Mobile gamers, take note: Asus today released the G50V, a 15-inch gaming laptop that appears to be a high-powered, low-priced affair.
The majority of gaming laptops use a 17-inch chassis and weigh 8 pounds or more. The Asus G50V packs many of the same features inside a 15-inch chassis that weighs a relatively svelte 6.2 pounds. Inside, the laptop supplies a high-end 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 processor, 4GB of fast 800MHz DDR2 memory, and an Nvidia GeForce 9700M GT graphics card with 512MB of DDR3 memory. Two hard drives are on board for a combined 500GB of storage. Throw in a DVD burner and your total is a very reasonable $1,699. A Blu-ray-equipped model with smaller hard-drive space (two 200GB units) goes for $1,899.
The 15-inch screen features a 1680x1050 native resolution. While the GeForce 9700M GT is a DX10 graphics card and member of Nvidia's current generation, it's still a notch down from the three 9800 series members and a half-step down from the 9700 GTS card.
Gaming-friendly features include an overclocking button that pushes the CPU into Turbo mode or--hold onto your headset--Turbo Extreme mode, as well as a 2.0-megapixel Webcam, and LED lights along the sides of the display. A small OLED secondary display sits above the keyboard and displays system status, IM, and e-mail alerts. Asus also adds a backpack and Logitech MX518 mouse to sweeten the deal.
Non-gaming features include an Express Gate button, which lets you bypass Windows and quickly boot to a Linux shell where you can access your Web browser and other apps. The Webcam features facial-recognition technology, which you can use to log in to the laptop in lieu of a password. An HDMI-out lets you output audio and video to an HDTV, and an eSATA port provides fast data transfers to external drives.
In all, both G50V models appear to be great values. A similarly configured Dell XPS 1530 with weaker graphics costs more. And 15-inch models from Dell's Alienware brand and HP's Voodoo brand are much pricier.
Thankfully, it looks as though the Asus G50V will simply smell like a laptop and is not a member of the company's scented models.
Full specs can be found on the Asus Web site here.