Gear Review: The ASUS G75VW-DS73 The Gaming Laptop used for Creative Professionals

Gear & Apps January 11th 2013 12:49 PM 15 Comments

It may seem strange that the most capable laptop in our studio happens to be a gaming laptop, but with all of its sheer power and reliability, it is pretty clear why the ASUS G75VW-DS73 Laptop is our favorite Windows based laptop for photographers and creative professionals. Moreover, because the ASUS G75 is marketed as a “gaming” laptop, it can be purchased for significantly less than most “pro-workstation” class laptops and at only a fraction of the price of a fully loaded Apple MacBook Pro Retina.

The Video Review

Watch the full video review of the ASUS G75VW below:

The Pros

The ASUS G75VW-DS73 is no stranger to our office at SLR Lounge. We have owned two prior generations of this same model, and while those machines have been awesome, the improvements made in this latest generation really take the G75 to another level. Here are the four areas where the G75 excels.

Power
Let’s be honest, we don’t use these machines because they are small and light. In fact, because of its size, the G75 really fits more into the desktop replacement/mobile workstation category, and the laptop is all about raw power. We have the latest generation Intel i7 chipset, 3GB of dedicated video memory with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M, 16GB of RAM, native motherboard support for RAID with enough room for 2 hard drives. We actually replaced the original hard drives for Dual 512GB Crucial M4 SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration and sold the original hard drives.

Because of all of this performance, the G75 is able to handle any heavy-duty workload we throw at it. From editing in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 to real-time video editing in Adobe Premiere CS6, the G75 cuts through all of the tasks like a hot-knife through butter. In fact, the 3GB NVidia GeForce GTX 670M graphics card was one of the major reasons why the G75 did incredibly well in our Adobe Premiere CS6 Performance Speed Test.

Display Quality

As we have discussed in our IPS and Display Calibration article, the ASUS G75VW-DS73 features an FHD LED TN display with a native resolution of 1920×1080. While it isn’t an IPS display, the TN display is one of the highest quality TN displays we have seen on a laptop, and boasts great viewing angles. More importantly, the display also calibrates incredibly well and will do just fine for image editing or color grading.

Ports & Media

There is a wide array of input/output options, including 4 USB 3.0 Ports, VGA, HDMI, Mini Display, Ethernet, SD card slot, and Blu-Ray Combo Writer. This is especially useful for photographers and cinematographers who need plenty of USB 3.0 ports for additional drives, media, and accessories.

Reliability
As a laptop, the G75 is by no means small, but there is a reason for this design. With this much power, there is a lot of heat to be dissipated, and the G75 does this incredibly well through the rear vents on the laptop.

Thankfully, the laptop is very quiet during normal use, which is why the G75 is our primary machine that we use for recording screen capture tutorials. The only time you will ever hear the fans spin up is during extremely heavy CPU/GPU oriented applications such as gaming. This ability to dissipate heat, along with ASUS’s use of high quality components has made the G75 series of laptops one of the most reliable laptops that we have used to date. In fact, of the seven laptops in the G7 product line that we own, we haven’t had a single problem with any!

Value
Last but definitely not least is the overall cost and value of this machine. We get an incredible machine with plenty of upgradability for well under $2k. In fact, if 3D vision isn’t a big deal for you, then you can get the exact same hardware specs minus 3D for even less than this model. Even when we include the cost of the upgraded dual SSD hard drives to our fully upgraded version of this laptop, we only had to spend $2300 after selling the factory hard drives. This makes it one of the best values when it comes to mobile workstations as well.

The Cons

Of course, this is not the all-perfect laptop, and there are some drawbacks with the machine, as well.

Lack of Custom-Build Option
As we have demonstrated in our Lightroom 4 Benchmark test between the Asus G75 and the MacBook Pro Retina, the G75 lost out to the MacBook Pro by around 10-15% in speed simply because its Intel i7 processor is slower than the MacBook Pro’s processor. Although there are several model lines to the G75, there is no option to further customize the laptop at the time of purchase as you would with several other laptop manufacturers. This meant that there is no way to upgrade to a faster CPU in the G75 from what is already installed.

Size and Weight
Portability may be a relative term, but there is no going around the fact that the laptop is large and weighs nearly 10 lbs. This is fine if you are looking to keep the laptop stationary for the majority of the time, but if you are looking for a constantly on-the-go laptop, then the G75 may not work for you.

Display Out-of-the-Box Needs Color Calibration
Like most TN displays, the display out of the box is a little on the cool side, so it is important that you calibrate the machine’s display before using it for any image editing or color grading. For SLR Lounge, we use and recommend the Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite, which we have previously reviewed.

Conclusion


All in all, if you are a creative professional seeking a Windows-based laptop that is powerful enough for still editing or video editing, then the ASUS G75VW-DS73 is definitely a laptop that should be on your radar. The performance is top notch and the price for what you get is even better. As a result, we award the laptop a wonderful 5 out of 5 stars.

You can purchase the ASUS G75 series on Amazon.com. The model we recommend is the ASUS G75VW-DS73, which currently lists for $1,857.98 at the time this article was published.

