Asus G51J Review

By soumitra, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

asus-g51j-back-angle-590Asus may be best known for their exclusive netbook lineup but they can also churn out some good performance mainstream notebooks like K50IJ or touchscreen tablet like Eee PC T91. Now they have come out with a 15 inch gaming notebook with Intel Core i7 Processor Power and Nvidia graphics with 1GB dedicated video memory. But it doesn’t cost a pretty penny like the Alienwares and is available at under $1500 to make the budget gaming enthusiasts happy. But does it have any deal breaking cons? We have made a review to find the answer.

Performance

ARTICLE CONTINUED BELOW

The standard system comes with a Intel Core i7 - 720 QM Processor clocking at 1.6 GHz with 6MB cache and 1333 MHz FSB. There are two 2GB PC3 8500 DDR3 memory modules making up a total of 4GB of RAM. Opening more than 30 tabs in internet browser at the same time with a video being encoded in the background and a music playing, switching between the tabs did not show any sign of lag as expected from the processor that can handle 8 threads at the same time. With its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M graphics with 1GB GDDR3 memory, decoding a 1080p video was flawless. High end games like Left 4 Dead pumped out very high frame rates ranging more than 60 frames per second. The two 320GB Seagate 7200 rpm hard disks are really fast and loading games from the HDD showed its high performance benefits. The 1.6 GHz processor can be overclocked to 2.8 GHz but it does not significantly improve the performance benefits.
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Design

The design of the notebook has subtle gaming design essence but it is not overwhelming like the Alienwares by any means. On the outside the design looks as if the edges are scratched into the glossy surface but if you give it a closer look you’ll find that it is a piece of artwork that stretches from top to bottom of the notebook. However, the inside of the laptop has a very basic look-n-feel. Though the black backlit keyboard, glossy trim around the display and rubberized black palmrest feels good, it can’t be said that the design is revolutionary. The build quality, on the other hand, is very good. The plastic used for making the laptop is very solid and durable and there is no or minimal flex under severe pressure.
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Display

A good sized high resolution display with vivid colors is a must for a gaming device and as the Asus G51J is touted as a gaming device, the expectation level is high for it. The 15.5 inch display showing 1920 X 1080 pixels full HD display satisfies the size and resolution constraints but it lacks somehow in the color department. Asus has given a quick and easy way to switch color profiles with the screen which gives out significantly better colors than the ulaltered ones. The other aspects such as viewing angles and backlight were above average for a device of its class.

Audio

While we won’t expect great sound quality from a laptop but as G51J is a gaming laptop, we expected better sound quality than the average laptops. The Altec Lansing speakers sounded very nice but as there was no subwoofer built in, it lacked bass range. The sound from the laptop consisted mostly of the higher frequencies. A  good pair of headphone is recommended for the audiophiles as always.
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Keyboard

The full sized keyboard was very comfortable to type on and it has a solid feeling while typing on it. The black keyboard has white lettering on it which lights up when the backlit is turned on. The numerical keyboard on the side is a real bonus and the other key placements are also very common and easy to use.

TouchPad

The touchpad is very large and has smooth surface. The synaptics touchapad has very good speed and response. There was no noticeable lag and the touchpad responded very well to quick movements as well as slow but steady movements. The buttons were equally good and was very comfortable to be clicked.
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Ports

The port selection was simply amazing and it has almost everything you may need. There are four USB Ports, an eSATA Connection, both HDMI and VGA to connect external monitor, FireWire 400, Ethernet and three audio jacks. There is also an Express Card 54 Slot and SD card Reader. What else do we need? A Coffee Cup holder would perhaps be the choice!

Battery Life

Gaming Laptops are not expected to run without power for hours. And the Asus G51 is not going to break the myth. In fact, it’s battery performance is worse than many other competing laptops in the market. In our test it barely managed to run for two hours with low or no usage at all, its screen dimmed down and several other power saving featured turned on. In full workload like playing a game without power may result your laptop run for less than 1 hour.
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Pros

  • High Processing Power with Core i7 Processor
  • Price is lesser than the competing models with similar configuration and performance
  • Keyboard and touchpad are excellent

Cons

  • Battery Life worse than its competitors.
  • Overclocking the processor does not improve performance.

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Conclusion

At the end of the day, Asus G51J is a high performance laptop that can take on any other gaming laptop with its sheer performance and it won’t cost you an arm or a leg. If you are happy with its hour long battery life and don’t want to use the overclocking feature most of the time, you won’t find a better option in this price range.

Discussion
February 17, 2010: 8:24 am

Do you really think Asus has what it takes to step into the gaming laptop market? I just think the XPS series from Dell and others are too tough to compete with. Has anyone has a good experience gaming with Asus?


wolf
December 31, 2009: 4:39 am

If I pick this laptop up, its only because Nvidia has recommended this model and it is one of the very few laptops out there that supports NVidia 3D Vision technology.

THAT and the laptop has a Blu-Ray player which makes it a one stop solution for people wanting everything in one.

It’s sad to see that the article failed to mention both the aspects mentioned above.


alex
November 19, 2009: 6:25 pm

I’m so glad companies are focusing on 3D…


danwat1234
October 31, 2009: 5:46 pm

How did you overclock this?? The system architecture has an overclocking feature built in, called ‘Turboboost”, the software ‘power4gear’ that comes with the laptop just manipulates this feature.

In other words, the CPU is designed to push one core to 2.8GHZ for some time. THerefore, I say that you did not do any overclocking in this review, as the 2.8GHZ speed would have been switched on for 1 core (or 2.4GHZ for 2 cores) automatically, WHENEVER the system architecture felt that it would yield performance improvements.

This is why when you ‘overclocked’, you didn’t really change anything, hence why you think it didn’t work.

Please try to ACTUALLY overclock the CPU of this laptop! Take it beyond the 45w TDP.

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