Someone has rightly said “a gaming laptop is a luxury, but to buy one that’s worth the money is an art.” Why? Because unlike traditional laptops where heat, weight, size and battery life are key factors when considering what to buy, gaming laptops are all about a good blend of high performance and how much you shell out for it. Also, most of the gaming laptops are beyond playing games, they are ideal for heavy-duty computing such as video editing, watching HD movies and designing quality graphics because of their powerful processors and graphic cards. Does the recently launched Asus’s Republic of Gamers (RoG)—GL552JX—has any such qualities? The company was kind enough to send us a review unit to explore and find out the answers.
With a price tag of Rs 81,990, Asus has tried to offer a high-end gaming laptop in the comfortable price range. However, after carefully analysing the different sections, we are of the view that although the Asus GL552JX does not offer the usual features of high-end gaming laptop such as big screen, stunningly designed gaming rings but its relatively less powerful machine and look and feel of Asus’s RoG series makes it perhaps the best of all one could get in this range.
As far as overall look and design is concerned, it is inherited from the Asus RoG series that looks stunning and different from any other regular high-end notebook. The lid is made of plastic which many gamers may not like but the coarse fabric-like texture and the red backlit RoG logo add elegance to the design. The weight of 2.4 kg, thickness of 32.4 mm and screen size of 15.6-inch could be a treat for someone who is used to big-screen but for others it could be a tardy task to carry around this device.
All the necessary connectivity options have been provided. There are 3 USB ports, 1 HDMI port and a LAN port. There is an option of adding SSD, a gamer can buy and add it for better start-up time. To make the laptop a kind of future-proof, Asus has also given the option for HDD. Heat dispersing grill, one VGA port, one HDMI, LAN and two USB 3.0 port are placed on left side, while on the right, you will find one USB 2.0 port and two 3.5 mm jacks for headphones and external microphone. Along with the ports, there is an optical drive, used by gamers for downloading heavy games and an SD card reader at the front end.
This gaming laptop runs on Intel fourth-generation Core i7 processor with Nvidia GeForce 950M 4 GB dedicated graphics card. It is powered by 8 GB of RAM and 1 TB of HDD. To be blunt, this GPU may not satisfy a hard-core gamer but there is a lot for everyone, from a smooth browsing experience to lag free games. Games like Tomb Raider, Thief, GTA 5 and FIFA 15 run without any hiccup, stutter or frame-drop.
The laptop comes with 15.6-inch display that offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with the pixel density of 141 PPI. Colour accuracy is flawless and the display quality is at par with any another laptop in this range. However, the long hours of gaming or work could give you screen flickering. Otherwise, even for day to day use, it has more to offer than what you can get from a non-gaming high-end notebooks. Also, it runs on latest Windows 10, comes with Microsoft Cortana voice assistant, new Edge Browser and a month’s free subscription of MS Office 365 suite, which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint and anti-virus from McAfee.
Glossy, metal like finish around the keyboard and stripes on the top gives GL552JX pretty distinguished look. All the keys are big, highly responsive and backlit. Also, with long key travel, soft and tactile feedback and easily recognisable “WASD” buttons, the laptop offers perfect keyboard configuration for the gamers. Usually, the W, A, S, D keys are used by gamers so they have red line around the edges to ensure ease of access. Also, the wide hand rest ensures one can play games with the same comfort as one gets while using game controller. One area in which Asus needs to improve is touchpad. It is nice and responsive but wobbling effect is greater than one could imagine in this range.
All in all, the Asus GL552JX is a very powerful device with a good price tag.
Estimated street price: R81,990