XoticPC’s G73JW: A Good Gaming Notebook Made Better?

A Better Starting Point?

Limited portability is one of the biggest weaknesses attributed to modern gaming notebooks, with comparisons to professional bowling balls typically favoring the more sports-oriented device. High-performance business notebooks that can’t game at all weigh half as much, and most models that attempt to fill the void have small screens.

The problem, of course, is that most “big” gaming notebooks are designed with the flexibility to host multi-GPU configurations and even desktop processors. Customers not interested in such opulent customizations typically look to off-the-shelf solutions from Asus and MSI to fulfill their basic gaming needs. XoticPC asks the question: “why not customize one of those?” And so the company did.

The same processor interface that allows Asus’ G73JW to host a low-cost Core i7-740QM is used by XoticPC to incorporate the much more power user-friendly Core i7-940XM Extreme Edition, while two memory slots left empty in the base model get filled by XoticPC to expand total memory capacity to 16 GB. An 80 GB Intel X25-M SSD, custom-overclocked graphics module, and custom lighting round out a bill that roughly doubles the G73JW’s original price tag, while maximizing its performance potential.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
XoticPC G73JW Component List
PlatformIntel PGA988, HM55 Express, MXM-III Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Core i7-940XM (Clarksfield) Quad-Core 2.13-3.33 GHz, 2.5 GT/s QPI, 8 MB L3 Cache, 45 nm, 55 W
RAM16 GB (4 x 4 GB) Samsung DDR3-1333 MT/s SO-DIMM, CL9, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
GraphicsSingle Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M, 1.5 GB GDDR5 "Redline Boost" to 810 MHz GPU, GDDR5-3240
Display17.3" "Full HD" Glossy, LED backlit TFT, 1920x1080
Webcam2.0 Megapixel
AudioIntegrated HD Audio, Software EAX 5.0 and THX TruStudio
SecurityAsus SmartLogon face detection, ADSM drive encryption
Hard DriveIntel 2nd Gen. X25-M 80 GB, MLC, 2.5", SATA 3Gb/s SSDSeagate Momentus 7200.4 500 GB, 7200 RPM SATA 3Gb/s HDD
Optical DrivePLDS DS-4E1S Blu-ray Reader / DVD Writer Combo Drive
Media Drive8-in-1 flash media interface
Wireless LANIntel Ultimate-N 6300, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 11/54/450 Mbps
Wireless PANBroadcom BT-270 Internal Bluetooth V2.1 +EDR Module
Gigabit NetworkAtheros AR8131 PCIe 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet
Peripheral Interfaces
USB3 x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0
Expansion CardInternal Only
AudioHeadphone, Microphone
Video1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI
Power & Weight
AC Adapter150 W Power Brick, 100-240 V AC to 19.5 V DC
Battery14.6 V 5200 mAh (75 Wh) Single
WeightNotebook 8.6 lbs, AC Adapter 1.9 lbs, Total 10.5 pounds
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition, OEM
WarrantyAsus Two-Year Warranty (Add $349 for Three-Year Full+Accidental)

This configuration’s processor upgrade cost nearly as much as a bare CPU, though we must admit that Asus’ design makes the process something most users wouldn’t want to attempt themselves. Enthusiasts looking for the same zing with less bling can save a few hundred dollars by using Asus’ stock lighting. This particular build was simply designed to show off most of what XoticPC has to offer. Let’s take a closer look.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • the_krasno
    Add another 460M in SLI and then you have the punch needed!
  • fstrthnu
    With all of the flair going on over Sandy Bridge, one might as well just wait till someone comes out with the Sandy Bridge gaming notebooks
  • adribhel
    The new Asus G73SW on Xoticpc has sandy bridge ;)

    I'm waiting for a possible "G73SH" with Radeon 6970m, though it might never happen. :/
  • Crashman
    fstrthnuWith all of the flair going on over Sandy Bridge, one might as well just wait till someone comes out with the Sandy Bridge gaming notebooksXoticPC just wanted to show off its custom work and sent this in December. We're looking forward to the G73SW to be delivered in a similar configuration in the near future, so please stay tuned!
  • joytech22
    That is a pretty amazing laptop, I could definitely use one of those for LAN's.
  • curtis_87
    Is it me or has the print button suddenly disappeared from these batch of articles?...
  • Is the problem a lack of strength? Or is it a heavy level of apathy? You can build the same machine in desktop form for significantly less.
  • kkiddu
    Although it's totally not fair to compare it with a desktop PC, but I've been confused on what to go for as I'm going to college next year, one option being the bare $1500 version of the G73, and the other being a netbook + a desktop. The problem with the desktop is that I'll have to haul it back home every vacation.

    But seeing that performance for $3000 is just 'good', I'm gonna stick with a $1400 desktop. I think I can get a 50% performance increase with half the price.
  • nevertell
    Why oh why didn't they fit a larger keyboard ? Look at the room on the sides of the keyboards, waiting to be filled with keys.
  • Big Daddy Rhino
    $3600? I literally LOL'd. Just built a Sandy Bridge, GTX 570 desktop that will smoke that laptop and I've got $2400 left over for hookers and booze.