Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's All That!

I have had a few days to play with my new ASUS G73JH-X3 laptop and I still have to say THIS LAPTOP ROCKS! I finally finished playing Frontlines: Fuel of War and am getting better at Gears of War, but it's still kind of complicated. This thing just eats games for breakfast! But in all fairness I have found some things I dislike about it.

First the disk partitioning. What was ASUS thinking? You have 2 320 GB hard drives partitioned into 4 parts: 75 GB for the OS. SERIOUSLY? Windows updates will fill that up in no time flat! 2 x 150 GB. WHY? and then one large 205 GB partition. None of it makes sense. The only way to fix this is to reformat and repartition the drives. UGH!

The other disappointment is 640 GB is just NOT ENOUGH. I can't believe I am actually saying that but in the process of trying to move the files from my old computer to my laptop I am technically already out of room. The only thing to do is buy bigger hard drives and START OVER. If I do decide to go that route, I will be buying two 2 TB drives. If I run out of room with that, I should give up computing.
As a work around in the mean time I bought a Thermaltake BlacX Duet SATA docking station. It will only be good for drives storing data as it's too slow for gaming. But it will give me a way to save all that crap I never have time to sort through.

I finally found some time to get out in the shop today. I didn't get a lot accomplished but it felt good all the same. I have a little restoration project I am working on and I'll posts some pictures as soon as I get a new digital camera. The Sony is dying fast. Between this camera and the Handycam I have learned a very valuable lesson: DO NOT BUY SONY PRODUCTS! They don't last and Sony has LOUSY product and software support. They are on my official boycott list. Canon, Nikon, Fuji are all on my maybe list.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Game ON!

So another birthday has come and gone. What would you expect any sensible woman who just turned 51 to ask for on her birthday? A FREAKING AWESOME GAMING LAPTOP of course! While I love both of the gaming systems I lovingly built, it's time to downsize now that I am out of the computer repair business. My Dell Inspiron 5150 laptop is fine for daily stuff, but it's no gamer. I looked long and hard at the Alienware line of gaming laptops, but every time I configured what I wanted, I was up over $3000.00! OUCH! Not to mention that the Dell website is SLOW AND DYSFUNCTIONAL and really pissed me off!

I happened on an article about ASUS's line of gaming laptops and was extremely impressed. The price range gave Dell some serious competition as well. And when TigerDirect.ca offered the ASUS G73JH-X3 for $1599.00 this past weekend I was ON IT! It just so happens they opened a new retail store in London so I went to take a look and was instantly SOLD!

The Caveat Emptor here is some serious research is needed before you purchase this laptop. Fortunately I read all the reviews and discovered this laptop does not come without BUGS! However thanks to this thread on the notebook review forums I was able to apply all the fixes right from the get go. Now I have to say this is A FREAKING AWESOME GAMING LAPTOP!

First game install? Well you know everyone asks "But can it play Crysis?". It shreds Crysis, Crysis Warhead, COD MW2, and probably anything else you can throw at it. I maxed the settings right from the start, left everything running in the background and not even a hiccup! MAN I LOVE THIS MACHINE!

Setting it up and applying all the fixes took the better of 4 hours. The LONGEST part was creating the back up DVD's because of course it doesn't come with any Windows install disks. That alone took almost 2 hours! Ridiculous! Then there is the removal of all the bloatware and the numerous Window's 7 updates. And of course applying all the fixes. But the end result is WELL worth it!

While the specs alone are impressive enough, using and playing on this laptop is incredible! The 17.3" screen is ample real estate for intense game play. And while laptop speakers usually FAIL, this unit boasts a built in subwoofer. It won't rumble your rec room, but it is still pretty impressive sound from a laptop.

Before buying this system, I was hesitant about giving up my desktop gaming system, especially hesitant about parting with my 28" monitor. 1 day after purchase I can honestly and easily say " Anyone want to buy a great used gaming system or 2?"

So there should be SOME cons about the G73 right? Well, the bug fixes are a nuisance, but if you follow the above thread you will breeze through them. I read complaints about the keyboard, but haven't experienced any problems. An option for coloured back lighting on the keyboard instead of plain white would have been nice, but I have since seen a creative fix for this as well. I read complaints about the weight of this unit. People... it's BIG! It's not a "netbook"! And if you think this unit is heavy you haven't picked up my Dell 5150 which I swear is weighted with LEAD! I don't think it's all that heavy for the size of it. The screen is VERY glossy, but man is it a nice sharp picture! It is full HD 1080P after all! And yes there were some complaints about heat. NOT! This thing is well fanned and vented. For the hardware this baby is packing I think it runs pretty damn cool. What did get hot was the power brick. I suspect there will be issues with that down the road. The only SERIOUS con about this machine is battery life. You aren't going to be gaming very long without electricity. I don't think there is any solution to that when you have this kind of power and hardware under the hood.

All in all, this is probably the BEST birthday present I have ever bought myself. And if anyone is looking for a SERIOUS gaming laptop THIS IS IT! Move over Dell, ASUS is in da house!