cooling system appear to be very robust, the important areas of the laptop are fairly easy to access. The laptop doesn't need any upgrades, in my opinion, but a complete review should take these factors into consideration.
SSD: Again, the simplest upgrade is removing the mechanical 7,200 RPM drive and opting for any high speed Solid State Drive (SSD). The stock 7,200 RPM drive appears to be the weakest link in the Windows Experience Index (5.9 rating). My friend performed this upgrade on his G7* series, and saw a huge jump in Windows Experience Index rating (I think his is now about 7 something on the Windows Experience Index arbitrary rating scale).
RAM: Removing one rear hatch provides access to 2 DDR32 slots. Depending on the configuration of your model, the machines with the latest quad core processor have 4 DDR3 slots in total, but two of those slots are under the keyboard and require complex disassembly by a professional. The two RAM slots under the rear hatch, as well as the factory equipped mechanical hard drive can be quite easily replaced by anyone with beginner to moderate PC upgrade skils. Two RAM slots are accessible by simply removing the back cover, and the 2.5" hard drive bay can be accessed from opening the same hatch. Again, the RAM is more than adequate, but ease of upgrades ensures the system can remains up to date in the future.
mSATA SSD Drive Optional: A custom configered G55V can be upgraded to have two hard drives, as mSATA SSDs are available in this form factor. Getting to this port, is a challenge, but both the disassembly instructions exist, and factory authorized repair centers should be able to perform the upgrade as well. This would allow the factory main 2.5" hard drive, to co-exist along with a very fast mSATA SSD. The operating system might be housed on this to allow for fast startups. Again, it is much easier to just replace the mechanical hard drive with an SSD, but this remains an option for some looking for this configuration.
Conclusion: The G55V series has top of the line hardware, one of the best cooling systems, good sound system, and great performance, at a great price point. The size is large, but between the flagship cooling system, sound system, and added optical disc drive, along with a full size keyboard, the system is simply a performance powerhouse, and a joy to use.
(This is a review that I wrote and initially published to Epinions).
on December 10, 2012
Bought it for portable gaming when I'm not at home. In a nutshull, I agree with other, more professional reviews that point out it has excellent cooling and performance at the expense of weight.
1) Other reviews point out it's significantly heavier than most 15.6" laptops, but in practice I've found that the sheer size of the thing is actually more a problem for me than weight. I can carry it just fine in my backpack, but only after snugly fitting it in there. The power brick is also huge.
2) The keyboard is a little flimsy. The keys feel like they're precariously balanced such that when you hit a key it goes down at a slight angle - in actual usage I haven't had problems with typing EXCEPT I have to hit the Esc key hard to get it to register. None of the other keys have given me issues.
1) I have used it to play Guild Wars 2 for 4 straight hours at relatively high settings in 1920x1200 resolution without a noticeable rise in noise or temperature. I very much agree with Notebookcheck's review that said the cooling solution on this thing is in a class of its own.
2) Full keyboard with num pad.
3) Good viewing angles.
I recommend this laptop to anyone looking for a serious gaming solution on the move. I really really recommend this laptop to some looking for a primary gaming machine that doesn't plan to move it much - I predict that its excellent and unique cooling system will provide stability and longevity that other gaming laptops will not stand up to after a year or two of heavy gaming usage.
on July 5, 2012
Over the year's I've had a few ASUS gaming laptops. Personally I really do like this machine. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because of a few "quirks". They do not bother me but for the typical end user I don't believe it is fair to give something a 5 star review with a few "caveats".
Screaming fast: I swapped out the HDD and put in a Kingston 128 SSD. With a base install boot time from power button to surfing is 18 seconds.
Keyboard: responsive to fast typing (over 100 WPM), good feeling keyboard
Ivy Bridge processor: most recent gen, fast, should handle processing needs for next 2-3 years.
8GB of Ram: I'm sorry but I hardly ever see anyone utilize more than 3 GB, I know there are some that do but for the average gamer 8 is ample enough.
