Asus G2 Notebook Review

by Reads (174,715)

by Akhil Parujanwala

Introduction and Overview

The Asus G2P is a new gaming series 17” notebook. The G2P offers an array of interesting and cool design features. The Asus G2P reviewed here comes with a Core 2 Duo T7200, a 17” screen with a native resolution of 1440×900 (WXGA+) and an ATI Radeon X1700 512mb graphics card. The Asus G1 notebook is closely related to the G2, but is of a smaller 15.4" screen size. Following is a full review of the G2.

Reasons for Purchasing

The G2P is a 17” notebook and the target market in my opinion is for those people who are looking for a moderate gaming desktop replacement. This notebook also appeals to those looking forward for a lower native resolution laptop, since it will be relatively easier on one’s eyes. The price of the G2P is $1,899 USD and $2,179 CAD.

Specs of the Asus G2P

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 (2.0Ghz; 667mhz w/ 4mb Cache)
  • Display: 17" WXGA+ (1440 x 900) Color Shine, AUO4087 (B170PW04 V0)
  • Asus G2P w/ Intel 945PM Chipset
  • Memory: 2048MB DDR2 667 (2x 1024mb)
  • Hard Drive: 160GB @5400RPM SATA (Seagate)
  • Graphic: ATI Mobility Radeon X1700 512MB
  • Wireless: Built-In Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 A/B/G
  • Optical: 8x Super Multi DVD Burner (LG Electronics)
  • Battery: 8-Cell Li-Ion, 4800mAh, 71Whr
  • Operating System: Windows Media Center
  • Dimensions: 16" (length) x 12.5" (width) x 2.63" (height)
  • Weight: 9.7lbs
  • Warranty: ASUS 2 Years Global Warranty + Zero Bright Dot LCD Policy (30 Days)
  • Ports: 1x Express Card, 1x VGA port, 1x Headphone-out jack (SPDIF), 1x Microphone-in jack, 1x RJ11 Modem, 1x RJ45 LAN, 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x IEEE 1394 port, 1x TV-Out, 1x Infrared Port, 1x μ-DVI, 1x Docking Port,
  • 8-in-1 Card Reader
  • (MMC/SD/Mini-SD/XD/Memory Stick/MS Pro/MS-Duo/MS-Pro-Duo)

What’s in the box?

  • G2P 17" Notebook
  • Standard Capacity; 8 Cell; 4800mAh Li-Ion; 14.8V
  • Asus Design Gaming Series Notebook Backpack made by Targus
  • Asus Gaming Series branded Logitech Mx518 Carbon Fiber look
  • S-video to RCA Cable
  • Microfiber LCD Cloth
  • AC Adapter (19v DC, 1.5A, 90W)
  • Software:
  • AsusDVD (CD)
  • PowerDirector Pro (CD)
  • Medi@Show (CD)
  • Nero Burning Rom OEM Suite (CD)
  • Microsoft Works (CD)
  • G2 Driver and Utility (CD)
  • Asus Recovery Disc for Windows MCE (DVD)

Packaging

The packaging of the G2P is very nice; the box presentation is very colorful and inviting. There is no rattling inside the box, but the box is quite heavy, and taking out the laptop from the box requires a bit of muscle.

Design

The laptop has a very rugged look, but also very nice accents of faux aluminum on the lid and anodized aluminum on the palm rest. The laptop basically has 3 color tones, red, black and silver. The red color is used to signify some new features in the G2P, like the side lights, the top vents, and the trademark G2 symbol between the touchpad buttons.

My initial impression of the laptop was that it is reasonably sized for a 17”, has a great color scheme, but the glossiness of the screen exhibits a lot of reflections. I was also impressed by the lid design looks — it is very unique and is glossy and emanates a brushed aluminum look.

Screen

The screen on the Asus G2P is a medium resolution glossy screen. The native resolution is 1440×900 (WXGA+) which may be a benefit to some but a detriment to many, since WSXGA+ or WUXGA is more desired on a 17” notebook. The screen is perfect, no dead or bright dot pixels. In my opinion this resolution is not satisfactory, I prefer higher resolutions, but the images, icons, and text on the G2P are very clear.

