The Asus G73JH is an aggressively and uniquely styled machine that looks fantastic and boasts great performance for gamers.

The laptop's striking design – with angular lines and tactile matt finish – is inspired by the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Bomber, but there's more purpose to the design than looks alone. The large exhausts at the rear of the chassis draw hot air away from the internal components and deposit it comfortably from the chassis' rear, making this one of the quietest gaming machines we've ever tested.

The angled design also means that the backlit keyboard is angled slightly towards you, improving user comfort.

Unfortunately, the isolated-key style board is disappointingly spongy and the large touchpad means we were constantly brushing it while typing, leading to erratic cursor behaviour and spelling errors.

The latest and greatest components have been used, including a very powerful quad-core processor from Intel's Core i7 range, alongside 8192MB of DDR3 memory. Everyday performance is truly stunning and you can flawlessly run pretty much any conceivable application, including high-end photo and video editing software.

This is largely thanks to the fact the processor is capable of automatically overclocking itself to an impressive 2.8GHz, providing extra power when it senses you most need it. Asus has also included an overclocking feature of its own, however. When you need that little bit more power during frantic gaming, hit the hotkey above the keyboard and the processor's clock speed can scream up to 2.97GHz for even more performance.

While everyday performance is excellent, it's also available elsewhere for considerably less money, however. Some of the other Core i7 machines include similar components and performance for nearly half the price.

Powerhouse graphics

Where this machine justifies its price is in gaming performance. The DirectX 11-compatible ATi graphics card provides stunning 3D power for running the latest games and multimedia applications.

The 17.3-inch screen adds to its abilities. It's not the brightest panel around, but colour reproduction is excellent, with contrast especially impressing. Blu-ray movies – using the integrated Blu-ray drive – and games look great in particular.

We like the G73JH a lot. It's a great looking and uniquely designed machine that provides stunning performance, but for those who are watching the pennies at the moment – a lot of us – a similar experience – albeit with not quite as much style – can currently be found for cheaper elsewhere.

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