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Asus G71V-7T043G review

Seth Barton
30 Jan 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,718
inc VAT

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Specifications

17 in 1,920x1,080 display, 3.9kg, 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300, 4.00GB RAM, 1,000GB disk, Windows Vista Ultimate

Asus's G71V-7T043G is equipped with a Core 2 Extreme QX9300 processor, which is Intel's first quad-core processor designed specifically for mobile computing.

The QX9300 runs at a speedy 2.53GHz and has an impressive 12MB of L2 cache like Intel's fastest desktop processors. However, its frontside bus (FSB) is 1,066MHz rather than the 1,333MHz found on the latest desktop quad-core processors, due to limitations in the laptop's Centrino 2 chipset.

The G71V produced the highest score we've ever seen from a laptop in our PCMark Vantage benchmark. However, its 4,594 isn't that much faster than the 4,301 we saw from an Intel Core 2 Duo P9500-equipped laptop. Still, you will see impressive performance increases in applications optimised for multi-core processors, such as video encoding and editing.

The G71V bears Asus's 'Republic of Gamers' branding. It comes with an Nvidia GeForce 9700M GT graphics chipset with 512MB of dedicated memory. Nvidia's naming of its mobile chipsets can be misleading; the 9700M GT has only half the stream processors of the desktop-based 9600GT. This showed in our benchmarks; it scored just 26.6fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. This is playable, but it won't satisfy serious gamers. Running our more demanding Crysis test, we had to reduce the resolution to 1,024x768, set detail levels at medium and turn off anti-aliasing to get a playable 35.3fps. You won't be playing any modern 3D games at the display's native resolution of 1,920x1,200.

This is a pity, as the screen is excellent. Colours are vibrant, and there's plenty of contrast. The built-in Blu-ray drive allows you to watch Blu-ray movies at their full resolution. There are also two 500GB hard disks, giving you a massive 1TB of storage.

We have no complaints about the laptop's construction and design. If you're looking for something flash, you'll love the G71V. Unlike many gaming laptops, this one succeeds in looking interesting without being tacky. Most of the ports are tucked away beneath flaps, maintaining the sleek lines. We like the two-tone colour scheme and the blue LED illumination used for the logo on the lid and around the touch pad.

The touch pad itself is accurate, though you'll need to raise the sensitivity to navigate that huge desktop at any reasonable speed. Asus has bundled a Razer gaming mouse, and we'd expect most users to take advantage of this. The responsive keyboard includes a number pad.

Above the keyboard is a small LCD panel, which can show a variety of useful information. While playing games, for example, you can set this to show incoming instant messages; that way, you can keep in touch while involved in a lengthy gaming session.

The battery lasted for an acceptable two hours and 26 minutes in our light-use test, but you can expect that figure to halve if you try to play games away from the mains. Despite the inclusion of a branded backpack, we can't see many people carrying this 3.9kg laptop around with them regularly. However, it's more portable than a desktop PC if you want to indulge in a LAN gaming session at a friend's house.

Given the G71V-7T043G's price, we expected far better gaming performance. The processor is better suited to HD video editing and encoding than it is to gaming, since most games still only use one processor core. Considering Asus is aiming this squarely at gamers, it's a big let-down, and the price puts it out of most people's reach.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Extreme QX9300
Processor clock speed2.53GHz
Memory4.00GB
Size55x410x300mm
Weight3.9kg
SoundAzalia ADI AD1988A
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby2W
Power consumption idle47W
Power consumption active119W

Display

Viewable size17 in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce 7900M GT
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity1,000GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL, BD-ROM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Total Firewire ports1
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsExpressCard/54
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, SmartMedia, xD

Miscellaneous

Operating systemWindows Vista Ultimate

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years collect and return
Price£1,718
Detailswww.asus.com
Supplierhttp://www.ginger6.com

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