Review Asus G2K Notebook

Gaming for everyone.

Affordably cheap gaming pleasure for consumers is the aim of the Asus G2K. The visually outstanding 17 inch desktop replacement has a very bright display and a wide range of interfaces such as HDMI and S-ATA ports. An AMD Turion 64 X2 CPU with 2.2 GHz as well as an ATI Mobility Radeon HD2600 graphics card take care of the performance. You will find out how this notebook is going to performance against its competitors equipped with Intel CPUs and nVidia GPUs in the following.

Review Asus G2K logo

Case

The Asus G2K is already the third model of the G2 series that we were able to look after. After the first encounter of Asus' 17 inch gaming series on the CeBit 2007 in Hannover (Asus G2P) we could take a look at its successor, the Asus G2Pc in a detailed review shortly afterwards.

One thing did not change since then: the design of the laptop. Like on the first day, red chassis perforations and red pulsar lights the case, which tries to please consumers with a range of different optics. One example we could present would be the aluminium display cover or the very shiny surface of the base unit presenting a square pattern. The front side edges are finished with a shiny aluminium frame.

The mildly reflecting case of the Asus G2K is obviously targeted at gamers. The joy is apparently increased by the flashing red lights at the display's edges. Those who find this feature less useful can simply deactivate the lights by using the "Asus Direct Console".

In terms of finishing, the Asus G2K is as competitive as its colleagues. All hinges and corners are very neatly built and cracking parts are nowhere to be found. The overall aesthetics come out very interestingly. This reaches from metallic cool to futuristic smooth up to the less attractive plastic flair of the display cover.

The case does make a solid impression. No deformation of the G2K could be noticed when pressure was applied onto the chassis. Only the plastic surface of the DVD drives on the bottom side deformed slightly on its very top. Also the pressure resistance of the display can be described as decent.

The 17 inch display is hold by two very individually designed hinges that seem to keep the display very safe and sound. The practical test reviewed that the panel did not wobble in a noticeable way and the pressure resistance of the display can be described as sufficient.

In terms of the interfaces, this laptop offers a Firewire port, an analog VGA output, S-Video port and a HDMI port for the rendering of digital audio and video signals. There is also a DVD drive on the right side of the G2K that is capable of the LightScribe so that suitable disks can be written on.

The majority of interfaces are to be found on the back of the laptop resp. on the left rear side. This will help to reduce possible difficulties with external devices, which is optimal for the desktop replacements. For those using video conferences and other little gimmicks, the G2K has a built-in 1.3 megapixels webcam on the top of the display.

Left side: LAN, Modem, USB, Audio ports, Firewire, ExpressCard, Cardreader
Left side: LAN, Modem, USB, Audio ports, Firewire, ExpressCard, Cardreader
Right side: DVD drive, Fan, Network interfaces
Right side: DVD drive, Fan, Network interfaces
Front: No interfaces
Front: No interfaces
Back: Fan, Kensington Lock, S-Video, VGA, HDMI, 4xUSB 2.0, E-SATA
Back: Fan, Kensington Lock, S-Video, VGA, HDMI, 4xUSB 2.0, E-SATA

Input devices

Trademark of the Asus gaming laptop series G1 and G2 is the outstanding design especially owing to the red A-W-S-D keys, the most important keyboard area for gamers so to speak. These keys are used to guide the game character of to control specific objects within a strategy game, which is the reason why it actually is a good idea to highlight these keys from the rest.

The layout of the keyboard and its nice and big keys were mainly responsible for the lack of an additional num pad. Despite the fact that the keys are put together in a narrow way, we did not find any evidence of problems arising from this.

Besides, the ergonomics of the individual keys can be described as pleasing even after a long round gaming round. The keys can be pressed easily and present a nicely noticeable pressure point. They can also handle harder strokes that however will result is a deformation of the keyboard mainly around the enter key followed by clicking noise.

The Asus G2K also provides the user with two rows with additional keys; one is located on the front side of the laptop where one can control the Media Player and one is put on the right top behind the keyboard. These hot keys can be used for example to deactivate the touch pad or to show the performance index. Nevertheless, the volume can only be changed via the Fn key and the matching hot key.

The touchpad is easy to use, so are its keys, which are separated by a glowing Asus G2 logo. There is not a scroll bar on the touch pad but this is solved when using the excellent mouse included.

Tastatur
G2K Tastatur
Touchpad
G2K Touchpad

Display

Our test model had a WXGA+ panel with a resolution of 1440x900 pixels. The display (that is called as "Color Shine Glare Type LCD Panel & High Brightness") had a reflecting surface delivering a colourful and bright image. The resolution is on the threshold of being too low since icons and texts are already fairly big on the desktop. However, this might be good for those working at a greater eye distance to the screen.

