The G73 is the latest gaming notebook in ASUS’ successful G-series product line. This 17.3-inch monster has a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and the most powerful mobile video card available, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870. Read on for our take.
Special thanks go out to Justin at XoticPC.com for sending us this unit.
Our ASUS G73JH-A2 has the following specifications:
The ASUS G73JH is available as a pre-configured notebook only, though some dealers including XoticPC offer limited customization. Those looking for Blu-ray should check out the G73JH-A1 model, which has the same specifications as our test unit plus a Blu-ray drive for $1,699.
The ASUS G73 is has a “stealth” look, with non-traditional shape with angled surfaces and sharp lines that is clearly influenced by modern stealth aircraft. . The protruding rear end is especially aggressive with its angled exhaust vents.
The physical size of the G73 is intimidating, even compared to other 17-inch notebooks. The chassis is actually angled upward 5 degrees, which gives the notebook a more assertive feel and helps with ergonomics. The notebook has a rubberized shell, which has a pleasant touch and adds a measure of durability.
Screen and Speakers
The G73JH comes with a 17.3-inch LED-backlit screen with a full HD (1920x1080) resolution. The display has a glossy surface that helps make colors more vibrant, but suffers from reflections as a result. The display is, in a word, beautiful. It is very enjoyable to use for gaming and multimedia. Viewing angles are about average; there is little color shift from side to side. However, colors quickly wash out and darken from above and below.
The display has a high-resolution as well, which is appreciated. With a full HD resolution, it’s easy to view two windows side-by-side without shrinking them too much. The higher resolution also helps bring out the finer details in games and reduces the amount of scrolling necessary while surfing the Web.
The G73 has two stereo speakers located below the display and a small subwoofer. The speakers get reasonably loud and there is measurable bass. For notebook speakers, these are more than acceptable.
The G73 has a full-size keyboard with a separate numeric keypad. The keyboard has a “Chiclet” or island-style keyboard, where the keys are raised above the keyboard surface and have more than usual spacing. The keyboard has a soft, rubbery feel (not a bad thing) and makes typing easy. While some flex is evident when you type and the keyboard could have slightly better support, these two factors do not affect its usability. The tactile feedback is adequate, though could be improved if the keys had a longer throw.
Ports and Features
Given its size, the G73 has a relatively limited amount of input and output ports. All descriptions are left to right.
Left Side: Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, optical drive, USB 2.0, microphone and headphone jacks
Right Side: Media card reader, 2x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, and AC power
Back: Vent, battery, Kensington lock slot, and vent
Front: Status lights
Performance and Benchmarks
The G73 is a top-notch performer thanks to its arsenal of high-powered components. The Mobility Radeon HD 5870 is the fastest single mobile graphics card available right now, and coupled with 8GB of RAM and a Core i7 processor, the notebook can handle almost any game on the market at the highest visual quality settings.
Wprime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
Crysis gaming benchmark (1920x1080 and high settings):
Left 4 Dead 2 gaming benchmark (1920x1080 and high settings):
Mass Effect 2 gaming benchmark (1920x1080 and high settings):
HDTune storage drive performance test:
Heat and Noise
The G73’s cooling system is perhaps the best we have seen on a gaming notebook. Not only does this notebook handle heat well, but it also makes little noise. The notebook is almost silent at idle and can barely be heard under full load. Surfaces remain cool to the touch on the top and bottom, even while gaming. All external temperatures shown in the images below are listed in degrees Fahrenheit.
The internal components of the notebook stayed well under manufacturer-recommended temperatures. We saw the graphics card top out at 75 degrees Celsius and the CPU at 68 degrees Celsius.
While surfing the Web with minimum screen brightness, we squeezed one hour and 48 minutes out of the G73’s 8-cell battery pack. This is respectable for a large gaming notebook.
The G73JH-A1 comes with a carrying backpack and Razer Abyssus gaming mouse. The backpack has a quality feel and thick padding for back support. It has ample room for the G73 and a textbook or two. The Razer Abyssus mouse is extremely responsive and is a perfect match for the G73. Its sensitivity is adjustable via a switch on the bottom.
The ASUS G73JH is a phenomenal gaming notebook and a fantastic value. It has more than enough power to handle any modern game while remaining quiet and cool to the touch. The keyboard is pleasant to type on and the screen is beautiful. The G73JH has strong build quality and the stealth-like design is unique. Other than a few minor quibbles with the touchpad, we found very little to dislike and highly recommend the G73 to gamers and multimedia enthusiasts alike.