ASUS G71 Republic Of Gamers: Look And Feel
We’re going to get a bit subjective here. If you’re familiar with ASUS’ RoG motherboards, then you already know it puts a particular emphasis on flashy looks to go along with home-brewed software and a generally higher-end list of hardware. On an enthusiast motherboard, the LED lighting, convenient buttons, and extravagant cooling go a long way to enhance aesthetics. That’s all a bit harder to pull off on a laptop, though. Alienware definitely rocks the “understated class” motif much more effectively.
With that said, ASUS does a fantastic job with its paint scheme. The pearlescent red paint job proves very scratch-resistant and is an exceptional choice for masking fingerprints and small nicks. We could do without the silver accents splashed about, given that black is the second most dominant color and three tones look quite a bit busier than two. Additionally, once the system is powered on, a series of red and blue LEDs add to the LAN party ambiance.
The G71’s shape is superior to the Clevo designs used by Eurocom and Killer Notebooks. And at just over eight pounds, it’s a pleasure to haul around compared to the submissions from either Alienware or Killer Notebooks (we are assuming you’ll be carrying these gaming laptops around with you to some degree).
As with the two whitebooks, ASUS is guilty of drawing air up through a fan at the bottom of the chassis. So you’ll probably not want to game with the machine resting right on your lap. In fact, ASUS adds a pair of pads towards the back of the shell to make sure there’s always airflow while the G71 is on a flat surface.
Pop the notebook open and you’ll look at a full-sized keyboard, complete with the 10-key number pad seen on our other 17” gaming platforms. The touchpad feels decidedly bolted-on, but ASUS, recognizing that gamers have no desire to use touchpads anyway, provides a software tool to disable it on demand.
Making It An ASUS
ASUS is adamant that anyone can take a bunch of off-the-shelf components and create his or her own mobile gaming machine. Where the seasoned motherboard vendor sets itself apart is the software backing its hardware package. For example, the bundled Direct Console application offers a couple of overclocking options above and beyond the T9400’s stock 2.53 GHz: 2.65 GHz and 2.78 GHz. Direct Console also controls the onboard LED lighting and OLED—used to monitor CPU/memory usage, battery charge, email, and instant messages.
The G71 also feature Express Gate, ASUS’ near-instant boot Linux environment with access to the Internet, a media player, Skype, and a photo album. This isn’t really a feature we see being heavily used on the desktop, but it does make great sense on the road, where you might want to check email or a stock quote without fully booting into Vista.