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This notebook definetly lived up to my expectations when I got it. The build quality is exceptional, and the performance will meet pretty much everyone's needs, except for the enthusiasts in hardware, however if that is the case you probably would be looking for a desktop or a (even) higher-end notebook.

Keyboard is responsive, altough I'm stil having to get used to chiclet style keys, as I only used regular membrane keyboards before. The keyboard also has a white backlight with 4 brightness settings, altough I only use them in maximum brightness it's a good feature to have. The full-size numberpad and the directional arrows are separate from the main keys, so they are quite easy to find and don't have the problem of accidentally pressing the wrong key. The trackpad performance is regular, only thing that stands out is that it's bigger than the avarege, but in no way it could replace a mouse.

I'm no expert in sound quality, but I find the speakers good enough for me and I still haven't used the headphone and microphone jacks to know how the sound controller performs. The screen quality is good enough for me, however I don't really work with photo/video editing and other applications that require color accuracy, so if it has a good viewing angle and it doesn't reflect too much light I'm happy. I believe this isn't an IPS display, but the viewing angles are quite wide, so that isn't an issue for me. Also something to note is that the display is not touch or 3D capable. Frankly I find that a good thing, but other people may think differently and actually use those features, so I might as well put it here.

As far as gaming performance goes, I still haven't tested very demanding titles, but so far I encountered zero problems running games in 1080p at near maximum settings (normally removing AA, since I don't see any huge improvement in quality). If it serves as a reference for some people, I get similar or better performace than my previous desktop wich had a i7-2600k, 8Gb ram and a GTX 660. The cooling system is very efficient and, while I haven't actually measured temperatures, the air coming out of the rear vents never got hot to the point I would be worried. Also regarding the fans, I find them very silent when not gaming, and at an acceptable noise whe demanded. Sometimes they decided to speed up for no reason when the system was idle and after a couple seconds return to normal, but in those moments the noise can be annoying.

Unfortunately the notebook doesn't have a SSD installed with this particular model, however the installed 750Gb hard drive comes separated in two partitions, with around 280Gb for the OS drive. I wasn't expecting that, and it was a more than welcome surprise for me. It comes with windows 8 out of the box, so if you want to upgrade it to 8.1 be prepared to make a ton of updates before that.

Below a brief summary of my review.

Pros:
- Excelent performance
- Excelent cooling system
- Display with wide viewing angles
- Good enough sound quality
- HD comes with two separate partitions

Cons:
- No SSD
- Quite heavy at almost 5Kg
- Doesn't come with windows 8.1 out of the box, so there's the inconvinience of having to update

Conclusion: Overall I'm very impressed with this notebook. A more accurate score would be 4.5 out of 5, but since I don't have that option, I find that it is closer to the 5 star mark since I was aware of the cons before buying and they don't reduce the experience, it would simply be an even better product if not for those facts.
11 comment|17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 January 2014
After 4 years of watching Acers CPU temperatures increase until its finally useless due to shutting down for anything other than surfing the net after 2 years. I decided to go for something different.

I am not really a gamer, do a bit of lightroom editing of photo's. And some largish manual editing.

Its a bit of a big beast of machine but it really shifts. And it must be one of the coolest (temperature) laptop that I have ever put on my lap. No sweaty knees.

I am sure there will be some techies who say there is issues with the screen colours etc but it looks pretty bright and usable to me and colour isn't adobe true but good enough for my photography efforts.

Loads of 3.0 USB ports with one that's "hot" all the time for changing usb things.

Keyboard is comfy to use with good wrist support.

The keyboard lights are pretty good as well.

Haven't played a high resource game on it yet. But the thing is hardly even ticking over at idle with the photo editing of raw flies I have done so far.

I had read reviews about the addition of a SSD and put in a Samsung PRO SSD within a day of getting it. Not cheap but removes the IO bottle neck of 5.3 win index of the 750GB 7200rpm drive it comes with. Boosts it up to a win index of 7.3.

This means the thing boots win 8 in under 15 seconds.

Windows 8 is a bit strange but hardly the fault of the laptop.

