Asus G73Jw Laptop


The interior of the notebook is as smooth and minimalist as the exterior--and in this case, that's not a good thing. A wide (at least 1.5 inches on either side) dark gray bezel surrounds the keyboard, which is crammed together at the center of the notebook. The keys are small and hard, and they offer virtually no tactile feedback for both typists and gamers, who depend on it. The tiny size of the keys on the Chiclet-style keyboard wouldn't be such a problem if they weren't so smooth and so closely packed together. The close proximity combined with the smooth surfaces guarantees that your fingers will repeatedly slip off one key and onto another.

The arrow keys and separate number pad keys--frequently used by gamers--are squashed in next to the regular keyboard and are even smaller than the regular keys. If you plan on doing anything more on this computer than watch movies or casually surf the Internet, you'd better spring for an external keyboard.

Asus may have missed the keyboard memo, but it certainly got the trackpad right: It's enormous and comes with two separate, easy-to-use buttons below it. The buttons offer plenty of feedback, and the trackpad supports multitouch gestures.

The 17.3-inch, 1920-by-1080-pixel screen is gorgeous, with bright illumination, rich colors, and deep contrast. Everything, from movies to spreadsheets to Starcraft II looks good under most conditions. The glossiness helps the colors look crisp, but it also produce some annoying reflections if you're sitting in bright sunlight. Realistically, though, you're unlikely ever to be sitting in bright sunlight with this 8-pound laptop.

Video playback was very good. High-def streaming video played perfectly, and Blu-ray discs looked fantastic. Audio was quite satisfactory, considering that laptops aren't known for their speakers. The G73Jw's speakers are situated just above the keyboard and deliver full, loud sound.