This is a pretty decent, although big, laptop if you intend to use a lot of vmware workstation or other similar softwares.
The strong points are 2 hard drive bays, all usb3.0, several video options, 4 ram slots (up to 32gb), haswell architecture, for a reasonable price; although imagined as a gamer laptop, there is nothing "cheesy" about it and has an all-black design. Nice, illuminated keyboard, and excellent battery life I have experienced first hand.
Backpack I bought:
The backpack is huge, cheap, and looks durable enough.
-I can't say the screen is bad, but somehow 1920x1080 on a 17" can get tiresome after a while
-Drivers are only available for windows 8. My experience with Windows 8 is very similar to this video:
I wish I could put windows 7 on it, but it isn't supported directly from Asus. So, Part 2 will detail how to make centos, fedora, windows 7 and/or windows 8.1 work. The first thing you will find is this is meant to run the full UEFI bios spec, and that introduces some changes.
In the meantime, here is an excellent forum if you own one: