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Asus G71Gx review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1696
inc VAT

A huge screen and Blu-ray drive are ideal for HD films, but average 3D performance doesn't justify the price.


17 in 1,920×1,200 display, 4.0kg, 2GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000, 4.00GB RAM, 1,000GB disk, Windows Vista Ultimate

Asus G71Gx is a beast of a machine, and like a lot of gaming laptops its casing consists of exaggerated lines and a patchwork of angular details mixed with blue LED strips.

It’s not subtle – the glossy red panels and textured palm rests make a bold statement. It’s a show-off, but it’s not all for show.

Weighing in at almost 4kg, it’s bigger than two netbooks placed back-to-back. The 17in screen supports a massive 1,920×1,200 resolution, which is more than sufficient for playback of Full HD video, and it provides a massive Windows desktop.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M graphics chipset has 1GB of dedicated RAM, but it wasn’t as impressive as we’d hoped. In our Call of Duty 4 benchmark it scored a respectable 45.2fps, but at the display’s native resolution it managed only 28.1fps. We also tried running Crysis at 1,280×800 and got 27fps, which isn’t bad, but at 1,920×1,200, even without anti-aliasing, it dropped to an unplayable 20fps.

Although the G71Gx will play the majority of games, it can’t compete with a PC equipped with a £100 graphics card. Having said that, image quality is great, and the backlight is bright and even. However, 3D games aren’t the only reason you might want to buy the G71Gx. Its Blu-ray drive means you can take full advantage of that enormous screen, seeing every HD pixel in all its glory.

If you have a larger screen, such as an HD TV, you can connect it via the HDMI output. There’s also an S/PDIF audio output, which may come in handy as the G71Gx’s speakers aren’t really all that loud. They are clear enough for making Skype calls, watching movies alone or playing a variety of simple games, but for real immersion and a sense of rumbling depth, you’ll want to connect a beefier sound system.

We were impressed by the build quality of the case. It’s chunky, and the glossy red panels surrounding the keyboard are particularly sturdy. Below the keyboard is a rubbery, textured wrist rest. The keyboard has large, well-spaced keys with crisp action and good feedback, and despite the inclusion of a numberpad, Asus hasn’t compromised on the layout or squashed any keys together. In fact, the arrow keys have some space around them.

There are various strips of LED lighting around the case that can be set to flash in time with the CPU or hard disk, but it’s not all for show: the touchpad is slightly recessed and has the same blue LED around the edges, making it easier to spot in the dark. Despite the shallow, one-piece button assembly, we found it accurate and comfortable to use. However, most people will simply plug in the supplied gaming mouse.

There are four USB ports, FireWire, and a dedicated eSATA port. The USB ports are conveniently placed two to a side, and they’re hidden under small, magnetic flaps. The G71Gx supports Bluetooth and Draft-N wireless networking, and there’s a handy memory card reader and full-sized ExpressCard slot too.

An overall benchmark score of 78 is impressive for a laptop, but Mesh’s Edge 15 scored the same, also includes a Blu-ray drive, and costs only £800. Alternatively, Dell’s XPS 16 scored 41fps in Call of Duty 4 but costs half as much. This means, that despite its full-HD screen, decent gaming performance and Blu-ray drive, the G71Gx still can’t fully justify its very high price.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000
Processor clock speed 2GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 3
Memory slots free 1
Maximum memory 6GB
Size 411x300x51mm
Weight 4.0kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 2W
Power consumption idle 59W
Power consumption active 87W


Viewable size 17 in
Native resolution 1,920×1,200
Graphics Processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 1,024MB


Total storage capacity 1,000GB
Optical drive model HL-DT-ST CT10N
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 4
Total Firewire ports 1
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11a/n
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/54
Modem No
Supported memory cards SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, SmartMedia, xD
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input, minijack S/PDIF output


Carrying case Yes
Operating system Windows Vista Ultimate
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included WinDVD 8 BD
Optional extras TV Tuner

Buying Information

Warranty two years collect and return
Price £1,696

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