Portable Gamer’s Dream: Asus G2 Gaming Notebook Series Review

We would like to introduce to you a new G2 series of gaming notebooks from ASUS. The ASUS G2 is an excellent solution that not only competes with desktop gaming stations, it often wins the competition! Read more about it in our new review.

by Alexander Britvin
06/01/2007 | 11:15 AM

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).

Package and Accessories

Designed in lush and gaudy colors, the package of the ASUS G2Pb is up to the product’s market positioning. The box shows a picture of the notebook and a large logotype of the gaming series framed within touchpad buttons just like on the actual notebook. The background is a diagonal gradient from black to a light gray. The captions “ASUS Gaming Series” and “Let’s game” leave no doubt about the main purpose of the product. The manufacturer’s name is printed in the top left of each box side; each side also shows the series name. The packaging follows ASUS’ traditional box-in-a-box concept. This colorful box lies in a larger cardboard box together with a knapsack. The knapsack is colored to match the color scheme of the series. A classic leather or fabric briefcase wouldn’t go quite well with the image of a disheveled red-eyed gamer and a gaming notebook.

The accessories to the ASUS G2Pb aren’t just rich. They are luxurious. The manufacturer seems to have packed virtually everything you may ever want to use your G2 with maximum comfort. Besides the mentioned knapsack and the notebook proper, the box contains: a 4800mAh battery, a power adapter with a LED indicator, a modem cable (RJ-11), an audio/video adapter (AV/S-Video), documentation (“Quick Installation Guide – G2 let’s game” brochure, a 2-year warranty, a list of authorized service centers worldwide, and a user manual), a gaming USB mouse with a PS/2 adapter, a TV cable, an antenna for digital TV/radio, an coaxial connector adapter, a remote control with two 1.5V AA batteries from Philips, an infrared receiver from Microsoft that is connected via USB, an “Express Windows Vista Upgrade” booklet, an ASUS cable brace, a napkin to clean the LCD panel, and a set of CDs that includes:

 

  

  

 

The mouse is a version of the Logitech MX518, modified and stylized to match the overall G series design: a plastic coating with the characteristic pattern, a series logo, and the name of the Taiwanese brand. Besides the two buttons and wheel, the mouse is equipped with five additional buttons with the following functions:

The rodent offers three sensitivity levels: 1600dpi, 800dpi and 400dpi. The sensitivity of 800dpi is selected by default. The accompanying SetPoint software and the games-oriented Advanced Game Settings feature provide precise control over the mouse’s sensitivity, extending its range to five grades.

The notebook comes with an infrared receiver from Microsoft, although there is already a Consumer Infrared port on the notebook’s body. Why do you need the external receiver you have to connect to a USB 2.0 port? Because you need certified equipment, like this receiver, to use Microsoft’s remote control and TV-tuner with appropriate software. The integrated infrared port only supports the ASUS Mobile Theater software and does not fully utilize the capabilities of Windows XP Media Center Edition.

This OS allows playing movies and viewing images stored on the hard disk or optical media. It offers you TV channels, musical files and radio programs. Besides, you are offered a variety of setup options.

You can set up radio stations by searching for them and saving the found ones into the favorites list.

Working with a community antenna or with the one included into the box, the integrated TV-tuner allows watching all the TV channels you have in your area. The picture quality is acceptable. Here are examples of TV programs as viewed on the tested notebook:

  

  

The remote control makes it easier to navigate the universal control program, browsing for files, channels and musical compositions from your favorite easy-chair.

Exterior Design and Ergonomics

The appearance of the G2Pb puts it apart from the rest of ASUS’ numerous notebook models. The lid and the area under your wrists are made from an aluminum alloy. This prevents the notebook from getting soiled with your fingers as well as from acquiring scratches, etc. A manufacturer logo sits proudly in the middle of the lid. The side panels and the back part of the notebook are made from a black “reinforced” plastic.

The black display lock is designed like a push button in the middle of the front edge of the notebook’s lid. The notebook won’t open up on your touching the button accidentally thanks to the stiff springs in the display hinges. Besides just pushing the button, you have to apply some effort to lift the lid up.

