Asus has announced what it believes is the first quad-core gaming laptop to hit the market. The £1,999 machine is available immediately from Amazon.co.uk, while a moderately less powerful dual-core model can be had for £1,349.
The G71 is powered by an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 quad-band processor from which Asus has removed the overspeed protection, so it can run at exceptional speeds. The Asus G71 has a 17in Crystal Shine screen with a response time of 8 milliseconds, a built-in 2Mp webcam and a Blu-ray drive for high-definition entertainment duties.
The onscreen action is supported by an nVidia GeForce 9700M GT GDDR3 512MB graphics card and 4GB of DDR2 SDRAM running at 1333MHz. Asus has fitted a pair of 250GB hard disk drives in this bruiser of a gaming machine.
Interestingly, the overclocked QX300 quad-core processor can be adjusted by the user, depending on just how fast they need it to run. We just hope that, during Burn Out, it doesn't. The G71 is also primed with a full complement of lights and other distractions gamers seem to like: the Direct 2.0 gamers' console lets you program the lighting effects and hotkeys. It also, apparently, blinks during gameplay, which sounds somewhat distracting. Asus refers to the net effect as a "totally futuristic ambience".
Altec Lansing speakers with Dolby Home Theatre guarantee plenty of noise and you can also control the G71 in a suitably frenetic manner if you buy the optional Eee Stick accessory. This plugs in to the laptop and lets you control gameplay by hand motions – in other words, frantically waving your arms about.
Gaming fans who want to shell out a little less can instead opt for the £1,349 Asus G71 which runs a dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo, comes with 4GB of RAM and a 512MB nVidia GeForce 9700M GT graphics chip.