So my advice is look past the "games" name and see a high spec laptop which doesn't pump heat out doing normal tasks. If you looking for something portable its not going to be the best thing for you. But if its only going to be chucked in the car occasionally and not carried around in a bag everyday it well worth looking at.

The fact you can play tombraider at max settings is just a bonus.

And a word of warning these 4th gen intel processors require a DDR3L 1.35V ram if you put in 1.5V it will cause you problems and eventually kill the laptop.

The ram that came with mine from Amazon was Samsung M471B5273CH0-YK0 PC3-12800 rating, with timings of CL11 (11-11-11-28)

I stuck a couple of ripjaws (F3-1600C11D-16GRSL) in with the same timings and it worked perfectly. To note you can't get at the delivered memory without taking the thing completely to pieces so getting faster memory won't be much use unless your happy to forget about the warranty.

But don't think you need to upgrade the thing motors as is straight out the box. But the addition of a good SSD like the Samsung Pro for the boot/application disk makes a huge upgrade to the performance.
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on 17 June 2015
Another excellent all round attempt from Asus with only a few minor niggles.

Performance

The laptop powers through any tasks thrown at it easily and does so almost silently as it is equipped with actually adequate cooling for a laptop compared to others that were looked at. Battery is reasonable but not amazing but that is expected from a laptop with this power but i feel it is assumed that the user will spend most of their time with this plugged in to the wall. GPU performace is good and the 770m is comparable to GTX760 desktop card. The JX config come with 2x 750gb WD scorpio blacks buy default but i removed one of these for a 256gb sandisk ultra plus SSD which i feel was needed. Blu ray drive is nice and one of the many reason i bought this laptop was the inclusion of a optical drive which is becoming a rare sight on high end machines now.

Build Quality

This laptop is a desktop replacement. It is not a thin and light therefore it does weigh a lot. That being said the added weight is used properly for solid build quality and reliability. Keyboard is nice to type on and the keys have good travel but does have some flex due to the laptop being quite wide but not really noticeable. Trackpad is good and large enough for my large fingers to have good travel distance across it. Good array of ports including thunderbolt which is a nice feature. Screen is excellent and has good colour reproduction and viewing angles. Also performs well in bright sunlight due to it being a matt screen.

Negative Points

Slightly mushy keyboard
No SSD at this price
Weight and size (personal judgement needed here, wasn't an issue for me)
Charger is massive
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on 6 May 2014
Why choose a gaming laptop when I don't play games.........well
My criteria was a replacement for my ageing XP desktop that was getting very very slow plus the lack of Microsoft support led me to bite the bullet and start again.
I required something with good storage although I do tend to use my external H Drive to store my music photo's etc
I wanted to replace my ageing Mini midi hifi that would play my cd's or play my mp3 lists without the need of a room cluttering hifi
I really wanted to play UTube stuff without lots of buffering and play anything that was in HD..............in HD! and FULL SIZE!!!!!
Since I decided to go down this route " A MEDIA CENTRE," I also thought it would be prudent to add a Blue ray player to that list if possible and further reduce the need for a separate Blue ray player creating more clutter.
I want to stream movies to my TV without buffering and fuss.
I am considering using a good quality software product to enhance and just generally play with photo's as a bit of a hobby.
And finally I might just give a few games a bit of a go

Does this laptop do all this with absolutely no fuss...................The answer is YES!
As others have commented already regarding this it really doesn't even get warm let alone hot
Aesthetically this machine looks damned fine and splendid with an excellent backlit keyboard. The rubberised finish is pleasant to the touch and the whole machine feels solid and well screwed together.
The screen is a nice size and seems crisp and clear
For me this is a direct replacement for a desktop with occasional migration so weight is not an issue but if you are going to use this machine on top of Hellvelyn I would seriously consider something a tad lighter!
I was dreading the "dreaded" windows 8 but after updating to 8.1 and a few personal tweaks I am happy with it plus you cannot believe the start up speeds from cold after XP.

