|Screen Size||15.6 inches|
|Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Max Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Processor||1.73 GHz Intel Core i7|
|RAM||6 GB SO-DIMM|
|Hard Drive||500 GB SATA|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Nvidia GTX 460M|
|Card Description||GeForce GTX 460M|
|Graphics Card Ram Size||1536 MB|
|Wireless Type||802.11 B/G, 802.11bgn, 802.11B|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||3|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||1|
ASUS G53JW-XA1 Republic of Gamers 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop
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- Intel Core i7-740QM (1.73GHz Quad-Core with Turbo Boost up to 2.93GHz)
- 6GB DDR3 1066MHz, 4 SODIMM Sockets, up to 16GB
- 500GB HDD (7200RPM); Super-Multi Optical Drive
- 15.6-inch LED-backlit full HD display, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M
- Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
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15.6" FHD (1920x1080) (LED)/Intel Core i7-740QM (1.73GHz Quad-Core)/6GB DDR3 RAM/NVidia GTX 460M 1.5G GDDR5 VRAM/500GB HDD (7200RPM)/DVD Super Multi Combo Drive/Illuminated Keyboard/Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)/802.11BGN/2.0M Pixel/Bluetooth/8 Cell battery/1 USB 3.0 port/3 USB 2.0 ports/8-in-1 card reader/1YR Global warranty/1YR Accidental Damage Warranty/30-Day Zero Bright Dot/2-way FREE shipping/24-7 tech support
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On the 29th of May, the pin inside my DC-IN (where you plug the power into the laptop) broke off into DC power connector. This left me unable to charge my laptop (as I soon noticed on the next morning, waking to a powerless laptop). I called Asus on the 30th, filed an RMA, self-packaged my laptop, paid for shipping, and sent it off. They received it on July 9th, had it fixed, and sent it on its way back on the 10th. It looks like the motherboard was defective for my unit (unsure of this), as I heard on the phone and the website mention something about this, and they marked that they changed my motherboard. I haven't researched this, but if you already have this laptop, check around and see if you need to send your laptop in for a motherboard replacement. In any case, I was planning that I would have to literally call and bug them to get my laptop returned to me (seeing as how their customer service and repairs are somewhat infamous) and was surprised to have the job done so promptly. Other than that, I do not have much to add. The laptop is still working very well (like new, in fact). My only new complaint is that it is difficult to open. I have to take out about 16 screws from the top in order to take off the bottom. I added a 2nd hard drive into the my laptop (yes, there is room for two hard drives). Also, at this time, I had 2 hours and 15 minutes battery life with the laptop in battery saving mode, whilst browsing the net and pandora radio playing. I'm still glad I made the purchase for this laptop; I still recommend it.
So it's been over a month of use for my laptop and I am still impressed.
I have not had any problems with any of the hardware. Since purchase, I've bought a Western Digital My Book Essential 1 TB USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive and have had amazing results with 3.0 transfer speeds. I was originally considering to purchase a 3.0 enclosure and HDD; however, the price for doing so (at the time of purchase) was as much or more than the $99 1TB WD My Book 3.0. Transfer speeds on a USB 2.0 port get up to roughly 25MB/S. I just tested a transfer on the 3.0 USB port and transfer was around 100MB/S. The slowest transfer speed I've yet had with the 3.0 was around 60MB/S (Note, you must have a 3.0 capable device plugged into the 3.0 port to receive 3.0 speeds).
----(And thus, the review prior to my update)----
The first feature I want to compliment is the cooling system. I've never used a laptop that has a more efficient system for cooling than this Asus. The air coming out can even get so hot that I've considered to try cooking ramen when in-game (I kid). At least I know that by the force and heat of its exhaust, and no signs of overheating, that it is doing its job.
The second feature that really stuck out was the keyboard design. I know that several other laptops I've seen sport a similar design (and many do not), but I really like the extra space between keys. I do not have big fingers, but if you are a bigger fingered guy (or gal) who is worried about a cramped keyboard, this one wont be a problem. The lighting of he keyboards is beautiful, and adjustable. From dim to bright (but never too bight), you wont need any secondary light (or rely on the screen) to guide you through the night.
The 1080p screen is truly bright and beautiful! But it is NOT 3D capable! Unfortunately, like most laptops, the sweet-spot viewing angle is very limited. More on all this later. The text may be too small with original settings for some people (if you find yourself needing reading glasses), but Windows 7 makes it easy to adjust the resolution and text size. The graphics card allows me to run in the highest settings in most games (or near highest). Some games I play are Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Civilization 5, Left4Dead 2, DiRT 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dawn of War II... I do not have exact settings and FPS on-hand, but if you would like for me to let you know what I can run and how well, comment and I'll reply. I personally require over 30FPS and prefer 60FPS. Just to give an idea of the power of the CPU & GPU, I am able to emulate Wii and Gamecube games on the Asus smoothly. I am still working out the PS2.
