Enthusiast-level gaming notebooks don’t need to cost a fortune; something ASUS proves with its $1,249 G53SX 15.4″ offering. It features a 1080p display and an NVIDIA GTX 560M that’s able to power today’s games to it. This, in addition to an Intel quad-core processor and 12GB of RAM make it a very powerful and drool-worthy notebook.
As a gaming notebook, the G53SX lacks almost nothing that a gamer would want. In some cases, there might even be “overkill” specs, such as the inclusion of 12GB of RAM. But given that a nice quad-core processor is included, this notebook can act as a workstation as well, perfect for encoding videos, rendering 3D scenes and objects and so forth.
There is one odd omission, however. Despite having a seriously nice 1080p display, ASUS opted to not include a Blu-ray drive in the G53. For a lot of gamers, this might not matter, but for those who were hoping to make use of your Blu-ray movies after a bout of gaming, it’s not ideal.
While a BD-ROM would have added to the price, I am still a little surprised that one of the four G53 models I’ve seen didn’t include one. On the upside, the lack of a BD-ROM doesn’t change the display, so any of your ripped or downloaded movies will still look great.
Hardware-wise, that’s the only complaint I have. The G53 series doesn’t include things like an eSATA or FireWire port (those are found on ASUS’ more workstation-bound notebooks), but it does include a USB 3.0 port and a bevvy of other connections.
Intel Core i7-2630QM Quad-Core 2.00GHz
Intel Cougar Point HM65
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M 2GB
Samsung 156HT01-201 15.6″
12GB (3x4GB) DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24
750GB, 7200 RPM, 16MB Cache, S-ATA 3Gb/s
LG GT34N DVD-RW
Realtek ALC269 (Chipset)
Atheros AR9285 802.11b/g/n Wireless
Realtek RTL8168/8111 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet
Weight: 7.9 lbs (3.92 kg)
Dimensions: 39.1 " (W) x 29.7 " (D) x 3.0~6.0 " (H) cm
Battery: 8-Cell Lithium Ion 5200 mAh 74 Whrs
2.0 Megapixel Webcam
3x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 1x Memory Card (SD/ MS/ MS Pro/ MS Duo/ MMC)
VGA Output, HDMI Output, LAN
2 Year Limited Global Hardware Warranty
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
While ASUS packs in a lot of hardware into the G53, it also packs in a lot of software. Much of this is ASUS home-brewed offerings, however, including a tool to create recovery discs, webcam software and tools to handle the various color and power schemes. Third-party software includes Microsoft Office Starter 2010, Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security (which will nag you to set it up until you either use the trial or uninstall it), Bing bar, CyberLink CD software and some other small miscellaneous apps.
The desktop after the initial boot can be seen above. If you’re like me, you’re going to be spending some time uninstalling everything you don’t want, but if anything deserves to stay, it’s ASUS’ own software, as it usually proves pretty useful.