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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2010
If you are a gamer, or are looking for the performance of the highest End Laptops to date. You Found it.

This machine is one smooth operator. It has a smoking CPU and GPU that are unbelievable. I just finished testing out the most recent releases (Black Ops, Civ 5, Metro 2033, etc....)
I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW THIS MACHINE EATS THESE UP. In comparison, My Desktop runs 2 GTX 480 SLI and this laptop is running right along with it. Amazing hardware configuration. The heat goes right out the back vents. It really is like a stealth fighter, lol. Lap and keyboard stay nice and cool. Very Quiet even at full throttle. I am in utter disbelief. I LOVE IT. Speakers are great. I m listening to music right now while I am writing this and it sounds GREAT. Keyboard is nice. ASUS solved the past issue with the G73 Keyboard. I use a Logitech Everywhere Mouse, but the touch pad is very nice and responsive as well. All the features you would expect from a high end laptop. The Screen is beautiful at 1900 x 1280. The G53JW-A1 Version I believe comes with an extra year warranty and of course another 250GB (750GB Total) hard Drive that is FAST and Quiet. An extra 90 bucks seemed worth it to me. (Opposed to the G53JW-XA1).
Machine can be OC'ed and you can add an additional HDD. Yes That's right. UNBELIEVABLE LAPTOP for under 1500.00.

The machine came with a lot of bloat ware on it. But there is a not so painful solution. It also comes with a drivers disk. I solved the problem quickly through some simple pre-ordered research and just reformatted the Hard-drive into one Partition and reloaded windows and then reload the Drivers and skipped the bloatware. Easy solution! Thanks whomever that was blogging it; and now I have the nicest, Fastest Running laptop in my town. Funny dis-assembly make; sure you watch some online instruction about going in through the keyboard to get to the guts. It is slick once you know how though and you can change the colors up on the keyboard with colored film as well. Totally modifiable. So sweet. Oh wait this is the cons section sorry. It has a large power brick and the keyboard could be a little more solid but I am comparing that to the new HP ENVY keyboard which is the tightest keyboard on the market. The mouse pad left right buttons are too clicky but maybe they will loosen up over time. The I/O inputs, outputs could have been a little better placed but nothing that is too bad. (Power input on right side too far forward but I see why they had to do it that way, And the audio I am used to being on the left side of my laptops but that maybe just me?

Bottom Line:
This is the real deal as far as hardware and value. Design is great. Very few cons. Outrageous performance. ASUS lights up on the back of screen but overall look is not too outrageous. The Stealth look is more appealing once I got this on my coffee table than I had thought; and I love it. As far as this category of laptop this is the best value for the money. Good work ASUS. Stop it with your lame bloatware though please. Takes time to remove.

Add on 10-15-11:
I have sent the laptop back for repair 4 times. Still not fixed.
Do not buy ASUS.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2010
I've had this laptop for a week now, and it really is outstanding--sort of. I've usually had underpowered laptops for work, and used the desktop for gaming. This unit is truely outstanding as a gaming platform. I've been using Call of Duty and it runs silky smooth. Boot ups are fast, and construction of the whole unit seems to be well done. Office applications, of course, run at lightning speed. Others have commented extensively on the tech specs, so I'll focus on what it's like to live with it.

Pros--Runs quiet and cool. Used in on my lap for several hours and it barely gets warmer than a Time magazine. Other laptops, i've always had to use some sort of pad so your legs dont over heat, but this one channels the heat out of the 2 pack ports nicely.

Back lighting-- keyboard lighting is fantastic. I didn't realize how nice this was until I had it. If you've ever tried to log on using a password with special characters in a dimly lit room, you know how hard it can be to find the right keys. Turn on the keyboard lights, log on, turn it back off if you like. Awesome. Others are wowed by how cool a lit keyboard looks. Other reviewers don't like the fact that you can see the lights leaking out from around the edges of the keys, but really, it just outlines the actual key itself, and i think it looks really good.

A great hinge--I have had several laptops that had flimsy hinges (Dell Inspiron comes to mind), where after about 500 open close cycles, the plastic covering the hinges starts to pop open or hang up. This one seems, so far, very solid and stiff enough so you can set it to any degree and it will stay. If you've ever had one that was loose (listen up Dell), you know there are a few spots where it wants to close--usually around 25 degrees. This one will hold anwhere from 5 degrees to full open.

