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Pros: It worked semi-nicely before it broke, even though I had a bunch of issues with drivers and maya. That wasn't entirely the laptop's fault though
Cons: It broke in less than six months. Actually to be more precise, the hdd died completely. To be fair, it fell about 1.5 feet. The hdd died almost instantly. It was infuriating, to say the least. I've owned a few laptops and they've never broken this easily.
It could just be bad luck, but it's not the only problem I had with this thing. I couldn't turn off the optimus feature because that's impossible with how this laptop was built. The screen was awful, but considering how it's a laptop, I shouldn't have been that surprised. It's supposed to be a gaming laptop though, so you'd think they'd have made it a little bit better.
Other Thoughts: The best thing I can hope from this laptop at this point is a refund. It's been a considerate waste of time and money.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: By all intent, this is a good laptop. There were only minor hiccups when I upgraded all the drivers--and the specs are amazing for the price.
It's a good build too, very well-designed.
Cons: By far the biggest reason I got this laptop was I needed something portable that had good memory and gpu for autodesk maya and other 3-d software. I assumed that if a notebook could handle games, it could probably handle 3-d environments in maya. I was wrong to assume.
And the thing is--the laptop probably could handle maya, but I'll never find out because no matter what I did, it would not run with the Nvidia gtx 760m gpu because it doesn't recognize it. This laptop runs udk beautifully, so it's definitely not a problem with the actual geforce gpu.
This wouldn't have been that much of a problem if it wasn't for all the graphical glitches that kept on happening until the problem became unbearable. Things would start flashing and suddenly options wouldn't work or the driver would crash and I would lose all my work--the intel gpu isn't meant to run 3-d stuff.
Going into the NVIDIA control panel and manually choosing to make maya run with the nvidia gpu didn't work. right clicking and choosing the graphics card also made zero difference.
It became evident that if I wanted to get anywhere, I would need to turn off the nvidia optimus services altogether.
There have been other people who had similar problems and after looking around on forums, it turned out that I would need to go into the bios and manually turn it off. No biggie. I updated my bios and checked for driver updated one more time before going into the bios only to realize that my aptio bios setup has no disable optimus option.
In fact, it's quite possible that this laptop is manufactured in such a way that it's impossible to manually turn off the integrated graphics. THIS IS A HUGE DEAL. I highly recommend people to stay way from this laptop if they need assurance that the nvidia gtx card will be used.
I finally went to customer service and they confirmed that indeed, it's not possible to turn off optimus.
Aaaaaaaaaaannnnd there's the sound of over 1000 dollars being flushed down the toilet. The NVIDIA graphics card is this laptop's biggest draw for me, and without access to it for my work, this laptop is pretty much a worthless lump of coal to me. A well-designed lump of coal, but that doesn't get me anywhere.
I'm going to try a few more things, but I'm not optimistic. If nothing helps there's nothing more I can do but return this laptop.
Other Thoughts: I'm very disappointed in this entire experience, but I"m still a fan of ASUS. I made a bad assumption on my part, and didn't even know about the integrated graphics thing until it was too late.
This is a huge problem that a lot of people have been having with all notebooks that use the Nvidia optimus switcher, and it's a laptop-breaking one for me, since I can't shut it off manually in my bios.
In the end, I simply didn't do enough research and got hoodwinked because of it. Careful getting this laptop.