Resplendent in red lacquer trim with blue lighting details, the Asus G71V is a smart looking machine boasting a powerful 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme processor, Blu-ray Disc drive and nVidia GeForce 9700M graphics card.

The Asus G71V is also based around a full-HD 17in display, a 16:10 aspect ratio glossy screen with good brightness levels. A useful amount of ports and connectors are included around the chassis: on the left side is the combo DVD±RW/Blu-ray ROM drive and an SD Card slot, while the right side holds an ExpressCard/54 slot.

On the back panel below the Asus G71V's screen hinges sits a Gigabit Ethernet port, a dedicated eSATA port, and two video outputs in the shape of VGA and HDMI. Hidden behind hinged flaps on each side are the remaining sockets, namely two USB and mini FireWire on the left; and two more USB plus audio input/output jacks on the right.

Trackpad action is good, although the mouse buttons required some effort to depress the metal buttons. And the Asus G71V's large keyboard is notable for its metallic sparkle and comfortable key action.

Given the large amount of space available within a 17in screen-based laptop, Asus has equipped the Asus G71V with ability to hold two 2.5in notebook hard drives. On our sample, two 500GB drives were fitted, partitioned as four separate volumes.

Thanks to the high clock speed and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, the Asus G71V scored an impressive 104 points in our WorldBench 6 benchmark test. Battery life wasn't too shabby either, considering the power hungry nature of a performance laptop, lasting for over two hours (129 mins) in the MobileMark productivity test.

In our graphics test, the nVidia GeForce 9700M GT graphics card helped the Asus G71V along to a framerate of 63fps in FEAR at Max quality. Given the gaming credentials of the design, we checked its capabilities with the more demanding Crysis game. Here the G71 could support an average framerate of 100fps at 1024 Low quality with DirectX 9. Moving up to 1920x1080 resolution and Medium quality via DirectX 10, framerate dropped to a less playable 18fps.

Also of note is the Asus G71V's speaker system, supplied by Altec Lansing, which provided good volume levels of clear sound from four speakers distributed around the body.

OUR VERDICT

The Asus G71V is a relatively well-rounded entertainment laptop, capable of showing Blu-ray films at full high-definition quality, as well as playing modern 3D games. It has vast amounts of storage, and good raw performance thanks to four 2.53GHz processor cores.