Up to this point, ASUS’ notebook efforts have been mainly focused on the multimedia, thin and light, and business notebook segments of the market. Their W2 and follow-up notebooks in particular have become extremely popular among enthusiasts looking for a robust notebook PC for mobile entertainment, with industrial design aspects you’d typically associate with a notebook from Apple. In fact, ASUS has manufactured many of Apple’s notebooks in the past.
ASUS even has a notebook made from carbon fiber!
With all this success however, ASUS has never really designed a notebook that was targeted at gamers. Sure, ASUS has produced quite a few notebooks with features that would appeal to gamers, such as high-speed hard drives and discrete GPUs from both ATI and NVIDIA, but they’ve never really produced a notebook that was designed to appeal to gamers from the ground up. All that is about to change with ASUS’ G2 series.
As the “G” in G2 implies, this is ASUS’ first true gaming notebook. One ASUS sales document we perused dubs this notebook as their “extreme gaming station”, and when the system loads up the BIOS initialization has been replaced by a sequence depicting an explosion followed by the words: “ASUS Gaming Series”. The G2P supports Intel’s latest Merom Core 2 CPUs, including the Core 2 Duo T7600, and is powered by Intel’s 945PM chipset with Centrino technology. Graphics duties are handled by ATI’s Mobility Radeon X1700, which ASUS equips with 512MB of DDR2 video RAM. Hard drive capacities of 80/100/120/160GB are supported, with up to 2GB of DDR2-667 system memory and the system is equipped with a SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro card reader and 1.3 megapixel webcam (a TV tuner is also available as an optional upgrade).
If all that weren’t enough, the real sweet part of the G2P is its display. The G2P is outfitted with a 17.1” WXGA+ 1440x900 500-nits display with an 8ms response time and ASUS’ Crystal Shine technology. It’s an In-Plane Switching (IPS) TFT LCD, so you can easily read the display at extreme viewing angles: the “sweet spot” is massive on this notebook!
A really nice display isn’t the only feature that distinguishes the G2P from the pack. ASUS has also built in their Direct Console feature, which consists of Direct Messenger and Direct Flash.
Direct Messenger refers to the status display in the top left corner of the notebook’s chassis. Direct Messenger displays current time, and has a battery indicator that will shine when you have 10% or less battery power remaining. When not in use, the display reads: “ASUS”.
Direct Messenger is also compatible with MS Outlook and MSN, an email icon will light up when you receive new mail, or a bell will shine when you’ve got an important meeting (scheduled in Outlook) coming up. ASUS even mentions a caller ID feature if via their Power4Phone feature, but we haven’t seen this yet.
Direct Messenger is also customizable. You can tweak the display messages and icons if you’d like.
With Direct Flash, the system will literally light up when playing DirectX games. On each side of the G2P’s display is a large LED display, in the case of our system, the LEDs were red. These LEDs flash intermittently during gaming. Fortunately, the LEDs aren’t too bright, but if you do find this distracting, this feature, as well as Direct Messenger can both be turned off.