This facelifted ASUS G-series gaming notebook features a new backlit keyboard and the latest technology including an Intel Core i7-3610QM processor and 2GB Nvidia GTX 660M graphics card. Is the new G75VW a worthwhile upgrade for those players with aging Tgaming notebooks? Keep reading to find out more.
The basic design of ASUS' G-series notebooks stays the same - it's designed to resemble a stealth military aircraft and pulls it off rather well. This facelifted model includes a more aggressive-looking rear cooling exhaust vents, a new brushed aluminum keyboard inlay and softer rubber surfaces.
The changes are welcome; the notebook looks classier with the addition of another color (previously the G-series was all black). I especially like the gray plastic surrounds on each side of the notebook around the input/output ports. The brushed aluminum keyboard surround looks infinitely better. I'm pleased to see there is no glossy plastic anywhere on this notebook.
The build quality isn't rock solid but strong enough to withstand the rigors of gaming and everyday use. The G75VW is made almost entirely of plastic and rather thick plastic at that. The lid provides ample protection for the actual display panel; I could not get ripples to show up on the screen by pressing in on the back. The palm rest is hard to press in by pushing on it. Overall there are no weak points.
Ports and Features
The G75VW has a healthy array of input/output ports including a total of four SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, the most we've seen on a notebook to date. The G75VW has plenty of video output options including HDMI, VGA, and mini-DisplayPort (I find it puzzling ASUS didn't simply use a full-size DisplayPort).
Front: Status lights
Back: Cooling exhaust vents
Left: 2x USB 3.0, tray-load Blu-ray drive, 3-in-1 media card reader, microphone and headphone jacks
Right: 2x USB 3.0, mini-DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet, VGA, AC power jack
Screen and Speakers
ASUS switched gears and went with an anti-glare display (versus glossy/reflective), for which I'm grateful. It's easy to clean and there are no more annoying reflections. The display has a full HD resolution ("1080p" or 1920x1080 pixels) - and I'd expect nothing less on a 17.3-inch display, especially considering this notebook has a Blu-ray drive (Blu-ray content is native 1080p). 1920 horizontal pixels means using two windows side-by-side is doable. The display is slightly more colorful than those on rank-and-file notebooks sold in stores, so there is room for improvement.
Contrast levels are slightly better than average; the command prompt window is black but not completely black. Viewing angles are noticeably better than average; there is about a 40 degree vertical viewing range; this means the display doesn't have to be tilted exactly right to get a good picture. Compare this to the 20 degree angle I find on most inexpensive consumer notebooks. It's a good display overall; I wouldn't change much about it. I can't stress how nice the anti-glare finish is for usability.
The sound system is the most underwhelming aspect of the G75VW; it's muffled and has little bass despite the inclusion of a separate subwoofer. ASUS probably should have tried a little harder with the audio considering the target market for the G75VW and the fact that engineers went to the trouble of including a subwoofer in the design.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard and touchpad are much improved over ASUS' past G-series gaming notebooks like the G73JH, which we reviewed here. The full-size keyboard is a "Chiclet" style model with a separate numeric keypad. It has a beautiful brushed metal surround and truly feels solid.
The white backlighting has three brightness levels or can be turned off completely. The keyboard has communicative tactile feedback and is easy to type on quickly. Keys make an almost metallic clicking sound when pressed; it's pleasant and not too loud. The layout is standard.
The oversized touchpad is centered below the keyboard. It has a practical anti-glare surface. The most notable difference compared to past ASUS G-series notebooks is the buttons; they're nearly silent and have ample depth to provide feedback.
Overall I couldn't be happier with the quality of input devices.
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