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Pye

About

Pye (AKA Post Production Pye) is a founder and the Managing Editor for SLR Lounge. Pye is also a Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography, an Orange County based wedding, engagement and portrait photography studio. Connect with him on Google Plus

15 Comments

  1. BAoxymoron

    Have they improved the trackpad? also how is the battery life for those rare times that we do take our G7s out and about?

  2. apollo

    The most important info for the review of a laptop is missing: Battery time? How much?

    • Pye
      Pye

      Haha, don’t know if that is the most important info. But, with a machine of this size speed, they generally have a 2-3 hour battery life. For the G75, it is going to depend on the task. General surfing and word processing 3.5 hours, watching a movie around 2 hours and gaming, around 1 hour. 

    • apollo

      Well, let’s think about the fact: Why people buy laptops for photography: They can be easily moved and especially, that they work where you want them to work. And what does that require: Own battery and no need to keep it near to a power line. Most of people buy laptop because they don’t need external electricity all the time, they work with battery. 

      What’s the point of having a big laptop with useless battery life, heavy weight (I’m not saying that G75 is useless and way too heavy (it’s slightly heavy), I’m talking in generally) and heating parts when you could have a desktop which doesn’t heat up and can be multiple times faster and better?

      I’d say that the main point of laptop is the performance but also, important thing is the battery life too! I currently have Lenova laptop with almost identical specs and I got roughly 5 hours of battery life in Lightroom 4 tethered shoot. And I didn’t have a chance to plug it to a electricity. I find that if you buy a god damn expensive laptop, it should WORK as a laptop instead of being a lazy-ass desktop!

    • Pye
      Pye

      I understand your point and will include battery life in the article. What I am trying to say is I don’t really know anyone that buys 17″ high performance machines for their battery life, or for them to be ultra-portable. To me, they serve as mobile workstations that are easy to move around, but the battery life has always been terrible on these types of machines ending up around 2-3 hours. When I am looking for portability and battery life, I look to a different type of machine. My favorite tether and on-the-go machine is still a MBP. 

    • apollo

      I agree but still, I recommend if you do a review of a Laptop, include the battery life. Most of people watch after that, no matter what kind of laptop it is.Good to know that you add the battery life to the article!

      Not always the battery life has been horrible in this kind of laptops. For example, Lenovo Thinkpad, roughly same hardware (not dual SSD but one less SSD don’t lower power consumption very much) and it lasts 7 hours and still it’s not a bulgy as hell. It’s roughly, maybe even smaller than G75.

  3. Ike

    Pye, will the G75 be able handle *multiple* raw files (36mp) from the D800??   I’m using L4 & CS6??   I need a new system for wedding… 

    • Pye
      Pye

      Ike, the G75 can handle D800 RAWs just fine. But, the thing is, the only reason to get the G75 is to have a mobile workstation. With a mobile workstation, you will always be giving up some power for the mobility of the machine. If you just need a machine to process in the quickest manner possible, I would recommend a desktop they will have much more processing power. For me, I have a workstation that I use for any heavy duty editing in the office. Most of the time, my G75 is totally sufficient, but if I know I am going to be working through 5,000 40MP RAW files, then I might as well use my workstation for something like that. Hope that helps. 

    • Ike

      thanks for the tip.. may i ask what specs your workstation is? i just did a wedding, and my system is CHOKING.. i really need to upgrade my system..

  4. Andrew Crain

    Pye,

    I am ready to purchase one, but there are newer models out.

    In addition to being less expensive (the G75VW prices have risen), the G75VX machines now come with m670MX cards with the kepler architecture.

    Unfortunately, according to several tech sights, the VX models are also no longer using the panel (Chi Mei N173HGE ) that you reviewed in the VW model.

    The newer panel (AUO B173HW02) has a higher black point and about half the contrast.

    Have you had a chance to run any tests with these units?
    Would you still recommend them?
    Or, can you offer any insight on how these newer machines will take calibration.

    • Drake

      I would love to hear feedback on the latest models as well. We will likely be purchasing a G75VW-DH72 for our office as well. Newegg has some great configurations and this review helped solidify my initial impression from the little bit of hands on time that I was able to get.

      Thank you for the comparison vs MBP in AP!

  5. HAVE THE G75VX, BOUGHT M4 256GB SSD, AND M500 480GB SSD, WHICH SHOULD I USE AS PRIMARY?

    TRYING TO USE FOR ADOBE PREMIERE PRO, AFTER EFFECTS, AND AUDITION, OBVIOUSLY WANT MAXIMUM SPEED AND BENEFICIAL STORAGE? NEW TO THIS, WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR HELP! THANK YOU!

  6. Asus G75 On Sale For $909 – Refurbished At Newegg! | Photography Tutorials and Lightroom Tutorials by SLR Lounge

    [...] In case you missed our review of the Asus G75 series “Republic of Gamers” laptop, check it out by clicking HERE. [...]

  7. ASUS G75VW-DS73 Laptop Review – The Gaming Laptop that Just Might Turn the Heads of Creative Pros | Deals On Computers and Stuff

    [...] Read the full review at – http://www.slrlounge.com/gear-review-the-asus-g75vw-ds73-laptop-for-creative-professionals [...]

  8. LeRoy

    Hi there! How do you calibrate the monitor? I am new to photo and video editing and fortunately I have this beast of a laptop to help me in my learning.

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