With the dust having settled on Intel's staggered Sandy Bridge launch and the early chipset issues having been ironed out, we're finally starting to see PC makers come out with builds based on the Santa Clara chip maker's second generation Core architecture. And if there's a platform ideally suited to showcase what Sandy Bridge is capable of, it's Asus' G73 series of gaming notebooks. We can say this with confidence because we got a chance to see firsthand what the G73 series was all about when we evaluated Asus' introductory model, the G73Jh.
Now in its third generation, the G73SW represents an architectural upgrade to what was already a powerful mobile PC. The goal remains the same, which is to recreate the desktop experience in a portable form factor. Whether you need to hammer out a spreadsheet, encode a Blu-ray video, or frag some foes at a LAN party, the G73SW promises to help get the job done. By all means, this is a desktop replacement, but with the addition of Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture, there's potential here for battery life to be extended beyond what you would normally expect from a high octane notebook. The question is, can it deliver on all fronts?
Specifications & Features
Intel Core i7 2630QM (2.0GHz)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M w/ 1.5GB GDDR5
1TB (2x500GB Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Drives)
Slimtype Blu-ray Reader
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Intel 802.11 A/G/N
1xUSB 3.0, 3xUSB 2.0, 5-in-1 Media Card Reader, HDMI
8.49 lbs with battery
41.5 x 32.0 x 1.89 cm (WxDxH)
We classify the G73SW as a desktop replacement, but in all reality, the sum of its parts add up to more than what the average Joe is rocking inside his mid-tower. The G73SW sports four cores of Sandy Bridge computing muscle racing along at 2.0GHz, enough RAM (8GB) to handle content creation chores, a mobile graphics card built around Nvidia's mighty Fermi architecture, and a pair of Seagate hybrid hard drives equipped with solid state storage for a speed boost. What's more, depending on how deep your pockets run, there are plenty of upgrades available as well.