Asus ROG Laptop (G750JZ-DB73-CA) Review

Asus continues its “G series” laptops that just barely qualify for that term (laptop, that is, these things are ungodly huge) in their Republic of Gamers line. We’ve reviewed one of these pricey beasts before; it’s a product line that weighs in at well past the $2000 line in terms of cost. This is a monster gaming rig that will perform all your basic computing needs, and then some. It’s THE machine you’ll want to own… unless you are driven to expect nothing but the absolute best performance. Then we might have a problem.

Incremental Power

When the G750 series debuted, it was already placing itself as a premium, niche product. It’s powerful, it’s expensive it’s heavy, and the battery drains incredibly fast when used for gaming. It really wasn’t a laptop in the traditional sense, so much as it was a high-powered PC in a laptop form-factor for people that didn’t want to clutter up a good chunk of room to a traditional desktop/monitor set up. It was definitely not a machine that was made for everyone, aimed more specifically at people that needed a lot of power in a just barely portable format, digital art/video professionals, and of course, gamers that wouldn’t compromise even on a portable system.

This brings us to the newer G750 model, which still comes at premium price, and sports some impressive bells and whistles but is already looking at a limited life span—at least among gamers—thanks to the rapid improvements in technology.

First, the good news. The majority of the good things about the G750 series continue here, including the quality of the physical build, the backlit keyboard, and the plethora of inputs, along with a host of small, but incredibly significant improvements. A small solid-state drive has also been thrown into the mix, and this definitely makes for faster load times on the OS, which unfortunately is Windows 8, but at least the state menu and desktop have returned. This new model has an increase to a whopping 24 GB of DDR 3 RAM, and the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive that both reads and writes. This makes the laptop even more attractive to the professional set, who will benefit greatly from the big pool of RAM for digital art/video editing purposes. Being able to burn things to a BD is also a welcome feature for those that need to still copy large amounts of data to some kind of physical media. Again this is more a benefit for the professionals than anyone else.

The big problem here is that for a laptop that costs over $2000 and is branded as “Republic of Gamers” its capabilities as a modern PC gaming still aren’t quite up to “all cylinders firing.” Yes, older, more demanding games like The Witcher 2 can run on ultra settings and be playable. Not 60 fps playable, but still quite playable. Less demanding games are super silky smooth, such as Saints Row IV, which the G750 eats for breakfast. In the case of Saints Row IV, it’s one of those bizarre situations where actual gameplay runs better and smoother than the cutscenes so for most gaming needs, the G750 will do an adequate job. The problem, as usual, is one of technical relevance. Watch_Dogs on PC for instance, will run on this new G750, but, even ignoring the lack of optimization the game has on PCs, the G750 falls short of the recommended specs for the CPU. The G750 sports an Intel i7-4700HQ running at 2.4 GHz. Watch_Dogs, even in its current broken, unoptimized state, runs comfortably on Quad Core Q8400 at 2.66 GHz or better yet an AMD Phenom II X4 940 at 3 GHz. Don’t worry, it’ll run on here as well, just not maxed out, which may or may not bug you depending heavily on your expectations for a $2000+ machine.

This is only going to get worse as new games come out. The CPU is a bottleneck that the locked down nature of a laptop’s hardware can’t get around. Obviously, less demanding games work fine. For people that are eyeballing this laptop for MMOs or just want to be able to run games at mid to high settings, the G750J is a suitable device. For people that want to play the very latest games at the highest possible settings with the smoothest performance, this laptop won’t do that. Future games such as Arkham Knight will probably break this laptop at ultra settings.

The G750 is a pricey buy at over $2000 depending on which outlet you go to. For that money, you expect high-performance, and for work purposes such as video editing or digital art, the impressive suite of features delivers. However for people that want the best possible gaming experience this isn’t quite it. It will run anything you throw at it in mid to high settings, but the most demanding games still ask too much of this laptop to deliver on ultra settings and still get playable performance. If you’re on a quest for the ultimate gaming laptop, this might not be your answer. If you’re looking for a reliable workhorse with a lot of useful professional features, you might have found your ideal match. Ultimately, the best fit for this laptop is someone with a lot of money that doesn’t want the absolute best performance and is more interested in a portable work station and a powerful—but not all powerful—gaming rig on the go. Keep expectations in check. This machine will do a lot, and it will run every game, but it won’t run every game to maximum spec and still be playable. A dedicated desktop is still required for most demanding titles at the highest settings. It’s the same powerful machine as the earlier model, with a few extra bells and whistles. If more RAM, a BD read/write drive and boosted specs are worth the price jump, dive right in.

SEE ALSO:  ASUS Zenbook UX305UA (Hardware) Review