ASUS G74-SX-A1 Gaming Notebook Review

21 thumbs up
The design of the Asus G74SX-A1 was inspired by the Sea Shadow, a U.S. Navy stealth ship, as well as modern-day aircraft, and the comparison is apt. This notebook isn’t flashy at all, eschewing blingy decor in favor of a silent-but-deadly allure. Instead of hot red racing stripes, it has matte black rubber; instead of bright lights, it has brushed black metal. Its lines really do evoke the subtly intimidating profile of a stealth warship.

The only design feature meant to “pop” is the backlit keyboard--and that’s strictly for the user’s pleasure and accessibility under low-light conditions.



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On the left side of the G74SX-A1, you’ll find the disc drive, headphone and microphone jacks, two of the four USB ports, and the lock. Around back are the two vents. The AC adapter jack, LAN port, HDMI port, VGA port, the other two USB ports (including the lone USB 3.0), and the 5-in-1 card reader are on the right side of the notebook.

Unlike on the G73, the G74's numpad is separated from the main keyboard. The solution to the space issue, compared to the G73, was apparently to move the keys closer to the edge of the notebook, thus creating the extra room. We like the change, as it feels more like a spacious desktop keyboard than a typical notebook's cramped keys. Additionally, the keys themselves are sufficiently large and are labeled with big letters, uncluttered by markings for secondary and tertiary functions.

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Ergonomics is the name of the game here. The G74SX-A1’s keyboard (which features a full numpad) is designed with a 5-degree incline, and the entire palm rest is wrapped in a rubberized finish for better comfort. After a long session at the computer, the rubber finish is definitely easier on the palms and wrists than plastic.

Further, Asus built this notebook to eliminate heat as much as possible by getting creative with the vents. The intake fans are located just under the LCD and draw in air from the front of the machine; meanwhile, the back vents push all the air from inside out the back. 

The result is impressive; not only did my lap stay cool after a couple of hours of gaming (yes, it’s a sacrifice we reviewers all have to make), but the fans maintained a low hum throughout, never once kicking into high gear and interfering with the game’s audio experience.

Another welcome design idea is evident when you flip the G74SX-A1 over to access the internals. One large panel pops off with one large screw to reveal the HDD bays and RAM slots. This makes it easy to swap out one of the drives for an SSD or add another 4GB SODIMM to bump up the total system memory. 


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Accessory-wise, the G74SX-A1 includes the Asus ROG Laser Gaming Mouse, which nicely matches the overall look and design of the notebook itself, and a ROG backpack for toting the machine around.


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And still not worth upgrading from my G73jh it seems. Mine has a custom bios and video rom, with the video OC'ed a good bit. Shocking that the jh actually needs the video card to be OC'ed at least 5Mhz to be stable.

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I hope they adopt this as their new design going forward and not just for this model. I really like the angles and textures they used. No glossy plastic to pick up finger prints. Plus soft rounded edges are getting old, time to move on. The exhaust vents are finally in the right place too.

Btw is that a matte screen?

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To me this is the ultimate Laptop, I trust Asus cause I know they make the best motherboard so you know the foundation is solid and everything else should fall into place.

I was impressed by the battery life as this is no slouch of a laptop we are talking desktop replacement here.

 

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No desktop killer, but a solid travel companion no doubt.

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realneil:

No desktop killer, but a solid travel companion no doubt.

"Haha, yeah,it wont kill Red Fred, but it definitely beats out a lot of desktops that are out there, this bad boy has a lot of horsepower indeed."

 

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Sure like the way this one looks with the matte keyboard finish along with the hardware selection for gaming desktop replacement, laptop .I do not find it to be too bulky at all.Not all the concerned about some of the scores being a bit 'odd' maybe due to driver differences [likely] as mentioned in the review,Looks like good quality hardware selection with updated cooling and decent battery life .nice bundle included as well .I like it..A bit disappointed on adequate audio so would like to actually hear one of these to decide.Good solid review !

Thanks

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@ reilneil yea no desktop killer that's a bit much, but a good desktop replacement for those who want more gaming prowess than a tablet can offer.

Again for a laptop this would be my top choice.

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i finally chose this as my travel pc but bought the $1000. dollar model and installed a ssd and added more ram on my own because thats half the fun for me.

the ability to upgrade the machine is what sold me.

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this laptop would likely be on pretty short list for some desktop like performance on the go. would really appreciate the 17" screen quality

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It seems to me that ASUS has a feel for what people want. Their entire product line is full of much better that average offerings. My ASUS GTX570 is a solid performer and runs cool too. My ASUS DVD Burners are reliable and I have yet to try any blank media that doesn't work in them. My 27" ASUS Flat panel has an exceptional picture, and I plan to buy more of them when I'm rich and famous.

Almost everyone agrees that ASUS Motherboards are of top notch quality, with all of the latest technology built into them.

They know what people want and they build that at reasonable prices.

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