This is it! Asus’ latest gaming laptop has arrived in our office and it’s ready to tell us all its secrets. The G74SX 3D was announced back at CES 2011 and we’ve been waiting it for quite a while. Join us in our quest of finding the best features of the Asus G74SX 3D gaming laptop.
In a few words
So what exactly is a gaming laptop? Aren’t desktops supposed to do gaming? It’s true but a laptop gives you the chance to face your friends in Mortal Kombat… literally! So the Asus G74SX 3D comes with an Intel Sandy BridgeCore i7-2630QM, up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 1.25TB of storage with two HDDs and Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M graphics. If it’s not tempting you by now you should know it’s got a Blu-Ray drive, USB 3.0 port, HDMI 1.4-out and digita audio-out. The display is a beauty: the Full HD 3D screen benefits from the Shutter technology and it’s nothing we have seen.
The design has also evolved. The old Republic of Gamers laptops seem a bit rude compared to the G74SX 3D: the lines and edges are smoother and the overall thickness has been reduced. At 7.72 lbs. it’s not what you’d call portable but you can look at it at a perfect desktop replacement… and it’s totally worth it showing it to your friends and then smashing them with your favourite game character.
What we did like:
very good specs;
full keyboard, including the Num key;
Asus cooling feature.
What we did not like:
Price (although we weren’t expecting something cheap): about $1900
Processor: Intel Sandy Bridge i7-2630QM – 2.0GHz OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Display: 17.3 inch 1920 x 1080 Memory: 16 GB DDR3-1333 DDR3 I/O :3 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA, 1 x audio, 1 x RJ-45, power-in Weight: 10.62 lb. Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M (Nvidia N12-E) – 3 GB DDR3 memory; Intel GMA HD WLAN: 802.11 a/b/g/n Storage:Seagate (750 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II + 500 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II) Optical Drive:Blu-Ray Keyboard:full size spill resistant + numpad
The Geeky Stuff
Lets look at the design. You may remember the older G74S laptops from ASUS but this one is a bit more stylish. Although it maintains its predator looks the lines and edges are smoother. Looking closer there’s the display attached straight above the speakers and ASUS has managed to do that and make the lid open more. The vents on the back have also changed since the last generation. Now they look bigger and meaner, but in a good way.
The ASUS G74SX 3D can be the perfect desktop replacement: it has the power (you’re gonna see that in a minute), the presence and especially the weight: 10.62 lb… you’re not going to pop it in your backpack too often, aren’t you?
Even though it has a nuclear bomb under that keyboard the ASUS G74SX 3D kept itself cool thanks to a new ASUS cooling technology: there are four coolers inside, the first two grab the cool air from the front of the laptop and the other two push the heat out through those mean vents we mentioned early. It may sound complicated but in our tests the temperature didn’t go past 149 F.
The back of the lid and the palm-rest have a special rubber feeling. The chiclet keyboard rests on a metal frame capable to withstand any pressure from hardcore gamers. The keyboard is also backlit and the arrow keys have a special place of their own. We loved the keyboard on this laptop, our only concern was the “Windows” key that sometimes got in our way.
What about connectivity?
Looking on the left side: Kensington lock, 2 USB 2.0 ports, Blu-Ray Drive and the audio-in and out.
On the right side: card reader, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, 1 VGA-out, 1 HDMI-out, RJ-45 and power-in.
On the back: the vents.
Accesing the hard drives and the memory is fairly easy. With just a coin you can remove the cover and see the beauty on the inside:
The Really Geeky Stuff
You’ve been probably waiting for some official tests, especially when considering the ASUS G74SX 3D has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M graphics solution. We were very pleased to see how it performed during our tests:
3D Mark 2006
3D Mark 2003 – 1024 x 768
Booting time took only 40 seconds for the ASUS G74SX 3D:
HDD Tune Pro results:
Good results on CINEBENCH also:
Earlier we mentioned the maximum temperature achieved by the G74SX 3D: 149 F. The mimimum was 98.6 F and that amazed us. Turns out ASUS’ cooling technology really works.
ASUS G74SX 3D features a 6-cell battery (5200 mAh, 74Wh) and scores 55 minutes on the Classic test and 2.5 Hours in the Reader test.We used Battery Tester to also see how much it would take to charge the battery. Turns out it takes more than 2 hours.
Windex gave a 5.9 mark for the slow HDD. If it only had SSD instead…