Asus uses the cheapest, lowest-end Intel Core i7 mobile CPU in its G73Jh. Don’t be put off by its lowly 1.6GHz clock speed, though, as this quad-core CPU Turbo Boosts to up to 2.8GHz depending on how the load is spread across its cores. At this speed it provides ample performance, as evidenced by its excellent result in PCMark Vantage.
Looking more closely at these results, we were a little surprised to discover that the Asus G60j outperformed this machine. However, the difference proves to be relatively minor and – as you can see in the full results at the end of the review – can be traced to slightly faster hard drive performance. Even with this difference, though, the G70Jh is a very powerful machine that will chomp through intensive HD video encoding tasks with gusto. Our only caveat would be that you’ll still get significantly better performance in even a £900 desktop like the Cryo Nano, while a similarly priced desktop such as the DinoPC 6th Sense is on a different planet. Unfortunately that’s the price you pay for high-performance in a (somewhat) portable chassis, a fact that’s true in gaming as well.
We also wonder whether Asus might have been better off using 4GB of RAM instead of 8GB, using the money saved to use a faster processor. However, should you need a lot of memory, the G73Jh has you covered and of course comes with a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium to make use of all that memory. If Asus wanted to go to town it could have put the twin 500GB hard drives in a RAID array, but on balance the potential reliability issues mean it’s probably best it hasn’t.
With the exception of the innovative Alienware M11x, which doesn’t have the graphics grunt to be considered a high-end gaming machine anyway, battery life is always a weakness in gaming laptops. Despite coming with a fairly high-capacity eight-cell 5,200mAh/75 Watt-hour battery, the Asus G73Jh is no different as it ran out of juice before completing a single cycle of the Productivity test.
In the intensive DVD test with the screen at full brightness it managed a paltry 66 minutes, but keep in mind that the Toshiba Qosmio X500-10T, which managed over an hour and a half, sports a significantly less powerful graphics card. Moreover, turn the screen brightness down and you should just about be able to watch an average-length film on the G73Jh.
This poor battery life is obviously caused by all that the high-end hardware, including the two hard drives and powerful (and therefore hot) processor and graphics. With all this heat normally comes noise, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that the machine lives up to Asus’ tagline of “strike in silence”. When not under load, only a very faint background hum indicates the machine is turned on. Even when gaming at full intensity and with the optical drive in use, this stealthy laptop never gets distracting. This easily makes it one of the quietest high-end gaming laptops we’ve ever reviewed, and is yet another mark in favour of the huge chassis.
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