Asus G74SX-A2 Laptop Review – Expensive But Great for Gamers
Of late, I have been having a lot of thin and lights in my labs for testing and hence it was good to see a desktop replacement laptop coming in. Asus has been more famous in the market for their Eee PC Netbooks but they also have a really impressive gaming laptop collection. I got the Asus G74SX-A2; let’s see what this laptop is all about in detail. Read Asus G74SX-A2 laptop review to know more.
My test rig :
- Here is the hardware that came in my review model that is priced at $1,949.
- Quad Core 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7-2630 QM processor
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 M graphic card
- 160 GB SSD (solid state drive)
- 750 GB HDD (hard disk drive)
- 16 GB RAM
- Intel HM67 chipset
- 64 bit Windows 7 Home Premium
My test rig had a price tag of $1,949 and there is also cheaper one for $1,500. The less expensive model has reduced RAM from 16 GB to 12 GB and 160GB SSD is dumped for one 1.5 TB HDD running at 7,200 rpm
Asus G74SX-A2 Design :
Gaming laptops are mostly big and ugly but this one is an exception. Asus G74SX is a black angular box having matte muted finish and this makes it aesthetically appealing. Outer shell is all black matte plastic and it is built on Clevo off-the-shelf body. This laptop tapers a bit on the front and sides of lid angle down to give you wing-like look. Rear edge holds big fan vent and this too is angled sharply. It looks like front grille of a car.
Having all this hardware inside needs a lot of cooling and it contributes to the increase in weight. This beast weighs nine pounds which is indeed a burden on any traveler’s shoulders. It is still three pounds less heavy as compared to Alienware M18x. If you want something that has a good mix of style and high power, then check out HP Envy series of laptops.
Asus G74SX-A2 Keyboard :
Keyboard of the Asus G74SX-A2 is pretty basic except for backlighting which will come in handy while playing games in a dark room. The keys are widely spaced and flat topped. They have island style design which is getting increasingly popular in laptops these days. The buttons are of decent size but they wiggled in my tests even during light typing. I expected a premium feel considering that this is a high end laptop. Right side has a full sized number pad and four arrow buttons are located a bit awkwardly between number pad and QWERTY keyboard.
Asus G74SX-A2 Touchpad :
Asus G74SX-A2 comes with a big touchpad and it is certainly a plus on a gaming laptop. There are physical right and left mouse click buttons instead of clickpad concept of Apple. Buttons are big enough and hitting them is quite comfortable.
Asus G74SX-A2 Software :
Asus G74SX-A2 comes with a lot of software applications and you might find some of them useful. However, there is a learning curve involved and you will need to sit back and spend some time with them to know how to use them. There is something called Rotation Desktop app for swapping between the different custom desktops (this is quite similar to what Mac can do). Smart Logon Manager will handle face recognition for the passwords. I didn’t like the Asus Vibe Fun Center much; it sells music and game content.
Asus G74SX-A2 Display :
This is the best part about the Asus G74SX-A2. Display here is 17.4 inches big and you get full HD resolution of 1,920×1,080 pixels. This is the same as that on other high end 17 inch laptops. Colors popped out well and screen is quite clear. However, I wish that there was more brightness. There is glossy coating which reflects light very easily and this is disappointing as the off axis viewing here is a relatively better. Thick plastic surrounds the screen here unlike the other laptops which come with edge to edge glass.
Asus G74SX-A2 Audio :
Asus G74SX-A2 has good audio quality but there isn’t much to expect from a laptop speaker set. If you are really keen on good audio quality, then i would recommend you to invest in good quality headphones. Volume controls are associated with the function buttons and they are secondary. You will need to press the function button for that.
Asus G74SX-A2 Ports :
Asus G74SX-A2 comes with one USB 3.0 and there is also Blu-ray drive. However, my biggest gripe here is the absence of an eSATA port which is now common in high end laptops. There is Bluetooth if you want to connect wireless mouse but apart from that, there isn’t a lot onboard.
Asus G74SX-A2 Performance :
In my tests, this laptop was working quite well. In terms of peripherals, the Nvidia GeForce 560M graphics card used here is high end but there are better quality ones available in the form of 580 and 570 GPUs which are more powerful. I played Metro 2033 and got 20.3 fps at full HD resolution. I then played Street Fighter IV and got 59.7 fps. Skyrim didn’t give me any hiccups while playing with graphics set at highest. Things were playable and smooth all the time.
G74SX-A2 Battery life :
Intrinsically speaking, desktop replacement laptops aren’t really known for their big battery life and this one too isn’t any different. In my tests, the Asus G74SX-A2 stayed alive for 2 hours and 27 minutes. Other desktop replacement machines too give similar results.
Like I said before, my review model was priced at $1,949 but you can configure it for more expensive or less expensive components according to your requirements.
Manufacturer support :
Asus is giving their higher end systems better support – 2 and half years of warranty for labor and parts and this includes 1 year accidental damage coverage from Asus. You are protected against spills, drops, electrical surges, and fire. You can go online for getting help regarding driver downloads and there are also troubleshooting tips there. While visiting, i found that things aren’t really user friendly as compared to other sites out there.
The $2,000 model that i had might be a bit expensive for most gamers but a toned down $1,500 model will do well with most. This is a good gaming choice but hardcore gamers will certainly look for more boutique and some show offs that Alienware machines sport.