The best gaming laptop? Asus ROG Strix GL 502
The Strix GL 502 is a slim and lightweight, yet extremely powerful machine that will take on each and every single game currently available on the market. Equipped with a 6th Generation Core-i7 processor, GeForce GTX 1070 GPU and 16 GB of RAM, the Strix GL 502 is equally suited for heavy multitasking such as streaming videos and image/video editing. Possessing a perfect balance of power and portability, the Strix is among one of the most suitable laptops for gaming on the go.
Unlike the previous models in Asus ROG series, the Strix GL 502 features a completely new look. The dominant black paintjob of the laptop is accented by subtle notes of Orange. The screen lid is composed of brushed Aluminum with extra flat edges, featuring the ROG (Republic of Gamers) logo. The remaining chassis is mostly plastic, but quite solid and with high quality finishing.
Weighing 4.9 pounds with dimensions as 15.35 x 10.47 x 1.2 inches, Strix GL 502 is not the thinnest laptop around, but it certainly is amongst those which offer an optimal balance of size and performance.
When it comes to display quality, the Strix GL 502 is beyond ordinary. In this regard, it has crushed many of its rivals in the 15 inch lightweight gaming laptop category. The 15 inch panel of Strix utilizes IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology and offers a stunning 178 degrees wide view. This means the colors don’t shift, even when you are viewing the screen from extreme side positions. The colors are vibrant and sharp, along with rich contrast details, taking your gaming experience to the next level. Great display capabilities have been a hallmark of Asus laptops, and the Strix GL 502 undoubtedly excels at it.
Keypad and Touchpad:
Strix GL 502 features a tactile keyboard with a full number pad, and red backlights. The keys are large and flat, offering 52 grams of actuation and 1.4mm of key travel. The WASD keys are highlighted so you know where your hands should be, without looking at the keyboard. The red backlit keys are bright enough to be easily seen in dim light settings.
The 4.1 x 2.8 inches touch pad offers generous space, and is highly responsive and accurate. It reads gestures accurately, such as the three fingers press.
Thin and lightweight gaming laptops are commonly believed to have heating issues, that is, they can sometimes go from mildly hot to severely hot during intense gameplay. This holds true for a majority of gaming laptops out there but when it comes to Strix GL 502, Asus promises to surprise you. This machine features something that Asus calls ‘Intelligent Thermal Design’. It uses dual copper heat pipes, and two separate fan systems to cool the processor and the GPU independently. This approach to cooling has proven to be very reliable, and maintains the heat levels of the machine during hours of intense game play.
- ROG Strix GL502 packs the latest 6th gen Intel® processor in a compact and lightweight design, 16GB RAM, 1TB 7200RPM plus 128GB M.2 SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M graphics with full Microsoft DirectX 12 support gives you efficient, powerful performance for heavy gaming or productive multitasking such as live streaming and video editing.
- Ultra-portable design that fits snugly in a messenger bag or backpack. Whether you're waiting for your flight, kicking back at a café, or at a LAN tournament.
Another remarkable feature of the Strix GL 502 is the superb level and quality of its speakers. Although laptops don’t have a good fame for audio quality, this machine will exceed your expectations here as well. The built-in speakers, powered by ICEPOWER, are capable of producing surprisingly loud, clear, and high quality sound. It is much louder than what you would normally expect from a gaming laptop.
GPU and VR:
The Strix GL 502 has a GeForce GTX 1070 as its GPU. The 10 series of GeForce has proven to be far superior to its predecessors. The powerful 8 GB Nvidia GPU not only enables the Strix to run every single game available on the market, but also makes it VR-Ready. The Strix can handle pretty much any Virtual Reality game (on its default settings) that you throw at it.
Strix GL 502 will never disappoint you when it comes to performance. The 6th Generation 2.6GHz Intel Core i-7 processor, along with 16GB DDR4 RAM and Nvidia’s Pascal graphics technology work in collaboration to provide you ample amount of power for your heavy gaming and other productive multi-tasking work.
The machine is capable of delivering stellar performance on games as heavy as Hitman, Doom, and Deus Ex Mankind Divided. It can also handle heavy-duty multitasking exceptionally well, and while I had a streaming video, a full system scan, and Ulead Video Studio, all running at the same time; I didn’t experience even a bit of lagging. Much of the credit for delivering such high quality performance goes to the GPU, which almost doubles the potentials of Strix GL 502.
Perhaps the only time Strix GL 502 will fail you, is when you rely on its battery life. All that raw power of the Strix comes with a price, and it is battery life. The machine will give you 3 to four hours of battery life on average if you are not doing much, and are being very conservative with the level of screen brightness. If you, however, engage in intense game play with higher levels of screen brightness, expect the battery life to be around some 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Apart from the low battery life, the Asus ROG Strix GL 502 is an amazing gaming machine. The perfect balance that it offers between raw power and compact portability is rarely seen. Being a mid-level, VR-Ready gaming machine, this laptop is often found on top of the lists of enthusiast gamers who seek budget-friendly and middle ranged laptops.