Cons--Small screen. I didn't realize this when looking at the specs, but while it is 15.4 inches diagonally as advertised, top to bottom is only 7 5/8. Plenty wide at over 13 inches, but top to bottom, it's an inch shorter that my old Dell. That may not seem like a lot, but when looking at web pages at full resolution, everything is tiny. Really tiny. If you have great eyesight, no problem. But for me, I had to reduce the resouluton down to 1024x768 just so I could read most pages. That means you have to do a lot more scrolling up and down. So that's the trade off. The screen by the way is not as deep as the whole unit as you might expect. The hinge is set about 1.5 inches from the rear to give more room for the battery and the exhaust ports. So that means they needed to make a smaller screen. If you are used to a larger screen, it might be worth it to look at one in person and surf the web a bit to see if you can live with it. I will say in full resolution, what screen real estate there is, is very bright and good looking. If I decide to use it for work projects, it will go to my desk and get plugged into my desktop monitor.

Huge Case. If you're wondering how they got so much computing power in a laptop, they just made it as thick as about a half dozen macbook airs. Sure it looks cool, and stealthy with the angled corners and black finish, but it is huge. If you want to commute with it, update your 24 hour fitness membership and start working out. It's heavy too. I was hoping it would be more portable that the mammoth 17inch G73 version. And it is. It's just that you still need to remember to bend at the knees when picking it up. Like the G73, this is a laptop that would work great on a desk, and CAN be portable if you need it to be. The question is, do you want to carry it. By the way, this model comes with a backpack, not a laptop case. Smart, since backpacks can carry more weight :)

Power Hungry-- All that computing power sucks a lot of juice, and requires a 120 watt adapter thats the size of a shoebox. Well, not quite, but it's the biggest one I've ever seen. To avoid hauling that around too, I'll just by a spare to keep in the office, or where ever I haul this thing to. I can't imaging lugging this laptop, plus another 3 lbs of power adapter anywhere. Ahh but where to buy one? No one on the internet has this exact same adapter. Sure, they have ones that are similar, but not quite the same amps (4.74) or volts (19) and i'm not willing to fry this thing just to test it out. I wrote to Asus, and they replied that you can buy one on their estore. Great. Looked there, and this model is not shown at all. Nor is the N53-JQ which I also bought. I've written them back, apparently they have never tried to look up this part on their own web site. Hopefully, they will find one they can sell me.

Port Placement-- Nothing on the back--remember the exhaust jets are there, so everything is on the side. This is a minor annoyance, but the usb ports are near the front, and get in the way if you have it on your lap. The button to eject the cd is TINY and you really have to hunt for it, and press it with your fingernail. I suppose that prevents you from accidentily hitting it, but a loading slot would have been nicer. Having the power plug on the side means the cord has to bend if your wall outlet is on the opposite side and the cord does not have a 90 deg bend at the tip. So if you're in a narrow seat it adds a few inches to the overall width. The outside of the case does show some smudges and finger prints. Again no real biggie.

Overall, I rated this a 4, and took some off for the small screen, and bulky weight of the unit and the power supply which limits portability. Performance is excellent, and the value of this over the XA1 version seems to be worth the extra money. You get another year on the warranty, the backpack for hauling, a gaming mouse, and 250 gig larger hard drive.
Asus revamped their web site and now you can find the adapter if you want a second. Order the one for the G73-JW as the rep swears it will work fine on this G53-JW. Cost is $89 plus S&H. The asus rep was very helpful, and followed up with several emails until we got it sorted out. Received the adapter in 5 days.

