There's an unwritten law that gaming laptops have to be hella ugly, or at the very least garish enough to sear retinas from 100 paces. The Asus G50 does its best to accomplish the latter with its bright tangerine accents and enough flashing LEDs to make your neighbours think you're running a disco.
It's part of Asus' 'Republic of Gamers' brand, which is a fairly lame way of saying it's built to ruthlessly shift polygons around a screen. It does its best to live up to those expectations, thanks to an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 running at 2.26GHz, a whopping 4GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce 9700M GT graphics card. It's not as quick as some machines, but it's a pretty solid foundation given the £999 price tag.
It's not shy on the media front, either. Its 15.4-inch screen has a comparatively low 1,366x768-pixel resolution, but Asus has thrown in a Blu-ray drive, plus twin 320GB hard drives so you can store a shedload of movies.
The G50 should be on sale this October. We'll have a full review shortly, but in the meantime, check out the lovely pictures we took. -Rory Reid
The keyboard is pretty darned comfortable and there's even a dedicated numerical keypad. Unfortunately, the mouse trackpad sits slightly too far to the right of the wrist rest and is prone to being touched by the ball of your right hand.
That causes the mouse cursor to move and select stuff at random, which isn't ideal while typing.
The underside of the laptop is home to a large and fairly attractive -- well, orange -- fan. We actually thought it was a subwoofer at first, but apparently not. The battery below that is a 5,800mAh unit, so don't expect it to last long away from the mains.
The aforementioned fan in all its ginormous glory.
The left side of the laptop is home to a D-Sub video output port, two USBs, a four-pin FireWire port, HDMI output and a memory card reader. That goldy-looking thing is an aerial port for the integrated digital TV tuner.
The right side hosts three audio jacks, two more USB ports and a Blu-ray combo drive.
The ROG logo, this morning.