Max Brightness

The screen is very bright, and I do feel comfortable using it at the maximum brightness. There are 16 levels of brightness however, if I decrease the brightness from max, you will notice the screen does not decrease in brightness much. It feels like there are about 5 real brightness levels.

The viewing angles of the screen are excellent, just like I anticipated. The horizontal viewing angle is roughly 145 degrees both ways, and the vertical viewing angle is roughly 120 degrees. The contrast level is very high, the whites are white and the blacks are black.

There is a slight amount of light leakage at the bottom of the screen, it is quite hard to notice and I don’t find it to be a problem at all.

Keyboard

The keyboard is a black color with white letters on the keys. The keyboard has 88 keys and the sizes of the keys are nice, except for the spacebar, because there are 5 key to the left of the spacebar, causing it to be smaller than usual. The CTRL key is to the left of the FN key, which I am happy about since that is my preference. I wish there were a full sized keyboard with number pad.

The Asus G2 keyboard keys produce a soft click. If you type fast and lightly the sound is very minimal, if you type hard, then there will be some noise. The keys have short travel, but still feels nice to use, I can type on it without a problem.

The keyboard has a reasonable amount of flex, which is noticeable but so far not a big problem for me, but you will notice it. The top left corner of the keyboard flexes, the bottom left corner flexes, the middle exhibits a lot of flex, the top right corner flexes but the bottom right corner has a minimal amount of flex.

Touchpad

The touchpad material looks like it has a textured feel, but instead it is very nice, silky smooth touchpad. My fingers are able to glide over it nicely without a problem. There is a silver accent around the touchpad which enhances the look of it. There is a vertical and horizontal scroll embedded in the touchpad, and it works very well.

The touchpad buttons are silver and are very easy to press, the sound of pressing them is rather loud and somewhat annoying, but they are easy to use. The G2P emblem is in between the touchpad button and glows a nice red color. I did not find it to be a problem, being in the middle of the buttons.

Features

The Asus G2P has a variety of features that make this notebook unique.

Flashing Lights and Direct Console

The G2P has two lights encased on both sides of the lid, they are red and flash when you are gaming or even running benchmarks and will light up a small area. The G2P also has an emblem that is located in between the touchpad that glows red, and looks quite nice.

You are able to turn off the flashing lights by using a program called Asus Direct Console. Also, in the console you can adjust and tune the Direct Messenger. There is a little LCD in which it will show the ASUS name, and/or time in digital, but then you can change it to an image, with your own text. This is a cool feature!

Red Light Off –>Red Light On

Mini LCD Direct Messenger

Bluetooth

Bluetooth allows for wireless connectivity to other devices, like cell phones, mice, keyboards, headphones and others. There is a Bluetooth manager in which it will take roughly 5 minutes to set up a connection.

Multimedia Keys

There is a power button, then there is a previous button, forward, stop, and play/pause button. If you press the play button, it will open up the Media Center ability, where you can see pictures and movies organized in a nice interface.

Webcam

The Asus G2P is equipped with a 1.3 mega pixel camera, located above the screen. It does not swivel. The quality of the camera is decent, certainly better than other laptops I have seen. I would feel comfortable using it for online conferences and chatting.

Webcam Images

Sound System

There are 4 speakers on this laptop, and it sounds amazing! The speakers are located under the left palm rest, the right palm rest, under the left side hinge and right side hinge. It gives a surround sound feel and is clear and crisp.

When using headphones, you won’t believe how well games sound. I am using Sennheiser MX400 earphones and love how games sound, everything is very crisp and clear.

When playing music on earphones the sound is excellent, treble is excellent and the bass is quite good. When playing music on the speakers, once again the sound is very loud, the bass is somewhat little but still better than most laptop out there.

