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Asus' G51J: Affordable Core i7 Mobile Gaming?

Asus G51J Details

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.

  • vulmer
    Can't wait to see what Asus comes up with next!
  • liquidsnake718
    Wow, Asus seems to be churrning out good gaming laptops... Not bad for the price of $1500. The other i7 msi gaming laptop seemed like a good price but with mobile nvidia 280m is too costly and the gtx260m isnt all that bad i guess but at$1600plus.... the 4850m Ati gpu is supposed to be closer to its actual full pc part thus making it a sure bet for gpu power on a small laptop.... Interesting stuff we are seeing... Now we can wait 6more months for larrabee to come out for the laptop mobile market....

  • lashabane
    We almost got there in 2004 with ATI's Radeon 9600 XT-based Mobility Radeon 9700.

    Was it only that long ago? It feels like forever.
  • danwat1234
    "With a single intake vent, G51J users should pay special attention to leg position when using the unit as a laptop."

    That circular 'vent' does not go through. It is not used for cooling, it is only aesthetic.

    The intake vents are those slits around the RAM , the 2 hard drives bays and around the video card. Thus leg position is NOT important. The cooling system is very good.
  • danwat1234
    Does this laptop not support RAID like it's predecessors?
  • scook9
    the cooling is NOT good, and these are known for running VERY hot

    That said, the Asus G51 series is by far the most common gaming oriented laptop as its performance is stellar for the price

    A better cooled system would be the Alienware M15x or the Clevo W860CU (both also 15"). Clevo also offers a comparable 17", the W870CU

    Good cooling means that each heat producing thing has its own fan and set of fins/heatpipes (which takes a larger notebook)
  • El_Capitan - Clevo D900F = $1759
    Microcenter i7 920 = $200
    250GB 7200 RPM = $65

    Total = $2024
  • danwat1234
    scook9Good cooling means that each heat producing thing has its own fan and set of fins/heatpipes (which takes a larger notebook)
    So, then does this notebook have good cooling for it's size? It is having to dissipate quite a bit of power when both the CPU (45 watts TDP) and GPU (75 watts) have their pipelines full. Yes it can run hot internally, but the underside of the case stays out of roasting-balls and/or pubic hair range because the motherboard is screwed into the laptop from the underside of the keyboard instead being attached to the bottom of the case.

    I do agree that a second fan would be an awesome improvement, or have the one replaced with one that can move more air.

    I would venture that few laptops can dissipate that much heat as well as this one of this size. One that may have better cooling would be the HP envy 15, and some of the exotic laptops.. imo
  • danwat1234
    Hey everyone! Look at the first picture on page 3. Do you see the battery slider to the right of the battery? When that slider is open (so battery in unlocked from that end), it uncovers red plastic, as shown in that pic.

    This slider I suspect is NOT spring loaded but the left slider IS.
    I have the G50VT (predecessor), and this is the case with mine and often the battery has been dislodged in my computer case as I walk from class to class, cutting power to the RAM when in sleep mode.. I ended up taping my battery in with scotch tape! Worked like a charm.
    I venture the guess that this issue has not been fixed.
  • tortnotes
    danwat1234, that's not a design defect, it's a feature. If both switches were spring loaded it'd be a lot harder to remove the battery.
    My HP laptop is built the same way, and it hasn't caused any major problems... just be careful how you carry it!