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ASUS G50V-A1 Gaming NotebookThe ASUS G50V-A1 is a new 15.4" gaming notebook to hit the market this holiday season.  The G50V-A1 is one of the best machines produced by ASUS performance-wise, but it has other issues that should be considered if your intention is to use the "gaming notebook" heavily for its intended purpose.

The notebook offers excellent performance powered with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400, high-quality WSXGA+ screen, and numerous features that make the system stand out.  It is even bundled with useful accessories that do not normally come with a laptop, including a backpack and gaming mouse. The G50V is covered with a two-year warranty, and the first year includes accident damage coverage as well.  The ASUS G50V-A1 also comes with a recovery disk that can be useful in the case of emergency.

If the system was marketed as a business machine, we could stop there with an exceptional review.  However, while the laptop offers great stock performance, the G50V-A1’s over clocking and power management abilities didn’t fare so well. Even though the machine was nearly flawless during regular usage, it’s always a plus for it to perform during rigorous benchmark tests (WorldBench, Mobilemark, etc.). Another serious issue is that it lacks driver support for widescreen resolution (1440×900), which would come in handy. It runs perfectly in its normal resolution of 1680×1050, but having to step down to 1280×768 for a decent widescreen resolution is not a good look.

The G50V-A1 comes with Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, with 4GB of DDR2-800 RAM. The notebook includes an 8X DVD-RW Super Multi drive, 8-in-1 memory card reader, built-in 1.3-megapixel webcam, and Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5100AGN with built-in Bluetooth support.  Overall, the G50V is a quality gaming platform.  The design and numerous features are great. The graphics card it uses (the NVIDIA GeForce 9700 GT) is a bit of an undershot for ASUS since it’s quite underpowered for a gaming laptop.

The A1 can be purchased for a little under $1600, but it may be overpriced since the ASUS G50Vt-X1 can be purchased for $1,250. It’s a cheaper machine, but it has a Core 2 Duo processor, a 15.6" 1366×758 display, and a NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GS, which is simply a better graphics card for a gaming platform.

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Toshiba Triple-SLI Gaming NotebookToshiba is well-known for producing quality consumer electronics, from televisions to laptops.  Their latest release is no exception.  Weighing in at 9.04 pounds, you probably won’t be carrying Toshiba’s brand new flagship gaming laptop around with you too often. However, for those who like to game on the go, the new X305 gaming notebook is a definite consideration.

This is the first Qosmio X305 notebook release.  It is also the first notebook computer to use three NVIDIA GPUs in a tri-SLI configuration. The Toshiba X305-Q708 and X305-Q706 utilize the ultra-modern NVIDIA 9400M integrated GPU and a pair of separate NVIDIA 9800M GTS cards in the SLI. The three GPU setup provides customers the performance needed to run the hottest video games on the market on the highest settings possible, rivaling even most desktop PCs.

NVIDIA’s 9400M GPU is quite new and is featured in Apple’s newly renovated MacBook notebooks. Under the hood of Toshiba’s Qosmio X305-Q706 you’ll discover an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor, 4GB of PC3-8500 RAM, and a 320GB HDD. Both the X305-Q706 and Q707 utilize a 17-inch WSXGA+ TruBright display to ensure the utmost clarity at an adjustable resolution of 1680×1050. The lower-end of the two models, the X305-Q706, retails for $1,999.

The higher end X305-Q708 model carries a designer price tag of $4,199.99. For the extra money, you’ll receive an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 CPU and an additional 128GB SSD alongside the standard 320GB HHD. Both systems come with a four-speaker, high quality Harman Kardon stereo system and a subwoofer.  The X305-Q708 and X305-Q706 also offer ExpressCard expansion slot.

Using Turbo cache technology, both of the 9800 GTS video cards offer 512MB of GDDR3 RAM and up to 1663MB of shared graphics memory. The system is fueled by a 3200 mAh lithium ion battery.

Both laptops are immediately available for direct purchase from Toshiba.

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