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Ed W
11-03-2009, 04:42 AM
Firstly thanks to XoticPC for being one of the few US companies willing and able to ship performance gaming laptops to Australia.

The documentation for the G51J is... well... lacking, so I thought I'd write up some thoughts in this thread. Please feel free to add notes or correct me if I'm wrong at any point.

Also, everyone and his dog has done benchmarks so there's not much point doing them here. I'm more interested in documenting actual user experiences that can help other people.

Windows 7

Installed in this laptop is Windows 7 Home Premium. So if you want XP mode, bitlocker or foreign language support you'll have to upgrade.

Note that the foreign language stuff is for OS menus and the like - you can install IME's as per normal if you just need to type.

BIOS

The BIOS is sparse, and only allows very few adjustments. I was surprised by just how little you could actually do.

Bloatware

There's surprisingly little bloatware installed on the system. Mostly it's useful applications including MS Office (Home & Student). You get a 60 day trial of Trend Micro Antivirus plus Cyberlink's DVD player (IIRC), Creative Audigy HD and some other stuff.

I played around with Power4Gear, but there's not a lot your can really change. The overclocking mode didn't seem to make any noticeable difference when I tried it.

Smart login kinda works... sometimes. On average it takes longer for it to recognise my face than for me to simply type in my password, and I think I look pretty silly trying to position my face in just the right spot for it to recognise me.

First Boot - Recovery Set

You'll need 4 blank DVD's to create a recovery set. I didn't time how long it took to burn them all, but it seemed like an hour.

Drive Partitions / RAID

There are two drives in the system. The first is split into three partitions: Recovery, OS and Data. The second drive is split 50/50 and the partitions are unnamed. I found the number of partitions to be annoying so I repartitioned and reformatted the second drive.

Windows 7 Home Premium doesn't support software raid, however Windows 7 Ultimate does.

DVD Super-Multi Drive

The G51J uses a standard slimline SATA connector, so the drive can be replaced relatively easily. Just undo the two marked screws and pull it out.

Battery Life

When gaming in performance/gaming mode the battery lasts just over an hour on a full charge, which is not very long at all. This was playing Dragon Age: Origins at full screen @ 1920x1080.

Changing the power profile to battery saver dims the screen and turns Aero off, but when you're gaming it seems to make very little difference to the battery life. You won't magically get 3 hours out of it.

Sound Issues

Sound seems to be somewhat muted. Turning everything up to 100% (both the windows tray gadget and the control panel setting) produced a sound level which, while not loud, is acceptable. On other laptops, turning everything up to 100% would be extremely loud, so I'm not sure what's going on here.

Creative Audigy HD was causing Dragon Age to lock up. In fact the whole machine would lock and I'd have to shutdown by holding down the power button for 4 seconds.

I uninstalled all of the Creative software and also uninstalled the sound drivers, rebooted and installed the Windows 7 default drivers. This fixed the lockup problem, but unfortunately didn't do much to improve the sound levels.


Any Questions? Please ask and I will endeavour to answer.

Gizmo
11-03-2009, 10:49 AM
Ummm what specs where your machine? When did you order it? when did it arrive?

Ed W
11-03-2009, 06:58 PM
Ummm what specs where your machine? When did you order it? when did it arrive?

It was the stock standard Asus G51J-A1. I made no modifications to the configuration whatsoever.

I pre-ordered on 18th October (the day it became available for preorder), it took me a couple of days to sort out the payment issues, and then another couple of days for XoticPC to process. They sent the package on 29th October, I received on 2nd November.

thatdaveguy
11-04-2009, 01:44 AM
Really? MS Office Home & Student is the full version? I uninstalled it as soon as I got the laptop assuming it was an irritating trial.

Ed W
11-04-2009, 04:31 PM
Really? MS Office Home & Student is the full version? I uninstalled it as soon as I got the laptop assuming it was an irritating trial.
You're right - it's the "full version", but you need a product key.

Ed W
11-05-2009, 08:50 AM
Another thing that I realised today, which no-one seems to mention - the G51J is the same size as a 17" laptop, just with a 15.6" screen.

