ASUS G74SX GAMING LAPTOP,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: ASUS G74SX 17.3 inch Laptop with Bag, Mouse, Headset and 3D glasses (Intel Core i7 2670QM 2.20GHz, RAM 8GB, HDD 1.5TB, Blu-ray combo, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Windows 7 Ultimate) (Personal Computers)
My review is split into 2 sections:
1. The supplier: Amazon Warehouse.
Pre ordering advice and support could have been better. The item was listed as a "used" item by Amazon through their Warehouse, presumably a return. It was listed as "as new". I wanted more information before buying such as was it complete, boxed, with all the bits and packaging, had it been used, had it been registered with Asus, what was the actual model number ( to confirm it WAS the item it should be per the description ). I contacted Amazon support by email and although they were speedy and tried to help, they could not provide any further information on it other than confirming it was covered by their guarantees, could be returned if not as described or if it had any issues, and had not been registered with Asus.
I took a chance since the price was alot cheaper than the new price. I ordered on Friday the 3rd August, paid more for Saturday delivery ( for some reason this option was cheaper than next day delivery!!!! ). It arrived before 1pm on Saturday- Excellent! On examination everything was fine except: the original internal packaging was missing ( replaced by bubblewrap ) and the laptop functioned OK EXCEPT the blu ray player would not play films in 3D. I contacted Asus and did some research, and eventually tracked the problem to a software not hardware issue. I think Amazon had "restored" the computer incorrectly. The issue is the Blu Ray software, Roxio Cine Player and its relationship with the NVidia Drivers. Update with the Asus NVidia Drivers and it does not work properly! You must either use the original Asus Nvidia drivers or use the latest drivers on the Nvidia web site!! Everything now works. Although not quite "as new" because of the above issues, these were not enough for me to want to return the item considering what I paid. Note- on the Warhouse prices- these seem to change now and then if they do not sell an item- the price on my laptop fell quite alot before I bought it!! However, I have recently been thinking of an SSD and on the one I was interested in, the Warehouse price actually went UP over time to more than the original Amazon "new" price!!!
2. The product: On paper the Alienware M17x 3D gaming laptop has a better spec, if you pay the extra for a better graphics card, but having had onhands experience with both, I prefer the Asus- it seems more stable and quieter and seems better built. I had to return the Alienware. The GTX 560M graphics card is a reasonable card for 3D gaming, but the laptop could do with a better card, as on the Asus G75 series. 3D gaming puts more demand on the graphics as it is basically doubling up on memory useage to create the 3D. Normally the amount of dedicated graphics memory ( in this case 3GB ) is not as important as the spec of the graphics card, but I believe for 3D gaming it does help to have so much memory. I do find you still have to turn down some of the game settings on the newer games to play them smoothly. If you want to play games on the highest settings, do NOT buy a laptop!! The Asus support is very good, they usually respond to an email within 24 hours. The screen, keyboard and touchpad are fine, access to the hard drives and 2 of the 4 memory slots is easy ( not so on the older G73!!!!! ), but access to the other 2 ram slots is under the keyboard so I am leaving those well alone, althogh I would like to add another 8GB of ram!!!! The USB connectors on the right hand side are in my view in the wrong place, right at the front so the leads get in the way of the external mouse. I tend to use the left hand ports. The reason for all the ports being on the sides is that the whole of the back is taken up with the fans needed to cool the laptop. The laptop is very heavy ( much heavier than my old G53JW ), and only just fits in the provided Asus ruck sack. The provided NVidia glasses, the headset, and gaming mouse are all fine. There are 2 mechanical WD Scorpio Black hard drives which are adequate but the laptop could do with faster ones in my view, Seagate Momentus Hybrid drives would have been better. I keep thinking of getting an SSD drive, but my understanding is that things load quicker but there are many who say an SSD does not help with game play that much. Overall, I like the laptop for what I got it for- 3D gaming and playing 3D Blu Rays ( the laptop will even allow more than 1 pair of 3D glasses to be used so its not confined to 1 person, but get Nvidia glasses not cheap copies which do not work- you do not need a complete "kit" since the laptop has a built in emitter, just a set of Nvidia glasses ). I would not have bought it at the full list price. I think for what you get and the fact that the G75 is now out, someone should look to pay no more that about £1,100 or so.