Technophile

Strong and stable gaming laptop

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on January 11, 2018 Published on July 05, 2017

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The Asus ROG Strix GL553VD is an affordable gaming gadget with good specs

By law, gaming laptops have to be power-horses, ensuring seamless action. Gamers famously lack patience. In this dog-eat-dog world, even a minor glitch in performance meets with bloodshed. Slow starters, stammers, blinkers and snoozers lose market share and goodwill in no time. So, how do Asus’ gaming laptops fare in this universe? It’s been over decade since Asus, which has made a name for making quality budget laptops, has started producing its Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand of PCs and gadgets customised for gaming. The Asus ROG Strix GL553, under review here, is the top-end version of this series.

This 15.6-inch laptop is a well-built behemoth, weighing around 2.5 kg. The aluminium-polycarbonate body (Black Metal Strix) with an in-your-face design that could appeal to most gaming enthusiasts, especially youngsters, is strong and sturdy. It has a brushed, black aluminum top cover, with adequate grip on the edges, making the heavy device easy to carry.

It has a DVD drive and three USB3 ports and a Type-C slot. The Gigabit Ethernet is equipped with Asus’ GameFirst traffic management. It also has slots for HDMI and the memory card. The device has a 1TB (7200 rpm) hard drive with a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD).

The keyboard sports Asus’ typical combo-layout that isolates the number pad from the main board, but the spacing is judicious and finger-friendly. The AURA RGB backlit keyboard is specially designed for gaming and typing. Asus claims that the keyboard, with 30-key rollover, anti-ghosting feature and a 2.5 mm travel distance, “mimics” desktop gaming keyboards. Our experience shows the claim has some truth in it, even though the keyboard lacks the finesse of its desktop counterparts.

The display is stunning, to say the least. The GL553 has Full HD IPS panels and colours are reproduced with honesty and accuracy. The reflection-free display is anti-glare; and the viewing angle faculty is impressive. The ultra-wide viewing panels do a great job here. The display comes out crisp and bright even during high, fast-paced gaming experiences.

The Asus ROG Strix GL553VD carries Intel’s 7th generation processors, aided by Nvidia GTX ‘Pascal’ graphics and 16 GB of RAM which can be upgraded to 32 GB DDR4. This ensures a seamless, spotless gaming experience. The device didn’t heat up even during suitably heavy games. In fact, most games we played on this device went hassle-free. Asus’ intelligent Cooling Overdrive system helps users customise fan speeds for better heat management.

The device comes with preloaded Windows 10 Home edition (why no Windows Pro, Asus?) and has gaming features such as Game Center, Audio Wizard and GameFirst IV. The dedicated game button is conveniently placed (top-right).

That said, the speakers are not worth the price we pay. Despite the ROG AudioWizard giving the user enough options to tweak the audio, the output comes weak and scattered during gaming. But they perform much better during video playback and online streaming. Another disappointment is the battery, which drains out faster than expected, even though it gets charged much faster. The adapter is unusually heavy and a pain to carry around.

To sum it up, the Asus ROG Strix GL553VD is a good companion for price-conscious gaming buffs as it packs a powerful performance with decent features and snazzy design. And for non-gamers, it is a handsome super performer that excels at multi-tasking.

Published on July 05, 2017
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