The Republic of Gamers G750 is the only gaming laptop Asus has released this year. The company seems intent on picking up the slack by chocking this product full of killer hardware, giving it a 17.3-inch matte Full HD display, a next-gen Nvidia graphics card and Intel processor, a subwoofer for better immersion, and the gamut of connectivity.
Gaming laptops are big. Very big. And by the looks of it, the ROG G750 is a gaming laptop. It's five centimetres thick and weighs a full five kilos. Gaming laptops tend to have all sorts of flashy colours and lights lighting up all over the place, but not this one. This is an all-black body, with the exception of the white logo that lights up, giving the laptop a touch of class.
The lid is made of a slightly soft-touch plastic. It feels good, but it also attracts dust (hey, you can't have it all). The exterior of the chassis is made of two clearly distinct materials: smooth, cool aluminium on the top (it looks great, at least until smudges start to show) and a much coarser matte black plastic on the bottom.
The ROG G750's keyboard has the works, including a number pad. The chiclet keys have longer travel than usual, making commands all the more precise and typos all the less common. You just have to get used to applying more force than with ordinary chiclet keys. The backlighting has four levels of intensity: off, 1, 2 and 3.
The touchpad is nice and spacious and it recognises all the Windows 8 touch gestures. An external mouse is definitely preferable for gaming, but the touchpad works well for productivity and web browsing. You can either use the left- and right-click buttons or simply tap above them on the touchpad.
The G750 has all the connectivity you could need: four USB 3.0 ports, Thunderbolt, HDMI out, VGA out, Ethernet (RJ45), audio in, audio out and an SD card reader. On the left side is a DVD drive that you can have replaced with Blu-ray.
Heat readings with the components under stress
Images taken using a Fluke Ti25 thermal imaging camera
Images taken using a Fluke Ti25 thermal imaging camera
The Republic of Gamers G750 manages its heat well, never letting it get high enough to damage the electronics. The hot air is expelled through two lateral air vents on the back.
Even in the heat of action the fan never makes more than 40 dB(A) of noise, which is the average ambient level in an ordinary room. You won't notice the fan unless you really are in an environment with no background noise, like our soundproof audio testing room, which has an ambient 34 dB(A).
The Full HD (1920 x 1080) display is lined with a matte surface that reduces glare. The screen's brightness goes as high as 374 cd/m², which is bright enough to allow for relatively comfortable gameplay outdoors. We measured the contrast at 1,060:1, which would rank the G750 among the top laptops for contrast.
Grey colour temperature
The colours aren't quite perfect but they're pretty close. The Delta E (which measures colour fidelity) is a tidy 3.6, an excellent figure for a laptop. The colour temperature is bit cool with slight blue overtones (7,900 K instead of the ideal 6,500 K). In sum, the Asus G750 has better colours than any other gaming laptop we've seen. Only a handful of high-end ultrabooks, such as the Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A and Samsung Series 7 Ultra, give readings this good (although both have an incontrovertible advantage: wider viewing angles than the G750's TN panel can provide).
There are two audio jacks: a headphone output that doubles as S/PDIF and a microphone input. The output sound quality is excellent. It has higher-than-average volume, all without distortion. The Asus G750 has some of the best sound we've heard on a laptop, along with the Dell XPS 17 and Alienware M14x-R2.
Green = good / Orange = tolerable / White = heavily altered
There's a subwoofer, but you'd never realise it listening to music or games, because the bass is pretty much non-existent.
There may not be any low-end, but the rest of the spectrum is balanced, with an intelligible vocal range and good reproduction in the high-end with no saturation even at high volume.
Our model: Asus ROG G750JX-T4045HThe model we were sent to review features an Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor, 6 GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M video card, a 750 GB HDD and a 256 GB SSD (which we recommend using only to store the OS and programmes on in order to boost the responsiveness). Everything we've mentioned so far applies to all configurations of the Asus G750, whereas the Processor Power, Gaming and Battery Life sections below apply only to the model we tested.
The Intel Core i7-4700HQ gives an outstanding performance, one practically identical to the figures we got with the Core i7-4700QM found on the MSI GE60 2OE. But the results vary depending on the specific task you're executing. For instance, it took the MSI GE60 less time (115 seconds) than the Asus G750 (175 seconds) to encode the same HD movie, but the G750 was faster at exporting photos in Lightroom (185 seconds) than the MSI (252 seconds).
Shutdown is 8 seconds and startup is just 10 seconds.
When it comes to graphics, it's the GTX 770M that does all the heavy lifting (3DMark06 score: 23,005). This is one of Nvidia's most powerful cards, so needless to say it can decode Full HD movies without flinching. More importantly, it will run any video game in the screen's native 1920 x 1080 resolution, and you can put most games' graphics levels on max. The only rare exceptions are games like Crysis 3 or Max Payne 3, for which you need to put the quality on medium in order to keep the gameplay fluid.
As of today, only two video cards for notebooks can out-compete the GTX 770M (excepting dual-card SLI or CrossFire setups): the Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M and AMD HD 7970M.
MOBILITY / BATTERY LIFE
Gaming laptops are clearly not designed for on-the-go lifestyles, so battery life is usually not one of their strong suits. And in that sense the Asus Republic of Gamers G750 is typical, providing three hours of video playback (in airplane mode with headphones plugged in and the screen brightness at 100 cd/m²). But hey, that's better than the MSI GE60, which only holds out for 2½ hours.