Screen & Audio Quality / Upgrade Options
ASUS has equipped the G74SX-A1 with a high definition 1920 x 1080 MVA panel made by AUO and truth be told, it is one of the better notebook screens we have seen in recent years. Its high gloss finish may prove to be a royal pain the ass when used in highly illuminated environments but this shouldn’t be an issue since most gaming notebooks will be used in lower light conditions anyways.
Gamers will be especially appreciative of this screen’s distinct lack of ghosting and reasonably quick response times. Its viewing angles are absolutely stellar as well.
For screen connoisseurs, things could be a bit better though. At its default settings, we noticed the panel exhibited a low contrast ratio to the point where the black level in movies and games suffered. However, this can easily be corrected through NVIDIA’s control panel. Colour saturation and accuracy was also a bit lacking but once again; this can be easily resolved with a few software tweaks.
One thing that can’t be overlooked is a tendency for the screen to exhibit a slight low level flicker whenever a full-screen, predominantly “white” application was minimized. This was especially evident when minimizing programs like Word and Photoshop. We’ve noticed this on the vast majority of desktop and notebook screens sporting certain MVA panels so this definitely isn’t anything new. However, it likely won’t be seen unless you’re actually looking for it and it never, ever occurred in games.
The speakers built into most laptop are usually mediocre at best but ASUS has been trying to do things a bit differently. It all started with a partnership between ASUS’ mobile division and the audio alchemists at Bang & Olufsen to create a line of ICEpower-equipped entertainment notebooks. The Republic of Gamers products on the other hand have been equipped with Altec Lansing built speakers and THX TrueStudio certification.
Be prepared to be a bit shocked by the sound produced by these Altec Lansing speakers. We’re not talking about rumbling bass and crystal clear highs here but for the most part, audio reproduction on the G74SX is surprisingly good for a notebook. There were some odd chassis vibrations when the volume was jacked up but we’d hope that any gamer would use dedicated speakers if higher decibel levels were required. Nonetheless, this was the only real build quality slip up we detected throughout testing.
Unlike many other notebooks, the G74SX incorporates a user-upgradable design which allows quick access to the system memory and hard drives. Access can be achieved through the removal of a single screw on this notepad’s backside.
After the single screw is removed and the access panel popped off, an easy memory of hard drive upgrade can be performed. For those wondering, ASUS has used three 4GB Samsung DDR3-1333MHz memory modules and two Seagate Momentus 750GB hard drives.
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