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:
- 17.3-inch 1080p (1920x1080) display with LED backlighting
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- Intel Core i7-720QM processor (1.6GHz/2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB L3 cache)
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 graphics card
- 8GB DDR3-1066 RAM
- Two 500GB 7200RPM hard drives (Seagate Momentus 7200.4/ST9500420AS) (Non-RAID)
- Atheros AR9285 802.11n Wireless LAN adapter
- Built-in Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
- 8X DVD Super Multi drive
- Two-year limited warranty (one year on battery pack) with one year of accidental damage protection
- 8-cell battery pack (14.8V, 5200mAh, 75Wh)
- Weight: 8.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 16.3” (W) x 12.6” (D) x 1.8” (H)
- MSRP: $1,599
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.Build and Design
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.
The G73 has strong build quality; it feels very solid (and heavy) when being held. The notebook is constructed entirely of thick and good quality plastic. The chassis is very resistant to twisting and surfaces like the palm rests barely flex under pressure. The lid has excellent support from two large and strong display hinges. The panel itself has ample support and twists less than most 17-inch notebooks. Furthermore, no ripples appear on the display when pressure is applied from behind the screen. Overall, the G73 is impressive in both the build quality and design departments. 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.Keyboard and Touchpad
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.
The G73’s keyboard is backlit and looks good in the dark. We like that the keys have a rubberized non-slip finish, which adds durability and makes them more comfortable to use over extended periods of time. The keyboard’s layout around the number pad is somewhat squashed though all keys are more or less in their expected positions. Overall, we like the keyboard and do not have any major qualms with it.
The extra-large touchpad sits slightly off-center to the left of the chassis to line up with the keyboard. It has a much-appreciated matte surface, which is easy to track on regardless of whether fingers are moist or dry. The right side of the touchpad is a dedicated scroll zone however it required an unusual amount of pressure to use. Unfortunately, the touchpad buttons are subpar. While quiet, they are harder to push down than expected, and we don’t like that they are contained under a single piece of plastic.
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