Beautiful Screen: Great resolution, crisp delivery, glare is tolerable in direct sunlight
Casing: Good presentation, aggressive looking, solid feel
Ports: good selection of latest ports to meet almost all media needs (HDMI, Multicard reader, etc)
Gaming: So far it handles all games I throw at it on highest / ultra settings.
Power brick: I agree with the first reviewer, no excuse this thing is huge. I travel for a living and have taken it with me a few times. It is large and cumbersome, but better than lugging a desktop around.
Sound: The sound is horrible, and you can't adjust the volumes. I personally NEVER use laptop speakers and bought this with the intention of using head phones. For some this may be a big problem, for me, not so much.
Weight: Gaming rigs are heavy, period. But for someone new to PC gaming, it may be a bit of a shock when you lug this beast around.
I'm a IT Pro by trade and bought this with the intentions of making changes out the door. I was pleasantly surprised when I swapped out the HDD that the included CD contains all of the drivers in a very user friendly install interface. I am also very pleased that after running said software I had to remove very little bloatware. I personally wouldn't bother with upgrading the memory for a few reasons. One, it's more than enough for almost all users. Two, you would need to pull out the existing chips and find out the speed/type/timing. Even if you find memory of the same speed and type, you may "lose out" if you buy slower timing. Most users wouldn't notice it, but if you're going to that extent you should know what I'm talking about.
This is a solid gaming rig. It is capable of playing all the games out, and will be able to hold steady for at least 2 years of new games. There are definite trade-offs when purchasing a budget laptop. You can buy a better, larger, and more capable rig elsewhere but it will cost you. I think the device delivers perfectly at its price point.
on September 9, 2012
Review-Asus G55VW laptop computer
First let me point out some issues I had with this Laptop.
The first laptop I received was defective. Occasionally there was a grinding noise made from the fan vents near the back of the computer. This happened when I was playing a game and the fan speed would increase to a certain point. After some research I found the problem to be because of possible bent fan filter that would hit the fans. After a couple days I decided this bothered me so I requested an exchange from amazon. I can't say if Asus has poor quality control or I simply got unlucky but what I can say is that exchanging with Amazon is a joy. They took back the laptop with no questions and even crossed shipped the new one so I actually received the new laptop the same day that UPS picked up the old one. I just thought WOW! In my opinion amazon has great customer service. I am also happy to say that I received the new laptop and there are no issues with the fans. I cannot really reflect this in my overall rating because I may have simply gotten the 1/1000 bad one.
Now to get to the laptop,
This thing looks cool. The matte black finish is rubberized to give it a more grippy feeling. This really stands out as a nice feature on the wrist pad where it adds lots of comfort when typing. Also it's hard to tell at first but the rubberized feeling also is on the keyboard keys which are very nice. The keyboard is alright however it seemed a little small to me at first. Something that you can probably get used to though and I also have larger hands. The whole feel of the laptop is quality and is definitely much better than my old Samsung laptop. The ports are all easy to get too and well placed out. The CD drive is not the easiest to hit the button but I would consider that a positive since on my old laptop I would constantly be accidently opening it.
The first thing I did when getting this laptop is put a SSD in. Other reviews that I read seemed to have issues when cloning the hard drive. Well I didn't have an issue except it did take a while. First thing you should do(to make it easy) is start the laptop. As soon as you do the initial setup (enter the date, time, name. yada yada) and windows desktop comes up for the first time there will be a box popping up that asks if you want to make recovery disks. Do that, know that you need to have 4 DVD's ready to make all of the disks needed though. Go through and make them, then simply install your ssd in the back. Next you need to go into bios and make sure the computer boots from the CD drive. Insert the first disk and start it up. Install windows from the recovery disks and tada! You now have the computer running all of the stock software. Alright, now to the real review again. This computer performs great. It plenty fast and runs what games I have played on it great. So far what I have played is Battlefield bad company 2(high setting runs super smooth), fallout new vegas(Completely maxed setting super smooth), and minecraft(well it runs smooth lol). I haven't had any issues with the graphics card and it seems to run anything pretty well. I would not expect it to play the latest and greatest games maxed out but I am sure that they will run with at least medium settings fine. The fans stay quiet and that laptop doesn't seem to get to hot even after 3 or 4 hours of battlefield. My last laptop would shut down all the time due to overheating with battlefield. Overall I would say this laptop performs well and for $1200 you can't beat its performance.
