ASUS G53SW-A1 Review

by Charles P. Jefferies Reads (126,626)
Editor's Rating
7.86

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Software & Support
    • 6
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 8
    • Usability
    • 8
    • Design
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 9
    • Features
    • 8
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 8
    • Total Score:
    • 7.86
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Good quality 1080p screen
    • Excellent performance
    • Runs cool and quiet
    • Good value
  • Cons

    • Keyboard flex
    • Touchpad buttons need improvement

Quick Take

The ASUS G53SW is a powerful notebook and arguably one of the best 15-inch gaming machines currently on the market.


ASUS has shrunk down its popular 17.3-inch G73 gaming notebook into a more manageable 15.6-inch size with the introduction of its G53SW. Is this travel-friendly gaming laptop as impressive as its bigger brother? We find out.

Our ASUS G53SW-A1 review unit has the following specifications:

  • 15.6-inch 1080p (1920×1080) glossy panel with LED backlighting
  • Intel “Sandy Bridge” Core i7-2630QM quad-core processor (2.0GHz~2.9GHz Turbo Boost, 6MB cache, 45W TDP)
  • Intel HM65 chipset
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M graphics w/ 1.5GB GDDR5 dedicated memory
  • 8GB DDR3-1333 dual-channel RAM (2x 4GB, supports up to 16GB – 4x 4GB)
  • 750GB 7200RPM Seagate hard drive (ST975042AS)
  • Atheros AR9002WB-1N wireless network adapter
  • Integrated Bluetooth wireless
  • DVD burner (HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GT34N)
  • 8-cell li-ion battery (14.4V, 5200mAh, 74Wh)
  • 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Backlit chiclet keyboard
  • Weight: 8.1 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.75 x 2.13 inches
  • Two-year warranty with one-year accidental damage protection
  • MSRP: $1,499

The G53 packs a punch, especially with the second-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and its powerful Nvidia GTX 460M graphics card with a whopping 1.5GB of its own memory. The two-year warranty with one year of accidental damage protection is also worth noting; most competitors do not offer this kind of coverage standard.


Build and Design
The G53SW is essentially a shrunken version of ASUS’ larger and extremely popular 17.3-inch G73JH and G73JW gaming notebooks. The notebook’s design imitates a stealth bomber aircraft, especially the rear with its recessed and upward-angled cooling exhaust ports. The G53SW is quite unique; the only notebooks that likely get more attention from onlookers are Alienware laptops.

Most of the G53SW’s touchable surfaces are covered in a rubber finish, which feels great and adds to the long-term durability. The notebook is appreciably absent of glossy plastic. The G53SW is constructed entirely of plastic. The plastic is reasonably thick and does not make a cheap sound when tapped by a fingernail. The chassis is acceptably stiff but can be flexed by twisting the corners. The areas around the chassis are solid though cave in slightly under pressure.

The lid is attached the chassis via one large hinge. It is possible to open the lid with one hand. The lid flexes rather easily; additionally, the hinge could be a bit more supportive since the display can move around a bit. I also wish the display tilted back further. Fit and finish is good; there are no rough or unfinished edges. The overall build quality is above average; the lid could be sturdier, but otherwise there are no concerns.

Upgrading the G53SW is possible but not easy. Accessing the RAM and hard drive requires removing the keyboard, the palm rest, and several screws; then the bottom panel will pop off. The G53SW actually has two hard drive bays, though most configurations only come with a single drive.


Ports and Features

The G53SW has an average amount of ports for a 15.6-inch notebook; a larger variety would be appreciated. It lacks an ExpressCard slot and eSATA. All picture descriptions are left to right.


Front: Media card reader, status lights


Back: Cooling exhaust vents, lock slots


Left: DVD burner, 2x USB 2.0


Right: Headphone and microphone jacks, 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, AC power


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