Only recently could you get a gaming laptop decent enough to replace a desktop rig. And even more recently has there been a graphics card for notebooks as powerful and small as the Nvidia GeForce GTX1070, which many gamers have been waiting for. It is now in this ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS. But aside from the graphics card, the ROG Strix GL502VS boasts so much more in its arsenal.
15.6 Full HD
2.5GHz 6th-gen Intel Core i7 6700, 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX1070 GPU
1TB 7200RPM HDD, 256GB 3rd-gen PCIe NVMe SSD, 16GB RAM
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, 3 x USB 3.0, USB 3.1, HDMI, RJ45, miniDisplay, microSDXC
390 x 266 x 30.1mm, 2.3kg
It looks tough and aggressive but definitely not ugly like the gaming rigs of yore. The monster now appears modern, minimalist, and streamlined, without many elements screaming “gaming laptop.” On top of aesthetics, design is actually very thoughtful, making the notebook comfortable to use and manhandle.
The tactile keyboard with highlighted WASD keys uses a chiclet design. The keys are smooth and easy to tap on, while the scissor switches give just the right spring. The layout seems too wide for me, however, making it difficult to use for rapid typing; I end up striking the wrong keys sometimes.
The base starts to feel hot after a couple of hours of gaming even while in an air-conditioned room. You can feel this throughout the keyboard, which could be worrisome. After all, thermal management is one of the key elements in a computer, more so a gaming system. The rise in temperature seems to plateau after a while, but it’s never good to wait until it burns through your notebook or table.
The track pad is responsive and smart. It is not overly sensitive, although the corresponding left and right clicks feel a bit flimsy. Many games would still require you to use a mouse, anyway. The wrist rest is large, allowing for a comfortable prolonged use.
With an 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX1070, you cannot question the graphics ability of this notebook. It has your gaming needs all covered. The specs also look good on paper for many video editing and 3D animation requirements, but you would have to give it a shot yourself.
For a gaming laptop with these specs, the weight and heft is forgivable. It can be carried with one hand but is still unwieldy and tiring to bring around for a prolonged period.
Although the display itself taps out at only Full HD resolution, it doesn’t matter much on a 15-inch laptop. Besides, the powerful GPU plays a more important role. Games such as Rise of the Tomb Raider and NBA2K16 look amazing and respond smoothly with no lags.
It is difficult to find fault in the ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS with the monstrous hardware that powers it, the capable software that runs it, and the thoughtful design that minimizes distractions to your multimedia experience. Although ASUS offers a higher model than the ROG Strix GL502VS and its thermal management can be worrisome, this laptop can spoil you and eliminate room for alibi for not achieving your gaming and post-processing potential.