ASUS’ Republic Of Gamers G750-JX is an absolute beast of a machine, with a price point to match.
ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX: On the plus side
There is, as I write this, a whale on my desk. Not an actual whale, before anyone calls in the WWF or anything, but a whale of a machine. The Asus Republic Of Gamers G750-JX is a whale of a machine, but then it gives its purpose away in its title; this is a laptop built for gamers, and they’re often a special breed.
It’s also a whale because early on in my IT career, I worked for a firm that described all its laptops using fish metaphors; the overly large dock for one of them was, for example, the Marlin (and some wit used to say that was because it looked like Brando*). So now you know.
The ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX is large and dominating, with a severe black aesthetic throughout. The main display screen is a 17.3″ 1920 x 1080 pixel display available in either a standard or anti-glare finish. On the review system I tested, the processor was a fourth generation (“Haswell”) Intel Core i7-4700HQ 2.4GHz processor, 16GB of RAM and a 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M GPU. There are various storage solutions available; the review unit I tested with had a Hitachi 7200RPM 750GB drive.
One advantage of being large is that there’s no reason to skimp on connectivity. The ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX is equipped with two USB 3.0 ports, SD Card slot and a DVD Super-Multi /Blu-ray combo/Blu-ray writer on the left hand side. Two more USB 3.0 ports, audio, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and a Thunderbolt port grace the right hand side, while the rear is left clear to accommodate the kind of fan vents you’d expect on a 1950’s Thunderbird. I’m told it’s apparently meant to be evocative of a stealth fighter.
The keyboard spacing is decent for both gaming and straight productivity work — if you’ve got to fool somebody that you bought a laptop that screams gaming quite this much that you’re actually going to do some productive work on it
Battery life for the ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX is always going to depend on what you throw at it, but testing it with full screen video playback and all other battery saving features disabled — a standard test — saw the battery die out after two hours and fifty nine minutes precisely.
Normally I’d put that as a mark in the minus column, but frankly there’s no way that this is going to be used long-haul by anyone on battery, and given what else it’s powering along the way, the three hour battery life is a testament to just how much power conservation Intel’s fourth generation processors can manage.
Ideally, I would have liked to match the ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX to PCMark 8’s Creative Test, because it’s the most obvious match for its particular niche, but within the review period I was unable to get it to properly run without crashing. That’s the joy of still-evolving benchmark software, I suppose. The PCMark 8 home test (which represents a lighter workload) did run, returning a score of 1734 using the inbuilt Intel graphics and 2252 with the NVIDIA GPU utilised.
Where a laptop like the G750-JX should really shine is in gaming performance, and here there was little to complain about. 3DMark returned an average Ice Storm score of 110875, Cloud Gate score of 13772 and Fire Storm score of 3802. Or in other words, it should quite capably handle any particular gaming task you throw at it.
ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX: On the minus side
It’s a whale, as I mentioned before, and nowhere is that more evident than in the carrying weight.
It’s 4.5kg, which means I own cats that are lighter than this entire laptop. What you’re talking about here is a luggable laptop, not really a portable one. Then again, with a 17.3″ display, there aren’t that many public places where you’re easily going to be able to flick out the ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX and start playing anyway. It’s rather an obvious feature, but not one that’s always a positive.
There’s also no touchscreen built in, and while that’s not of key concern for gamers, it is rather an assumed thing for a lot of Windows 8 laptops these days. Given the premium price, it would be fair to assume that the G750-JX is touch-capable, but every time I tap the screen and it does precisely nothing, I’m reminded that this just isn’t so.
The fans work well at expelling heat, but then they need to, because this is a laptop that can get very warm very quickly. It’s far more noticeable at the rear where the fans are, which isn’t too unpleasant on a cold winter’s morning, but even the lap base gets noticeably hot too.
It’s an aesthetic nitpick, but I hate the triangular power button. I get the vaguely cyberpunk-ish ethos that they were shooting for, but it just looks plastic and cheap. If you drop this much money on a laptop, cheap is the last look you actually want to have.
ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX: Pricing
Gaming laptops are never cheap, because they’re niche products with comparatively lower production runs combined with generally cutting edge hardware. The ASUS ROG G750-JX doesn’t buck that trend, retailing at a recommended price of $2,999.
That’s not cheap. It’s also a bit of a problem for the ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX locally, because a bit of online research suggests that international models are somewhat cheaper. It’s sometimes a bit hit and miss when it comes to matching exact like for like in terms of specifications and pricing, but a little research spots models for between US$1400-$2000, which is quite a bit cheaper. Some local merchants are listing it around $2,500, which at least takes some of the sting out of that pricing.
ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX: Alex’s verdict
If you were just after a basic laptop, you’d be mad to buy the ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX, because it’s going to be way too big — and arguably a bit overpowered — for everyday use. But then, it’s not pitched at the everyday user; in common with other gaming laptops, the key market here are keyboard warriors who want desktop-style performance in a laptop form factor and have the deep wallets to support their PC gaming addictions.
The ASUS Republic Of Gamers G750-JX is custom built for that market, and like any custom built product, there’s a steep price curve to contend with. If you’re comfortable with that, it’s a good example of what Intel’s fourth generation processors can manage, albeit not a system that’s all that comfortable to actually have to carry for any serious amount of time.
*That would have been me.