When playing movies the sound quality is great on both earphones and speakers, the treble and bass are reasonable for watching movies.

The sound card is a Realtek HD Audio and I am very pleased with its performance and quality. There are 16 levels of sound and I feel very comfortable using 3/16, any higher and you can support a small house party with just a laptop!

Input and Output Ports

The G2P has a great number of ports and a variety of them as well. They are mainly located on the left side and rear of the notebook.

The front side of the laptop contains:

  • the latch
  • multimedia keys
  • front status indicators
  • CIR, which is a consumer infrared port, which allows the consumer to use infrared devices like a remote

The right side contains:

  • speaker located under the right palm rest
  • optical drive with eject button
  • power input plug
  • direct flash red light on the lid.

The left side has a great amount of ports:

  • direct flash red light on the lid
  • LAN port
  • Modem port
  • USB 2.0
  • Audio Input Jack
  • Mic Jack
  • SPDIF output jack
  • IEEE1394 port
  • Wireless Switch
  • ExpressCard Slot
  • Card Reader
  • IrDA port
  • Speaker located under the left palm rest

The rear of the laptop also has many ports:

  • Vent
  • Kensignton Lock Port
  • S-Video Out
  • VGA out
  • DVI-D out
  • 4x USB 2.0

The bottom of the laptop has several slots to open certain compartments:

There are button and indicators above the keyboard:

  • Direct Messenger (LCD)
  • Bluetooth Indicator
  • Hard Drive Access Indicator
  • Num Lock
  • Caps Lock
  • Power4Gear Button
  • Power For Phone (Skype)
  • Splendid Software
  • Touchpad Enable and Disable
  • Power Button

Wireless

The Asus G2P comes with an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 A/B/G, I found that using the Intel Proset drivers works great, I was able to connect to internet wirelessly very easily.

Build Quality

The build quality of the laptop in my opinion is good; the materials used seem to be different forms of plastic. Some of it is glossy plastic, some of it is matte, and the other material is anodized aluminum on the palm rest.

The quality of the lid is very good, the plastic lid and bezel hold the screen in place. There is no flex or rippling in the screen, even if you press hard. There is very little twisting of the lid as well.

There are three hinges that hold the top portion of the laptop, but this looks rather unusual at first but the hinges are very solid, strong, and do not feel like it would break. The screen barely wobbles on these hinges and the screen will not move if put in awkward positions. No creaking when moving the lid up and down.

The palm is very interestingly designed, there is one portion of the palm which is anodized aluminum and the other which is a high gloss plastic. Overall the palm rest exhibits no flex at all, and gives an interesting feel to it.

As previously mentioned, the quality of the keyboard is ok, the spacebar is small, the arrow keys are a little small, but at least the CTRL and FN keys are in the correct position. Also, there is a considerable amount of flex, and that is a negative aspect of this notebook.

Size and Weight

The size of the notebook is quite big and bulky. The dimensions are, 16" (length) x 12.5" (width) x 2.63" (height). The weight of the laptop is 9.7lbs and yes this is heavy, this is something I would not want to carry around on my back, but for sure for LAN parties and occasionally to work.

The power brick weighs 500-grams which is equivalent to 1 pound. The dimensions of the power brick are, 5” x 1” x 1”, I find this size to be just normal like some of the other laptops out there.

Heat and Noise

When I first plugged the laptop into the AC adapter, I heard an interesting gust of wind sound, the heat out of the rear vent is warm, not hot but warm when gaming.

The palm rest are cool, the aluminum part of the palm rest is cold for the first 4-5 hours of use, and then it starts to get slightly warmer. The plastic portion of the palm rest is cool but will start to get Luke warm after hours of gaming.

The keyboard and sides of the keyboards are also lukewarm after hours of gaming, but above the keyboard is warm. The air coming out of the rear vent is just warm, not hot; this means the cooling inside of the G2P is extremely good!

The noise is barely noticeable when gaming, the sounds of the game will easily overcome the sound of the vent. The sound coming out of the vent when gaming is a “whirr” sound with a touch of a high pitch sound. Otherwise when doing light tasks there is no sound, the laptop is very quiet.

