Getting onto connectivity, Asus’ G60J gaming laptop leaves you wanting for very little. At the back are the power and Gigabit Ethernet sockets. On the left we have VGA and HDMI video outputs, together with two USB ports, a 54mm ExpressCard slot, a mini FireWire connection and eSATA.
At the front you’ll find an SD/HC/xD/MS memory card reader, along with more status icons (which can be seen with the lid closed) and a wireless switch. Finally on the right you’ll encounter a further two USB ports, three 3.5mm audio jacks for digital or analogue surround sound and a Blu-ray drive to play back the latest high definition films.
Not that the 16.5in screen will let you enjoy them in their native Full HD glory though, as the G60J comes with a disappointingly low resolution 1,366 x 768 display. The advantage to this is that the laptop’s single nVidia GeForce GTX 260M video card will be able to run advanced games like Crysis on higher detail settings at the screen’s native resolution, but of course you do sacrifice desktop real estate. We would say it’s a logical compromise, but it’s a shame that a machine costing well over £1,000 requires it – still, that’s mobile PC gaming for you.
Anyway, as reflective laptop screens go this example puts in a decent performance. There’s little sign of backlight bleed (only a slight hint is visible from the right side towards the top, not along the bottom as usual and therefore less intrusive during films especially), minimal banding, and good sharpness.
Tonal performance and contrast are also quite good, though with one major caveat: this screen suffers from marked contrast shift depending on viewing angle, so to get subtle bright and dark detail simultaneously you’ll have to get the angle just right, something that’s by no means easy. Still, overall it will do for both work and entertainment, and most importantly it will let you see all the monsters in dark games like Doom 3.
Unfortunately the Altec Lansing speakers leave us less impressed than we had hoped. Though the audio they produce is clear and has no trouble coping with detailed, subtle trebles, their utter lack of bass and low maximum volume fail to do any justice to the world-first sound card the G60J brings to the table.
You see, the G60J is the “the world’s first notebook to support 3D gaming surround audio in the form of EAX Advanced HD 4.0 audio technology” according to Asus. Considering this is the same effects-set as found on Creative’s X-Fi sound cards (probably the most popular high-end gaming audio card around), there are loads of titles that support it, so it should provide genuine enhancement for your gaming.