In theory it should be possible to buy a 17" HD panel, find (or perhaps even make) a replacement bezel and have yourself a G71J. In practice I think it might be a bit harder.

Blinky
11-05-2009, 07:07 PM
This thread is great. I've ordered this laptop but won't be recieving it for 2-3 weeks lol :( Threads like this keep me going though.

Zunath
11-05-2009, 08:01 PM
Another thing that I realised today, which no-one seems to mention - the G51J is the same size as a 17" laptop, just with a 15.6" screen.

In theory it should be possible to buy a 17" HD panel, find (or perhaps even make) a replacement bezel and have yourself a G71J. In practice I think it might be a bit harder.

Wow, it's the size of a 17"? That's sort of a turn-off considering I'm a student and will have to carry it to classes with me. Is it bigger than, say, the Sager 8662?

amdolev
11-05-2009, 09:19 PM
About the sound issue, I experience same stuff with the 8690 (regarding sound levels). I wonder what can be done to raise the level of output.

Regardless, I remember some years back (the age of portable CD players) that all manufacturers lowered the sound levels of their players to meet with some new law that required them to limit the db. maybe it's the case here all over again?

Gizmo
11-05-2009, 11:07 PM
The asus sound is low because it was engineered that way. (Actual official asus response btw)It was designed for gamers and thus they just kinda assumed they would be using headsets. The sound from the speakers isn't loud but you are able to distinguish detail from it.

So suggestions to boost the sound levels:

There is a sound control in the bios make sure its turned up to max (8 i do believe)

go into the sound setting and make sure that the loudness equalizer is turned on.

ummm get a decent headset or use the spdif port and connect it to your 5.1/7.1 surround sound setup?

Ed W
11-07-2009, 04:56 PM
Changing the BIOS sound level didn't do much except increase or decrease the ROG explosion sound when you first boot up.

I've actually lost sound from the speakers. I was thinking maybe it was just playing softly, but no... there's no sound at all, not even when I use expressgate (so it's not an OS related issue). I still get the ROG explosion so i know the speakers still physically work, but they're silent after that.

I do use headphones when i'm gaming, and apparently in previous Asus laptops there was a pin in the headphone jack that could get stuck. I've had a poke around and can't see anything there, though.

Rizzer
12-07-2009, 11:27 AM
WRT bloatware, the original poster says there wasn't much--I disagree, there was 59 programs installed on mine.

WRT sound, before turning up the volume in the BIOS music and other effects played at a audible level although quiet. A bluray(upgrade) was so quiet there is no way it was usable... I haven't tried it since turning up the BIOS. I'll try and post again later

Ed W
12-07-2009, 04:35 PM
WRT bloatware, the original poster says there wasn't much--I disagree, there was 59 programs installed on mine.

WRT sound, before turning up the volume in the BIOS music and other effects played at a audible level although quiet. A bluray(upgrade) was so quiet there is no way it was usable... I haven't tried it since turning up the BIOS. I'll try and post again later

Well I guess it's good that I'm not the only one who thinks the audio was subpar. My plug is still broken, btw.

Ed W
12-07-2009, 04:37 PM
Windows 7 Home Premium doesn't support software raid, however Windows 7 Ultimate does


correction, I discovered that Windows 7 Home Premium does actually support software RAID - however it won't let you do anything with existing partitions. eg, creating a mirror of the OS partition would be a bit tricky.

Rizzer
12-08-2009, 10:00 PM
I'm not familiar with software RAID. Are you saying we could configure the 51J for RAID even though there is not hardware raid controller?

Ed W
12-09-2009, 05:01 AM
I'm not familiar with software RAID. Are you saying we could configure the 51J for RAID even though there is not hardware raid controller?
yes that's right. I'm not sure if you can set it up from a fresh install, but it's possible if you're repartitioning the drives. You have the option to stripe or mirror.

jaydeee
03-18-2010, 07:20 AM
I just wondering what application you have installed.
games and other applications...

do you have photoshop? I wish you can share some thoughts about it.

MelkMan
04-28-2010, 12:38 PM
Hi, I am on the verge of buying this Laptop now, but I was just wondering about how much you paid for the Tax they charged on it??
Even though Im in South Africa, I just want a basic idea :)
Thank-You