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Asus G51J Details

Asus' G51J: Affordable Core i7 Mobile Gaming?

An LED backlit display is one of the G51J’s top features, boasting a relatively-high, “true-HD” resolution of 1920x1080 from its moderate 15.6” diagonal size.

Yet the contrast-boosting, energy-saving LED backlight is somewhat betrayed by the panel’s relatively narrow vertical viewing angle. You’ll need to open it all the way to see true black images, as viewing it from only a few degrees above perpendicular causes the image to become washed out. Larger 1920x1200 pixel 17” displays can be found in similarly sized and priced notebooks, but those competing models have older, lower-performance internals as a tradeoff. This is the balance Asus attempts to strike between features, performance, and price.

The full-sized, backlit keyboard was also obvious from the first photo, but a closer inspection reveals dual-power buttons. The larger power button takes the system directly to Windows, while the smaller one designates booting into Express Gate, Asus’ customized version of the Linux-based Splashtop operating system. This compact OS gives users the option to get online quickly, with boot times of around 20 seconds to promptly check email, surf the Web, or use Skype.

A 2.0 megapixel Webcam is found on top of the G51J’s display. Asus also includes a fairly good software package for optimized viewing under soft light, which is standard fare for mid-priced and better notebooks.

Two speaker ports, a multi-format flash card reader, and a Bluetooth power switch are found along the G51J’s front edge. Putting the majority of frequently used connections on the sides increases ergonomics when this notebook is used on top of one’s lap.

The G51J rear edge features nothing more than a Kensington lock mount, power supply connector, and Gigabit Ethernet port. This author would have preferred to see external-display and digital-audio connectors here as well, as such designs reduce cable clutter at the sides.

VGA, IEEE-1394, eSATA, HDMI, and two USB 2.0 ports are located across the left edge, along with the G51J’s sole heat vent.

Three audio connectors, two more USB ports, and the DVD±RW drive are located on the G51J’s right edge. Rated by a reseller at the same write speeds as the popular GSA-T50N, this Hitachi-LG Data Storage GT30N is not yet documented by any other online source.

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