Gamers who prize performance above all else will find the new slim gaming laptops from Acer and HP lacking in graphical horsepower.
For these gamers, a conventional gaming laptop such as the Asus ROG G751JT is the solution. Updated with the latest hardware, this 5.3kg PC laptop is a proper replacement for a desktop.
Like in earlier versions, the design is still matte black with a soft-touch finish. But the hinge has been changed and the metallic centre of the lid bears the ROG logo.
The exhaust vents are still sited at the back of the laptop but now look more prominent in red. The G751JT is thicker at the back, giving the keyboard a slight incline. Typing on the keyboard is comfortable. Key travel is also excellent.
Asus adds a number of short-cut keys to this new model. One opens the popular Steam gaming app. While another starts Nvidia's Shadowplay screen-recording software to record your game session. Gaming macros can be mapped to three unassigned short-cut keys.
But Asus could have done more. For instance, there should be a quick setting to disable the Windows logo key during games. The touchpad, too, should be disabled automatically when a mouse is plugged in.
The laptop's 17.3-inch display is matte and non-touch. It has good viewing angles.
Unlike other gaming laptops that use high- resolution screens, the G751JT offers the standard 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution. This makes sense as even with a high-end graphics chip on the gaming laptop - the JT model reviewed here uses an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M chip, while the JY version uses the top GTX 980M - they may not be good enough to run games smoothly at very high resolutions.
As it is, the GTX 970M on the Asus laptop produced 41.88 frames per second (fps) in Crysis 3 at Very High setting. In the less-demanding Bioshock Infinite, the Asus scored 74.4fps at the highest setting. In other words, this gaming laptop lives up to expectations, especially at a relatively affordable $2,198.
But general performance is less rosy. The laptop uses a 5,400rpm 1TB hard drive with an 8GB solid-state drive (SSD). It does not feel fast in Windows, especially when opening an app. The more expensive JY version ($2,898) comes with a 7,200rpm hard drive and a 128GB SSD that should address this issue.
The battery lasted 3hr 17min while playing a video but it should not matter as this is a desktop replacement.
An old-school gaming laptop that delivers where it matters - price and performance.
Processor: Intel Core i7-4710HQ (2.5GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5
Screen size: 17 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Connectivity: 4 x USB 3.0, HDMI, Thunderbolt, SD card slot, microphone and headphone jacks
Battery: 88 watt-hour
Value for money: 4/5
Battery life: 2/5
This article was first published on Dec 31, 2014.
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