ASUS ROG STRIX GL503VD Gaming Laptop Review

     
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Most, if not all, gamers know the reputation of ASUS’s Republic of Gamers laptop series. They are notebooks made for players with appropriate performance, yet they don’t often cost an arm and leg, not at all. The lately released ROG series, like the older models, have already received very positive attention. Yet here is another take on the subject, about the ASUS ROG STRIX GL503VD model precisely.

Performance As Expected

This cheaper version of the new ROG series is equipped with GeForce GTX 1050 graphics. As many gamers are aware, they are the essential budget graphics cards which might make one doubtful about their suitability for gaming. Well, it’s mostly ultra 4K gaming they are not capable of, but given the laptops’ maximum Full HD resolution you will have no problems. On high settings and 1080p, most games will spit over 60 frames per second (including GTA 5 and Thief).

As the processor performance is brought by Intel Core i7-7700HQ you can only expect fast operations from that department. Yes, that is a quad-core processor from the end of 2016, clocking at 2.8GHz with turbo boost of up to 3.8GHz. In fact, there are just a few processors that can beat it in benchmark tests, so rest assured the i7-7700HQ is enough for any purpose you might have.

The unit has 16GB DDR4 RAM installed when it’s shipped. It’s all on one stick, and the mainboard has another slot free. In another words, you can well go to 32 gigabytes memory on this one, by getting an extra 16GB stick. Whether that makes sense or not is another matter as the difference between 16 and 32 gigabytes can’t really be seen in 99% of cases.

This exact model comes with SSHD as a drive. It’s a hybrid version between solid-state drive and hard drive, giving you the best of the both worlds: some snappy performance from SSD, a huge storage from HDD. Indeed, the one terabyte storage space is plenty, and manufacturer promises the drive to be up to six times faster than HDD. That is nice, however if you want to install an additional drive there’s a free M.2 slot for PCI-e and NVMe units inside.

Great Display For The Price

The notebook has a 15.6 inches display, although there are also versions sporting 17-inch diagonal. This model supports 1080p which is the most typical resolution these days. Hence, the aspect ratio will be 16:9. The refresh rate on this screen is 60hz screen and it comes without G-Sync, yet I have not read user reports about screen flickering or unwanted behavior. The color gamut profile is 72% NTSC, so it presents colors very accurately. Touch is not supported.

Laptop Video Review

Adequate Collection of Ports and Interfaces

To plug in a gaming mouse, and a few other peripherals, ASUS has made sure there are enough ports on the sides of this laptop. Indeed, USB ports are in total five: one USB 2.0, three USB 3.0 and one USB 3.1 Type-C. That is a good amount and should suffice for anyone. Keep in mind the USB-C does not support Thunderbolt. However, there is HDMI and miniDisplayPort available because you might want to connect an external monitor. Heck, you can even plug in two, the GTX 1050 should support that no problem.

The primary way of connecting this laptop to Internet would be its internal, long-range 802.11ac WiFi card with Bluetooth 4.1 support. Yet, given it’s a gamer’s laptop, also Gigabit RJ-45 port for LAN insert is available.

This ASUS sports no optical drive, they are quickly becoming a thing of the past, especially as internal versions. You can still get a cheap external drive if you have the need for discs. The notebook has another useful connection, a memory card reader for SD and MMC cards.

A Few Important Things in The End

In terms of battery life, do not think the ROG GL503VD laptop is any different than other gaming notebooks. These beasts are full of heavyweight components and energy-sucking screen, and you often use them to the maximum when gaming. So battery can give power for only so long. You would be looking at around 4 hours maximum for non-gaming purpose, and 1-2 hours under gameplay, on this 4-cell 64Whrs battery. To my knowledge, it’s an internal unit, so upgrading would take some effort.

The operating system, Windows 10 Home 64-bit, is pre-installed on the storage drive. You won’t get the actual installation disc here – also because there’s no optical drive present in the laptop.

Pros:
Unbeaten ROG quality - For years, the Republic of Gamers laptop series has been in the spotlight. The notebooks are generally well liked by the hardcore gamer group, and I don't see a reason why it would be any different now.

Performance on budget - While there are more expensive gaming notebooks available for sure, this ASUS ROG Strix is all you need for 1080p gaming.

Display - It's hard to tell the screen quality from specifications only, but most user reviews suggest the screen is very decent, bright and good to look at.

Cons:
Doesn't run long on battery - That is the plight of gaming laptops, the poor battery life. You're looking at a desktop replacement where connection to power socket is essential if you want to run this for longer than a few hours.

Based on the specifications and the user reviews this laptop has gotten, I think it’s safe to say the ASUS ROG STRIX GL503VD is a laptop worthy of player’s attention. For a tolerable price, you will get a Full HD ready gaming experience with huge hard drive and a heavy-duty Core i7 processor. The fully customizable backlit keyboard could be a treat for gamers as well. Poor battery life aside there are no complaints to make, in my opinion. If you want to play without breaking your bank, this ROG hits the sweet spot.

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