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ASUS Republic of Gamers G73JH-A1 17-Inch Gaming Laptop

Posted by admin | Posted in Computer | Posted on 10-10-2010

5

  • 1.6GHz Intel i7-720QM Quad-Core Processor
  • 8GB DDR3 1066MHz; 4 SODIMM Sockets; up to 8GB
  • 1TB (500G 7200RPM x2) HDD; Blue-Ray Disk Combo Drive; 802.11 b/g/n
  • 17.3-Inch Full HD LED Display; ATI 5870 Graphics with 1G GDDR5; 2.0M Webcam
  • Windows Home Premium 64-bit Operating System; Gaming Backpack and Mouse

Product Description
Take a giant leap ahead of the competition with the ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) G73JH gaming notebook. The G73JH takes the latest games to the next level of realism with Full HD graphics at a blistering fast framerate. Featuring an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, graphics powered by an extremely powerful DirectX 11-enabled ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 graphics processor with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM, and 8GB DDR3 of system memory, the G73Jh-A2 unleashes its hypersonic per… More >>

Comments (5)

In short this computer is amazing. You wont find anything else under $2000 that can beat this. It comes with a standard 2 year warrant and 1 year accidental damage warranty plus a 30 day zero bright dot policy. The included mouse and bag are also great. So far I have been playing crysis and bad company 2(a great game for your new computer) on near full detail with amazing frames with the ati radean 5870(best single graphics card for laptops), 8gb of 1066mhz ram, and the new blazing fast core i7 processor. Although the computer is the size of some 18 inchers, I found that it looked and felt amazing. The whole back, palm rest area, and keys are rubberized which provides a great feel and grip. The keys are also back lit and the speakers on the computer are very loud and provide good audio The one thing I did not like about this computer was the touch pad buttons (not the touchpad its self which is great) are combined under a plastic cover which is really hard to press down on.

Pros:

Best for the price

Back lit keyboard

rubberized feels great

Best single graphics card ati 5870 with 1gb gddr5 ram

8gb of ram is more than enough

Great processor

Cool unique look

and i can just keep going on and on..

Cons:

Touch pad buttons I find hard to press down on

Number pad on keyboard feels squished

Overall 10/10

And as I said before this is the best!

Update after about 3 months

of use

I have already lost nearly all the rubber feet which do not seem attached well (medium problem). The keyboard has a lot of light bleeding through under the ` key (minor). And the worst problems i have experienced, my computer overheats! It shuts its self down randomly and i do not believe that the fan over the CPU is working (very major). I have sent it in for RMA with asus and will post an update later.

If i could change my rating I would give it 3.5-4 stars.
Rating: 5 / 5

I had the G73JH-A1 for almost two weeks before it shutdown while playing a game. A web search for G73JH and shutdown showed it could be overheating problems. I installed desktop gadgets that monitored the CPU and GPU and tested by playing various games. While closely watching and frequently checking the GPU temperature, it was generally anywhere from the mid 90s to just over a 100 and at times would reach 107 degrees.

After reading more on the web, I downloaded the FurMark benchmark utility and tried the stability test. In less than 3 minutes, the laptop reached 110 degrees and shut down. If the GPU ran hotter than a “normal” 95 degrees, but remained at a constant 100 or 101 degrees without reaching critical temperature, it might have been acceptable. Perhaps by using a cooling pad and making sure the ambient room temperature wasn’t higher than 90 I could do without having to send my G73JH for service. But the fact that a gaming laptop could overheat to shutdown with GPU intensive programs meant an unstable video card.

Just to make sure it wasn’t the benchmark utility, I tested it on my desktop computer which has an ATI 5770. It ran at a constant 96 degrees for 15 minutes. A friend installed FurMark on her laptop with an nVidia 360m and it was stable at 85 degrees.

I’m glad this happened during my first 30 days. Instead of having Asus replace the video card or entire laptop with possibly a refurbished one even though I had just purchased it new, I had Amazon issue me a RMA for an exchange. Hopefully there’s one in stock when it reaches them because I really did like this laptop and am willing to give it another chance.

Aside from the GPU overheating and having to deal with an exchange, there were some minor cons. I won’t bother with what I liked because it’s been covered by plenty of other reviews.

- The screen is way too glossy, causing lots glare and reflection on the monitor.

- After a week the spacebar sometimes made a squeeking noise.

- Dedicated volume buttons would have been easier than having to use both hands to press two keys, the Fn + F11 or F12.

- I wish the Numlock light was on the right side of the keyboard near the number keys. Instead it’s on the left side of the laptop, beside the Capslock key.

- On the Numberpad, the right arrow key is under the 1 and the 0 is under the 2. I’m used to pressing 0 with my thumb and have been trying to get used to the shorter 0 key.

- The touchpad bar for the mouse buttons is difficult to press. I’m glad I use a separate mouse.

