When I started my Internet Startup, I wanted to buy a laptop that would meet my business needs as founder and CEO. This meant something small and light, that had enough power to provide some entertainment for travel, but basically was there to facilitate business needs. This meant Surfing, Email, Presentations etc... regular business use. I chose the Asus A8J which met all of those needs and more.
It was a great work horse, but after 3 years, it was going the way of the dinosaurs. It had a couple of cracks in the casing, and I was traveling much less. Also, since I took the reins on the actual coding and development side of SharedReviews, I needed a laptop that was more of a powerhouse as a full desktop replacement.
Right at that time (January, 2010), Asus launched the G73JH, which was geared towards gamers, but met all of my new needs for something more powerful. My old A8J would overheat after being on for 48 hour coding sprees, slowing down, and literally requiring restarts at critical times slowing my efforts to a crawl. The G73JH is larger, and much heavier, but as a desktop replacement its beautiful. It has an Intel Core I7 720M with four cores, giving me tons of processing power for testing and developing complicated coding algorithms. Over 8GB of memory (My old A8J only had 2!), which allows me to have more windows open than I have screen space, and with the 17.3" FHD+ screen, it's almost as good as using my main 28" monitor when traveling.
I did upgrade the two 500 GB Hard Drives it came with to new Flash based Hard Drives to increase speed, and I didn't opt for the Blue Ray Player. This is a workhorse used for coding and development, not entertainment and gaming, so it wasn't necessary and I decided to save the company the additional $200 at the time. The one BEAUTIFUL thing about this machine is its cooling system. Since its designed for gaming, it has two huge jet engine like vents that pull in air just above the keyboard and silently exhaust it directly out the back. This does limit the number of ports available in the back, but since it spends the majority of it's existence resting on my desk, this design allows proper airflow without the need for a laptop base like most other laptops that vent out the bottom.
Overall this machine has been fantastic. I've never had a want, I run Windows 7 64bit with tons of processes and windows running in parallel for many days at a time without a quiver in performance or the need for a restart.
There are a few drawbacks though, mostly that it's pretty big, and really heavy. I have to use a large, although pretty stylish, backpack to carry it around, where the A8J would fit in a simple laptop bag that I could carry around all day without even noticing it was there. The battery draw is huge, but it does have settings that allow you to go into "economy" mode that only affects performance slightly. Other than that, this was probably the best productivity purchase I've made since starting the company, and that says a lot.
Here are specs for those of you who want the nitty gritty details:
Model: G73JH A2 (Non Blu-Ray)
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i7-720QM 1.72GHz
Memory: 8GB DDR3 (4 x 2GB)
Hard Drive:1TB (2 x 500GB 7200RPM)
Optical Drive : DVD RWR Combo
Display17.3" FHD 1920 x 1080 LED backlight
Graphics: ATI 5870M DX11 1GB GDDR5
Wireless: 802.11 B/G/N
Inputs: 3 x USB 2.0, 1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI
Card Reader: 8-in-1
Dimensions: 16.6" x 12.8" x 0.8" - 2.3"