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ASUS has made it a goal to increase their retail presence in the mobile market, with an eye on becoming one of the top brand names. There's no doubt that Dell, HP, and Acer continue to sell more laptops overall (especially if we leave out the Eee PC netbooks), but walk into any Best Buy, Office Depot, etc. and you're likely to find quite a few ASUS laptops for sale. They have everything from entry-level netbooks and laptops through long battery life CULV designs and a bunch of midrange offerings. At the high-end, you'll probably have more luck finding ASUS laptops online, but the ASUS G73Jh definitely makes such a search worthwhile.

The G73Jh is of the "bigger is better" variety of gaming notebooks, but it's not quite up there with the giant 18.4" offerings. Instead, ASUS has dropped down to a slightly smaller 17.3" chassis, but they've still packed in a lot of compelling hardware. Do you want to play games? How about getting the fastest current mobile GPU, and unlike the latest NVIDIA mobile solutions you get DirectX 11 support! The Radeon Mobility HD 5870 is a potent little chip, and it matches up nicely with the 1080p display. Sure, it pales in comparison to the top desktop GPUs (it's really based off the 5770 "Juniper" core with 800 Stream Processors as opposed to the 1600 Stream Processor "Cypress" core), but short of multi-GPU solutions like SLI and CrossFire, you won't find a faster notebook graphics chip.

ASUS G73Jh-A2 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i7-720QM
(4x1.60GHz, 45nm, 6MB L3, Turbo to 2.80GHz, 45W)
Chipset Intel HM55
Memory 4x2GB DDR3-1333 (Max 8GB)
Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5
800 SPs, 700/1.0GHz Core/RAM clocks (4GHz effective)
Display 17.3" LED Glossy 16:9 1080p (1920x1080)
(HannStar HSD173PUW1)
Hard Drive(s) 2x500GB 7200RPM HDD (non-RAID)
(Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9500420AS)
Optical Drive 8x DVDR SuperMulti (HL-DT-ST GT30N)
Networking Gigabit Ethernet (Atheros AR8131)
802.11n WiFI (Atheros AR9285) Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (Broadcom BT-270)
Audio EAX Enhanced HD 4.0 Audio (2.1 speakers + subwoofer)
Microphone and headphone jacks
Capable of 5.1 digital output (HDMI)
Battery 8-Cell, 14.6V, 5.2Ah, 75Wh
Front Side Power/Battery/HDD/WiFi indicator lights
Left Side Headphone Jack
Microphone Jack
2 x USB 2.0
Optical Drive (DVDRW)
Ethernet
Right Side Memory Card Reader
2x USB 2.0
HDMI
VGA
AC Power Connection
Back Side 2 x Exhaust vent
Kensington Lock
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 16.54" x 12.20" x 0.74-2.24" (WxDxH)
Weight 8.47 lbs (with 8-cell battery)
Extras Gaming (Laser) Mouse
ASUS Backpack
2MP Webcam
102-Key keyboard with 10-key
Flash reader (SD, MMC, MS-Duo, Smart Media, xD)
Warranty 2-year limited global warranty
1-year accidental damage and battery warranty
Pricing $1505 Online (Note: 9-10 day special order)
$1548 Alternative (In and out of stock everywhere)

Matched up with the GPU are a supporting cast of components that are powerful in their own right. For the CPU, the G73Jh-A2 that we received for review includes a quad-core i7-720QM (1.6GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz). The notebook uses an HM55 chipset, so support for i3 and i5 processors is also available and we expect to see other SKUs down the road. Thanks to Turbo Boost, the only dual-core CPUs that should clearly offer better single-threaded performance are the i5-540M and i7-620M, but for multi-threaded loads even the "low-end" 720QM bests all of the dual-core options. Besides 1TB (2x500GB) of storage and the other typical accessories, ASUS also stuffs a full 8GB of DDR3 memory into the G73Jh. It's interesting to note that they do this via four SO-DIMM slots, so potentially you could put 4x4GB in the system but ASUS officially lists only 8GB support.