- This laptop is so big it doesn’t fit in my old 17″ laptop case. Asus provides a decent backpack but it’s on the thin side and won’t hold more than one or two textbooks. Be careful and make sure you buy a laptop case or backpack large enough.

4-stars if the laptop didn’t overheat but 3-stars because of the lemon. If Amazon is able to send another for an exchange I’ll update this review again when I receive the replacement.

Update July 9, 2010: Received my exchange today. I have to really commend Amazon’s return service. It was very easy to request an RMA and they even refunded me the shipping costs for sending it back to them!

After initial setup, the first thing I did was install Furmark and then I held my breath. I can let out a sigh of relief. After 5 minutes it was at 90 degrees, and after 20 minutes this new G73JH-A1 was running at 93 degrees. It might have hit 94 or even 95 but I think 20 minutes was enough to confirm it’s stability.

A couple of other things about this laptop:

- The included mouse’s buttons are very sensitive. My fingers sometimes press a top or side button when I pick it up to move the cursor. Will take a little getting used to since the buttons are so delicate.

- I wish Asus had included recovery discs with this laptop. Perhaps it was a cost cutting measure. After all, this is a $1650 laptop that other companies would easily charge $2100 or more. Regardless, I don’t mind because if I uninstall the bloatware and run Windows Update, I can have bloat-free updated recovery discs.

Despite all the nitpicking, this is an incredible gaming laptop. Quad-core CPU for future programs and games, 8 gigs of RAM, Blu-Ray player, and one of the best laptop video card currently available, the ATI mobility 5870.
Rating: 3 / 5

You can find a ton of reviews regarding the hardware and you can compare similarly configured gaming notebooks and you’ll see that this is HUNDREDs of dollars cheaper. I’ve had the machine for almost 2 weeks, gaming about 1-2 hrs a day.

Pluses

-have not had a single technical issue

-function keys for volume and brightness do not bring me to the desktop when playing games (like it did my previous HP)

-HDMI to HDTV is plug and play (video and audio)

Now for the Gaming part

I play around with AA (anti-aliasing) from highest and then bring it down until very smooth playability. These are the games I found to push the notebook the most (settings to be very playable at native 1920×1080, I don’t use vsync):

Crysis/Crysis Warhead – no AA, almost all on High/Gamer settings

Batman Arkham – No AA, All Max

RE5 – All Max

Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions – HDR at medium, No AA, almost all at max

Prototype – All max

Wolfenstein – All max

Borderlands – All max

Red Faction Guerrilla – No AA, almost all at max

Just Cause 2 – No AA, almost all at max

L4D 1 and 2 – All max, even vsysnc

Every other older game (even newer ones), the G73 just breezes through, (such as GoW, UT3, Dark Void, L4D, TR:Underworld), I’ve found it handles the Unreal engine quite well.

I can’t believe how this notebook handles games at 1920×1080. Stays cool and quiet. Audio is pretty decent, even takes care of Prototype’s low volume issue (just crank it up!). I’ve been gaming on laptops for more than 12 years (no space for desktop rigs) and I’ve never had a gaming laptop, always had to compromise the graphics. Not anymore. Playing at 40-50 frames/sec is surely a welcome change.

Rating: 4 / 5

OK so I’ve been using this for about a week now. The laptop was originally preordered in march 8,2010 and was received on march 13,2010…not bad of a wait. A lot of people who preordered on other sites are still in a waiting game. So anyhow let me get on with the review. P.S. to make a summary short the gaming laptop is really a 3 1/2 stars in my opinion but I am hard to please and would recommended this laptop? – yes I would.

The casing: The casing is all black with different materials composing the laptops exterior. The top of the laptop has a heavy and thick rubber that feels good to touch, stays cool, looks good and provides some gripe, but the bad thing about it is that it scuffs easily. Now you might not think this is a big deal but when you start to see scuffs on your new laptop out of no where well… the armrest has a different feel from the top of the laptop and less rubbery more like a semi plastic version which is by no means bad. There is a grill that covers the speakers at the top of the keyboard. Because of this there will be a lot of dust that may accumulate there and is hard to clean. There is no volume rocker or other media controls on the outside casing which makes it hard for anyone watching a movie or playing games. Two vents in the back which drives the hot air out and also a couple of vents underneath the laptop to draw in cool air. The panels to the casing is not that good for normal maintenance, what I mean by this is when you have to clean the two fans out which your supposed to do every month or so, it will be difficult because the access is on the top, so you will have to remove the screen and the keyboard to reveal the fans. The bottom side do however have easy access if you want to upgrade rams and hard drives.

screen: the screen is all glass not that edge to edge design but still pretty good. It is very bright… makes my old gateway laptop screen look dark and faded out. It’s 1920×1080 resolution is awesome, however if the laptop is ever outside it will produce a annoying glare. Plays bluray movies and game all beautifully. A 2.o Mp webcam sit on the top of the screen.

