Oct 05

Asus G1 Gaming LaptopWhen I moved away from Singapore on to Thailand and Bali a few years ago, I also gave up on desktop computers.

Until then I mainly used self-customized desktops with the graphic cards, mainboards and components I wanted.

Asus always was close to my techie heart then, so I didn’t waste too many thoughts, when I made the switch from desktop to laptop computers just to be more mobile and flexible.

Big mistake!

I didn’t realize then, that Asus is basically a component vendor with a poor track record of assembling complete products. What I wanted to achieve was basically to substitute my existing desktop platform with a notebook, which was also capable of playing a game of Civilization IV, World of Warcraft or Silent Hunter III & IV without constant hiccups or graphic performance issues.

Okay, fast graphic cards in a notebook were still a novelty, with gaming laptops coming out for exorbitant prices or carrying illustrious yet expensive names like Alienware, Acer Ferrari or  Dell XPS.

But I also owned an old Acer Travelmate with a dedicated ATI 9700 graphic card, which ran flawlessly with Windows XP and could at least play some games with a resolution of 1024×768. This old laptop still exists today and has no other issues except a failed WiFi module – all after currently 60 months of lifespan.

So when Asus came out with its Asus G1 model, it was basically a gaming laptop for the masses. It had a whopping 2 GB of RAM, a 2 GHz Core2Duo Processor and 160 GB harddrive coupled with a Nvidia 7700 graphic chip, which was all the rage at that time. It came with the newest Operating System Windows Vista preinstalled, could run all of the above games, plus old favorite Far Cry or even Crysis and looked great, all for the price of 2.500 SGD, roughly around 1.200 Euros.

Great reviews convinced me to buy that piece, soon after it was released.

Even Nomads fall for gadgets, sometimes. ;-)

Anyway, to cut a long story short: here are the defects and issues I had with it over the last 3 years until the final straw with a fried motherboard and defect hard drive all at the same time.

  • Green Screen Flicker due to cable/wiring problem, fixed during warranty
  • Harddrive failure, fixed during warranty
  • Inbuilt WebCamera hardware failure outside of warranty
  • USB ports carry a current resulting in little electric shocks when touched during operation
  • External USB Camera fried, probably due to above electric shocks
  • 2 Mice fried (including the Asus/Logitech Mx17, that came with it, even though it was already defect during warranty, Asus Singapore refused to exchange it)
  • Windows Vista refused to install its SP1 due to  Driver issues, which could not be resolved. Asus Support and Driver Support completely useless.
  • Heat Issues over its whole lifetime (probably multiplied due to hot weather in Asia) caused BSOD’s and crashes constantly
  • Abysmal Driver Support by Asus
  • Motherboard fried and Hard Drive crashed at the same time outside warranty. Only harddrive, but no replacement motherboard available for this model

The last point was practically the main reason for this much-longer-than-usual delay in the posting frequency of this site.

Okay. That’s it then with this ‘manufacturer’ for me. Others seem to have similar experiences.

What did I do with the rotten corpse of the Asus G1? Get this!

Hope that YouTube upload embeds just right:


Okay, it didn’t shatter as much as I hoped it would, but at least I got back to it badly and left my anger fall down with the remaining parts onto the floor. ;-)

What did I buy this time?

Acer Aspire One A150 After all, relying on Internet Cafes only is never a good idea. As a Nomad and Online Warrior you need proper tools to manage your data accordingly.

You would have probably guessed that I will get a Netbook like this one and you are right.

It is pretty similar – the Acer Aspire One A150 with 3G module inbuilt. It’s small, fast, cheap and can communicate almost anywhere via WiFi or 3G.

Price was 315 Euro – that should be okay, if I have to replace it again within 3 years.

Okay, it can’t do Games, but hey – the less time I will spend in front of a (now smaller) computer screen.

Hopefully I will roam around outside more, without neglecting this site too much.

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written by Chris

20 Responses to “Never again Asus Computers!”

  1. dodong floresNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi, Chris. I haven’t had visited your site for quite sometime because of two typhoons that wrecked havoc into the country lately.

    My first laptop was a 200Mhz Toshiba that served me for eight years before the ribbon cable of the monitor gave way.

    My next laptop is a Neo brand (I think Asus is even better). Got repaired at some point but still works just fine until now.

    I think netbook is cool but I would need DVD writer and other peripheral typical of a full-size computer and of which netbook don’t have…

    If I do replace my laptop sometime, it’s probably just another laptop and not a Netbook. but If I push through my plan for bicycle cross-country touring the Philippines on my retirement, I probably would buy a netbook…

  2. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Yeah, that’s why I thought also, that a full-blown laptop will serve me better. But over time I learned that I rarely use the advanced functions and also play less and less games. So the Netbook is surely not the great substitute, but maybe helps for a while, until I get hunger for a real computer again. Haha! A 200 MHz Toshiba? Wow, that sounds like a while ago….hehe. That Neo brand I saw in several places in Cebu (SM Mall, Ayala), looks interesting also, it seems to be a Philippine brand?

  3. dodong floresNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi, Chris. Neo is a China brand. That was the cheapest brand I could afford to buy when my 200MHz laptop of 8 years gave away :)

  4. ianNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Funny – I have the exact same model. Used it for over 2 years, and it’s had its problems.

    – hard drive failed
    – screen kept turning off for no reason

    Both time Asus allowed me to ship it back on their dime, fixed it up, and had it back within a week – so have to give them props for their response. Otherwise, I’ve been pretty happy with it.