The display fastening is the same as is used in other inexpensive models from ASUS. The hinges stick out from the notebook’s body (there are an unusual three hinges here instead of just two) and allow unfolding the notebook by a full 180 degrees and even more as is shown in the photograph below:

The decorative caps on the ends of the hinges add more gaming spirit to the appearance of the ASUS G2Pb.

The color scheme is nearly black inside with a bright spot of the piece of aluminum under your hands together with the touchpad buttons. The frame around the touch-sensitive panel is aluminum, too. The rest of the notebook’s body, except for the narrow black side panels, is made from patterned plastic with a glossy coating that attracts dust and dirty fingerprints. The included napkin may prove helpful for cleaning not only the LCD panel, but the notebook’s body as well.

There are rubber pads scattered along the black screen bezel for a softer contact with the notebook’s body when the lid is closed. Centered below the screen is a chrome logo of ASUS. Above the screen there is a 1.3-megapixel web-camera with an activity indicator. It is designed in ASUS’ traditional style as an oblong window with the red color of the gaming series and an imitation grid that hides a built-in microphone.

More and somewhat larger red grids are located on the notebook’s body on both sides of the keyboard. These conceal one of the two pairs of stereo speakers.

The ASUS G2Pb is equipped with a 17” LCD matrix that has a maximum resolution of 1440x900 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:10 (WXGA+). The manufacturer declares a matrix response time of 8 milliseconds for a perfect gaming experience. The viewing angles are quite wide both vertically and horizontally. The display has a glassy coating which makes the image more saturated, but also reflects any well-lit object or light source you have behind your back just like a mirror. It means you have to take care about proper lighting when you sit down to play or work with this notebook. The matrix is manufactured using ASUS’ Color Shine technology which is the reason for that “glassiness”. ASUS claims that the use of the special polymer coating ensures an exceptional image quality and color saturation, resulting in a vivid and colorful image.

Besides Color Shine, the notebook features ASUS Crystal Shine and ASUS Splendid Video Enhancement technologies.

Crystal Shine is meant to provide high brightness so that the notebook could yield a bright and sharp image with lively colors – just what you need for watching movies and playing games.

Splendid Video Enhancement allows adjusting the onscreen image by switching between preset modes (you can control this technology with a special Splendid button or with the Fn+F9 key combination).

 

The notebook’s display offers 16 grades of brightness, just like any other notebook from ASUS, but you can’t use the computer at the lowest values of brightness because it’s virtually impossible to discern anything in the screen then.

We measured the brightness and contrast of the notebook’s LCD panel using a Pantone ColorVision Spyder tool with OptiCAL version 3.7.8 software. We selected the highest brightness setting before this test, but it was considerably lowered when the notebook switched to its battery, automatically enabling its power-saving technologies. The brightness and contrast values are quite high for a notebook’s display:

AC power source:

DC power source:

We haven’t seen Audio DJ buttons on ASUS’ notebooks for quite a long time, but the ASUS G2Pb comes with this feature, although it cannot play music without booting the OS up anymore. But when the notebook is turned on, you can use these buttons to control multimedia programs. They include (from left to right):

To the right of the Audio DJ block, on the slanted front panel, there is the first group of system indicators. It remains visible even when the notebook’s lid is closed:

To the right of the front-panel indicators there is a Consumer Infrared port for the remote control you can use to navigate multimedia applications from a distance.

The second group of status indicators is located on the right above the keyboard together with instant-launch keys and a Power button:

The notebook offers the following instant-launch buttons:

Five Power4 Gear+ modes are available when the notebook is connected to the wall socket and seven when it works on its battery.

 

This notebook is equipped with an 88-key black keyboard. The keys feel almost like those of ordinary keyboards. The block of the gaming buttons (WASD), the arrows and the functional keys are marked with red. The Enter button is shaped in the classical way like the letter L. The movement keys are shifted a little below the keyboard’s baseline, so there is a smaller risk of your pressing them accidentally. The left Control occupies its customary position in the lower left corner, which is convenient for people who are used to Control-involving shortcuts like Ctrl+C or Ctrl+V. Numeric buttons and three Windows keys are available: the Context Menu key on the left of the spacebar; the two Windows Logo keys are on both sides of the spacebar, over one key to the right and over two keys to the left, respectively. The functional keys are smaller than others. Home, Page Up, Page Down and End make up a column on the right. Pause, Print Screen, Insert and Delete are placed in the same row with the functional keys (you should press them in combination with Fn to access their additional functions). The letters are painted white and the functional keys are painted blue.

