Asus GL551J Gaming notebook Review
For a long time I've been a strong believer that laptops are a waste of money unless you have no choice. When I looked at my plans for this year I quickly realized I my travel tower just wasn't going to work to well for me. For example my vacation to the Islands! No way could I take a tower no matter the size!
I do have a Dell XPS laptop current but has been falling a bit behind in terms of my needs. I took it to Japan and it was pretty painful finishing BRS on it!
So I knew I needed a new laptop! I did some research as to what can be had for a good price and I was a bit surprised. It seems with improvements in technology the performance you get for the money is much better then when I bought my xps!
So since I've had the new laptop for about 1.5 months I'll try to write a review and compare my new notebook to my old! ^^
My Dell XPS bought 6 years ago cost me $3000 without tax! Here's the important specs of my version.
*4 gb of 657mhz DDR2 ram
*dvd rom drive
*700g 7000rpm HDD,
*Intel extreme dual core @3.0ghz
*Nvidia SLI 7800gt's with 512megs of vram
*Windows vista (changed to windows 7)
*Full Backlite keyboard with num pad
*DVI and S-video out
*Weight 10.6 lbs.
My new Asus cost me $1060 with tax! Here's the important specs of my version
*16gb of DDR3 ram
*dvd rom drive
*Intel i7 4710HQ quad core w/turbo @ 3.5ghz
*Nvidia 860m gtx with 2gig vram (maxwell)
*Backlit keyboard (no num pad)
*HDMI and Mini HDMI out put
*Weight 6 lbs.
My thoughts are first the performance of the new laptop is ridiculously good. The i7 in it is a hair slower then my 1st gen i7 in my custom built desktop right now. The video card is about as good as 1 of my 570 gtx's in my desktop which isn't bad at all. This Asus model comes with the latest maxwell type gpu which is a tad faster then the older version of the 860m gtx. I can play pretty good games if I wanted even though I got it for 3d art. I've tried TERA online which I play and fairs pretty well on med-high actually. The ram and SSD makes it incredibly fast. Before I installed any software it booted in to desktop in 5 seconds and shut completely down and off in 8 seconds! Since installing software tends to slow the booting process it takes about 8 sec to boot and about 12 to shut down now. Today the dell xps takes 45+ seconds to boot and a year to shut down..
So obviously the new Asus is a bit smaller then the dell but I figured its time for a change and have something more portable. This means its way lighter then the dell and the power brick is 1/3 the weight of the dells monster xbox consol sized powerbrick. I'm a bit tired carrying around 20lbs of stuff in my laptop bag when you add it all together.
The weakest aspect of the new laptop is the monitor it self. Structurally its strong but the LCD is smaller and the viewing angle is very poor compared to the old Dell XPS. Luckly it has 2 video outputs! This means I can run 2 full HD monitors off my laptop if I wanted to set up a work station on the go which isn't that common with notebooks these days!
The battery life is much much better then the Dell's and will last up to 4 hours in high performance mode which isn't shabby. When the Dell XPS was new I was lucky to get 2 hours of battery life. Today the Dell gets 6 minutes of battery life so it has to be plugged into the wall to run it..
Heat and air venting is better in the new laptop since the Dell XPS had its air intakes right where you would place it on your lap which is terrible for the computer. I like the side exhaust on the new notebook because I can place it up against a wall. Also it allows the lid to swing down which lets the hinge be placed lower for a more low profile design.
In terms of storage I planned on using my external HD more in turn for a crazy fast SSD but smaller storage space. I can later replace the SSD for a bigger one and install a image of the old one on it if I feel like it anyways.
The last major downside is no disc's with drivers come with the this Asus notebook. It is strongly recommended you make a image and keep it on a external in case something happens. Its super easy to do and plenty of tutorials on the web for windows 8.1.
Over all the Asus for 1k USD is light, and powerful pc at 1/3 the cost of the dell! I'd recommend the GL551J to anyone. The only downside is they have sold so well they are hard to find now..