A few negatives and minor gripes I have.
The first and most obvious negative for some people is going to be the sheer size of this laptop. At just over 15 inches wide this thing would not fit in my 17in laptop case! Another thing to consider is the power supply if you are planning on taking that with because it is huge in its own right. It measures roughly 6.5x3.5x1.5 inches and should be considered if you already have a bag if it will fit. Also with all this size comes the weight. It is pretty hefty laptop that may be a pain if you're constantly carrying it around with you. For me personally however these aren't that bad of issues. Another thing that I noticed is that the backlight on the screen isn't all that even. On a black screen in a dark room there is lots of backlight spots on the screen. I would say that I am usually more picky then others when it comes to screens though and the issue is not bad on anything other than a completely black screen. Even during darker scenes in video games I did not notice it. Lastly if I had to find something else wrong is that the drivers are a little buggy as far as speaker control. As in other reviews there is an issue with the "subwoofer" (if you want to call it that) not changing volume. I am happy to say that I simply updated the drivers for the sound and now it seems to be working properly.
Overall I would give this laptop 5 star because personally it was everything I was looking for in a laptop. Blue-ray may have been nice as well as a slightly better graphics card but for this price you'll be hard pressed to find another laptop that offers the same value as this one. Hopefully I helped someone else make their decision selecting this laptop because I know I had a difficult time deciding!
on March 31, 2013
I've had big laptops, small laptops, tablets etc... finally i decided I needed a laptop that was actually powerful and would not slow me down, while i won't be using this for gaming i wanted the best of the best, and the most powerful in it's class. This laptop is heavy but its rock solid, at the end of the day i could really care less about the weight of the laptop or the size of the power brick. Im a good size guy so i just consider it some extra exercise. Tablets are a grey area for me, while they are portable and can even be a great desktop replacement (like the Surface Pro) i find they just slow me down, including iPad's/Android tablets etc..
Once i got this laptop i immediately replaced the internal hard drive with a 512GB SSD drive and 2x4 extra GB's of memory. I also put Windows 7 on the laptop, ill just never get used to Windows 8 and to be honest i think its lifespan is limited. I could care less about the tiles all over the place and when i run it in desktop mode i say to myself "why don't i just use Win 7?", so thats what I did and i couldn't be happier. This machine keeps cool, is quiet is is ridiculously fast. Did i mention the video card is a whopping Nvidia 2GB dedicated card? I love it so far!
Also, alot of people said they had issues replacing the drive because it as hard to get to? Maybe this is a newer model than what people have reviewed in the past, im not sure but it took me about 2 minutes to pop the back cover off, upgrade the ram and pop the new SSD drive in.
I would make sure you get this bag:
Everki Beacon Laptop Backpack with Gaming Console Sleeve, Fits up to 18-Inch (EKP117NBKCT)
At first i got the same bag as above in a smaller version and it said it fit up to 15.6", it was way too small, yes the screen may be 15.6" on the laptop but the body of the laptop is more like 17+ so make sure you get a BIG bag, the one above was the highest quality and had the most compartments and is the most comfortable.
Hope this info helps!
on September 28, 2012
I purchased this laptop four months ago. I've used ASUS motherboards in desktop builds and have the very first Eee netbook (still have it, still works, still small) and I've always had a decent experience with their hardware. I was looking for a laptop with a good display and the processing power to handle photo editing (I am a heavy duty amateur photographer, and I found my old laptop was having increasing difficulty opening RAW files). I bought this item at Amazon, and feel mildly ashamed to admit I did the "let's go into the local stores and see how displays compare" before making a decision.