I specialize in photo-editing and photo-manipulation. Taxing projects run smoothly in Adobe Photoshop, especially when compiling and exporting. I also specialize in audio recording, mixing, mastering, and composure. It is not too difficult to get the CPU going around 30-40% in running programs such as FL Studio (when using several powerful VSTs), but I've not had any problem with the CPU capping.
The touchpad is big and can support more than one touch (I believe it is multi-touch?). In other words, I can put two fingers on the touch-pad and push them apart to zoom in on the web or a picture. It feels sensitive enough to me and easy enough to use. Some people may find the two mouse buttons to be tougher than usual to click. I personally did not have any trouble with the mouse buttons being difficult to push (it may just be that I prefer rougher buttons). Then again, I am primarily using a mouse via USB. The rubber palm-wrest is a nice addition to keep your wrists from hurting after long periods of typing.
-Powerful Processor & GPU
-Beautiful Screen & Well Spaced, Lit Keyboard
-Super Intelligent Cooling Design
-System is quick to boot and quick to shutdown
-Nice, Crisp Altec Lansing Speakers
-Room for a 2nd hard drive.
-2 hour and 15 minute battery life in battery saving mode with light computer usage.
So now onto the less pretty things.
The Windows 7 environment, coming from a since year-one XP user (up until receiving this laptop) was impressed in many ways with the intuitive nature of the OS. However, I was frustrated several times with how difficult it was to get something done (or undone). Some things were easy, but some things seemed ridiculously difficult to do. I guess I should back that up but ...this is largely because there are protective/administrative rights that sometimes prevent things (like old files and updates) from getting removed when there is an uninstallation, repair installation, or an update. I received a nonsensical error ([...]) that prevented me from installing Games for Windows Live (GFWL), which is required by several games (unfortunately) to be played. In the end, I had to reinstall Windows 7 (from discs not supplied) and was able to finally install GFWL. That problem aside, it's taking some time to get use to.
The webcam is only sufficient. If you like smooth, hi-def webcams, this 2.0 MP wont be to your likings. Generally it is slow, and not very detailed. But all-in-all if you are just a casual chatter/webcammer then it will suffice. The mic is good enough for voice-chatting and VOIP; however, I wouldn't use it in any capacity to record vocals for tracks, or instruments, if I were aiming for semi-professional quality. Like the webcam, the mic get's the job done, but nothing more.
For me, the placement of the power charger on the right side of the laptop (previous laptops I've used were on the back), is awesome. But for some, I could see this being a problem. I love the placement, however. It's about 60% ways back on the right side. The power converter (box thingamajiger that is in the middle of the cord) is very large.
The CD/DVD drive is on the left side, close to two USB ports. I've had the cord of my mouse get in the way of the CD/DVD drive, but it is only a minor inconvenience. I just wish the drive was placed either further back, or the USB slots behind the drive.
The sound is good once you've done some tweaking. The supplied "Altec Lansing" speakers sound really nice and crisp for laptop speakers. There is no lower-mid or bass (which should be expected by most). When hooking up to my receiver (via headphone/line-out) there was no bass in music coming from my bookshelf speakers and sub-woofer. I am not sure if everyone has this problem, but I had to disable special effects in the audio control panel (things such as reverb, EQ, etcetera. There is one box to uncheck to do this). If you need to know how to do this, place a comment. After I disabled the effects, I had a nice range of sound. Although I've been spoiled by my Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro card in my desktop, the laptop sound quality isn't bad (output from the laptop). Although, how I like to listen to music, the laptop cannot compete with my Fatal1ty card.
Despite the screen's beautiful quality, viewing anything that is not mono-color will gain or lose contrast based on the viewing angle. Tilt the screen back and you will immediately see the darks darken and soon begin to inverse. Tilt the screen forward and all the colors wash out and become brighter. My Cowon S9 has an AMOLED screen that doesn't wash out at any angle, and this screen being LED (which I am taking as being different from LCD), I had hoped that there would be a wide angle sweet-spot for viewing.