You can spot an interesting device above the top left corner of the keyboard. It is an additional OLED display that can be programmed to report the user a lot of useful information during the game process. The OLED display shows the current time, outputs various notifications, informs you about new letters in your MS Outlook inbox or about a call from MS Messenger or Power4Phone, and warns about low battery charge (when it is below 10%). By default, the display shows a clock icon:

 

You can create a creeping line with your own text or use one of the standard display icons or disable this display altogether. The display is controlled with the ASUS Direct Console. You can change your Personal Setting there.

 

The touchpad of the ASUS G2Pb is unusual, like the rest of this notebook. The wide touch-sensitive panel is surrounded with an aluminum bezel and is sunken a little below the surface level. The surrounding plastic has a decorative pattern but no gloss. The two touchpad buttons complement the bezel and merge into the aluminum hand-rest.

Nestled between the buttons is a touchpad activity indicator with the gaming series’ logo and red (green for the G1) highlighting.

The touchpad lacks a dedicated scrolling zone or a scrolling joystick, but you can browse pages using the right and bottom parts of the touch-sensitive panel.

The G2Pb being positioned as a gaming solution, it is natural it offers an abundance of various ports and connectors on each side panel.

The left side of the notebook offers the following components (from left to right):

You can spot bright red pieces at the left and right edges of the lid. Looking like pure decoration, these are actually Direct Flash indicators that become highlighted when you launch a resource-consuming DirectX application. If you don’t want this illumination, you can disable the Direct Flash feature in the ASUS Direct Console.

On the notebook’s right panel you’ll find a power connector and an optical drive with an activity indicator, eject button and emergency ejection hole.

The following is placed on the back panel of the G2Pb:

The dense placement of USB 2.0 ports resembles the A6 series (read more about it in our article called ASUS A6Jc Notebook: New Reincarnation of the Popular Family). It’s not convenient to use all of these ports at the same time.

The elongated battery has a capacity of 4800mAh. The battery is located in the front part of the notebook’s body, so the hand-rest won’t get hot during a long play.

You’ll find the following on the notebook’s bottom panel: a cover of the compartment with the WLAN module and the TV-tuner, covers of the memory compartment and HDD compartment, a battery module with two locks, a Reset hole, a personal card holder, two stereo speakers, and stickers with information about the model and the OS serial number.

 

The bottom speakers add to the sound of the top ones. You can control the sound volume using the Fn, F10, F11 and F12 buttons. The adjustment process is indicated on the screen as follows:

There is only one module in the memory compartment. It is occupied by a 1024MB module. The other slot is under the keyboard and cannot be accessed easily. It is occupied by a 1024MB module, too. The total memory amount – 2048 megabytes – is actually the largest amount the G2Pb can support, so you’ve got no upgrade opportunities here.

Configuration

The ASUS G2Pb notebook features the Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 processor with a default clock rate of 2.00GHz. This CPU is based on the 65nm Merom core and has 4 megabytes of shared L2 cache memory.

The Core 2 Duo T7200 supports Intel’s 64-bit extensions to the x86 architecture and also features Intel Wide Dynamic Execution technology which means more decoders and execution units in the CPU core. The speed of processing SSE and floating-point instructions has been increased, too.

 

Besides Intel’s traditional Enhanced SpeedStep technology that gives the notebook’s software and BIOS the control over the CPU frequency multiplier (to reduce it under low loads), this CPU supports Dynamic Power Coordination (the power consumption of the cores can be independently adjusted depending on the current load; one core may even slip into Deep Sleep mode with the lowest power consumption possible) and Dynamic Cache Sizing (unused segments of the CPU cache can be turned off to save power). For more information about Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors refer to our article called Intel Core 2 Duo in Notebooks: Centrino Duo Platform Refreshed.

 

This implementation of the refresh version of the Napa platform also incorporates an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG adapter and an Intel Calistoga 945PM chipset. The chipset supports DDR2 SO-DIMMs, thus offering more memory bandwidth at lower power consumption, and a PCI Express x16 interface for an external graphics card. The ICH7-M chip is used as the chipset’s South Bridge. Connected to the North Bridge via a special-purpose Direct Media Interface, the South Bridge supports one Parallel ATA port, two Serial ATA ports, eight USB 2.0 ports and Intel High Definition Audio. It also offers six PCI Express x1 lanes to connect external devices. For more information about the platform, visit the manufacturer’s website.