We measured a maximum brightness value of 336 cd/m² in the central area of the display. Despite a drastical fall of the brightness down to a minimum of 226 cd/m² in the upper left, the average brightness level of 276 cd/m² is still very good. The illumination of only 67.3% however reduces this advantage to a certain extend.

226
cd/m²
280
cd/m²
250
cd/m²
257
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
Information
Maximum: 336 cd/m²
Average: 276.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 67 %
Black: 0.7 cd/m²
Contrast: 460:1
Distribution of brightness

The recorded minimum brightness level (black value) of 0.7 cd/m² results in a very good contrast of 480:1. The display is both visually very nice to look at and to work with.

The high brightness level could also allow outdoor use of the laptop but this is countered by the highly reflecting panel that can create very strong light reflections under certain viewing angles. Furthermore, the weight of 4 kg does not really allow frequent use of the G2K as a mobile device.

Regarding the stability of the viewing angles, the G2K again performs quite well. There is a strong deviation in the vertical area creating reflections and little colour changes. The vertical viewing angle is alright, too; the screen darkens and lightens quite a lot depending whether looking from the bottom up or from the top down on the screen.

Asus G2K viewing angle stability
Asus G2K viewing angle stability
Asus G2K viewing angle stability
Asus G2K viewing angle stability
Asus G2K viewing angle stability
Asus G2K viewing angle stability
Asus G2K viewing angle stability
Asus G2K viewing angle stability



Video der Einsichtbereiche des Displays

Performance

Although most laptops are equipped with Intel CPUs combined with nVidia GPUs nowadays, the Asus G2Kfor instance has an AMD processor and an ATI graphics card. This equipment seems to be coming from one house after the two manufacturers merged together. How this combination is going to perform against the rival one is explained in the following paragraphs.

With the aid of the 3D Mark 2005 and 2006 benchmarking tools, we could make out that the ATI Mobility Radeon HD2600 graphics is on the direct level of the Geforce 8600M GT. While this ATI GPU is quite a couple of frames slower in the 3D Mark 2005, it performs a lot better in the 2006 benchmark against the nVidia card. The AMD/ATI combination is slightly faster than comparable laptops using 8600M GT graphics cards but is a lot slower than ones equipped with 8700M GT Grafik cards.

Benchmarkvergleich 3D Mark 2005
Benchmarkvergleich 3D Mark 2005
Benchmarkvergleich 3D Mark 2006
Benchmarkvergleich 3D Mark 2006

Well, how does this actually affect real life gaming? In the Doom 3 benchmark, the G2K was on the same level as laptops with GeForce 8600M GT graphics cards. Laptops using GeForce 8700M GT GPUs and partly some SLI solutions are still significantly faster. The HD2600 graphics card is able to attain highly sufficient frame rates of 70 per second in "Ultra High".

However, the card performed slightly worse in the DirectX 9 first person shooter F.E.A.R. in comparison to a GeForce 8600M GS. Surprisingly the GPU seems to struggle especially with lower details, which could be due to the less powerful processor.

Benchmarkvergleich Doom 3
Benchmarkvergleich Doom 3
Benchmarkvergleich F.E.A.R.
Benchmarkvergleich F.E.A.R.

Current DirectX 10 games such as Crysis or World in Conflict were hardly playable. The results extracted from the demo versions were all very disappointing. Even when playing on minimum quality and resolution, it was very hard to play.

World in Conflict ran with acceptable frame rates (30-40fps at 1440x900px and 30-60fps at 1280x800px) in medium details and DirecX 9 effects on a 2 vs 2 multiplayer match. Short lags could be noticed during demanding in-game animations.

Performance Crysis
Performance Crysis
Performance World in Conflict
Performance World in Conflict

Besides this, all resolution modes and detail options caused annoying graphic errors (white stripes) in World in Conflict that made playing very frustrating. We assume that this is due to difficulties within the installed ATI driver (version 8.401).

Vergleich Radeon HD2600 / Geforce 8600M GT
Vergleich Radeon HD2600 / Geforce 8600M GT

When you compare the ATI Radeon Mobility HD2600 directly with an nVidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics card for example the Asus G2K and the Zepto Znote 6224W, the AMD/ATI combo is noticeably slower in the Crysis benchmark. Both the CPU and GPU were slower than the competition (Intel/nVidia).

Also when regarding the application performance, the G2K only delivered less impressive results. 4242 points is far behind comparable DTRs and even behind the G2Ps version of the same gaming range. It needs to be mentioned that the latest Futuremark hotfix was required for both the 3D Mark and the PC Mark 2005.

