So, system specs discussed, let’s move back to the various little features and added doo-hickeys that have been bolted on to the Asus G70.
Well, first things first and starting with the basics, the good news is that the G70 sports a impressive and full size keyboard complete with number pad. The keys are excellent to type on, proving level and non-squishy, but also completely silent. The whole board is more of a pleasure to use than a pair of blonde twi...than something really nice. Ahem.
Most gaming laptops have full-size keyboards, but often they don’t get a huge amount of attention as it seems to be assumed that the laptop will serve as a desktop replacement and users will prefer the feel of a proper keyboard. That is usually true, but it’s still nice to see that Asus has done the best it can despite that fact – the keyboard for one is still perfectly suited to gaming.
Of course, that effect is still a little undermined by the massive
amount of bloatware that the system ships with – the start bar shows Razer Mouse Profiles, Norton Protection Center, InCD Essentials, Direct Console, Logitech Keyboard Profiles and about half a dozen more.
Click to enlarge
Of that not inconsiderable amount of crap though, there are a few hints of excellence to be seen. Razer is there for example, because the G70 ships with a small but impressive selection of goodies – there’s an Asus branded Razer Copperhead mouse, plus a rucksack to carry the laptop in which is so awesome
we just had to ask Harry to pose with it.
YEA! Made of WIN! Click to enlarge
It really does seem a bit too much to get so excited over a simple rucksack, but it really is just a very nice bag with plenty of useful, non-scratch lined pockets to hold your geekery in. Perfect for LANing with.
The presence of Logitech on the system tray makes a lot of sense too as the G70 keyboard has a lot of striking similarities to the Logitech G15 keyboard in that it has a cool sweet little LCD screen at the top that displays messages which are mostly useless as for the most part you can expect it to say ‘Republic of Gamers’, but it's swanky nonetheless.
Above the keyboard and to the left of the LCD screen there’s a bunch of little status lights that don’t do anything but glow bright blue…or so you’d think until you realise that they are all touch-sensitive buttons to power the G70 on, switch it between various different power modes and enable or disable the touchpad on the fly. Then, when you do realise that you’ll go “Nice!
” and ask Richard to come check it out. Then you’ll be disappointed that he doesn’t share your enthusiasm. B’ah, humbug.
Click to enlarge
As if the LCD screen and touch sensitive buttons didn’t already give the G70 a thoroughly comprehensive sense of appeal and attraction though, there’s a few more things to consider such as the configurable set of program keys and D-Pad to the left of the keyboard. By default these buttons launch the usual set of system apps like Notepad and Calculator, but they can be altered at will.
Even the touchpad itself, which is nicely sized and out of the way so that you don’t keep accidentally nudging the cursor as you type, has a bunch of media keys and extra functionality bundled into it. Flip the G70 into the right mode and the buttons will light up, turning this gorgeous looking gaming laptop into an adequate media player. Well, as long as you don't want full-HD, which is a bit pointless when you've got a Blu-ray drive.
Granted though, it isn’t all good news and for all the fantastic look and feel of the peripherals (can they actually be peripheral if they are built into the chassis?) there’s still a few things left wanting about the actual system itself. The sheer amount on mostly-needless software on there for example means that even in the super high performance mode the G70 still takes a good few minutes to start up, and there was no button we could find that turns all the blinky lights off
, meaning you can never stop partying/LANing/or whatever the hell "Republic of Gamers" do