A graphics card this powerful comes in handy when you consider the G71V has an integrated 2x Blu-ray drive. This allows playback of Blu-ray movies, but can also be used to write to DVDs and CDs at a maximum of 8x. Usefully, it'll also read BD-ROM, plus recordable BD-R and BD-RE discs.
Asus hasn't bothered providing any software capable of playing Blu-ray videos, so you'll have to remedy that yourself if you feel the need for HD video content. What you do get is a pre-installed copy of 32-bit Windows Vista Home Premium, Express Gate, and a couple of Asus' own applications. The best of these is the SmartLogon manager, which uses the system's integrated webcam to recognises users' faces and authenticate logins. This works surprisingly well, and is far less effort than typing a password or swiping your finger over a fingerprint reader.
At the time of writing, the G71V is the fastest laptop we've ever tested. Its quad-core CPU barged its way to a PCMark 2005 score of 7,216. For reference, the Dell XPS M1730, which uses a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo T7700, scored 5,830.
Despite the G71V not using dual graphics cards, it achieved a very, very good score. Its GeForce 9700M GT card scored 7,100 in 3DMark 2006, which isn't too far behind the 8,870 achieved by the twin GeForce 8700M cards in the XPS M1730.
Battery life isn't the laptop's strongest point, but that's to be expected considering it's designed primarily for high performance. It lasted 37 minutes in our Battery Eater Classic test, which is just about long enough to move the laptop from one room to another.
The G71V is unnecessarily ugly, but brutally quick. Its quad-core CPU runs rings around all other laptops, and most desktop PCs we've come across. The Dell XPS M1730 is slightly quicker for gaming, as it has not one but two graphics cards, but the G71V is better in all other areas.
Edited by Nick Hide