The Cinebench R10 also delivered average results that are due to the relatively slow AMD processor. These results were behind Intel's T7500 CPU (2.2 GHz) as well as even the T7300 (2.0 GHz).

However, in terms of the hard disk's performance, we can say that this 160GB HDD presenting an average speed of 5400 rpm was pretty competitive. Furthermore, the 11.7 ms reaction time and the data transfer rate of 46 MB/s were quite good, too.

G2K Systeminfo
G2K Systeminfo
G2K Systeminfo
G2K Systeminfo
3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE15324 points
3DMark 038813 points
3DMark 056247 points
3DMark 06
 1024x768
3468 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Asus Eee PC 901 (min)
 N270, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
73
   ...
Acer Aspire 7720G
 T5500, GeForce 8400M GS
1557
Dell Vostro 1500
 T7100, GeForce 8600M GT
3194
Asus G2K
 TL-64, Mobility Radeon HD 2600
3468
Acer Aspire 6930G
 T5800, GeForce 9600M GT
6296
Acer Aspire V5-573G-54208G50aii
 4200U, GeForce GT 750M
11844
   ...
Gigabyte P25W (max)
 4700MQ, GeForce GTX 770M
23917
PC Mark
PCMark 054242 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Samsung X22-Pro Boyar
 T7500, Mobility Radeon HD 2400
4227
Asus A7JC
 T7200, Mobility Radeon X1600
4241
Asus G2K
 TL-64, Mobility Radeon HD 2600
4242
Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Sa 3650
 ZM-86, Mobility Radeon HD 3870
4251
Sony Vaio VGN-AR11S
 T2500, GeForce Go 7600 GT
4262
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
160 GB - 5400 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 46.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 30.7 MB/s
Access Time: 17.7 ms
Burst Rate: 88.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.4 %
Cinebench R10
 SettingsValue
 Rendering Single 32Bit1726 Points
 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit3201 Points
 Shading 32Bit2238 Points
Doom 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768Ultra, 0xAA, 0xAF67.6 fps
 800x600High, 0xAA, 0xAF83.4 fps
 640x480Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF85.7 fps
 640x480Low, 0xAA, 0xAF83.3 fps
F.E.A.R.
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768GPU: max, CPU: max, 0xAA, 0xAF24 fps
 800x600GPU medium, CPU medium, 0xAA, 0xAF51 fps
 640x480GPU min, CPU min, 0xAA, 0xAF90 fps

Emission

Loudness

When taking a look at the noise levels produced, the Asus G2K created quite serious competition for the already reviewed Dell XPS M1730 gaming laptop. Apart from a very insignificant background noise, the device is hardly noticeable in idle mode.

The fans can be heard clearly under load but with a maximum of 41.5 dB, the noise level is always acceptable.

Noise Level

Idle 30.1 / 30.4 / 30.4 dB(A)
HDD 30.6 dB(A)
DVD 35.1 / dB(A)
Load 38.2 / 41.5 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The case temperature of the Asus G2K is the opposite of the good loudness result. We were able to identify maximum temperatures up to 47.2 °C on the bottom side. The top presented only slightly cooler picture: 44.7 °C is anything but nice to work with.

When examining the case of the laptop, that the reasons for these high temperatures are the relatively small fan holes and the tiny circulation cracks on the bottom side. To which extend this is responsible for the recorded temperatures can be discussed.

Max. Load
 44.7 °C43.7 °C37.4 °C 
 38.7 °C38.9 °C37.7 °C 
 32.7 °C33.2 °C30.9 °C 
 
44.5 °C47.2 °C45.7 °C
41.9 °C40.8 °C37.9 °C
32.8 °C39.1 °C37.9 °C
Maximum: 44.7 °C
Average: 37.5 °C
 Maximum: 47.2 °C
Average: 40.9 °C
Room Temperature 20.5 °C

Laudspeakers

The two built-in loudspeakers that are placed on the bottom top side of the device produce fairly passable sound and surprisingly acceptable bass, which is quite rare in the laptop scene.

Battery runtime

BatteryEater Classic
Laufzeit Last
BatteryEater Readers
Laufzeit Idle

The 4800 mAh (69 Wh) lithium ion battery helped the DTR to run from one hour under full load up to 2.5 hours in idle mode. This laptop places itself in the lower ranking of mobile desktop replacements. However, this device is usable for some simple office applications and WLAN Internet that do not create load.

Power consumption

Idle 40 / 53 / 61 Watt
Load 103 / 109 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         
Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 31min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 54min

Verdict

The Asus G2K is a cheap 17 inch desktop replacement that can be called as a gaming laptop. A characteristic of this device is obviously the unique design offering a very colourful surface and glowing lights on the display corners. Apart from the chassis design, the finishing is pleasingly well made that result in a very solid construction. Moreover, the very generous accessory does really convince - HDMI and E-SATA are only examples.

