Asus has huge variety of its “Republic of Gamers” gaming laptops, but most of them are variants of the same model albeit with a different model number and (slightly) different specs. The Asus G51jx-X3 differs in the fact that it comes with a Core i5 instead of the more powerful (and expensive) Core i7s in the G51jx models.
Hardware and Features
The Asus G51jx-X3 belongs is in the upper mid-range compared to other dedicated gaming notebooks, but when looking at the price/performance ratio, most laptops with this kind of hardware will set you back a lot more. The G51jx variant that we spent some quality time with was equipped with the dual-core, quad-threaded Intel Core i5 430M at 2.26GHz (2.53GHz with Turbo Boost), 4 gigabytes of 1066MHz DDR3 memory and a 500GB 7,200rpm hard drive.
The graphics are handled by a GeForce GTS 360M graphics processor with the (currently) fastest GDDR5 memory modules. This GPU fits somewhere between the mid-range and high-end mobile Nvidia cards with 96 shaders compared to 128 in the top cards. Furthermore it’s equipped with a 1920×1080 (Full HD) 15.6-inches screen, memory card reader, n-class Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Altec Lansing speakers. The screen is relatively bright with a glossy surface, and color and contrast values are also OK.
Hardware-wise, the G51Jx more than sufficient as a workstation for photo/video editing thanks to the high-resolution screen. The Core i5 430M is not a true quad-core processor like some of the mobile Core i7 CPUs, but it has the Hyperthreading feature and effectively handles four separate threads. In combination with 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM, this machine is powerful enough to handle any applications you throw at it. In PCMark Vantage it landed on 6 410 points, which is a first-rate score for a laptop at this price level.
The Asus G51Jx-X3 is a good choice for gaming enthusiasts. The Geforce GTS 360M ensures that most games trod along without a hitch even at relatively high quality settings, even if you can’t always max out the screen resolution and keep those high settings on some of the latest games.
We tested Crysis Warhead, which is still one of the most demanding games, and it averaged around 30 FPS (the usual target for a smooth playing experience) with medium settings at 1366×768. Far Cry 2 fared much better, and we were able to turn up the details as well as run at native resolution while getting framerates above 30. In 3DMark Vantage it produced a score of 4670 points, which isn’t half bad with no overclocking. On the whole, this machine delivers consistently playable framerates across the board at medium to high framerates – at least without anti-aliasing enabled.
Design and Build, Battery Life
Asus’ trademark “Republic of Gamers” design makes no secret of the fact that the G51jx was built with gamers in mind. The screen is nicely decorated in dark blue shades and a showy Asus logo. Otherwise though, the laptop looks relatively sober, with a thin glossy black frame around the backlit keyboard and matte black for the palm rest. It feels sturdy and there are no unwanted creaking noises or loose hinges.
When the laptop is idling or just performing basic tasks it’s relatively cool and quiet, but start playing games and the noise level goes up and it becomes slightly warmer almost immediately. This is of course to be expected, and the G51jx never gets disturbingly loud or extremely hot. The backlit chiclet keyboard is comfortable and the touchpad feels responsive.
You don’t expect long battery life from a gaming laptop, and the G51jx is no exception from the rule. Don’t expect to spend more than two and a half hour away from an outlet unless you turn on the battery-saver power plan and turn down display brightness.
Conclusion: Great Value
The best part of the G51jx-x3 is probably the price/performance ratio. It offers more than enough performance to replace your desktop and plays the vast majority of the latest games at relatively high settings. It sells for $1,199, which is a lot less than the Core i7 models, but you still get a high-end gaming laptop.