The crucial feature of the ASUS G2Pb configuration is an ATI Mobility Radeon X1700 graphics core with 512 megabytes of dedicated graphics memory.  

The ATI Mobility Radeon X1700 is nothing else but an improved Mobility Radeon X1600. It is still the same 157-million-transistor chip manufactured on 90nm tech process with strained silicon technology. This improves its power consumption characteristics.

The manufacturer claims the ATI Mobility Radeon X1700 transforms the notebook into a high-performance Windows Vista-ready workstation and gaming machine as well as into a mobile entertainment center. Providing multi-threaded rendering technology for a wide range of 3D applications, the ATI Mobility Radeon X1700 also incorporates an improved Avivo video engine for HD-DVD/H.264 playback acceleration. The GPU also features PowerPlay 6.0 technology for a longer battery life. Running a little ahead, we should say that the graphics subsystem’s power-saving mode is set up rather too aggressively. When the notebook works on its battery, its graphics performance becomes closer to that of an integrated graphics core rather than of a full-featured discrete GPU. For more information about the graphics core’s characteristics, follow this link.

The notebook comes with a Hitachi HTS541616J9SA00 hard disk drive (2.5” form-factor, 5400rpm spindle rotation speed, 160GB capacity, Serial ATA interface) and an LG GSA-T10N DVD drive with the following speed formula:

Writing:

Reading:

The ASUS G2Pb is equipped with DDR2-667 SDRAM, the fastest memory type available on the Napa platform. Each of its memory slots is occupied by a 1024MB module. The notebook comes with the maximum amount of system memory it can support. Its memory works in dual-channel mode as is indicated by the next screenshot:

We measured the temperature of the hottest spots on the notebook’s surfaces with an infrared thermometer after it had worked for half an hour in the Classic test mode of Battery Eater Pro 2.60 (the ambient temperature remained constant at 23°C during this test) and got the following numbers:

The next table lists the technical specs of the ASUS G2Pb notebook in comparison with its opponent ASUS A8Jp (for details on this model see our article called Traditions of Classical Notebook Building: Asus A8J Series Review):

Test Methods

The notebook’s hard disk was formatted in NTFS before the tests. Then we installed Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 with DirectX 9.0c, system drivers (from the included disc), and Windows Media Encoder 9.0 with Windows Media Player 9.0. We also installed Windows Media Player 10.0 for such tests as PCMark 2005 and SYSMark 2004 SE.

The following settings were used for the tests:

There were two exceptions: we returned to the Windows XP desktop theme for PCMark 2005 since the program required that. And for SYSMark 2004 SE to work normally, we had to roll each parameter back to its default (as they are set right after you install Windows).

Two power modes were used. First, we selected the Always On power mode for maximum performance and the shortest battery life. Then we switched to the Max Battery mode for the maximum battery run-down time.

Our tests:

  1. Performance benchmarks: synthetic (SiSoftware Sandra 2005, SiSoftware Sandra 2007, PCMark 2004 1.3.0, PCMark 2005 1.2.0), office and multimedia (SYSMark 2004 SE, Business Winstone 2004, Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004), and games (3DMark 2003 3.6.0, 3DMark 2005 1.2.0, 3DMark 2006 1.1.0, Quake 3, Quake 4, Unreal Tournament 2003)
  2. Battery life tests (Battery Eater Pro 2.60)

There are three test modes in Battery Eater:

We used the first two modes as they are in Battery Eater, but in the Idle mode (when the test utility doesn’t put any load of its own on the notebook) we played a DVD movie.

Performance

As usual, we will first run synthetic benchmarks.

The SiSoftware 2007 suite features an updated enhanced-functionality interface, runs on three platforms (Win32 x86, Win64 x64, WinCE ARM), contains 13 tests and 34 informational modules, and supports a large range of devices thanks to the developer’s collaboration with Intel, AMD, ATI, SiS and VIA. The program is supported in six languages and has a free Lite version for personal and educational purposes. SiSoftware Sandra measures the overall performance of the system as well as that of each of its subsystems.