The product was listed by Nvidia as containing a 3D capable screen (under Notebook LCD). It listed Asus G53JW without any suffix (e.g. -XA1). This led me to believe, along with Asus' poorly worded website, that this laptop had a 3D capable screen. In no capacity is it a 3D capable screen. After purchasing a Nvidia 3D Vision kit, and calling customer services (Asus and Nvidia) I came to an understanding that it did not have a 3D capable screen. It can output to one, but it does not have one. Even though Amazon does not list this product as 3D capable, I still assumed it was based on my research with Asus and Nvidia. Maybe this is obvious to you, but if some of you are like me, you may wish to know this before purchase. If you do want this in 3D, search for the G53JW-3DE version. After having informed the Nvidia representative about the misleading information on their website, they've since adjusted it (removing the laptop listings altogether).
It is heavy. But the mobility I wanted was to be able to transport my laptop from desk to desk or take it overseas to a fancier desk. This isn't a laptop you carry with you on a nature hike or lug around a campus to sit in the grass and check Facebook. I'd imagine for most of those checking out this laptop, weight was hardly a deciding factor.
-Adjusting to Windows 7 for a lifetime XP user
-Possible placement conflicts
-Mouse buttons possibly tough to push.
-Limited viewing angles.
-Difficult to open up to the basic innards.
And The Other
-I tested battery life at 100% to 10%, just light usage (web and music), lowest brightness, and it lasted somewhere from 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. That may not be impressive compared to some light, underperforming laptops, but I hope nobody will buy this for superb battery life. It's good enough to chill out back for awhile. (Just happening to be testing my laptop battery on 6/15 and it lasted over two hours with light use. You can read about it in the update at the top).
-It is pretty heavy. That should be expected.
-When I called the Asus tech support (regarding the monitor not being recognized as 3D capable), the guy sounded like he knew very little about computers, always having to search their database. Nvidia on the other hand, the guy knew more than me. So yay for Nvidia support, boo for Asus support.
-I had red, bloody eyes after the first day. Be sure to take breaks, especially at first if you aren't on laptops often.
-The laptop included a LCD nice screen cleaning cloth. Nice!
I realize it's hard to find our perfect review that tells us everything we want to know. And since I aim to be helpful, I will update this when I can. Please comment with your questions, where I was unclear, or where I may have been wrong, and I will do my best to comment back and answer your questions.
I was so fed up that I took the laptop to a local computer repair guy who soldered it up and it worked for another 2-3 months before the solder broke. I've been thinking about getting it soldered up again and using it as a desktop, but every time I go to get it fixed I just get angry.
The review voted most helpful for this product indicates that this ubiquitous problem may be due to a faulty motherboard. I'm sure my synthesis of his words is a gross simplification (and for that I apologize), but if ASUS has some other motherboard which doesn't suffer the same problem then I would love to have that motherboard.
Maybe I didn't pursue ASUS enough, maybe if I had repeatedly called I could have gotten a proper motherboard according to the warranty terms. I was just so frustrated when the customer service rep tried to hustle me and wouldn't let me wait to speak with a manager. There was so much potential (and expectation at $1100) for an awesome gaming machine, and it's been completely ruined by an obvious flaw and shameful customer service.
The replacement machine has been perfect and is smoking fast.
I can play all my games at maximum resolution and quality. The keyboard is very silent and very convenient to type on. The backlighting is subtle yet effective as well.
High Def movies look fantastic on the screen as well as usual web browsing and word processing. I was absolutely speechless at how quiet this thing is in comparison to it's looks. When I first too it out of the box I was expecting it to sound like a jet engine with the vents it had on it, but after pressing the power button I had to ask out loud "Did it turn on?" (No joke, the thing didn't make an audible sound) A moment later, the initial start up loaded.
Bottom line on quality: It's a beast, but a very silent beast. It has been the best computer I have used in my 20 years of usage (though there are higher performing ones, but only a few)
Lastly, Alienware's comparable machine was about a thousand dollars more and looks like a space ship; no thanks.
On to the cons:
While it's a large laptop it also VERY heavy. So heavy in fact that my laptop shoulder strap snapped while trying to sustain it's weight. Also as mentioned, my first one blue screened but was replaced.
Lastly is the battery. This machine has some awesome components that the battery has to take a toll on. Running a game on high settings without it plugged in will kill it less than an hour.
Most recent customer reviews
the only problem is the weight, but it's still carryable if you have strong shoulders
1. Everything is fine, the tech is beautiful and I would recommend it, but the DC jack really ruins the whole...Read more
The pin inside the laptop that connects to the power cable is faulty and keeps coming loose inside the power cable.Read more
This laptop performs at a level that will exceed the requirements of most users.
Games run at high settings with little trouble.Read more
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