3.5 star rating

ASUS G2S-A1 Review

Pros: Excellent display; Dependable gaming performance; Low heat
Cons: Mediocre frame rates; Large footprint; Slow hard drive
The Verdict: Despite a lack of portability, this gaming rig holds its own when it comes to graphics, display, and gaming experience.



Reliable and relatively sturdy, the ASUS G2S-A1 isn't as portable as some gaming rigs, and it's not quite able to compete against the most tricked-out and egregiously priced models on the market. But it still has plenty going for it, including DirectX 10 graphics, a knockout display, and a solid gaming experience.
Article Continued Below

The G2S-A1's display is noticeably wide and deepe, at 16 x 12 x 1.8 inches. The G2S-A1's physical layout is similar to ASUS' G1 notebook, with the biggest exception being the accents. The G2S-A1's body is black with red inlays and lights, versus the previous generation's black body with green accents.
In addition to the typical ports and slots, you'll find four USB ports on the back, along with eSATA and HDMI ports. On the left are one USB port, an ExpressCard slot, and a 5-in-1 memory card reader. We'd like at least one more easily accessible USB port, especially because competitors like Toshiba put them all on the side. Media controls ride on the front bezel. The lid's faux-brushed metal overlay looks imposing, but the 17-inch screen could be slightly more stable, and the latch feels like a weak spot. A 1.3-megapixel webcam sits above the screen.
The broad keyboard had shallow key depth, but a slightly flexible underpinning adds a sensation of responsiveness without feeling spongy. For everyday typing, however, triggering the touchpad inadvertently was far too easy. And, oddly, the programmable LCD readout above the keys doesn't show the volume by default; instead, you see just the time.
We were impressed with how little heat the G2S-A1 generated. The machine was far cooler than any other gaming laptop or desktop replacement we've tested recently. The system won't be sitting on your lap, however; its 9.6-pound weight and wide footprint require a stable setting. But then again, portability tends to be a nonissue for gamers anyway.
Nvidia's GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 256MB of RAM doesn't quite stack up against the GeForce Go 7950 GTX you'll find in the highest-end rigs, but driver improvements render it competent, as the 3DMark03 score of 11,817 indicates.
F.E.A.R. frame rates were disappointing, however, hovering around 40 frames per second when we maxed out the resolution and settings. Though that's not astronomical, performance was solid and reliable, and we'd feel comfortable gaming with this rig in all but the most hardcore competitive sessions. We tested both DirectX 9 and 10 with Company of Heroes, which is known for taxing hardware significantly. With DX 9, we found results similar to those in F.E.A.R., hovering around 45 fps; that's not stellar, but it's quite playable, and we managed to keep detail settings high. Under DX 10, the numbers dropped to 20 fps. Such a drop is consistent with nearly any DX 10 rig running Company of Heroes, whether it be a notebook or a tricked-out desktop.
The GPU, in conjunction with the 2.2-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 processor and 2GB of RAM, was enough to ensure good performance with Windows Vista. We saw a respectable PCMark05 score of 5,364, 120 points higher than that of the X205. We're surprised that ASUS would equip this notebook with only a 5,400-rpm hard drive and not offer an option to upgrade. This is a limiting factor for game performance.
Despite the mediocre frame rates, the 17.1-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel display is stunning. Colors were vibrant, and texture detail was perfectly crisp, maximizing the effect of the G2S-A1's capabilities. The speaker system didn't stack up nearly as well, however; the G2S pumps out merely respectable audio power.
ASUS' G2S-A1 is a solid performer. The frame rates aren't soaring, but we managed hours of intense game time without the system hanging or overheating. If you're more serious about performance, we'd recommend spending the extra $300 for a system like the Toshiba Satellite X205. 

Suggested Stories:

Toshiba Satellite X205-S9359 Review
Don't let its looks deceive you. The Satellite X205-S9359 is one powerful gaming ring.

Which HD Laptop Is Right for You?
Whether you choose Blu-ray or HD-DVD, these five notebooks offer the best color, quality, and sound that money can buy.

More Notebook Reviews
Check out all our notebook reviews, complete with star ratings.

Tags: ASUS G2S-A1, Asus, desktop replacements, notebooks, gaming notebooks, reviews, laptops, gaming

Technical Specifications

The central processor unit, or CPU, is the brain of your notebook.
Learn More
2.2-GHz Intel Core Duo 2 T7500
Operating SystemMS Windows Vista Home Premium
The amount of memory our reviewed configuration comes with.
Learn More
The maximum amount of memory this notebook supports.
Learn More
RAM Upgradable to
Amount of data your storage drive can hold.
Learn More
Hard Drive Size
The rotation speed of a mechanical hard drive.
Learn More
Hard Drive Speed
Your notebook display is the primary viewing device for your laptop computer.
Learn More
Display Size
An optical drive allows you to play or record to DVDs, CDs, or Blu-ray discs.
Learn More
Optical Drive
The speed of the optical drive.
Learn More
Optical Drive Speed
Graphics chips are responsible for processing all images sent to your computer’s display.
Learn More
Graphics Card
Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT 256MB/DDR2
The amount of memory available for graphics processing.
Learn More
Video Memory
Wi-Fi connects you to a router or hotspot for wireless Internet access.
Learn More
Bluetooth allows you to connect to wireless devices such as headsets, smart phones, and speakers.
Bluetooth 1.0
Ports allow you to connect to external devices such as monitors, printers, MP3 players, and hard drivse.
Learn More
Ports (excluding USB)
Firewire; Gigabit Ethernet; HDMI; Headphone; Line Out; Microphone; Modem; S-Video; VGA; eSATA
USB ports allow you to connect many external devices, from MP3 players to external hard drives.
Learn More
USB Ports
Card readers allow you to plug memory and expansion cards directly into a notebook.
Learn More
Card Slots
5-1 card reader; ExpressCard
Warranty/SupportTwo-year parts and labor with ZBD, free two-way shipping/24/7 phone support (except holidays)
Size16 x 12 x 1.8 inches
Weight9.6 pounds
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 3840 x 2160 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options