Just one look at the Republic of Gamers G751JT is enough to tell you it’s a gaming laptop. With a large 17.3in screen and decidedly non-shoulder-friendly 4.8kg bulk, it’s not a laptop designed to be regularly moved around. It’s heavier and thicker than most other 17in laptops, mostly because of the 8-cell battery and aluminium construction.
The soft-touch coating on the lid, keyboard surround and palm rest area are pleasant enough, but more importantly are non-slip – something that could prove important during intense gaming sessions. Asus has taken inspiration from stealth fighters, which shows in the angular design and sharp lines. The contrasting glossy metal panel in the lid holds a menacing LED Asus Republic of Gamers logo.
The keyboard has a similarly glowing red backlight that can be adjusted to different brightness levels. The all-important WASD keys have red accented highlights around the edge of the keys to help make them stand out even further.
Other design flourishes geared towards gamers include the three three programmable macro keys and dedicated Steam key, which opens up Steam in Big Picture Mode, putting your games library within quick reach. There’s also a one-touch video recording button you can set for instantly capturing gaming footage. Another shortcut key takes you to Asus’ Gaming Center, which provides quick access to the macro key customizer and ROC GameFirst III settings for ensuring your network conditions are optimised for gaming performance.
Beyond these, the keyboard itself is comfortable to type on with a decent amount of travel to the keys. The entire keyboard is ergonomically angled towards you, thanks to the tapered laptop base. Gamers might also appreciate the cursor keys being clearly separated from the rest of the keyboard – there’s no danger of cramped typing here.
Most gamers will quickly reach for a USB mouse, the touchpad was surprisingly comfortable to use. It’s sizeable, and has a generously-sized palm rest area. There are dedicated mouse buttons as well, which are preferable to software-controlled all-in-one touchpads. All the usual multitouch gestures are supported too. Neither the keyboard nor the palm rest area ever become warm under use, which is excellent and a testament to the system’s efficient cooling.
What the G751 lacks in portability, it of course makes up for with sheer power and performance. Inside, a quad-core Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor runs at 2.6GHz and will turbo boost up to 3.6GHz when thermal conditions allow. The dual-fan system that keeps the system running cool does a great job of allowing these suitable conditions, too. Thankfully even when under load the fans never picked up to distracting levels. Desktop performance from the processor was as good as expected with an overall score of 108 in our benchmarks. You won’t have any problems with day-to-day tasks or a spot of video editing in between gaming sessions.
Of course, anyone considering the G751JT will be most interested in how it performs with games. It’s equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M processor with 3GB of GDDR5 memory, which provides plenty of grunt for today’s games. Dirt Showdown saw a framerate of 83.9fps at 1,920x,1080, 4x anti-aliasing and Ultra graphics, which is silky smooth. In Metro Last Light at 1,920×1,080, SSAA on, Very High graphics the system still managed an average 30.2fps. Turn off the tricky super-sampled anti-aliasing and you’ll get an impressive 54.9fps, with far fewer periods where the framerate drops to uncomfortable levels.
It does well when it comes to connections, too, with four USB3 ports and even a Thunderbolt port. VGA and HDMI video outputs are available for hooking the laptop up to external displays, and you also get a DVD-RW optical drive and an SD card reader.
Asus has also managed to pack in a subwoofer into the laptop’s chassis, meaning there’s far more low frequency presence. We’re used to tinny sounding laptops, so this was a nice change.
The G751JT’s 17.3in matt display was more respectable than outstanding, although the lack of glossy coating means distracting reflections are cut down considerably. Our colour calibrator measured black levels at 0.36cd/m2, which isn’t quite as deep as you might expect for the money, and a contrast ratio of 964:1 was also a little low. An sRGB colour gamut coverage of 86.1% was also fairly average, but viewing angles were excellent.
You never expect all-day battery from a gaming laptop, but the three hours 21 minutes the G751JT lasted in our average use benchmark was still a little disappointing. Attempt to play any games away from a power socket and this average will drop considerably.
The Asus ROG G751JT is cheaper than the Gigabyte P37W v4, which has similar specifications, but it’s also heavier and thicker, with poorer battery performance. The Asus does have marginally better build quality and a more comfortable keyboard and touchpad. The two gaming laptops therefore prove difficult to separate. If you have the money, both are great choices depending on what qualities you value most. The slight edge goes to the Asus, as battery life isn’t likely to be the most important consideration on a laptop this large.