Look everyone it's our old friend G92
Graphics are provided by Nvidia in the shape of the GeForce GTX 260M, with 1GB of memory. If you’ve been paying attention to Nvidia’s GPU releases recently you’ll know the company has been big on new names and not so big on new chips. Despite sharing a name with the GT200-based GPU we've recommended in past buyer's guides, the mobile version of the GTX 260 isn’t based on Nvidia’s latest GT200 architecture
. Instead, it’s yet another G92
based chip, G92 being the design that was first seen in the GeForce 8800 GT, back in November 2007.
So, let's take a step back in time and see what a G92 derived chip gets you these days. The GTX 260M features 112 stream processors (the same as countless previous Nvidia products, such as the 8800 GT
, some 8800 GTS products, 9800 GT
and 9800M GTX), clocked at 1.25GHz, with the GPU itself running at 500MHz. The GPU uses a 256-bit wide interface to talk to the 1GB of memory, and the memory itself is clocked at 800MHz (1.598GHz effective).
The HDMI output Asus includes on the G60Vx will come in very useful because the screen is something of a compromise. It’s a 16in model so physically, it’s decently sized, but the resolution is low – just 1,366 x 768, a pixel pitch more suited to, and more usually seen on 13in panels. We’ve argued loud and long before about gaming laptops needing lower resolution screens so that their GPUs can actually cope with games at the native resolution, but 1,366 x 768 just seems too small when you’re in Windows.
Left: The G60Vx looks attractive when open; Right: It features a good selection of ports and a Blu-Ray reader
It’s not the width that’s the problem, but the height. When you’re browsing the web, 768 pixels results in an awful lot of scrolling. The low resolution and large size of the panel means it doesn’t look crisp, and it’s not a great quality panel, either. There’s the ubiquitous super-shiny finish to amp up contrast and blacks but it’s the terrible viewing angles – particularly vertical ones – that really spoil things. A couple of degrees off and the image starts to look very washed out.
Looking at my notes for the speakers, I can see I’ve written ‘the speakers sound better the further away you get.’ This isn’t supposed to be a joke implying that they get much better when you’re out of hearing distance – if you’re right next to the machine, they sound harsh and whiny.
On the underside of the machine there’s what looks like a subwoofer, a big mesh circle ringed with chrome, but it’s actually just for show. It sits right above the main fan, and there’s no speaker hardware in sight.