ASUS G74 Review: A Subtle Redesign
Heat and Connectivity, Battery Life and Portability
Heat and Connectivity
As mentioned earlier, the G74S appears to have an entirely revised cooling system which now features two large fan ports in the center of the laptop’s rear rather than on the edges. A quick visual inspection gives the impression that these ports are larger than before. While the fans inside the G74S made noticeable noise, they weren’t overly annoying, and are certainly quieter than the fans in other recently tested gaming laptops.
Whatever the case, the cooling system does an excellent job of keeping temperatures under control. Idle CPU temperatures were around 40 to 45 degree Celsius, while stress testing brought the temperatures to as high as 68 degrees Celsius. This is a bit toasty, but on the low side for a gaming laptop.
Surprisingly, the GPU actually idled somewhat lower at about 38 degrees Celsius, but stress testing sent the temperature up to a ceiling of 65 degrees Celsius. Again, while a bit toasty, this reading is quite low for a gaming laptop.
Connectivity wasn’t skimped by ASUS. There’s a wide variety of ports including three USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port, HDMI and VGA. There is not, however, any eSATA or FireWire support. Those are common features on high-end laptops, so it would have been nice if they were included.
Battery Life and Portability
At nearly 10 pounds and a thickness of over 1.5 inches throughout the chassis, this laptop is hardly what anyone would describe as portable. Weight aside, it’s simply too large and thick to fit into most bags. I have both a CES press bag and a larger Eddie Bauer backpack, and neither of them could accommodate this monster.
ASUS isn’t unaware of this problem, however, and to solve it they ship the G74 with a bag for carrying the laptop. Even this is just barely capable of accommodating the laptop, but it does manage to do so without looking ridiculous. While the backpack is labeled with ASUS and Republic of Gamers branding, it shares the matte black finish of the device it’s made to shelter.
Normally it’d be ridiclious to expect a large gaming laptop to offer decent battery life, and certainly you’ll find no great surprises here. Still, it lasted almost three hours in the Battery Eater Standard test and nearly four hours in the Battery Eater Reader’s test. Under normal non-gaming use you can expect almost three and half hours. Although this is less than offered by most other products today, these results are solid for such a large and powerful laptop.