Idle Temps:

Core 1 – 45 degrees Celsius
Core 2 – 46 degrees Celsius
Hard Drive – 47 degrees Celsius

Gaming Temp: Call of Duty 2

Core 1 – 58 degrees Celsius
Core 2 – 58 degrees Celsius
Hard Drive – 47 degrees Celsius

Gaming Temp: Medieval 2: Total War

Core 1 – 60 degrees Celsius
Core 2 – 58 degrees Celsius
Hard Drive – 48 degrees Celsius

Battery life

The battery pack of the G2P is 71whr, and it is located in the front section of the laptop.

My battery life tests yielded the following, on Max Battery for P4G and WIFI On.

  • 16/16 Brightness – 2 hours 15 minutes
  • 8/16 Brightness – 2 hours 24 minutes
  • 1/16 Brightness – 2 hours 47 minutes

If you were to game on the G2P with a battery you can yield close to 2 hours, with max brightness and WIFI On.

If you are planning on using this notebook to be a portable laptop with the need of more battery life, I would suggest purchasing another main batter to extend your battery life.

Benchmarks

Boot time

I used BootLog XP to measure how fast the system boots. The laptop booted in 74 seconds with stock applications and startup programs.

SuperPi

This is a screenshot of SuperPI, the Asus G2P was able to calculate 2 million calculations in 1 minute and 3 seconds which matches most other laptops equipped with a T7200.

3DMark05

This tests the graphics and performance of the laptop. The clock and memory settings on the X1700 512mb are, the laptop scored 4493 points on stock drivers.

3DMark06

This benchmark test the performance using Shader Model 3, the G2 laptop scored 2292 using stock drivers

PCMark05

This tests the overall performance of the laptop when running PCMark05. The laptop scored a respectful 4626.

HDTune

The hard drive is quiet, no noise at all, when gaming, light tasks or movies, which is great. The hard drive is made by Seagate, and the temperature is slightly warm when compared to other laptops.

CineBench

This program shows how well the computer is at designing and 4 dimensional rendering.

Comparisons

Here is a table comparing some benchmarks of the G2P, G1P, and V1JP.

When comparing the G2P and Asus G1P to each other, you can see that the performance is roughly the same. The G2P is a 17” notebook while the G1P is a 15.4” notebook. The overall feel of using the laptop doing basic tasks is very nice since it has 2GB of ram and a 2.0 GHz processor. The looks are very similar, using glossy plastic, but not compromising on build quality. Red or green lights, which one do you prefer? While testing I found that the green light to be more exciting on the G1P, while the G2P has the red lights and is very bold.

When looking at the V1JP to the G2P and G1P, there is definitely a difference in styling since, the V1 series is aimed at the business users, who still want sleek styling and performance. There is an obvious size difference between all 3 models, and the G1P would cater towards more of the home gamers looking for a great all around system. While the G2P would also cater to home gamers looking for on par performance to its 15.4” counter parts.

Games

NFS Carbon

The game ran very well on the G2P, these were the settings used below.

  • Resolution: 800×600
  • AA: 4x
  • Texture: Antistropic
  • Max Graphics, No V-Sync
  • FPS: 17-23 FPS

Battlefield 2

This is great fun to play, the graphics are excellent the FPS are great, all round good fun.

  • Resolution: 1024×768
  • AA: 6x
  • Texture: High, No V-Sync
  • FPS: 36-55 FPS

Oblivion

This is not one of my favorite games to play, but it sure is demanding and quite interesting.

  • Resolution: 1280×768(*)
  • Medium settings, HDR Enabled, No V-Sync or AA
  • Indoor FPS: Ranges from 22 – 50 FPS
  • Outdoor FPS: Ranges from 21– 26 FPS

BF 2142

This is another one of my favorite games to play, and this laptop played it pretty well.