The display is gorgeous. I think the 15.6" on this laptop looked nicer than the 17" on the G75. It is a matte display, and I think the G75 I saw may have been glossy, but I suspect it's more that a widescreen display starts to look off at a certain size if it's on a laptop. The only laptop I saw with a nicer display was a Samsung 7 Series 17", but that was a substantial cost increase.
I could take or leave the full size keyboard (although it does have great feedback and feels very well made), and the touchpad leaves something to be desired. It isn't horrible. I will use it in a pinch, but I usually use a wireless mouse. I wouldn't use the touchpad for gaming... but it's one of those things I guess you kind of *have* to put on a laptop, even if it is unlikely someone buying it for gaming would choose to use a touchpad.
The laptop is powerful, fast, and stable. The graphics card (a GTX 660) is great (fine, I had to get a couple of games just to see how it ran). Again, I'm not a hardcore gamer by any means, but I can say that it runs smoothly for the games I've played (Portal 2, a few Steam free to play games) and whereas my old laptop (at four years old) would get hot and shut down when trying to open ten or so RAW camera images, this one... Doesn't even get hot. Not playing games, not working with images... I wouldn't sit with it on my lap, as the vents in the back do blow some hot air, but the machine itself stays really cool and actually runs quite quietly even with the fans going.
I'm not a huge fan of the DVD drive. It feels flimsy putting disks in, but basically I've used it once, in order to make a recovery disk of the system (which you have to do... no one seems to supply those with a new laptop anymore. No worries really, as you do get a Windows registration key and ASUS will remind you -- constantly -- to make your recovery disks. I didn't disable the nagging because if I had, I would have neglected to do it).
The speakers are workable. They aren't amazing, but again, they're better than many laptop speakers and you don't generally expect the greatest sound quality out of those sort of things. The mic works fine. The webcam is... sort of a waste, but again, I think that's something that if you want a really superlative one, you get as an add on. For general messing around, it does the job.
I tend to use the laptop plugged in for the really intensive stuff, but if I do do some light photo work or internet browsing unplugged, I've found the battery life to be pretty decent. I'm sure gaming takes a toll, but I can be unplugged for more than three hours before I start to get warnings.
The laptop is hefty, and the power adapter is built to match. That bad boy is huge. Really. You could knock someone out with it. What is very cool about it though is that it has a reserve... if you lose power due to... a storm, a tripped circuit, an unpaid utility bill... the brick holds some reserve power so you can safely remove or shutdown the laptop. It's a nice, solid machine with a nice, solid adapter. Indeed, the only kind of cheapy feeling part of the computer is the DVD drive.
The backlighting on the keyboard is not strictly necessary, but it looks slick. I sort of think it's a little bit of a dorky looking machine, but I love the design functionally. It isn't piano black, so it doesn't get all smudgy, and if the fans are part of why it has that kind of dorky chunky appearance, I'm good with that. It works really well and that's most important.
For the price, I think this was well worth it, especially hardware wise. I wish I could have gotten an SSD as one of the hard drives, but again, that would have driven the cost up on me, and it isn't that critical for me. It wasn't even loaded down with too much extra bloatware, considering how some computer manufacturers handle these things (although you definitely want to remove the ASUS update utility -- it will update your BIOS automatically whenever a new one is available and the word on the street is even if you would want/need to update it, you don't want the utility to do it for you. It doesn't work right.)
Could there be improvements? Sure. But again, for the price, it is a solid machine and I don't think you could do much better. It is more than adequate for what I wanted it for (joyfully, wonderfully, entertainingly more than adequate.) I'd recommend this for a casual gamer or a sometimes gamer who needs a computer that's able to do some heavier graphical load lifting.