The only serious omission (for some) is a Blu-ray drive; other models are likely to include such a drive, but costs are going to go up. If you want Blu-ray support, you might find it easier to just add your own for ~$140. For those that want it, eSATA, ExpressCard, and FireWire support are also missing, and unlike the N61Jv there's no USB3 port either. Digital content purveyors will be disappointed but if you're just after a mobile gaming solution the missing items aren't likely to matter.

When you add everything together, the G73Jh—particularly the A2 version that includes a nice mouse and backpack—is an excellent value, provided of course that you're interested in a gaming laptop. This thing is a beast to lug around, and it won't fit in my standard 17" laptop bag, so you'll want the ASUS backpack if possible. Availability is perhaps the only sore spot, with stock disappearing rapidly at most of the online vendors we've monitored. As such, a few sites are bumping up the price… and still selling out. (Newegg, we're looking at you and your $1750 A2 model.) The MSRP for this particular configuration is supposed to be $1600, and if you shop around you can probably find it at that price or slightly less, but as with any popular model you may need to work a bit to find one.

ASUS G73Jh – Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder
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  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 19, 2010 - link

    According to [l=this page]http://www.em-zero.com/index.php/2010/02/everythin...[/l], the X3 version comes with two 320GB HDDs. That would make sense as the only 640GB 2.5" HDDs are 5400RPM models, so unless ASUS wants to downgrade RPMs for higher density a couple (older) 320GB 7200RPM drives is the easiest solution. Reply
  • Obeah - Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - link

    Sweet, thanks!! Reply
  • mofo3k - Monday, April 19, 2010 - link

    I don't know anyone who uses their notebook on battery power anymore, especially for gaming. I think that for me at least, it won't really be a deal breaker because if I just want to "surf the web" or check my Facebook account, I'll do that on my Droid. I don't have to break out the case, open it up, pull out the notebook, wait for it to boot up and try to find a comfortable place/position to set it in. Then when I'm done, have to reverse the process.

    If there's any pc segment that's still concerned with battery life, then they should get a netbook anyway. That's how it would work for me at least and others may differ in opinion I guess.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 19, 2010 - link

    I agree that battery life isn't a real concern on a gaming notebook like this, but for regular notebooks it's definitely an important metric. I use laptops off battery power all the time. Sure, I could bring along the brick and plug it in, but that's inconvenient. If you get a CULV laptop or something similar with good battery life, you can work all day and never deal with any cords. As for why I run the tests on gaming notebooks, it's just for completeness' sake. :-) Reply
  • faizan123 - Monday, April 19, 2010 - link

    http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-g73jha1-order-p-2731.h...

    It also includes a Bluray for some lesser price.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 19, 2010 - link

    Yes, I think XoticPC is safe, though they also list the laptop as "pre-order" so it might be a few weeks before you get your laptop if you go through them. On the other hand, being able to customize the features of your G73Jh is nice. Not that there's much I'd recommend changing... 2x256GB C300 SSDs and an i7-920XM for only $4000! :-)

    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Xotic_PC
    Reply
  • faizan123 - Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - link

    Ok But how about this http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+with+Int... . This has 6GB Ram and 500Gb of HDD which doesnt matter me much but what im really thinking of is the resolution of the screen which in the bestbuy case is just 1600 X 900 does it really make any difference. considering the difference in resolutions. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - link

    Without testing that particular LCD, I have no idea how it performs, but there's a real chance the HD+ LCD is a dud as far as contrast. (Look at the W870CU HD+ LCD, for example--Clevo uses the same 1080p LCD as the G73Jh, but their HD+ unit stinks.) So if you're not worried about LCD quality, the $1200 Best Buy model has all of the performance shown here, just with a bit less RAM, one HDD, no backpack or mouse, and a lower resolution display. Reply
  • cadwerks.studios - Monday, April 19, 2010 - link

    My favorite notebook and laptop company is still Malibal
    https://www.malibal.com

