If you're looking for a relatively low-cost gaming laptop, experts recommend the Asus G75VW. It doesn't have the bells and whistles or high-end gaming prowess of a fully decked-out gaming system, but as long as you keep expectations reasonable, it packs a lot of firepower for the price.
Powerful, with decent gaming chops. The base notebook's Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 750 GB hard drive can tackle even intense computing tasks with ease, but the mechanical hard drive isn't as fast as a solid-state drive. Reviewers say the discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M GPU plays modern games silky-smooth at average graphics settings. If you want top-of-the-line settings while keeping brisk frame rates, you'll need a gaming notebook with a more powerful GPU.
The Asus G75VW runs exceptionally quiet, experts say, though for an exceptionally short time between trips to the AC line. Most call its battery life atrocious at just more than two hours.
Be careful not to throw your back out. The most notable thing about this 17.3-inch behemoth is its 9.6-pound weight. Simply put, you won't be dragging the G75VW around from class to class like you would an Ultrabook. Yet the keyboard and touchpad work great, and reviewers say the soft plastic on the wrist rest is very comfortable. It also has a ton of ports, with all the major connections present and accounted for.
Its looks are nothing special, but its audio/visual capabilities are. The case design makes the Asus G75VW look slimmer than it really is, although reviewers say the chassis is plain in all other respects. Critics love the bright 1,920-by-1,080-pixel display, which has a matte finish and offers wide viewing angles. Built for games, the audio isn't necessarily the crispest around, but is very booming thanks to a discrete subwoofer added to the bottom of the laptop.
Asus laptops don't normally break, but it's a pain when they do. PCMag.com's readers give the company an award for its overall reliability, but customer service comes up short despite offering several methods of contact. Users say the return process is byzantine and sluggish.
You'll be hard pressed to find a powerful gaming laptop for less. The component lineup in the Asus G75VW outshines the specs of the base-level Alienware M17x (*Est. $1,500 and up) , and for $250 less.
Review Credibility: Excellent Although Santo Domingo finds some flaws in the Asus laptop -- notably its inability to play games smoothly at high detail and resolutions -- its bright HD screen, big hard drive and ability to play titles at average settings leads him to recommend it as a solid midrange gaming laptop.
Review: Asus G75VW-DS71, Joel Santo Domingo, Aug. 3, 2012
2. Laptop Magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent Laptop Magazine loves the design, display and diaphragm-shaking sound of the Asus G75VW. Editors appear to set the bar lower than at PCMag.com, saying the laptop plays games at blistering frame rates at lower detail settings.
Review: Asus G75VW-DS71 Review, David Eitelbach, May 9, 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent Echoing other reviewers, Stein finds the Asus G75VW to be a perfectly fine choice for a fairly low-cost gaming notebook that can play new games at moderate frame rates. "It's hard to call a $1,699 laptop a bargain, but with all that this gaming laptop brings to the table, that might be the best description I can think of," he says.
Review: Asus G75VW-AS71 review (Core i7-3610QM), Scott Stein, May 15, 2012
4. Computer Shopper
Review Credibility: Excellent The G75VW earns 4 stars out of 5 at ComputerShopper.com despite complaints about its heft. "Big and powerful, quiet and affordable, the Asus G75VW-DS71 is a gaming laptop with a value proposition worthy of your attention," Elliott writes.
Review: Asus G75VW-DS71 Review and Ratings, Matthew Elliott, May 25, 2012
5. Notebook Check.net
Review Credibility: Excellent NotebookCheck.net reviews a step-up European model of the Asus G75VW and Glaser finds a lot to like. "The G75VW-T1040V from Asus is a successful and sophisticated gaming laptop with hardly any flaws -- apart from its weight," he says.
Review: Update Review Asus G75VW-T1040V Notebook, Florian Glaser, June 13, 2012
6. PC World
Review Credibility: Very Good PC World is less impressed than other reviewers. Purewal compares the notebook against laptops costing significantly more and says the Asus G75VW simply doesn't stack up. Yet toward the end she says, "the G75VW can play most games at an acceptable level, and it's a fairly attractive machine to boot."
Review: Asus G75VW Review: A Budget-Friendly Gaming Laptop With Mediocre Performance, Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, May 23, 2012