PCMark benchmarks the computer performance in office and office-related applications and also produces performance scores for the main subsystems (CPU, memory, graphical, and disk subsystem). PCMark 2005 carries on the tradition of complex benchmarks of the series and uses fragments of real-life applications as tests. This makes it somewhat more relevant for end-users as opposed to fully synthetic benchmarks. After running a series of 11 tests on the different components of the system, the program calculates an overall performance score in units called PCMarks. PCMark 2005 can check a computer out at processing HD video and encoding audio, and offers enhanced tests of the CPU and hard disk under multi-threaded load. The overall score is calculated by the formula: PCMark Score = 87 x (the geometric mean of the basic tests) , where the geometric mean is calculated as (Result 1 x Result 2 x…)/the number of results.

Having identical CPUs (Intel Core 2 Duo T7200), the notebooks provide similar CPU performance. Their results even coincide in some of the tests. When the notebooks switch to their batteries, their CPU performance degenerates by a half, proportionally to the CPU frequency reduction: the CPU clock rate is lowered from the default 2GHz to 1GHz in power-saving mode. The system memory tests produce similar results, too, although the notebooks differ in the amount of memory. The graphical subsystem of the ASUS G2Pb looks preferable due to its 512MB of dedicated graphics memory as opposed to the memory allotment by means of HyperMemory technology as in the ASUS A8Jp.

The Business Winstone 2004 test runs scripts of the following real-life office applications, several scripts at a time to simulate multi-tasking: Internet Explorer, Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, Project, PowerPoint, FrontPage, WinZip, and Norton AntiVirus Professional Edition.

The Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004 test evaluates performance of a computer in the following multimedia applications: Windows Media Encoder, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere, NewTek LightWave 3D, Steinberg WaveLab, Micromedia Dreamweaver MX, and Micromedia Director MX.

The following table and diagrams show the outcome of these tests:

There were certain problems with Business Winstone 2004 which are reflected in the low score (this benchmark wouldn’t even start up on the tested notebook at first). There should have been no such great difference. We guess the drivers are the possible cause of the problem. The ASUS G2Pb does better in Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004 and even outperforms its opponent thanks to its larger amount of system memory. The results of the notebooks plummet down twofold when they switch to their batteries.

SYSMark 2004 SE is intended to reveal a system’s performance under different types of load. It simulates a user who is solving practical tasks in a few popular applications. Multi-threading is taken into account. The benchmark issues a few ratings that are indicative of the system performance under different loads. SYSMark 2004 SE is mainly positioned as a tool for testing desktop systems and includes applications that are not often run on mobile computers. That’s why the results for each test load are shown separately:

The 3D Creation script simulates a user who is rendering an image into a BMP-file in 3ds max 5.1 and is also working on web-pages in Dreamweaver MX. After these operations are done, a 3D animation is created in a vector graphics format.

Most of the SYSMark 2004 SE tests are CPU-dependent, and the results are identical since the notebooks have identical CPUs. When working on their batteries, the notebooks suffer a performance hit proportional to the CPU frequency reduction.

The 2D Creation script simulates a user creating a video out of a few RAW-format fragments and audio tracks in Premier 6.5. Waiting for the operation to complete, the user is also modifying an image in Photoshop 7.01 and then saves it to the hard disk. When the video clip is ready, the user edits it and adds special effects in After Effects 5.5.

The ATI Mobility Radeon X1700 with its 512 megabytes of dedicated graphics memory outpaces its namesake that has only 256 megabytes of dedicated memory and can have 256 megabytes more by means of HyperMemory technology. The notebooks suffer a twofold performance hit in the battery mode.

The next test simulates the work routines of a professional web-master. The user unzips the content of a website while using Flash MX to open an exported 3D vector graphics clip. Then the user modifies it by including more pictures and optimizes it for faster animation. The resulting clip with special effects is compressed with Windows Media Encoder 9 to be broadcast via the Internet. Next, the website is compiled in Dreamweaver MX while the system is being scanned for viruses with VirusScan 7.0 in the background.

The ASUS G2Pb is somewhat slower here, which doesn’t seem right because its configuration is overall better than the opponent’s.

The next script simulates an ordinary user who’s receiving a letter with a .zip attachment in Outlook 2002. While the received files are being scanned for viruses with VirusScan 7.0, the user looks through his e-mail, enters some comments into the Outlook calendar, and then opens a corporate website and some documents with Internet Explorer 6.0.