    The World's Most Powerful Notebook For Graphics
    ... See More
    Everywhere you look, companies claim to have the Ultimate Gaming Machine, but only at MALIBAL will you find a system that makes good on that promise and delivers performance worthy of the title. The new MALIBAL Veda Series gives you the ultimate gaming experience by taking speed to a whole new level. The state-of-the-art system utilizes SLI technology to take advantage of not one, but two of the fastest GPUs available from NVIDIA --the GeForce GTX 285M. With a gorgeous full HD widescreen display, the Veda is the fastest 18.4” display notebook available today. Beside its powerful performance and cutting-edge components, the Veda also features a futuristic design with a customizable luminous lighting array, buttonless luminescent touch sensor control panel, and eight unique programmable gaming keys that gives you total control with swift execution whether your passion is rooted in FPS, MMORPG, or RTS games.

    Vibrant Cinematic Visuals

    Whether you’re working on an important business document, watching a Blu-ray movie or playing a game, our 18.4-inch full HD widescreen display with a 1920x1080 pixel native resolution delivers enough screen real estate for all your needs. The widescreen display serves up vibrant colors and generous viewing angles, and provides brilliant clarity with theater-like viewing sensation for your favorite High-Definition content.

    Three Hard Drives w/ RAID

    Enjoy all the space you could ever want with industry-leading RAID-enabled fault tolerance storage capacities. The ultimate mobile data storage solution provides performance, utility, and security without compromising an internal optical drive.

    Unique Programmable Gaming Buttons

    The unit includes eight unique Gaming Buttons that are completely user-definable to allow ultimate control over your gaming experience. Whether your passion is rooted in FPS, MMORPG, or RTS games, the Veda is built to dominate with swift execution.

    Slick and Futuristic

    Revolutionize the way you control your notebook experience. The Veda’s Touch Sensor control panel is a state-of-the-art design featuring a buttonless luminous glassy panel with a touch sensor spread across the notebook. It provides control for the luminous appearance array, camera, Bluetooth, Wireless LAN, Application, Mute sound, and Volume with a single light touch. The customizable luminous lighting array lets you choose from 7 colors and transition effects across 3 distinct zones, front and rear vent panels.

    Display: 18.4" 1920 x 1080 WUXGA LCD Active Matrix Display
    Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-920XM, Extreme 8MB L3 Cache, 2.0-3.20GHz
    Memory: (8GB) 8192MB, PC3-10660/1333MHz DDR3 - 2 SO-DIMM
    Graphics Card: Dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 285M 1GB GDDR3
    Hard Drive: 320GB 7200rpm 2.5" SATA-300
    Hard Drive 2: 320GB 7200rpm 2.5" SATA-300
    Hard Drive 3: 320GB 7200rpm 2.5" SATA-300
    RAID: 0 High Performance (Two Hard Drive Configuration)
    Optical Drive: 8X Multi DVD+/-R/RW RAM Dual-Layer Drive
    Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® 7 Ultimate; 64-bit
    Wireless: Intel® 6300 Ultimate-N 802.11A/B/G/N LAN and Bluetooth Card
    Cooling: IC Diamond 7 Thermal Compound, CPU & GPU
    Warranty: 3 Year Ltd. Parts and Labor Warranty with 24/7 USA-Based Support
    Extras: Standard Black Carrying Case
    Extras: Integrated 2.0 Megapixel Web Camera
    Extras: Integrated 7 in 1 Card Reader
    Extras: Integrated Fingerprint Reader
    Extras: Microsoft Windows 7 DVD-ROM
    Extras: MALIBAL Software & Drivers Disc
    Extras: PowerDVD & Bison Cam Software Package
    Software: Microsoft Office 2007 Professional Edition

    $4,388.00

    Now that's a notebook to make people drool over.

    Dear ASUS can you please start making things like this?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - link

    I didn't say "fastest", I said "top", which is completely difference. The Malibal you just linked is yet another rebranded Clevo chassis, the X8100, which I mentioned at least once in this review. SLI GTX 285M is faster, but you lose DX11 support and you're paying nearly three times as much for that unit. So I'm not at all lazy but rather sensible. The number of people buying $4000+ laptops pales in comparison to those buying $1500 laptops. Reply

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