2014 has seen the release of two video game juggernauts: Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4. While these cutting edge consoles retail for $499 and $399 respectively, they still can’t touch the astronomical costs of gaming computers. Why such a price gap? On the right system, like the Asus ROG G750JZ-XS72 (MSRP $2999), a PC game will always look better than a console game. Whether that performance is worth an additional $2500 depends on your level of enthusiasm.
I could go on and on about the G750JZ’s speedy processor (quad-core Intel i7-4700HQ), or its staggering amount of RAM (32GB), or even its Blu-ray drive with reading and writing capabilities, but none of those are the star of this show. The main attraction is Nvidia’s brand-new, top-of-the-line mobile video card: the GeForce GTX 880M. If you’re willing to shell out an obscene amount of money for portable gaming supremacy, this rig won’t let you down.
Nothing is more important on a gaming PC than the video card. While there are more powerful gaming laptops on the market that offer dual video card performance—called SLI (Scalable Link Interface)—the Asus ROG G750JZ offers a monstrously capable card in the GeForce GTX 880M. Want to play current games with high or ultra settings? This is the video card for you.
With such great graphical performance, it’s easy to forget that the Asus ROG G750JZ has other top-tier components. Its Intel i7-4700HQ quad-core processor ripped through our real-world tests. We tax a processor’s performance by running Photoshop, Excel, and the video conversion tool Handbrake. Our tests prove that this gaming rig is great for work as well as play.
Since this is a laptop, you’d expect at least some portable gameplay. Unfortunately, battery life is not this Asus’ strongest trait. You’ll see a little under 4 hours of battery life for casual web-browsing, and around 90 minutes while gaming with settings and brightness on high. Nvidia’s answer is a new battery-extending technology called Battery Boost on its 800 series mobile video cards that can extend battery life a few minutes. In our test, using it gave us an extra 20 minutes, and for gamers, that could be the difference between reaching the next checkpoint or losing all your progress when the laptop dies.
Look & Feel
I can’t harp on the G750JZ’s appearance too much because it isn’t trying to compete with super-slim ultrabooks. If you’re in the market for a gaming laptop, you know exactly what you’re in for: a thicker body for housing extra components and alleviating heating woes. This laptop measures over two inches thick, but it’s definitely not an ugly device. The thick plastic housing doesn’t feel cheap, and stays cooler than many metal exteriors on ultrabooks.
Lift the lid and you’ll find an even truer indication of quality: a spacious, backlit keyboard that’s an absolute joy to type on (although programmable keys are missing). The high-quality touchpad is the real surprise on the G750JZ, as well. Many PC gamers invest in a top-notch gaming mouse, so having a superb touchpad is surprising, to say the least.
Other features you’ll find include a solid, glare-resistant 17.3-inch, 1080p screen, which for the price we wish had a higher resolution. You also get a host of connectivity options, including four USB 3.0 slots, an SD card reader, VGA, HDMI, and Display port. Finally, you’ll also get a Blu-ray drive with both read and write functions.
I don’t have many complaints about the Asus ROG G750JZ-XS72. I would have liked a higher resolution screen and some programmable keys, but those aren’t absolute deal-breakers. There’s really no way around it: The G750JZ is a fantastic machine, as it should be for $2999.
If you’re willing to shell out for a laptop that costs as much as six Playstation 4’s, you deserve high-end performance. The G750JZ-XS72 certainly delivers—in fact, it’s kind of overkill. For $500 less, Asus offers a similar model—the G750JZ-DS71. The lower-end unit has three main difference: 24GB of RAM as opposed to 32GB, 256GB of solid-state storage as opposed to 512, and a Blu-ray drive that only reads discs as opposed to reading and writing.
Most users don’t need a Blu-ray writer since media is becoming more and more digital, and the 32GB of RAM that the XS72 includes is way too much. With Bioshock Infinite running, as well as Photoshop and Chrome, I was only using 3.84GB of RAM—you will never use the full 32GB. The cheaper G750JZ model is definitely more appealing, even with half as much storage.
Make no mistake, though: Any PC gamer who doesn’t want to build a desktop will be more than happy with the Asus ROG G750JZ laptop. Just compare the two models before making a (pricey) decision.