  • Resolution: 1024×768
  • AA: 6x, No V-sync
  • Textures: High
  • Outdoor FPS: Ranges from 15– 30 FPS

Call of Duty 2

This is a great LAN party game, in which many can enjoy fast paced action.

  • Resolution: 1024×768
  • Texture: Bilinear
  • Detail: Medium
  • Outdoor FPS: Ranges from 15– 20 FPS

Medieval II Total War

Playing this game requires a lot of strategy, this forest like map was very intriguing, have a look at the pictures.

  • Resolution: 1024×768
  • AA: 4x, 4x AF
  • Details: Medium
  • Bloom and Reflection Enabled
  • Outdoor FPS: Ranges from 12– 20 FPS

Software

The Asus G2P comes with Window MCE pre-installed, but I prefer Windows XP Pro. The initial Windows setup takes roughly 7 minutes, after that everything seems to work very fast.

There is a vast amount of programs pre-installed on the G2P, some of them are vital and some of them are not. There is some bloat ware on the laptop like Norton and Symantec and that Asus Live Update which is pretty useless. I would recommend users to remove these programs or simply do a fresh install of Windows, if you feel that you would need it.

Accessories

There are a few accessories that you will greatly appreciate.

There is an Asus laptop backpack, and it has a few pockets, and one large pocket for the laptop. The back is well padded, the hand strap is also nicely done, same with the shoulder straps.

There is also an Asus branded mouse, which is a Logitech Mx518 mouse, this is an excellent mouse, 5 buttons and you are able to change the speed of the mouse on the fly.

Asus also provides a micro fiber cloth used for cleaning the screen.

Customer Support

This notebook comes with 2 Years Asus Global Warranty, and 30 days Zero Bright Dot Warranty, if anything should happen, just contact Asus. Their customer Service in North America is very good.

Pros:

  • Screen: Great viewing angles, brightness, and contrast
  • Graphics: Decent performance for the X1700 512mb
  • Performance: The overall performance matches most 15.4” notebooks
  • Battery Life: Decent battery life, achieving 2 hours 47mins maximum
  • Touchpad: Textured feel, worked well right away, with vertical and horizontal scroll
  • Keyboard: The keyboard color scheme is good, and soft
  • Build Quality: Good build quality all around, thick plastic used
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Momentus, quiet, reasonably cool and efficient
  • Speakers: The speakers are loud, very loud, clear and crisp
  • Heat: very little heat all round
  • Cool: this notebook is very cool in whatever you throw at it
  • Battery Life: 2 hours gaming, 2 hours 47 minutes doing light tasks
  • Ports: great layout of ports and variety of ports
  • Freebies: backpack and gaming mouse Mx518

Cons:

  • Price: At this price point I would expect a much higher end GPU or a 7200rpm HDD
  • Screen: low resolution for such a big screen, also very reflective
  • Glossy Plastic: this is a fingerprint magnet
  • Weight: (9.7lbs, it is heavy and you’ll feel it when traveling, especially with the power brick and cords)
  • GPU: I would have preferred a higher end GPU and preferably an NVIDIA solution
  • Bulky: The laptop is very big, has a big bezel
  • Design: The design is interesting but not something I would like, looks a bit childish
  • Light Leakage: there is a small amount of light leakage at the bottom of the screen
  • Keyboard: considerable amount of flex

Conclusion

Overall this laptop was fun to use; the red accents make this notebook stand out. The performance and specs of the laptop matches most 15.4” notebooks, but in terms of graphics and other 17” notebook there is much to be desired.

The notebook is geared towards people looking for an excellent screen, and good CPU performance and average graphical power. It is a desktop replacement for midrange performance and those who wouldn’t mind using a relatively low native resolution.

In the end the notebook did meet all my needs in a 17” notebook, except for graphics. Like many we would want something much more powerful like a 7900GS or GTX or an ATI comparable solution. The price is also a bit steep for what you are getting when considering the GPU can be improved. Look forward to other 17” gaming laptops, and possibly the rumored Asus G3.

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