A newcomer in Asus' 'Republic of Gamers' family, the G60J boasts leading-edge components. With its quad-core processor, high-end graphics card, and high-class finish, it’s a contender for becoming a new reference as a gaming laptop.Build quality & design: High-end components and finish
Like most gaming machines, the G60J is impressive with its widescreen 16” display. But overall, its looks are restrained, which we rather like. Aside from the lid–glossy blue with a white “tear” motif –the laptop’s appearance is fairly standard. The screen bezel is in glossy black plastic, but for once it’s not too distracting. Asus has limited the glossy surfaces to areas you don’t normally handle while using the computer. The wrist rest, by contrast, has a matte surface that’s very soft to the touch, as does the leading edge of the lid where you open it. This avoids greasy fingerprints. The finish is excellent and the overall impression is of robustness.
The keyboard is the type with spaces between the keys, known as 'chiclet' style. It’s backlit (with three brightness levels) and is comfortable, quiet, and pleasant to use. The keys are firm and well positioned. There’s also a number pad, which can come in very handy when you’re working with office applications.
The touchpad is very comfortable, though it’s no bigger than standard size (76 x 47 mm). Its matte finish makes for smooth, accurate movements.
The webcam disappointed us. The colours were somewhat lifeless, and overexposed areas were burned out. The fluidity was satisfactory, however.
The Asus G60J’s ventilation is audible. In fact, we expected worse from a gamer laptop, but we have to admit that the fan noise isn’t too unpleasant. It’s fairly muffled, and you notice it most during processor-intensive tasks and while gaming. At those times, the fan noise is louder and you can feel the heat being exhausted..
Connectivity is complete, with five USB 2.0 ports, including an e-SATA combo, FireWire, HDMI, VGA, RJ45, a memory-card reader, and microphone, line input, and headphone connectors (S/PDIF format). The G60J also has a combination DVD burner and Blu-ray player.
Under the laptop is a large removable panel (with 12 screws) for access to the machine’s main components – the processor, graphics card, two hard disks, two RAM modules, and Wi-Fi card. The integration is very well done and updates will be easy for anybody who knows what they're doing.
||3 USB 2.0, USB 2.0/e-SATA combo, FireWire, VGA
|Mic, line in, headphones, 2 USB 2.0, DVD burner/Blu-ray player
Processing power: Core i7 is red-hot
Windows 7 Index: 5.9. Detail: Processor 7.0 - RAM 7.1 - Graphics 6.8 - Game Graphics 6.8 - Main hard disk 5.9
Asus has put the latest quad-core Intel Core i7 720QM processor in the G60J. It's an excellent choice. This processor outperforms any other CPU used in the laptop computers we've looked at. Compared to our reference computer, the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi3650, which uses an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400, indexed at 100, the G60J scored 140 (not counting 3D). That’s an excellent score, and this laptop’s speed and responsiveness will pay off for you every day.
The automatic Turbo mode built into the Core i7 undoubtedly helps account for the great performance. This feature lets the processor adapt its frequency up to 2.8 GHz according to the application being run. For certain applications--video encoding, for example--the Core i7 720QM will use all four of its cores (multiplied by two thanks to Hyper-Threading), while for other tasks (including the majority of games), only two cores will be used, at a higher frequency. It’s a clever technique, and in practice it’s very effective – performance can sometimes more than double compared to a dual-core model.
Playing 1080p HD (Blu-ray equivalent) video is a breeze for a machine like this. The task could easily be handled by the processor alone, but it’s preferable to leave it to the graphics card. CPU usage drops from approximately 15% to less than 1%, and power consumption decreases from 61 to 51 W. While idle, the machine consumes 38 W with the display brightness at 99 cd/m² and WiFi disabled.
Games: Native resolution with beautiful graphics
The Asus G60J’s NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M graphics card is a high-performance model, and is at ease with even the most recent games. Since the display’s native resolution is a fairly low 1366 x 768 pixels, we had no problems running our selection of video games. All of them ran with the level of detail set to high – Race Driver: GRID, Fallout 3, Unreal Tournament 3, and Half-Life 2. Even Crysis ran well at a high level of detail (20 frames per second on average), even though we recommend that you lower the level of certain graphics to be sure to avoid annoying slowdowns.
Audio: Could be better
Despite its Altec Lansing speakers, the laptop’s sound is no better than average. It lacks bass and spatialization. But the sound from the headphone output is clean, and it also operates in S/PDIF mode, so you can hook the G60J up to a real set of speakers or an amplifier.
Portability & Battery Life: Barely half of some movies
With a battery life of only 1 hour, 10 minutes in video playback (display set to 100 cd/m², headphones plugged in and WiFi disabled), you can’t even watch an entire movie with this laptop. While it’s true that gamer machines aren’t known for long battery life and aren’t intended for watching films, we would have hoped for at least two hours. The MSI GT725 manages 2 hours 17 minutes, and it has better graphics performance too, so it is possible.
At 3.5 kg, this machine is on the heavy side. It weighs 300 g more than the MSI GT725, and if you add the weight of the charger, you end up with a computer you shouldn’t plan to carry with you everywhere you go. But then, Asus is aware of that – the G60J, fortunately, comes with a backpack…