The first thing that strikes you as you unpack the Asus G53Jw is its stunning design. As with the larger 17.3-inch Asus G73, the G53Jw's chassis has been inspired by the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Bomber and its aggressively sharp lines and matt finish create a truly unique, high-end look that you won't find anywhere outside of Asus' gaming range.
Thanks to the matt finish, this also is not a laptop that's easy to scuff or scratch, adding resilience far too often missing from the many glossy machines found elsewhere in the market.
Continuing the Stealth-inspired look, huge exhausts on the rear of the Asus G53Jw's chassis are in place to keep the laptop feeling comfortably cool to the touch at all times. Air is drawn in through vents on the base of the chassis and is then blown over the powerful internal components and expelled away from you at the rear of the laptop as you work.
The whole system works extremely well, with the fans running near silently at all times and keeping the Asus G53Jw cool and comfortable to work with on your lap for long periods of time.
Despite being built around a 15.6-inch screen, rather than the more cinematic 17.3-inch panel seen on such rivals as the HP Envy 17 3D, the chunky dimensions of the Asus G53Jw's chassis make this one of the largest and heaviest 15.6-inch laptops we've seen.
Weighing 3.8kg, this is not a laptop that you'll want to carry very far and it's far better suited to use at home on your desk. This limited mobility is further illustrated by the poor battery life. We were able to keep working for just 75 minutes with brightness set at 50 per cent.
A benefit of the somewhat heavyweight chassis of the Asus G53Jw, however, is the extra space that it provides for the user interface. The large isolated-style, chiclet keyboard uses full-size keys to great effect and is a pleasure to work with.
Thanks to the slightly angled design of the Asus G53Jw, the keyboard slants ever so slightly towards you as you type, making it comfortable to place your hands on the palm rest and get to work. The board is also backlit and so is easy to work with in low light conditions.
Our only minor complaint is that the keys feel a little spongy and we'd have preferred a sharper, more tactile amount of feedback.
Unfortunately, while the large touchpad is just as comfortable to use as the keyboard, the Asus G53Jw's mouse buttons are far less usable. Despite their large size and comfortable matt finish, both buttons require an unusually firm amount of pressure to register, responding with a loud click when they're activated.
Although this is not enough of a problem to render the keys unusable, it does make them slower to access than we'd have liked and causes unnecessary delays when working, as you pause to fully depress the buttons.
Due to the large vents at the rear of the chassis, all ports on the Asus G53Jw are placed on the right and left-hand sides. While this of course makes them more accessible, it can lead to a slightly untidy appearance, with cables spewing from the sides of the laptop, rather than tucked away neatly at the rear.
On the right-hand side is a Gigabit Ethernet port, for the fastest possible wired network connections, alongside an analogue VGA port and a digital HDMI port, for connecting the Asus G53Jw to a larger external monitor, projector or HDTV.
There are also two USB ports positioned near the front of the chassis, for connecting external peripherals, with one of the ports providing USB 3.0 compatibility for high-speed data transfers to external storage devices. This is a pleasing addition, since there's no eSATA port in place on the Asus G53Jw.
The left-hand side of the Asus G53Jw is a more sparse affair, with just two USB ports – again placed near the front of the chassis for easy access – alongside the integrated, tray-loading Blu-ray optical drive.
The only other extras to be found on the G53Jw are an 8-in-1 card reader at the front of the chassis, for sharing files with compatible external devices, such as your digital camera or camcorder, and a compact webcam above the screen for taking basic snapshots, recording live video and using with online video messaging software.
Internal components are far more comprehensive, and make the Asus G53Jw one of the best-equipped laptops you can currently buy. You can get the G53Jw with a choice of dual or quad-core Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, and the model we tested was powered by a quad-core Core i7-740QM CPU running at 1.73GHz.
Backed by a stunning 8GB of high-speed DDR3 memory, even the most demanding users won't be left wanting for speed. The same can be said for storage, with a capacious 640GB of hard disk storage in place.
Graphics are equally capable, with a cutting-edge Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M graphics card and 1.5GB of dedicated, high-speed video memory in place.
Providing full support for the Asus G53Jw's 3D graphics via Nvidia's 3D Vision technology, as well as supporting the latest DirectX 11 games, the Asus G53Jw is again set up to deliver the best possible performance for the price, and provide a certain degree of future-proofing for gamers and home workers alike.