***1/10/2011*** Well after about a week of use, the pc would not boot, and the recovery disks could not save it. One call to Asus and i had a return authorization, with a prepaid shipping label. Shipped it back to them, and they swapped out the hard drive,and sent it back. Now it works fine. Turn around was quick, only 4 days, and they sent several follow up emails to make sure all was ok. If I had lost data, i might be more upset (at myself!)since everyone should back up data anyway--you never know when a hard drive might fail. This was a good test to see how they handled a problem and Asus came through nicely! That was enough to bump them to the 5th star.
***5/15/2011*** Turns out that straight power cord IS an issue. Apparently if anything bumps it, it can lead to internal damage. Mine stopped charging unless i got the plug positioned "just right" and didn't touch it. After a few weeks of this, it refused to charge at all. Got another return authorization and sent back to Asus for repair under warranty. The blog on the Asus site shows others have reported the same issue. So, if you move the unit at all, be sure to unplug first, and be very careful not to bump the plug. Not even slightly. Here is the blog site: [...]. The longevity of this unit is not looking good. :(
***12/12/2011*** Still happy with the unit overall, but the power attachment failed again. Seriously, any small bump to the be power cord cracks the connection to the motherboard, and the whole thing needs to be replaced. Asus still helpful gave me an RMA to send it back for repair. I will no longer use this on my lap. After the last repair, the bluetooth stopped working, so it had to be fixed anyway. I am happy with the warranty, but the stability of the power connection means there will be a point I have to give up on this unit. Back down to 3 stars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2011
I had an ASUS laptop for about five years before the motherboard failed. Having pretty great service with my old ASUS, I went in search for a new one. Bought this model in April, and it's my biggest regret! I have sent it in THREE times for repair! It took less than a month of owning it when the problems started. Three times the pin has snapped off in the plug. I baby my laptop like crazy, it does not get jostled, or yanked, or dropped. I rarely even move it!

Three times, the damned power plug breaks. Every time, ASUS customer service said it was "obviously" user abuse and that I would have to pay for it. Because, apparently, you're never ever supposed to unplug your computer. Ever. Why else would the pin break than from the abusive unplugging of the power cord! I raised enough of a fuss for them to "graciously waive" the repair fee; their words, not mine. I haven't had it for more than two months without a problem. Last time I sent it in, I got it back with several dead pixels on the screen-but I needed the computer too much to send it out again and wait another 2-3 weeks for them to repair it and send it back.

