Asus G73SW Sandy Bridge Gaming Notebook Review

Performance Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary: A gaming notebook needs to exhibit certain qualities if it's to be taken seriously as a desktop replacement. Because of the limited upgrade path, especially in the GPU department, a mobile gaming PC needs to start off with a solid set of components, and the 17-inch G73SW gets more right than it does wrong. Armed with Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture, 8GB of DDR3 memory, hybrid hard drives with solid state cache, and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460M graphics chip, the G73SW proved adept not just at gaming, but as an all-around multimedia machine. Ironically enough, the graphics chip doesn't have the moxie to run more demanding games with the visual quality settings cranked all the way up, but it does have enough strength to pull respectable frame rates in all other scenarios.

Now in its third generation, Asus' G73 gaming notebook line continues to improve with each new iteration. This latest version brings the G73 series up to speed with some of the latest components, most notably Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture. Calling it strictly a gaming notebook is a little misleading, however, as there's enough RAM and storage space to also function as a content creation machine, and of course you won't have any trouble running productivity apps.

Unique to the G73 series is an aggressive styling that's not only eye catching, but was designed to facilitate air flow without the nasty side effect of noise pollution. This isn't a machine you'll want to tote into a conservative business meeting, and at more than 8 pounds, it's not meant to be toted around like a netbook or traditional notebook. But while the weight and battery life prevent it from being highly mobile, it is portable, as well as quiet, so if you do decide to bring it into your next board meeting, it won't elicit any glares due to noise, though it might catch some envious glances.

One thing we're thrilled to see Asus include in the G73SW is a USB 3.0 port. Both Intel and AMD still don't support the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 specification natively, and it's a bonus whenever one is included in a notebook form factor. Unfortunately, Asus still hasn't found a way to squeeze in an ExpressCard slot, a standard feature in laptops and a glaring omission for such a high end machine. The lack of an ExpressCard slot limits your upgrade options, in that you're not able to add an external sound card or expand the number of USB ports, which sits at four.

The few shortcomings aside, the G73SW is another winner in Asus' G73 series. It looks great, it runs fast, and is surprisingly quiet for a mobile PC of this caliber.


  • Solid gaming performance
  • All around multimedia powerhouse
  • Eye catching design
  • Excellent cooling
  • USB 3.0
  • No ExpressCard slot
  • Short battery life

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