Keyboard: the keyboard is kind of bad. At around the middle the keys when pressed will flex and the keys will have a kind of spongy feel. There was a guy on youtube who said that it prevented him from typing too fast and I laughed at him, that is until I got my unit and started typing on it. The keyboard in particular has a long response time so when typing there will be a lot of compound words being formed. Is the keyboard durable and will it last? well I think it will last if you take care of it but I highly recommend a external keyboard if you are planning on typing on this laptop alot. Still it sure is nice looking when lit up though, well my friends and family were impress by the look of it anyway. The other bad thing about the keyboard is the arrow keys. For some reason asus grouped them together between the qwerty keys and the number pad so it makes it kind of weird.

performance: well the performance depends on alot of what you do even though it is heavily spec. If you are planning on playing games and running intensive programs on this computer than you will definitely see alot of improvements depending on how old and under spec your computer is now. My old Pentium M gateway is still running strong but when I tried to load up batman arkham… well it was so slow the computer just kind of gave up trying to install. The g73 however loaded in about 15 minutes. When surfing the web Youtube videos loads a few seconds faster and the responsiveness of loading pages are a tad faster as well compared to my old computer. In short if you are planning to use this computer as a hardcore gaming or multimedia entertainment system that I think you will be impressed, but if you just go online and use standard office products well maybe you should just save your money and get a cheaper computer.

track-pad: huge track pad that has multi touch and scrolling feature on the side. Not very well positioned but you can disable it so your thumbs don’t accidentally activate it while typing. The track pad itself is smooth and glides easily but the double tap can sometime be unresponsive and the single click button can be hard to use as it takes a bit of pressure to actually click on it.

For me I had to spend about a day deleting bloatwares and tweaking the computer to my preferences. So software wise well once your done you will have a barebone laptop with windows 7 home premium 64 bit and some utilities support. One of the biggest gripe for me was even though there was a ton of useless bloatware there was no bluray playback software. So basically you can’t play bluray movies on the laptop from stock. You will have to download 3rd party software like powerdvd or windvd to play movies. Asus free windvd 8 was a bad program and caused a lot of pause and skips during the movie. It does come with trendmicro and windows firewall but I had deleted and use other 3rd party software which they are much better.

The computer stays cool for the most part but summer haven’t come yet so I will have to wait and see. The ati graphics card tend to be hotter than the cpu so the fan on the left side gets little more noiser but overall I can’t complain about fan noises. For those who wonder if you need to upgrade thermal compounds than the answer is no unless it makes you feel better and you got the money to blow.

There is 2 hard drive both partitoned into 2 parts so when you look under specs it will show up as 4 parts. At 7200rpm the computer booted up in about 45sec. I have seen people upgrade to ssd and boot up in less than 20 sec. But for the price I think I will stick with the 7200rpm seagate hard drives.

ATI HD 5870 mobility runs good and though I have yet to upgrade to 10.3 catalyst the system still plays most games I throw at it with great fps. However the gpu can run pretty hot. For those than wonder if you can upgrade the gpu, well it is no soldered to the board so….?

My laptop came with 8 gigs of Kingston 1333mhz rams so that will probably last for the life of the laptop without a need for upgrade even though you could take it up to 16 gigs. From my use I have not experience any latency problems.

The speakers are good it actually gets pretty loud without distortions but the sub-woofer at the bottom is barely noticeable.

The backpack and mouse that comes with the A1 and A2 are pretty good, for people who said the mouse cannot be use for regular purpose well I have to disagree.

well I doubt I have cover all points since this is my 1st review ever but overall I like this laptop even the keyboard really bothers me and I will have to plug in a external keyboard the machine itself will work great as a gaming and entertainment system. Make sure to have 6 blank dvds to make the recovery disk as Asus did not include one. If you have any question just ask under reply and I will update. Hope this helps

Rating: 4 / 5

Asus has made its model designation for their new Republic Of Gamers laptop systems a bit confusing. The G73JH- line consists of the following extensions A1, A2, X1, X2. All models are exactly identical except for the hard drive setup and the use of a Blue Ray drive or not. The A1 and A2 models use dual 500 gig hard drives for a total terabyte of storage. The A1 uses a Blue Ray drive and the A2 uses a regular DVD drive. The X1 and X2 models “only” have 500 gig hard drives. The X1 uses a DVD drive while the X2 uses a Blue Ray drive. Per my review title, I purchase the X2 at Micro Center about a month ago, so of course that’s what I’m reviewing. But again, all of these models are identical save for the drives, so a review of one essentially works for any of the other three.

