Pros: powerful performance, great construction, big and fast hybrid storage, great screen.
Cons: aggressive gaming aesthetics can turn some people off.
Gaming laptops are an increasingly popular product. Until recently, desktop units were the only real choice for people looking to game on their PC, but fortunately the technology powering our systems has advanced so much that that is no longer the case.
This is the review of the ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH74, one of such devices that benefits from the modern mobile GPUs not only for the performance, but also because of the affordable price. Keep reading to find out if this the machine you want to play your games with, I for one know it's one of my personal favourites.
Asus ROG GL552VW-DH74 the evolution of gaming has begun
Screen and design
One thing you won’t be doing when looking at the Asus ROG GL552VW-DH74 is confusing it with something else rather than a gaming laptop. The design in this machine screams “gaming” with its black aluminum body, fans for cooling, red accents, and red lighting for the backlit keyboard —which fortunately also includes a numerical pad for power users.
The screen is basically a dream. It’s a 15.6 inch panel with 1080p resolution, matte finish and IPS technology. Let’s break it in parts: the 15.6" size is perfect for multimedia consumption (in this case, games), while also maintaining enough portability so that moving it doesn’t become a hassle.
The 1080p resolution, on the other hand, offers a crisp image and, in the case of games, the perfect balance between quality and performance. Finally, you won’t have to worry about glaring or viewing angles thanks to the matte finish and the IPS specification, respectively.
We're also glad to report that despite it being a robust laptop in appearance, it's actually quite manageable, leveraging 5.6 pounds and measuring a little over an inch (1.3 inches).
Power and multitasking
Gaming systems demand performance, and the GL552VW-DH74 doesn’t mess around with it. We’re looking at an Intel Core i7-6700HQ with four cores clocked at 2.6GHz and Turboboost up to 3.5GHz. This chip belongs to the newest Intel generation, Skylake, which has special advantages over gaming machines.
In short, we could argue that this is one of the most powerful mobile chips out there, so you are basically getting the best of the best. Basic things like web browsing and office work are a breeze, and you’ll be able to run even the most demanding of applications. Nothing will stop you, period.
That power extends to the multitasking, since Asus decided to include 16GB of DDR4 RAM with a 2133 MHz speed, that's a huge leap forward from your typical DDR3 memory. All in all, there’s not much to say besides the fact that you will not run out of memory. RAM on laptops very rarely get higher than this, so you know that, again, you’re getting the best possible option.
What games can I play?
Since the Asus ROG GL552VW-DH74 is a gaming laptop it's no surprise that the machine is packing an NVIDIA Geforce GTX 960M graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This is a mid-level GPU that will play most modern titles on high settings, only struggling with some of the most demanding games. That’s OK though, as long as you lower a couple of options, there’s basically nothing you can’t play.
Some concrete examples include Fallout 4, which according to NotebookCheck benchmarks scores over 30 fps with high settings. GTA V gets better results with over 40 fps, also with high settings. A couple of years ago, this performance for the price would've been unthinkable; but now, to our delight, it’s a reality.
How long is the battery life?
The GL552VW-DH74 comes with a 4 Cell 3200 mAh 48 Whrs battery. Because of the powerful specs that consume a lot of power, this laptop can last a little more than 4 hours doing normal activities like browsing. Playing games will surely deplete that a lot faster, though you probably don’t want to do any gaming unplugged anyway.
Storage and connectivity
A gaming laptop wouldn’t be complete without a healthy number of ports, and fortunately that’s what we can find in the review of the ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH74. We have one USB 2.0, two USB 3.0 and the surprising addition of an USB 3.1, better known as USB type-C, the latest and best standard.
You also get your usual audio/microphone jack, the always-useful HDMI port for external displays and an Ethernet port for a more reliable internet connection. On top that, add an SD card reader and optical drive for CDs and you get the picture: there’s not much to miss here.
The storage is one of the nicest surprises this machine hides. You not only get lots of space with one 1TB, but also a decent speed of 7200RPM. Not satisfied? No problem, throw a 128 SSD in there too for almost instantaneous booting and faster Windows performance.
This combination is so unusual even at this price range that it’s worth talking about indefinitely. Hybrid hard drives tend to limit themselves to 32 or 64 GB for the SSD at most, so seeing 128 GB coupled with 7200RPM on the mechanical hard drive is more than enough for any power user. It's quite literally the best of both worlds when it comes down to storage.
What’s the verdict?
The best time for buying a gaming laptop is right now. The Skylake processors are the best Intel has ever put out there and have very specific gaming advantages. Mobile GPUs have never been so powerful, and if we go a couple of years back we have access to a giant library of modern games that, though not as beautiful as 2016 standards, will certainly look incredible and also run smoothly.
After the review of the Asus ROG GL552VW-DH74, we confidently say that this is the best gaming laptop available for the price. The aluminum body and great construction, ideal screen and never-ending powerful specs don’t let any flaws escape. Want to do some PC gaming on a medium budget? Don’t look anywhere else. You can check for price and availability here.