There was a time when gaming laptops were kind of a joke against their desktop counterparts, which could offer much more power. Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore, as laptops’ popularity has forced companies to invest on mobile graphics —coming up with amazing results.
We are looking at the review of the ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS71 this time, a 15.6 inch affordable gaming laptop that seems to be the ultimate balance between price and performance. Keep reading to find out if that’s really the case.
Pros: best possible performance thanks to i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and fast mechanical hard drive.
Cons: the screen is not true IPS, and the aggressive “gamer” design could put off some people.
ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS71 Our in depth take on this marvellous gaming laptop
Aesthetics and display
As usual with gaming machines, you’ll hardly mistake it for something else. That’s thanks to its black body mixed with red accents (including the lighting in the backlit keyboard), a combination that’s not unusual on this category. We also find that this is a very slim system, for a gaming laptop, and that certainly does help it look more attractive
But how will you look at your games? Asus stuck with a 1080p panel on this one, which we find ideal: putting more pixels there would probably hurt performance, so this is definitely the best choice. The screen is also anti-glare, so reflections shouldn’t be much of a problem.
With all of the power
Gaming isn’t just graphics. You need CPU power too, and fortunately that’s present with the Intel Core i7 6700HQ processor included. This quad-core 2.6 GHz (up to 3.5 GHz!) chip belongs to the latest Skylake generation from Intel, and it sits on the highest category of mobile units.
As such, all kinds of tasks are possible with this powerful processor. Gaming will, of course, benefit from this, as well as intensive applications. Top that with the 16 GB of DDR4-SDRAM (2133 MHz) included, and you won’t have to worry about doing several of those things simultaneously.
Finally, we find ourselves with a 1 TB hard drive with a 7200RPM speed. Though it’s certainly not an SSD, we find this to be the better choice because games tend to occupy a lot of space, so an SSD would probably have less storage for all of those Steam purchases.
You don’t need an expert to notice these are top-level internals, so you know you are getting some of the most powerful components available to commercial laptops.
And then we get to the part most gamers are interested in —the graphics. The ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS71 comes with an GeForce GTX 970M. This is the second most powerful mobile GPU available from Nvidia just behind the 980M, and it offers amazing performance that tops even the top card from the last generation.
Modern AAA games are playable in full resolution with settings ranging from high to ultra. According to NotebookCheck benchmarks, for example, both the new Doom and Fallout 4 sit above 40 fps with ultra settings. Rise of the Tomb Raider gets in 30 to 40 fps territory also with ultra settings. So in short, you’ll be able to handle everything.
Lots of ports, and also an extra monitor or two
On the connectivity side, we can say that one of the most valued features in gaming hardware is a decent video connectivity. Fortunately, that’s the case here thanks to both the HDMI and the mini DisplayPort available, the later which supports resolutions higher than 1080p.
USB options are also plentiful: the ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS71 includes three USB 3.0 as well as one USB Type-C port, which also happens to be from the new 3.1 standard. The rest is the usual: the audio combo jack, LAN insert and an SD card reader.
The ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS71 gets its juice from a 4-Cell battery that Asus claims will get you up to 6 hours of battery life when browsing the web. Other tasks will surely get you a lower number, as one might expect from such a power-hungry machine. Gaming on battery, through possible, is not recommended, after all.
Wrapping things up: Should I buy this gaming machine?
The quick note after reading through the review of the ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS71 is simple: this is a beast of a machine. It not only offers the best components available for laptops right now, but also puts them all on a sleek body and compelling machine.
Both the processor, RAM and GPU will make you fly, all of that toppled with the best balance between storage and reading speeds. Sure, having a desktop is always an option, but systems like this are what makes gaming laptops such a attractive category.