The laptop was $1,500 which considering the hardware is quite reasonable. What surprised me however is how difficult this laptop was to find. In the retail market it’s usually the $700 and under laptops that are the big sellers. I thought I would have no problem purchasing a $1,500 laptop but I was wrong, they sell out as soon as they come in pretty much (at Micro Center). I find this astonishing considering the state of the economy and the fact regardless of hardware $1,500 is expensive for a laptop by anyone’s standards. Recession be damned I guess, not sure where are all of these people are getting the money for such an expensive laptop, were it not for my generous end of year bonus it would not be on my desk either (what I’m typing this review on). Guess lots of credit cards have G73JH laptops on them right now, I refuse to use a credit card, if I don’t have the cash I don’t purchase, period. Anyway, enough about the price and availability difficulties and on to the system.

I like this laptop very much. However since it replaced a seven year old Toshiba I probably would have liked most new laptops on the market today. Like I did seven years ago, I set a budget and then I research voraciously to get the best system for my money. Seven years ago my budget was a $1,000 or less, this year I bumped it to $1,500 or less. This laptop came in right at that price ceiling. Unlike the Toshiba I bought which was strictly a business machine, I knew this time around I wanted something I could play games with and use for business applications. Being out of the technology loop for so long, I had to catch up on current tech and what I was supposed to look for. My research told me the following: DDR3 memory is good, running at 1,333 MhZ is even better, the video card should have a gig of memory and run at DDR3 at a minimum, a Blue Ray drive and HDMI out will double my laptop as a Blue Ray player, dual core processors are good, quad are better, i7 are the best, hard drive size is not as important as a 7200rpm rotation speed, a 17″ screen is the best compromise between size and laptop weight, and finally looking at speakers specs, peripheral ports, and added niceties such as integrated web cam and backlit keyboard is also important. Whew!!! That’s a lot more info than I had to worry about seven years ago, but armed with that knowledge the hunt began. After a long search (three months) at which point I almost gave up being able to buy the “perfect” laptop for $1,500 or under I came across the new Asus Republic of Games line and that was all she wrote. The laptop had everything I was looking for and then some.

The performance of the laptop is well documented, so I’m not going to cover that. Basically it has chewed up and spit out any game I’ve thrown at it. Below are the annoyances/surprises I have discovered using it over the past month:

1. The speakers are incredible! Who would have thought laptop speakers could be so good. These things are loud, clear, crisp, and there is even a small subwoofer on the bottom of the case. I was really prepared not to be too impressed by laptop speakers but man oh man has sound technology improved leaps and bounds since my previous laptop purchase seven years ago. My old Toshiba sounded like a transistor radio when listening to music. The speakers on this ASUS are so good you could be quite content using them as your primary speakers, no external speakers necessary.

2. The track pad works very well, but it can be very difficult to see in the dark as the entire bottom half is matte black. It would have been much better to set off the track pad with a silver surround or something like that, anything to differentiate the pad from the rest of the base.

3. The mouse clicker is very stiff. I was surprised at how much pressure it takes to push down on it. I use the track pad for everything (single or double tap to select) so it’s not a big deal for me, but if you like to use the clicker be aware it’s not a low effort affair.

4. The number pad is a little too squished together for my liking.

5. The Blue Ray drive is unfortunately not a slot load type, but uses the regular archaic tray loading mechanism. It’s also awkwardly placed on the left side of the laptop. Most of us are righties, which means crossing over to insert a CD/DVD.

6. The laptop stays incredibly cool when not gaming, and the fans are whisper quiet. The CPU/GPU area at the bottom of the laptop will heat up a good bit depending on how demanding the game is you’re playing, but never once has this laptop overheated on me. It’s wild to put your hand by the back vents and feel all of the hot air being pushed out, very cool!

7. The monitor is absolutely gorgeous. It’s crisp, bright, and at 1080 p is just really stunning to watch Blue Ray movies on.

8. There is no screen latch. My Toshiba had this and it’s a nice touch to be able to lock the screen to the base.

9. No fingerprint security reader, but I think it does have a facial recognition security system, although I haven’t set it up yet.

10. No separate volume control, or DVD player control, it’s all operated via software or function keys. It was nice having a separate volume control I could access quickly on my Toshiba.

11. I love Windows 7. This laptop is the first time I was able to use it, and Microsoft got it right with this OS. It’s like MS added all of the cool Vista features while making it as fast and as stable as XP. Job well done MS!

That’s it pretty much. ASUS is giving you a lot of bang for the buck. The only reason they can sell a laptop with these features at the price (spec out an Alienware system with these features, I dare you to get it at $1,500, more like $3,000) is because they manufacture many of the components that go into this thing, therefore they have no middle man costs to contend with. They make the motherboard, sound card, video card, memory, etc. So if you have the cash (or the credit card) and want the best laptop on the market for under $2,000 look no further, you’ve found it.
Rating: 5 / 5

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