Also the input devices reflect the targeted gamers' market due to the outstanding A-W-S-D keys. There is a shiny G2 logo between the two touch pad buttons contributing to the overall nice design. Besides, we were pleased that the design did not reduce the usability of the Asus G2K and all in all the input devices performed quite well.

The display offering a resolution of 1440x900 pixels did very well in the test and delivered excellent brightness and contrast results. The subjective expression of the panel was very good, too that is mainly owing to the nice and strong colours.

Although the performance of the hardware was not that convincing, it is still capable to enable playing latest games with some quality restrictions. This also occurred when using office application.

Especially positive was the extremely low noise emission of the Asus G2K. While being almost silent in the idle mode, the G2K only produces less annoying noise under full load.

Nevertheless, this is countered by the exorbitant surface temperatures. On the bottom side the temperatures almost reached the critical 50 °C limit with 47 °C and users will notice the very warm top of the laptop when using the keyboard.

Despite the fact that the battery runtime was less impressive and is not very important for a DTR, a maximum of 2.5 hours should make occasional mobile use possible.

Asus G2K Notebook
Asus G2K Notebook
Test candidate: Asus G2K
Asus G2K Notebook

Specifications

Asus G2K

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
ATI RS690
:: Memory
2048 MB, DDR2, PC5300,
:: Graphics adapter
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 - 256 MB, Core: 506 MHz, Memory: 598 MHz, DDR3 VRAM
:: Display
17.0 inch 16:10, 1440x900 pixel, WXGA+ TFT, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
160 GB - 5400 rpm, 160 GB 5400 rpm Hitachi HTS541616J9SA00
:: Soundcard
Realtek ALC660
:: Connections
1 Express Card 54mm, 5 USB 2.0, 1 Firewire, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 S-Video, 1 Modem, 1 Infrared, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: LineIn, Microphone, Headphone (S/PDIF), Card Reader: 4in1 (MMC, SC, MS/PRO), E-SATA
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8169/8110 (10/100MBit), Atheros AR5007EG (b g ), 1 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-T20L
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 52 x 311 x 416
:: Weight
4.02 kg Power Supply: 0.66 kg
:: Battery
69 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4800mAh
:: Price
1699 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32 Bit
:: Additional features
external 160 GB HDD 2,5" SATA, Travel Bag, 24 Months Warranty, 1.3 Megapixels Webcam

 

The G2K is another model of Asus' gaming laptop series.
Asus G2K Image
The case is based on the existing laptops (G2P, G2Pc), and thus presents the same striking decorations.
Asus G2K Image
This includes the glowing G2 logo below the touchpad,...
Asus G2K Image
...or the flashing lights on the display corners.
Asus G2K Image
The case of the Asus G2K presents a variety of different materials as well as surfaces,...
Asus G2K Image
...an example is the aluminimum moulding around the panel.
Asus G2K Image
With regard to the construction and the stability, the notebook...
Asus G2K Image
...places average with 4 kg total weight.
Asus G2K Image
Also the very individually designed alu display hinges...
Asus G2K Image
...do their job very well.
Asus G2K Image
The notebook provides one with a wide range of interfaces,...
Asus G2K Image
...that are mainly located at the rear and the left side of the device.
Asus G2K Image
An HDMI and a E-SATA port are amongst them.
Asus G2K Image
A 1.3 megapixels webcam is also included in this bundle.
Asus G2K Image
The G2K is kept in a gamers-like design and is comfortable to use.
Asus G2K Image
The 17" WXGA+ display...
Asus G2K Image
...delivered excellent results in terms of contrast and brightness.
Asus G2K Image
In contrast to most mainstream notebooks, the Asus G2K is equipped with an AMD CPU and an ATI graphics card.
Asus G2K Image
The Turion 64 X2 CPU and the ATI HD2600 attained moderate results in the benchmarks.
Asus G2K Image
The fan was always pleasingly quiet.
Asus G2K Image
This might has caused the maximum temperature of 47°C of the bottom side.
Asus G2K Image
The internal speakers were alright.
Asus G2K Image
Last but not least, the overall battery runtime was about average in the DTR section.
Asus G2K Image

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Rating

Asus G2K
12/11/2007
J. Simon Leitner

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
88%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
92%
Weight
56%
Battery
45%
Display
88%
Games Performance
86%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
69%
Noise
93%
Add Points
86%
Average
81%
86%
Gaming *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Asus G2K Notebook
Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-12-25 (Update: 2012-05-26)