Asus ROG G750JZ review
We’ve seen a smattering of high-end gaming laptops in recent months, but Asus’ ROG G750JZ is in a class all of its own. Taking a giant-sized 17.3in display as a starting point, Asus has packed a suitably huge chassis with only the most choice of high-end laptop hardware – the G750JZ is a serious gaming laptop with a suitably serious price.
Asus ROG G750JZ review: design
Physically, Asus’ laptop is monstrously large and foreboding. Wrought entirely from heavy, black matte plastic, the only interruption to the Asus’ all-black chassis is the white Asus logo set in the middle of its thick, hefty-feeling lid. The G750JZ’s wedge-shaped profile tapers forwards like the menacing bonnet of a supercar, and a huge pair of intake and exhaust fans hidden behind thick, plastic grilles expel hot air from its rear.
At 4.8kg, it’s arm-achingly heavy, and the brick-sized PSU catapults the device’s overall heft to a 5.4kg, but this isn’t a laptop we’d be worried to take out of the house. The build quality feels taut and rigid, and there’s barely a hint of flex or give anywhere around the Asus’ muscle-bound physique.
Asus ROG G750JZ review: specification & performance
Rumbling inside the G750JZ is some of the most high-end core hardware we’ve seen in a laptop. There’s a 2.4GHz Core i7-4860HQ supported by 16GB DDR3 RAM and accompanied by a 1.5TB hard disk and 256GB SanDisk SSD. As we expected from such an impressive hardware array, the Asus laptop had no problem zipping through our suite of Real World Benchmarks, and it smashed its way through with a potent Overall score of 0.98.
Predictably, the G750JZ also proved itself to be a gaming powerhouse; armed with its Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M dedicated GPU equipped with 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, the demands of Full HD gaming barely saw it break a sweat. In our Crysis benchmark, with graphical detail set to its very highest setting, the Asus whipped through the benchmark at an average of 58fps. Suffice it to say, there’s plenty of power in reserve ready and waiting for the toughest gaming titles.
With that amount of heavy-duty hardware running, we were expecting to run into problems with overheating and poor battery life, but we needn’t have worried. The intake and exhaust fans do a good job of keeping the system at a manageable temperature: thrashed by stress-testing programs such as Prime95 and FurMark, the cooling system kept the CPU at 80˚C and the GPU topped at a positively 82˚C. The removable 5,900mAh battery was no underachiever, either, and with the display dimmed down to 75cd/m², the Asus lasted 7hrs 46mins in our light-use battery test.
The only disappointment in the Asus’ benchmark figures is due to its SSD. We were a little surprised at how poorly it performed in the AS SSD benchmark, with sequential read and write scores of 283MB/sec and 216MB/sec respectively. We’d expect almost double that from the best SSDs we’ve seen, and we’d expect the figure to triple in the case of Apple’s PCI Express-based SSDs. However, in real-world use the Asus’ combination of solid-state and mechanical drives works with aplomb; we timed the G750JZ performing a cold boot to the Start menu in just over six seconds. And since it’s possible to access the Asus’ pair of 2.5in drive bays by unscrewing a panel on the underside, it’s always possible to upgrade to a faster pair of drives in the future.
Asus ROG G750JZ review: connectivity and screen quality
Asus has also made sure that the G750JZ is equipped with oodles of connectivity. The most notable inclusion is the single Thunderbolt 1 port – the G750JZ is the first non-Apple laptop we’ve seen to include the standard. There are also four USB 3 ports, an SD card reader, HDMI and D-SUB outputs, and Gigabit Ethernet. We were also pleased to note that, along with Bluetooth 4, the Acer laptop touts dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
However, the G750JZ does have one major Achilles heel: Asus has plumped for a lower-quality display than we were expecting. The 17.3in 1,920 x 1,080 TN panel gave a reasonable performance when tested by an X-Rite colorimeter: the LED backlight topped out at 277cd/m² and contrast ratio measured 595:1. Gamers will appreciate the screen’s matte anti-glare coating, too.
Closer inspection revealed more serious issues. Vertical viewing angles are narrow; the Asus’ panel crushes the darkest greys into black; and our test images were cast with anaemic, unnatural-looking colours. Further testing with our X-Rite colorimeter pinpointed the issue: the panel’s average colour accuracy reached a highly unimpressive 5.55, a result that indicates most onscreen colours are some way away from their intended shade.
Asus ROG G750JZ review: verdict
For the most part, we were extremely impressed with the Asus ROG G750JZ. It’s by no means cheap, but it sports some of the finest mobile components money can buy, and for considerably less than similarly specified machines from rival brands such as Alienware. That said, we simply can’t excuse such a mediocre display on an £1,800 laptop. With a better display, the Asus ROG G750JZ would be a tour de force, but as it stands, we’d sacrifice all-out power and plump for the MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro – it’s by far the better all-round machine.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||412 x 322 x 57.4mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4860HQ|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce 880M|
|Graphics card RAM||8.00GB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray reader|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Hardware volume control?||yes|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||7hr 46min|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||181fps|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.98|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 8.1 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 8|