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Ages ago, at the dawn of the notebook industry, a portable computer hadn’t gone far from being a regular typewriter in a plain and clumsy casing. But it was constantly changing and progressing, acquiring new features and new technologies and getting closer to full-size desktop machines in terms of performance and functionality.

Today, single-core processors are getting covered with dust due to the onslaught of multi-core solutions. The amount and frequency of system memory is growing ever larger and higher. An integrated graphics core, which is allotted a portion of system memory for its purposes, used to be considered quite acceptable, but now you can only meet it in very cheap or ultra-portable models. All other notebooks come with discrete graphics cores that are almost as feature-rich and fast as their desktop counterparts. As a result, portable computers are now capable of solving a wider range of tasks, from undemanding office applications to resource-consuming multimedia programs and 3D games.

As you know, portable computers fall into multiple categories depending on their intended area of application. Entry-level, multimedia, ultra-portable and business notebooks are offered by every brand, but gaming notebooks are not such a widespread variety. Delivering higher overall performance than multimedia machines, a gaming computer must feature an advanced graphics subsystem as well.

ASUS had not offered a gaming notebook until the fall of the last year when the company introduced two gaming laptops marked as G1 and G2. These two models come in different form-factors: the ASUS G1 has a 15.4” display while the G2 is equipped with a 17.0” display. The former has green details in its coloring while the G2 has a few spots of red. Besides that, there are differences in the graphics subsystems: the ASUS G1 and G2 have graphics processors from Nvidia and ATI, respectively.

As you might have guessed, we will be talking about one of the mentioned notebooks today. To be specific, the senior model of the gaming G series, the 17” ASUS G2P (the G2Pb modification), is visiting our test lab today. We will describe the notebook’s exterior and interior and will test its performance using our traditional benchmarks. The ASUS G2P will be competing with an ASUS A8J that has a similar hardware configuration except for having half the amount of system memory and a somewhat weaker ATI Mobility Radeon X1700 with 256MB of dedicated graphics memory (it can be extended to 512MB – as in the ASUS G2P – thanks to HyperMemory technology).

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