Finally I would say that after having a desktop for years it is really great to have a less cluttered machine I can take with me but is powerful enough for all my needs.
perhaps I could have bought something cheaper that would have covered my requirements but when you set your heart on something and it delivers............................Job done
When I ordered this it did arrive faster than I expected, unfortunately it arrived damaged but after a quick call to the Amazon help desk another unit was dispatched instantly and I received it in two days. I had a month to return the faulty item. The Amazon employee I phoned was very helpful and sorted the problem with no fuss or stress. 1st class service confirming my reasons for choosing Amazon in the first place.
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on 11 September 2014
Really pleased with this machine. It took a lot of updating, but it was worth it. After using my little HP 6730b for a number of years, the difference is astounding. I can seriously recommend it to anyone who is looking to get cutting edge technology at an affordable price. Go for it.
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on 4 February 2016
I have had this laptop for over a year now. It's better than I could expect. Just Windows 8.00 that was installed stopped running after....first update- after 2 hours o.O But I can't blame my laptop for that. Now I'm using 8.1 and it works perfectly.
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on 16 July 2014
Nice awesome laptop but there's the GTX 870m and 880m so something to think about before getting this one
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on 13 March 2014
Nicely packaged within box. Comes installed with Windows 8 which is difficult to use and was surprising sluggish for a high end laptop. You have to have a £15 telephone call with Microsoft to download the ‘free’ update to Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.1 combined with an SSD update (very highly recommended) makes the computer usable and provides a good speed boost. Windows 8.2 (or Windows 8.1 Spring Update 2014) provides boot up times of 7 seconds.

WEI scores are minimum of 8 (WEI still in Windows 8.1 but hidden away – look in c:windows/performance/WinSAT/Datascore, choose formal and the values are on the first screen without the need for scrolling down). The WEI of 8 for the Graphics is with the JX model with 770M GTX card.

This years RAM memory is a little slower than last years.

The new Haswell processors are pretty much the same as last years Ivy Bridge in performance.

The hardware connections you get in the JH model for the RAIDed SSD's and separate storage HDD dont exist outside of JH and quite frankly with the Windows 8.2 update are no longer necessary for the quick boot uptimes.

These computers are very expensive in UK compared to USA. On top of that, Asus UK have not thought out the specifications very well of what they sell and cause much confusion to the suppliers and general public. Much more sensible variations in USA.

Most of the hardware is very good but the packaging around the electronics needs improvement:

Keyboard: seems to be a quality control issue as the illumination does not come through very many of the characters.

Still has the flimsy rubberised outer lid from last years model that twists when you lift it, easily scratches when wiping it down, absorbed odours (don’t let a smoker anywhere near it, the nicotine penetrates the materials and you can never loose the smell).

It has rough and sharp edges where the plastic base joins the aluminium key keyboard; not something I’ve ever seen or felt on a laptop before.

The triangle switch on button is convex instead of concave and thus awkward to press.

Wifi connects at 72.2 Mbps (my old computer from 2007 connects at 300 and my sons Asus (USA) model from last year connects at 866.5 Mbps. Heaven knows why they would install anything but an ac rated unit.

Also Asus are not very good with driver updates; Microsoft has updated many of them!

I'm kinda thinking that I wished I paid a touch extra and purchased the Alienware for a better build quality. The cheaper graphics unit should be sufficient for most users. Going for the 780M is only required for bragging rights.
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on 3 September 2014
Let's be clear from the start; this laptop is a brick! It is large and heavy.
My requirement for a laptop was a home gaming laptop. I have no requirement for travelling with this machine or carrying it around, except from one room to another.
In this role, it is perfect. It is of solid design, excellent performance, large screen, quiet fan and it doesn't get hot. The built-on speakers are pretty good too. I have had it for 8 months without any problems whatsoever.
If you need to carry this around with you and use it on planes, trains, etc, then this is the wrong laptop for you.
If you want to do gaming at home without taking up the space of a desktop, then I thoroughly recommend this laptop.
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on 15 February 2016
DISGRACEFUL price for this piece of equipment. Spend that sort of money on a desktop. I bought a laptop 2 years ago with same specs except i5 processor instead of i7 and it was £1700+ cheaper. STAY AWAY
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