These results provoke no questions. The overall performance of the tested notebook and its communicational capabilities are somewhat more advanced than those of the ASUS A8Jp. The results are not much lower in the battery mode because this script does not depend on the CPU much.

In the Document Creation script the user is editing text in Word 2002 and is also using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to convert an audio file into a text document. This text document is then converted into PDF format with Acrobat 5.0.5. And finally, the document is employed in a PowerPoint 2002 presentation.

Similar configurations deliver similar performance. The notebooks’ performance degenerates proportionally to the CPU frequency reduction in the battery mode.

The final script from SYSMark 2004 SE includes the following: the user opens a database in Access 2002 and creates a few queries. Documents are archived with WinZip 8.1. The results of the queries are exported into Excel 2002 and are used to construct a diagram.

The results of the last of SYSmark 2004 SE scripts agree with the earlier tests.

The notebooks are each equipped with a discrete graphics core ATI Mobility Radeon X1700. We tested their graphical performance in three versions of 3DMark: 3DMark 2003 3.6.0, 3DMark 2005 1.2.0 and 3DMark 2006 1.0.2.

3DMark is a set of 3D scenes rendered by a unique engine that can load the computer’s graphics subsystem in various ways. Compared with the previous version, 3DMark 2005 uses Shader Model 2.0x/3.0 instead of Shader Model 1.x, provides full compatibility with Shader Model 2.0, includes more complex tests (over a million polygons per each frame), and employs normal maps. 3DMark 2006 brings support for HDR, Uniform Shadow Maps, and multi-core CPUs. It is overall oriented at Shader Model 3.0, but two out of its four graphics tests work within the Shader Model 2.0 framework.

The more advanced graphics solution installed in the ASUS G2Pb enjoys a small lead in every test. The notebooks slow down greatly when they have to work on their batteries due to aggressive power-saving algorithms implemented in PowerPlay technology. The notebooks didn’t pass the Shader Particles Test. It is because the ATI Radeon X1000 architecture doesn’t support the vertex texture fetch feature, which is only available on the GeForce 6 and 7 architectures.

Another interesting thing, the CPU tests from 3DMark 2003 and 2005 are not as CPU-dependent as the one in 3DMark06 – this is indicated by the performance hit in the battery mode. The latest version of the benchmark has a “purer” CPU test.

Next, we tested the notebooks in two modes in Quake 3 :

And in one mode in Quake 4 :

There was no standard demo record in Quake 4 , so we had to create one by ourselves. We will use it in every following review of notebooks on our site so that different notebooks could be compared under identical conditions.

The G2Pb feels at ease in Quake 3 when powered from the mains. When working on the battery, it is slower than its opponent due to even more aggressive power-saving settings. The same settings lead to a threefold performance hit in Quake 4 , but you have a longer battery life instead.

The notebooks behave here just like they’ve done in the previous tests. The lower performance in the battery mode is due to low-performance and low-consumption settings of the graphics core. The new gaming solution from ASUS can impress with its gaming might, yet you shouldn’t disconnect it from the mains during play unless you want to be disappointed with your purchase.

The notebook’s battery life was measured with Battery Eater Pro 2.60. The test was performed at the maximum screen brightness in the following modes:

Well, two hours of autonomous operation is a very little time. You won’t be able to watch a long movie to the end, and you won’t be able to enjoy a game fully. On the other hand, if a long battery life is the top priority for you, you should consider other models, perhaps with an integrated graphics core.

Here are the battery discharge diagrams for the different operation modes.

Conclusion

We want to sincerely applause to the engineers and designers whose work and creativity are embodied in the new gaming series with the letter G. The ASUS G2P solution looks like a thoroughly revised and visually enriched A6 series, which is one of the most popular notebook series ever developed by ASUS. And like the A6 series, the G2P is worth every cent of its price. Although its advanced hardware parts eat up its battery in a moment, it’s not a problem at all. What is important, this notebook is superior to all other models in its class in terms of sheer speed. The ASUS G2P not only competes with desktop gaming stations, it wins the competition! It’s hard to name all the things the G2P can do. It’s simpler to name those few it cannot. On a second thought, is there anything at all this notebook wouldn’t cope with?

Highs:

Lows: