ASUS G74SX-A1 Gaming Notebook Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: August 21, 2011
Product Name: G74SX-A1
Part Number: G74SX-A1
Warranty: 2 Years
Purchase at NCIX:
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Keyboard & Track Pad

ASUS has equipped the G74SX with a chiclet-style full sized keyboard that is built at a slight incline due to the notebook’s design. There is a bit of travel distance between the keyboard’s edge and the track pad. This allows for an extensive palm rest which has been covered in a durable matte rubberized finish that boasts an abundance of grip.

The layout here is a bit on the generic side but does include dedicated media functionality as alternate key bindings for the arrow keys and the necessary buttons for manually dimming the keyboard’s backlight. With that being said, the keys are logically placed and the full sized left / right shift and spacebar keys will be welcome for those coming from slightly smaller notebooks.

The extreme upper right hand corner houses the power button (which glows a soft white and isn’t in any way distracting) and another button with an imprint of ASUS’ Republic of Gamers logo. This ROG button cycles through ASUS’ custom power mode profiles. Office (quiet), Battery saving, High Performance and Entertainment functionality are included.

All of the individual keys are well spaced with plenty of distance between neighbors. This entire review was written on the tested product and to be honest, the G74SX was an absolute joy to type on. Its gaming roots necessitating excellent tactile feedback and that’s exactly what ASUS has delivered. Every key has a good amount of travel distance without needing too much force to register an input and the sound it makes is the satisfying *snick, snick, snick* we’re used to hearing from a high quality key switches. Due to the ergonomic design, typing didn’t cause any fatigue but we’d wouldn’t recommend using the G74SX without a solid surface holding it up because its crushing weight and massive size. Think of this as a laptop that really shouldn’t be used on your lap.

The separate number pad is a great addition for gamers since it will be useful for in-game macro functions and it can also come in handy for generic number entry as well. We just found ourselves wishing for a dedicated Num Lock button.

While good tactile feedback and a simple learning curve are both hallmarks of a great notebook keyboard design, the crowning achievement of the G74SX’s input array is something that many will likely overlook. Instead of mounting the arrow keys in-line with the keypad, ASUS has given them a few extra millimeters of clearance on every side. This minimizes the possibility of hitting the wrong key during hot and heavy in-game action sequences.

Unfortunately, there was one somewhat major issue during testing: after a few days of typing, our unit’s Enter key began intermittently sticking in a fully depressed position. After contacting a few other publications, our G74 seemed to be the only one experiencing this issue so while was likely just an anomaly, we’d be doing you guys a disservice if it wasn’t at least mentioned.

Much like the keyboard, the G74SX’s trackpad is well designed with a focus upon gaming ergonomics. It features a large multi-touch surface that responds very well to commands and two rubberized buttons which require just the right amount of pressure. With the included software, the sensitivity can be tweaked or the whole affair can be turned off when a standalone mouse is attached to the system.

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