    Maybe you just got a bum one?

  5. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Could be also the case, ian. Your hard drive failure within just 2 years and the complaints of other users seem to suggest some heating problems at least. Ahhh, never mind, now it’s history. :D

  6. MelissaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Oh wow! I can’t imagine being on the road without a working laptop. What a nightmare! Good luck!

  7. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Melissa, same here. Even more so you will feel the sudden loss, when you are on a lonely island without computer shops or repair center. Actually you intended to stay here for a while, but then in this case things change dramatically. Haha!

  8. LorraineNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Think of it as a perfect excuse to buy a new toy :) I too would go with netbook if I was a nomad like you. Fortunately for me I’m not tied to my laptop. I can still leave it when I want to and bring it along when I think I might be able to do some work. Just adds weight to the backpack to be honest. Now the camera, that is a whole other story though.

  9. Tom FosterNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Hp is the best company to buy for a laptop. They have excellent customer service.I must say you will not face any kind of problem for at least 3 to 4 years after you buy it. I just can’t think beyond HP.

  10. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Tom Foster, I never had an HP so far, only a Compaq desktop which was okay. HP’s netbooks looked quite interesting though, just couldn’t find one with 3G module. Maybe next time then….

  11. MihailNo Gravatar BULGARIA Says:

    I had a fire at my place a while ago and my ibm laptop burned and melted (fire dep says laptop charger started the fire as i was using a cheap outlet converter from uk to europe standart, anyway) I had a toshiba one before that which has been working flawlessly apart from the optical drive breaking after the 5ft year. then i gave it to my mother to play solitare, but unfortunately it was in the fire too.
    So i have been looking for a new one for the past few days. I like the small ones but none of the one i looked at had 3g at a reasonable price.
    Do you mind sharing the exact model as i looked for one like yours at the shops around but they seem to have them without 3g?

  12. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Mihail, I had the same problem before. In the whole Philippines (okay, I tried only in Cebu and Manila) you couldn’t buy or order a single Netbook model with inbuilt 3G module. So when my father was visiting me, he brought one from Germany. The exact model is Acer Aspire One A150-BGw-3G, also known as ZG5. The price was 299 Euro plus 12 Euro shipping within Germany. It came with a preinstalled T-Mobile 3G manager, that didn’t recognize other SIM cards at first; but simply deinstalling the T-Mobile software and installing the generic Acer 3G drivers did the trick.

    The only problem I have at the moment, is that I have to get used to that German keyboard layout again. So my typing speed dropped significantly for now. And Windows XP is in German also, hmmm. Other tban that – it is a nice piece of technology. ;-)

  13. JaylaNo Gravatar CHINA Says:

    So I just received my Compaq laptop today and it’s amazing. Fast, no lag, bright screen, works great. I’ve installed Google Chrome and AIM and they work flawless. The keypad is amazingly comfortable. No webcam and the HDMI slot is covered which aren’t a big deal for me. I don’t see why people give this laptop such a bad review, but I’ve only been playing with it for 3 hours so more on this review in the future.

  14. MihailNo Gravatar BULGARIA Says:

    Thanks Chris. The few models with 3g that i saw didn’t apeal to me that much. The better models were all with long term marriage to one of the mobile operators.
    I found the one that you bought, but eventualy decided to go with the Lenovo version for better or for worse. Although most of the netbooks in that price range are pretty much the same apart from a few specs like 3 or 6 cell battery, 1 or 2GB RAM, glossy or matte screen

    I think mine is with UK keyboard layout which swaps 2 other keys ;-) and have a half size enter key i need to get used to.

  15. BorisNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    For travel, I use my Dell 700m. Got it for $300 off craigslist a couple years back. Probably sells for under $200 these days. It’s a bit bigger than a netbook, but still small enough to be convenient with its 12 inch screen. Only glitch was with webcam support, but I have a feeling that was more to do with the cam drivers than with the laptop, but maybe I’m wrong. New netbooks come with built in cam, which although it’s often low quality, is pretty nice. Not sure how well most would handle movies, but for a nomad on the go, perhaps excuses not to have to call in or stay indoors may be even better. On a related note, Avaste anti-virus is a must. In Thailand, I’d have one stopped at least once a week (had to stop by cafes/CELTA center to print stuff)

  16. Joe @ Amsterdam BookingsNo Gravatar NETHERLANDS Says:

    My Asus A8JN has been a complete disaster for me also. First laptop to let me down after several Dells and Acers. The screen hinch broke withing the 1 year warrantee period. I received a new one without any questions asked. “Great service” I thought. Then the new one showed the same defect within a year also. Never again an Asus for me also.

  17. Pas ArgenioNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I purchased the ASUS K52JK-A1 15.6″ Notebook and the hard drive burned up one week later, just after I had loaded all my software onto it.

  18. Trip to CancunNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    My ASUS lasted for 3 years, but before it actually died on me its battery stopped charging and it took 15 minutes to turn on. I had to turn it on on the bus for it to work by the time I got to class.

  19. Folding BikerNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    I’ve never had much luck with Asus. Mainboards are fine but for laptops I’ll always spend the extra for either a Sony or a Toshiba. Even HP seem to have slipped lately.

  20. JMV2009No Gravatar NETHERLANDS Says:

    I have an asus G1 running for three years now. Possibly fixed lid-related freezes, other than that it works ok.

    Running x64 W7. Choose “drivers” as your laptop series model, and you will find them.

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