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17.3" FHD (1920*1080) / Intel Core i7-3610QM (2.3GHz) / 16GB DDR3 / Nvidia GTX 660M 2G GDDR5 / 750GB 7200RPM / DL DVD±RW/CD-RW / W7 Home Premium (64bit) / 802.11BGN / 2.0M Pixel / Bluetooth 4.0 / 8 Cell Battery / HDMI / Instant On / 1YR Global/1YR Accidental Damage/30-Day Zero Bright Dot/2-way FREE shipping/24-7 tech supportDon’t forget Office with your PC purchase. Download Office 2013 instantly with Amazon Digital Software.
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I do a lot of Vbox work for testing and the Vaio often held up but would have random crashings (linux or windows) and to get Linux to run on the vaio was a pain in the bum. The new ASUS works just about out of the box with Linux (aside from the Nvidia Drivers / Brightness / Bluetooth / certain fn keys). The Brightness settings seem to work if you compile a new kernel, I have yet wanted to do that, but may do so in the future, same to be said about the non-working fn keys. The sound, which some people state has issues, I have not yet experienced them. I am not a huge sound buff I usually do must stuff with the sound off, or very low. The bluetooth seems to work after the initial start up. But if you suspend / come back bluetooth no longer works (at least for headset). Which is a bummer for me as I like to listen to music on my bluetooth headset, but is passible. I have an external bluetooth device I am thinking of setting up and trying to see how it works. Again this is only for Linux.
I have not installed Windows (nor plan to as long as linux keeps up) so I cannot speak to how that runs. I installed an SSD drive along side the 750GB and my SSD drive is the main OperatingSystem (Linux). I kept the original partitions setup on the 750GB drive so if I ever want to try windows on this machine it should be simple.
I love the fact it has 2 harddrive slots, that is a huge winner for me.
Aside from the minor linux issues (which I think is a Linux only issue) is no eSata port. Not sure why this was left off, but I would have liked to had an eSata port.
Keyboard Layout - I use Insert / Home / End keys ALL the time, the fact that insert is a secondary function and that the home / END key are on either side of the pgup/down is a big CON for me as it makes it a pain in the ass from what I was used it. I may try and remap them with some software and be done with it.
nVidia 660m (Not really a major con just be nice to have the 670m+)
Heavy (9lbs!) but expected for the type of machine.
BatteryTime, again expected for the type of machine.
Large, the pictures do not do this beast justice! But it is expected for this type of machine :)
BIOS is a little weird to get it to boot to a USB Drive.
Monitor is nice and crisp
Fans out the back, that is the best thing I have seen in a laptop! I love that.
i7 + 16GB Ram! I want this for my remote server, but having it at home is nice too :)
Power Cable is nice and sturdy. I bought an extra power cable for traveling from Power+ Works great and is sturdy as well!
Semi-hassle free Linux (I do a lot of tweaking so a vanilla Linux, which I have not tried yet, may / should work great.)
Suspend WORKS! On my Vaio the suspend would screw up about every 3rd suspend, this has been up for a week straight with suspend. Loving it.
Wireless Card works great, have not had any trouble with it.
Number of USB Slots is just about perfect for me.
I am sure there are a ton more but that is what I could think of now. If you are wanting a beefy laptop for gaming or fast work, this is it! Just remember it is not very Portable (it barely fits my current laptop bag) and you will probably need a new laptop bag. But if that is what you need it is totally worth it.
The second priority for me was cooling. My old laptop would overheat after maybe half an hour of video playback or about 15 minutes of even simple games.
And of course, this all had to be balanced with performance. I'm not really into bleeding edge FPS action, so top notch super computers area waste of my money.
I read the review (and recommend that you do) and this computer really stuck out. (Probably doesn't hurt that it's the first thing that comes up on Amazon for "gaming laptop". Or it was at the time, anyway. Who knows where it'll be when you read this. How many Fast and Furious movies do they have in your time? Do you still have gum?)
!A quick disclaimer: on the advice of some friends, I pretty much immediately performed some steps and installed an app that makes Windows 8 act and look more like Windows 7. So the few performance issues I will mention soon may be related to that.!
-Performs at exactly the level I want. Maybe more. Civ 5 on highest settings is as far as I've gone so far.
-Cools great. It's not really meant to be on a lap, I don't think, as it is rather heavy, but if you don't mind that, you'll find that most of the heat exhausts out of the back. It gets a little warm underneath during longer sessions, so I may yet get a cooling pad, but it's not a huge concern. (And frankly, this behemoth is really all I can handle on my lap. *insert dirty joke here*)
-Huge, good looking screen that is all but glare-proof.
-Backlit keyboard. (Fn f4)
-Comfortable hand rests.
-The mousepad. Sometimes it doesn't respond for a few seconds, and sometimes, it senses a tap when I'm pretty sure I'm not tapping. It's also big, which is itself fine, but it means that when controlling using "wasd", you are going to brush it. Not a huge problem, as Fn f9 will turn the touch pad off, but kind of annoying.
-It's only technically portable. The awesome cooling fans and the associated vents do mean that there is a small selection of bags that will fit it. (May I suggest the Everki Beacon laptop bag with gaming console sleeve, for which I am about to write a positive review when I am done here?)
-Friggin' Windows 8, man. But there aren't many laptops without it. Suck it up, I guess. That's my advice.
Overall, for the price, I feel like I got a great deal. I found out after I bought it that a friend of mine has the same model and really likes it, too.
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