The ASUS G73JW is a new 17.3" gaming notebook powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M graphics card. Earlier this year we reviewed the ATI Radeon 5870 equipped G73JH, so now we have the chance to see how NVIDIA's GPU stacks up. Read our full in-depth review to see how well the ASUS G73JW-A1 with the NVIDIA GTX 460M performs.
Our ASUS G73JW-A1 Specifications:
Special thanks go out to GenTech for loaning us this ASUS G73JW
At first glance the ASUS G73JW looks like a slightly bulkier than average gaming notebook because of its large posterior. The depth is slightly greater than that of the 17-inch Alienware m17x, but it is for a very good reason. ASUS went above and beyond to create a superior cooling system for the G73JW which uses two large exhaust grills located on the back edge of the notebook to exhaust the heat from the GPU and CPU. In testing this design worked out very well, making it hard for us to really think of the bigger backend as a con.
The overall design of the ASUS G73 is very stealth-like with a matte-black exterior with only relatively small ASUS logo printed on the screen cover. Not counting the LCD-surface itself, the G73 has no glossy surface located anywhere on the exterior or interior of the notebook. If you plan on taking this system to a large gaming event with bright overhead lighting, as long as you position the screen just right, you won't see any glare bouncing off glossy plastic.
The interior does include some custom blue LED-lighting, but none of it was bright enough to be overly apparent or annoying. The four quick-access buttons above the keyboard are backlit with LED's as well as the trim underneath the screen. Under normal lighting conditions the lighting under the screen was barely visible and in a dark room didn't seem to increase visibility around the notebook. Keyboard illumination was not a problem though, as the entire keyboard was backlit with white LEDs. The brightness level was adjustable and ranged from a strong level to weak enough that viewing it in a dark room wouldn't hurt your vision.
Screen and Speakers
The ASUS G73JW has a beautiful 17.3-inch 16:9 display with a resolution of 1920x1080. It is a glare or glossy style display so you do have some reflections to deal with, but it is nowhere near as bad as all-glass displays which have another glossy layer on top of an already glossy LCD. Color vibrancy and contrast were excellent, with exceptionally good black levels. We measured an average brightness of 160nit and a contrast ratio of 909:1 with our Gossen Mavo light meter. Viewing angles were above average, with colors staying true to about 20 degrees of vertical movement forward or back. Horizontal viewing angles were better with the screen staying visible until about 75 degrees, where reflections off the screen overpowered what it was displaying.
The onboard speakers work pretty well for a gaming rig, but fall short compared to similarly sized multimedia oriented notebooks. The speakers are of average size located just above the keyboard, hidden by a mesh cover that extends below the screen. The notebook also features a subwoofer mounted on the bottom which helped add to the low-end and midrange. They work well for listening to in-game audio, playing music, or watching a movie, although you can still get higher quality audio from headphones or an external stereo. In our tests they adequately filled a medium sized office with sound at max volume.
The ASUS G73JW features a spacious full-size keyboard with numberpad and still has plenty of space left over thanks to its wide 17.3-inch chassis. The keyboard is comfortable to type on for extended periods of time and with its built-in backlit it was easy to use under night or day conditions. The keyboard is a Chiclet or island-style design which increases the spacing between each key which in some cases can reduce typing errors. Individual key action was smooth and quiet, requiring very little pressure to activate a key.
Ports and Features
Users looking for a lot of cool features will enjoy the port selection on the G73JW. ASUS includes three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, Ethernet, VGA and HDMI-out, and a SDHC-card reader. The new configurations also sports a Blu-ray reader and DVD-burner combo drive to enjoy newer high-definition movies. The only item missing in my opinion is an eSATA port, which still offer better transfer speeds than USB 3.0, and has greater aftermarket support.
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