Now, the damned thing crashes. Completely. No reasons, no warning, the whole thing shut off, and will not reboot. My fiance was using his laptop (same model) to try to recover my computer, when his power pin snaps off as well. Customer service also tell him it's customer abuse, this time though they say leaving it plugged in softens the pin and makes it snap off. Uh....sounds like a design flaw, not user error to me. Anyway, TERRIBLE computer, terrible customer service. Seriously, DO NOT buy this laptop. Never buying an ASUS product again!
Thanks ASUS, I'm getting a MAC.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2011
As a quick review, the computer itself is fantastic. It's 5 stars. The issue is that some people around the globe are complaining about the computer going dead about 1 month after purchase. Mine happened that and the supposed "Asus Global Warranty" is misleading: It is not even close to Global, so check if your country is covered taking care that there are countries that have an Asus office but doesn't cover the warranty, like mine, so check it out before. (Nice marketing strategy, Asus, trying to capitalize in the Apple Global Warranty. Should I live in the states, you would be sued for that).
Basically, if you leave in the States and is not afraid of waiting about one month while Asus fix your laptop in the case of "sudden death", it's the best cost benefit laptop today.
If you live outside the warranty zone, well, think twice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2011
I purchased this laptop in February of 2011 and for about a month and a half I was very pleased with it. The specs are great for the price and it runs smoothly. In April, I pulled out the power plug and part of the charging apparatus came out connected to the plug. I called ASUS and they said that I had to pay for the shipping because it was the customer's fault. I tried explaining to them that it wasn't my fault but they wouldn't budge. Finally I paid $40 to send the laptop in and get it repaired. It sat in the repair shop for a month and finally after I called 10 times (literally) I got a hold of someone that could help me. The only good thing they did was not charge me for the repair and the return shipping. So I got my computer back and two weeks later the hard drive starts having problems. I started seeing the blue screen of death. I sent it in again and it took three weeks to get it back this time. I got my computer back, plugged it in and the same power cord problem happened again! I am going to fix this laptop, sell it and wash my hands of this computer and company.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2011
We bought this as a gaming computer, based on reviews. It arrived, was put into use, and approx. 1 month later, we had power supply issues. The plug end that connects to the computer power port disintegrated and broke leaving the computer unable to charge. We contacted ASUS customer support and the immediate inference was 'customer caused' and was issued an RMA. It was NOT customer caused, nor was that discussed. but what it does accomplish, is having the two-way shipping for warranty avoided. I paid big bucks to ship it there when the 2-year, 2-way gaurantee is written, but avoided. Once there, there was no online updates, repeated calls to customer service were useless as they couldn't talk to tech support. Request to talk to a Supervisor went to voice-mail and never answered by return call. I elevated the matter and e-mail responses finally indicated a part on order and then upon my second query, a return shipment notice. We had this less than a month, it took a month to fix and NO COMMUNICATION or explanation from ASUS tech support at any time that I did not initiate. Come to discover, this seems to be a common issue with this power supply and laptope according to the gamer BBS. I would not buy this computer again, they mislead on the warranty, poor service when needed and very poor business practices. The website is a nightmare to get through for phone numbers and contact. BEWARE!!!! This WAS NOT an issue with Amazon, they did a good job, but the issue was with the maker of the product.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2011
These guys are the WORST! DON'T BUY THIS COMPUTER! A mere two months after purchasing my computer, the pin inside of the inlet where the power cable plugs in broke off. I baby my computer like crazy and it wasn't due to abuse to my computer. Luckily I have the accidental warranty right? They don't mention you have to fill out a card and mail it to ASUS and jump through a bunch of hoops to get it. I started the journey by taking the computer over to my local ASUS repair shop and a week later they told me that ASUS wouldn't let them repair the part at the shop and I would have to send it in. Two weeks later I still haven't been able to send it in becuase they apparently are reviewing my case. It really doesn't take two weeks to distinguish that my freaking laptop is broken. Not to mention, once I can finally send it in nobody knows how long it will take them to fix the stupid thing. Next time you are going to buy a computer, stop, think about it and buy a freaking mac. The only computer company that will actually take care of you. TO ASUS: YOU SUCK! PULL YOUR HEAD OUT!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2011
After much research for a powerful laptop, I decided on the ASUS A53JW laptop. The Amazon package had most of what I wanted, and what it didn't have wasn't really that important. As usual, Amazon performed flawlessly.

I had used it for about 2 months when all of a sudden it powered off. When I investigated, I found that the male power pin on the motherboard had broken off where it fit into the female connector from the power supply. I couldn't even back up my data because I didn't realize I was running on battery before it all shut down.

I called ASUS support, and after a rather uncomfortable question about whether I had abused the laptop (I sit in an easy chair with my feet up and the laptop atop my ... well ... lap), they gave me an RMA number and a promise that it would be back to me in 6-8 weeks. A bit long, and it was only 2 months old. Back it went. Within 2 weeks it was back on my lap.

Then in another 3 months the same thing happened again. This time I looked carefully at the power plug. The end of the male pin was sticking out of the power plug and it looked like someone had put the end in a pencil sharpener. The pin was narrowed down to a very small cross section. No wonder it broke. This is an obvious and nasty design flaw. This time there wasn't a question asked - RMA issued - back it went - back to me within 2 weeks.

You can't see the distal end of the pin from the outside of the power connector, so I don't know if they've fixed the problem, but I told the rep about it.

If it didn't have that flaw, however, it would be nigh on perfect. I love it.

So beware of this if you're interested in this model.

Mar. 9, 2012 - Well it happened again. I was using the computer last night and it suddenly stopped. The power plug had broken and the battery had run out. Same problem, the power pin on the mother board is STILL designed to narrow down to a tiny cross-section. I'll call them and report back on their response.

Dec. 8, 2012 - Well, it happened again. This morning, the computer shut down. No AC, and the battery had discharged. Same problem. This time, the power pin went missing altogether. I'll call them and report back.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2011
I've had my machine for almost a year, and it's been my main machine for the majority of that time. This computer does it all: I can play games on it at max res, I can have a zillion programs open at once with no lag. It's never run hot, and while there are some driver issues--sometimes you need to remind the computer it has a backlit keyboard, for example--I can see this machine being my main computer for at least another year.
Sometimes, the speakers go nuts. You need to do some driver magic, then it's fixed. Sometimes, the hot keys stop working. You need to fish around for the program that handles them and wake it up. Other than that, this machine is awesome.

