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First Looks: ASUS ROG G53SW – Stealth Fighter (Updated)

By Lionell Go Macahilig - 30 Jun 2011

First Looks: ASUS ROG G53SW - Stealth Fighter

Fresh From Computex

Earlier this month at Computex Taipei, ASUS introduced to us its updated range of gaming notebooks under the Republic of Gamers (ROG) label. Part of this lineup is the G53 series, headlined by the G53SX Naked-Eye 3D notebook which is capable of allowing you to view visual content in full 3D glory without the need for a pair of 3D eyeglasses.

Inspired by the iconic F-117 stealth fighter, the notebook is clad in a geometric, matte-grey casing that feels a bit rubbery on the outside.

While we are waiting for the G53SX, the folks at ASUS recently sent us its relative, the G53SW, which is a 3D-capable model as well but it still requires 3D eyeglasses. Unfortunately, we did not receive the needed peripherals, hence, in this article we are going to look at the G53SW as a regular gaming notebook. We’ll keep you posted once the glasses arrived at our spot.

As if the entire notebook was attempting to take wing, ASUS has equipped it with two air vents at the rear from which heat is dissipated.

Inspection At The Hangar

With the new G53 series, ASUS still maintains its naming convention wherein the suffix “W” implies that the model comes with NVIDIA GeForce graphics. In the case of the G53SW, this notebook espouses a GeForce GTX 460M, the same GPU that is present on the older G73JW notebook. While the latter model runs on a Clarksfield chip, the G53SW is powered by Intel’s second generation Core processor, specifically an i7-2630QM with our unit.

While other gaming notebooks have the directional W, A, S and D keys color-coded, they are simply labeled with arrows on the ASUS G53SW.

These backlit icons are actually the three hot keys located just above the keyboard. The first one from left is for activating the keyboard's backlighting. The middle is for adjusting power consumption. The last one, an ROG icon, is for enabling 3D vision.

Other than the differences mentioned, the G53SW is similar to the G73JW in many respects. A behemoth of a gaming notebook, the G53SW boasts of its sheer size with its ample 15.6-inch HD display and mass of 3.78kg. Deriving inspiration from the iconic F-117 stealth fighter, the notebook presents a geometric, military grey chassis with two air vents at the rear from which heat is actively expelled.

A built-in Blu-ray player is just reasonable for this expensively-priced gaming notebook.

Looking at the cross-section of the G53SW reveals that it has a conspicuous reclining design, which according to ASUS, is intended to allow gamers achieve a more natural, stress-free posture while immersed in gaming for long hours. Additionally, the G53SW is equipped with an illuminated full size keyboard (with numeric keypad) and ample palm rest.

Since the Blu-ray player is integrated to the left side, most of the connectors are hosted on the right side. From left to right: headphone jack, microphone jack, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA and Gigabit Ethernet terminal.

The Fighter Takes Off

As usual, the synthetic tests that we used include Futuremark’s PCMark Vantage and 3DMark Vantage. Looking at the scores below, we can see that the G53SW consistently got the highest scores in all categories and we attribute its superiority to its use of an Intel Core i7-2630QM chip. We put side by side G53SW's scores with those of MSI GT660's and ASUS G73JH's which we wrote about in January.

PCMark Vantage: ASUS G53SW, ASUS G73JH and MSI GT660
PCMarks 7857 6089 6592
Memory 5258 4690 4473
TV/Movies 5824 4200 4706
Gaming 9097 6605 6222
Productivity 7850 4281 5607

Moving ahead to 3DMark Vantage, we can see here the overwhelming number that the G53SW got in CPU score, which only proves the superiority of the Sandy Bridge processor. Nevertheless, it is conspicuous that the G73JH fared well with higher scores in overall 3DMarks and Graphics, thanks to its superior Radeon HD 5870 graphics.

3DMark Vantage: ASUS ROG G53SW and ASUS ROG G73JH
3DMarks 7277 8131
Graphics 5747 7407
CPU 36154 11502

In terms of battery performance, the G53SW remained on the top of its game as it lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes, longer than the G73JW’s record (2 hours and 20 minutes). Aside from its use of Sandy Bridge processor, which Intel has been promoting more energy-efficient than the previous generation, the G53SW garnered longer battery life because of its smaller display. Do take note that both rigs come with a bulky power adapter and an 8-cell 5200mAh battery module.

In our upcoming update for this article, we are going to engage the G53SW in real world applications, primarily, 3D video playback and 3D gaming, so stay tuned.

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