Software and Accessories
Unlike most average notebooks, but similar to many gaming notebooks, Asus has decided to splurge a little and bundle in a few nice accessories with its G51J-A1. For starters, you'll get a pretty awesome padded backpack (branded with Asus' logo, albeit a subtle one) to carry the machine and your peripherals around in, and the included Razer (wired) USB mouse is also a nice touch. For a sub-$1500 package, having these two things thrown in is great. We'd expect as much when spending over $2000, but for $1500? Kudos, Asus.
On the software front, you'll find Windows 7 Home Premium onboard, as well as lots of basic freeware (and unfortunately, too much bloatware for our tastes). Our machine came loaded with Adobe Reader 9, AI Recovery Burner, Asus Data Security, Asus FancySmart, ControlDeck, Trend Micro Internet Security (a real annoying piece of software, we might add), Splendid Utility, SmartLogon Manager and LifeFrame. All of the bundled Win7 software was here (IE 8, Windows DVD Maker, Windows Media Center, etc.), as well as a suite of Asus Utilities, CyberLink's Blu-ray Disc Suite (even though a Blu-ray drive isn't even an option on this machine), Creative audio utilities, Express Gate (the instant-on OS), and the Microsoft Office 2007 Suite (trial).