Except that cursed power pin.

You know what I'm talking about. Now, this machine never leaves my bedroom. In the year I've had it, I've been extremely careful with it. Especially since I knew about the troubles fellow users were having with the power plug.

I noticed my machine's plug was loosening, and took preventative measures. That weekend, I ordered something to lessen the strain on the power pin, I set it up to have a permanent location on my desk, and then... the plug fell out. Well, damn. I found that quite ironic.
I called Asus and explained the situation. They took my email, my number, issued me an RMA and told me to expect a shipping label by the end of the day.

I waited two days.

I called them again. They informed me they'd send me a shipping label, that there must have been a problem with my email. So I waited another couple of days.


I sent them an email with my email address, thinking they were mistyping it, and asking for my shipping label. I heard nothing until the end of the week, where they responded with only a few lines:

"We do not pay for shipping for damage induced by the customer."

Well, excuse me. I emailed them again stating 1) I didn't do it, 2) you promised me a shipping label, and 3) I paid for a 2 year warranty and I had accidental damage still in effect, so ya'll best send me what I need.

They emailed me again stating their apologies, and that they were sending me a shipping label.

Nothing came.

By now, it's been 2 weeks. I'm frustrated. I contact my seller and explain the situation. Got my machine sent out for repair in no time with his help.
As it sits at Asus, I find out I need to relocate ASAP. I called Asus with my new address, they tell me they need to talk to Fedex, but that it'll be taken care of. I move to my new home, get notice that the computer has been repaired and is on it's way home, and... bam. It's going to the OLD address. So I contact them again, and they tell me they'll fix the problem. Today it ought to be delivered, but it's still going to the wrong city! That might not be Asus's fault--it could very well be Fedex, which is also pretty bad--but still... my computer has been broken for 2 months, and now I don't know if I'll even get it back. It's given me nightmares!

So, yeah. It's an amazing machine. 4 stars, at least. Laptop of the gods. But to get the machine serviced is hell!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2011
Let me put some context here, I was on a trip to the US, wanted a very nice Gaming laptop and found this one in a very convenient price, I bought it through a retailer in the Amazon website. Excellent service from the retailer, it arrived were I was on time, the laptop comes with a backpack and a precision mouse. The backpack is nice but the fabric it is made of seems to be a knock-off, not a good quality fabric, but nice gift though.

The laptop is powerful but it is filled with crapware which I uninstalled, not nice to include crapware that will slowdown your system and you will end up uninstalling. The bottleneck I noticed is the Hard drive, the system slows down because the slow HDDs for laptops.

However the nightmare started 1 month after I purchased it, once I was outside the US, the applications started to crash, Windows too, I reinstalled and the same thing happened, I ran some memory tests and noticed that there was an issue, as I am a computer guy and with no ASUS warranty or ASUS representation in the country I live, I decided to troubleshoot the issue myself. To open the laptop you will need experienced hands, and that goes to the average guy who wants to upgrade the RAM or the HDD. It is complex to open up this laptop.

When troubleshooting the RAM issue I detected that 2 RAM bays(2 and 4) were defective, that was going to reduce the capacity of the laptop from 6Gb to 2 Gb (because you need to fill up the slots sequentially) unless I buy a 4Gb DIMM. Anyways, suddenly the computer didn't boot up. You may think I made a mistake, a short circuit, probably or probably not. The thing is that after I searched through forums I found out this issue is very common for this model. The mother board seems to be faulty and the solution is to send it back to ASUS to get a new or refurbished mother board installed in your laptop.

This is why I give it two stars and not one:
- I knew the risks of buying a laptop overseas with no support in the country I live in.
- The model seems to have a glitch that ASUS has to fix and they are not making a recall for the model.

I went for the safest option here, I bought an Alienware, and will try to find a mother board on ebay for the laptop and hand it over to my little brother. So far 1,300 bucks went to the trash can.

Bottom line: If you live in a country where there is no ASUS support for this model, DON'T buy it, otherwise think twice to buy this model.
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