Asus G51J Core i7 Mobile Gaming Notebook Review

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Battery Performance

And now comes the part where we collective take a breath and exhale with: "Ouch." The G51J-A1's battery life is nothing at all to brag about; in fact, it's probably the weakest point of the whole system aside from the lackluster keyboard. We asked Asus what this 6-cell battery was rated for in terms of hours, and they were quick to point out that they don't rate their batteries save for a few Eee PCs which they feel get great enough life to gloat about. On one hand, we appreciate that approach as it doesn't give buyers a false impression of what to expect. On the other, it's sort of like lying-by-silence. By not giving buyers any indication whatsoever of what to expect, you're essentially leaving out a vital specification that may make them look elsewhere for a better machine. Of course, that's why we're here--to clear up these ambiguities once and for all.

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We should first clarify (once again) that this machine is a gaming rig. There's a Core i7 CPU in here that's probably faster than your year-old desktop CPU, and the NVIDIA GPU is a power drain in and of itself. For all intents and purposes, you can think of this as a desktop within the shell of a notebook. That said, the battery life is just abysmal. On the Core 2 Duo-powered G51VX that we reviewed in August, our Battery Eater test--which does a great job of mimicking "real-world" use on a notebook while tracking the drain down to the second--found that it could last 104 minutes, or just under two hours. The more powerful CPU in the G51J-A1 obviously hurts the battery life, as we could only squeeze out 89 minutes under "real-world" circumstances.

Folks, that's not even 1.5 hours. Of course, you could stretch that number somewhat by disabling Wi-Fi, dimming the screen and not doing much of anything on your laptop, but then what's the point? The bottom line here is that you shouldn't expect the G51J-A1 to last long away from an AC outlet, but honestly, you probably never were expecting that. If you need a machine to last awhile on your road trip, snap up a cheap netbook (or five extra batteries for this thing).

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