From the world of the ideal gaming laptops, we have seen a slew of competitions like the Razer Blade along with the MSI GS65 Stealth all vying to make the thinnest gaming machines. The concept of the gaming laptop that's light and thin enough to travel with is very persuasive. And, for years, we needed to compromise in power to get a portable gaming system.
These days are over now that the Asus ROG Strix GL502 has came. It is one of the first ultra-light gaming laptops that were able to obtain a balance between power and portability. Using its 1.2-inch framework, this 15.6-inch laptop comes packed with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 and 8GB of VRAM -- a graphics card that used to be exclusive to hulks such as the Gigabyte P57X.
Beyond its raw components, however, the Asus ROG Strix GL502 delivers on all fronts using a vibrant screen, different inputs -- along with brassy aesthetics.
Asus has gradually been edging its way from the done-to-death black and red colour scheme found on most gaming laptops. Instead of red highlights, the GL502 has orange trim accenting its dark paint job. It is not a grand passing like the ceramic and aluminum design found on the Asus ROG GX700 and ROG G752, but it is a start.
Though, we almost want Asus could have adhered to the black and red theme, since the keyboard backlighting remains red.
Besides the new paintjob, Asus has seriously upped the profile of the machine using a brand new look that's in accordance with the remainder of its own ROG series. Whereas the Asus ROG G501 closely reproduced the MacBook Pro look, the GL502 stands on its own having an attractive and competitive design.
Brushed aluminum screen figurines are fairly common on gaming laptops, and thus, you will also find one with this Strix device. However, the GL502 also features an additional flat border stamped together with the Republic of Gamers tagline.
The remaining part of the chassis is made out of plastic, which could seem disappointing at first, but it seems strong like any full-metal gaming laptop. What is more, Asus has got the keyboard a similar brushed end to the top lid, whereas the bottom carries a mechanical design etched right into the panel.
There's a heap of branding , involving the Strix logo cut to the keyboard and Circle of Gamers featured prominently on the top and underside of the laptop, however you can not deny that there is not one dull side to the 15-inch attractiveness.
Beyond looks, the Strix's mostly plastic exterior helps to keep weight down to a mere 4.9-pounds (2.22kg). To put that in perspective, it is more than just a half pound heavier than the Razer Blade and MSI GS60 Ghost Pro however, the Strix features higher-spec pieces. Nevertheless there are thicker 15-inch laptops such as the Alienware 15 along with the 5.29-pounds (2.4kg) Gigabyte P35X v5.
It is also is not the world's thinnest gaming laptop measuring in at 15.35 x 10.47 x 1.2 inches (38.99 x 26.59 x 2.34 cm; W x D x H) -- 0.3-inches thicker than its Maxwell-powered predecessor -- however, that is mainly to make space for a far more efficient cooling method.
Beware of blast
Ultra-thin gaming laptops have not been the trendiest of clients. More often than notthey either get excruciatingly hot, moo like a cow with loud fans or wind up throttling components to stop the entire machine out of slipping itself down. Asus is the first company to be certain its svelte gaming system is chilled without any of these downsides.
On the back border of the GL502, you will discover two thick heatsinks, and they're not painted orange for show. This massive exhaust system pushes out a continuous stream of air hot enough it may double as a space heater. Internally the laptop features Asus' new'double thermal design,' that runs two individual lines of aluminum heat pipes and fans to cool the CPU and GPU independently.
Because of the heating system, the GL502 never actually gets toasty in your lap, as well as the fan noise does not get too preoccupied either. Heck, you could even discover a use for all the hot air coming out the back to keep your coffee hot.
Price and availability
The Asus ROG Strix GL502 may be configured with a selection of components. However, with a starting price of $1,399 (about £1,055, AU$1,850), it certainly is not a budget purchase even though it frees you a 1TB hard disk (HDD) and 6GB Nvidia GTX 1060. To get a slightly lower cost, you can get the highest-end version of the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 or Lenovo Ideapad Y700, but you're going to be restricted to the Nvidia GTX 960M for graphics.
The setup you see under will run you $1,699 (about £1,280, AU$1,055), and it will be a substantial bargain compared to the $2,199 or AU$3,299 (about £1,649) you'd pay for a similar Razer Blade using a 3K screen.
Sadly, the version of the ROG Strix GL502 we reviewed appears to have been stopped. You may not find it fresh, but you are going to have the ability to get your hands on a refurbished model to get cheap.
The Asus ROG Strix GL502 is a rock superstar when it has to do with Full HD gaming, For the past couple of weeks, we have been utilizing the 15-inch notebook as our principal Hitman playing platform, and it has been a complete joy together with the settings turned all the way up to get a near constant 60 frames per second (fps) frame rate.
With Doom, a far more extreme first-person shot game, I managed to kick the graphical settings around Ultra and see that a constant 60 fps runtime too. Deus Ex Mankind Divided was the only name that protested against me forcing the Strix to its limitations, but this issue probably originated in the buggy PC port rather than Asus' hardware.
Nvidia's next generation Pascal graphics offer a substantial leap up in electricity and the results are startling in our benchmarks results.
Backing up the promises we simply produced, our benchmarks show the Nvidia GTX 1070 practically doubles the gaming potential of the GL502. The Division and GTA V play much faster and smoother frame rates, as a result of the Pascal bulge.
Of course this should not be too surprising if the Nvidia GTX 1070 comes out of a newer structure, features 2GB more video RAM and is supposed to replace the Nvidia GTX 980M.
Nvidia GTX 970M-powered gaming laptops, such as the Aorus X3 v3 and Razer Blade. In more than a couple of cases -- such as the most intensive 3D Mark and GTA V benchmark evaluations -- the Strix fully blows Maxwell out of the water.
Asus also has a far superior cooling system to take into account. It is more than probable that both the Razer and Aorus were buckling under throttling limitations when we conducted these challenging benchmark checks.
Even though Nvidia promised its fresh Pascal structure would deliver gaming laptops with 30% greater battery life, we are not seeing the promises remain true with all the Asus GL502. Lasting for a max of 2 hours and 52 minutes while playing Guardians of the Galaxy on loop in 50% brightness, the Pascal-powered Strix runs out of juice considerably faster than it is Maxwell-equipped predecessor.
Rather than turning into a normal run time of 5 hours and 14 minutes, the GL502 combines the three-hour-or-shorter run team along with other other power hungry gaming laptops.
With frequent use, expect to get between a few hours of battery life, even in case you are not doing much and being incredibly conservative about the screen brightness.
Display, screen and speakers
While battery life is a moderate disappointment, the caliber of the screen and speakers around the GL502 are impeccable. We have pretty much adored the screen onto each Asus device in the ZenBook series into the company's most inexpensive Chromebook, but the vibrancy of colours seen on the Strix is really on a whole other level.
Hues are represented brightly and clearly about the 15-inch screen, then a helping dab of rich comparison elevates picture quality even greater.
Visuals are just the half of it. The Asus ROG GL502 also sounds excellent, because of a pair of amazingly strong speakers. Although they might just look like two little slivers on the face of the keyboard , the tweeters on the particular system can push out lots of sound, representing the cacophonous battles in Overwatch handily.
It is uncommon for us to be this completely impressed with a gaming laptop. Besides the knock against battery lifetime, there's not much wrong with the Asus ROG Strix GL502. In reality, virtually everything about the device is top notch, by its sharp keyboard and loud speakers for its magnificent screen for a strong Full HD gaming experience. This is only one of the very best all-around gaming laptops we have ever reviewed, palms down, and we recommend it if you are in the market to get a strong mobile PC gaming program.