Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.
Sure, a gamer of independent means can drop several grand on a fully loaded Alienware Area-51 m15x, but what about the rest of us?
Asus seems to have budget-minded gamers in mind with its $1,699 G50V. The 15.4-inch laptop has many of the same features as the Alienware (and then some), but economizes on components, stocking the LED-decorated case with a slightly lower-end processor and GPU. However, its frame rates were not all that far behind the Alienware's--which is to say, they were entirely playable. That's a sacrifice we're willing to make in order to save $1,500.
It's true that the 17-inch Gateway P-7811FX is still our top pick for budget gaming, but the Asus G50V comes in a close second. And its smaller form factor makes it preferable for those who want a more mobile gaming rig.
For more details, read our Asus G50V review.
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