Asus Gaming Laptops – 2017 Brand Rating and Report Card
Asus wowed us this past year with a series of consistently performing, good-looking laptops, and the company was quick to adopt innovative technologies. But Asus’ warranties don’t cover upgrades to your RAM or hard drive, and we’re still waiting to see it bring full RGB keyboards to its most expensive laptops.
Of the many Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) laptops we reviewed, most, but not all, fared extremely well. The company earned two Editors’ Choice awards out of the seven laptops we reviewed. Four of its laptops earned 4 stars, two reached 3.5 stars and one had a score of 3 stars. Our favorites were two renditions of the ROG G752VS OC Edition, which comes with an overclocked CPU, and the budget ROG Strix GL753VE, with its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU.
Asus knows how to make an attractive gaming laptop that doesn't subscribe to what a gaming laptop should look like. While the competition is going hard in the paint with the red-and-black motif, Asus goes futuristic with gunmetal gray and peach, offering stunners like ROG G753VS OC Edition and the ROG G701VI. Heck, even their budget laptops buck the trend by going with black and neon orange, which isn't our cup of tea, but we appreciate the reprieve from the usual colorscape.
With weights ranging between 5.6 and10 pounds, Asus laptops aren't the most portable laptops on the block. That will soon change with the upcoming launch of the ROG Zephyrus, a superslim gaming laptop that will be packing a powerful Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU into a 0.7-inch frame. But for now, consumers are locked into brightly colored mainstreams, or chunky, yet stately desktop replacements.
Asus gaming laptops tend to be some of the brightest on the market. The ROG G752VS OC Edition, for example, notched a whopping 476 nits, while the less-expensive ROG Strix hit 300 nits. However, too many of the company's laptops are stuck at plain, old 1920 x 1080 resolutions, while competitors offer more options with QHD (2560 x 1440) or 4K displays.
Asus' keyboards offer a consistently high level of quality. Whether it's a so-called budget system like the ROG Strix GL553 or a pricey flagship like the ROG G752VS OC Edition, you can typically expect an Asus system to measure at least 2 mm for key travel and 61g of actuation force.
Asus is the latest company to adopt customizable backlighting. However, it has shown up only on the lower-tier GL533, which means that consumers paying hundreds of dollars extra for a more-powerful system will be stuck with monotone lighting.
Asus is always among the first to bring new gaming technologies to market. This year, it was quick to put out laptops with Intel’s Kaby Lake CPUs and Nvidia’s Pascal graphics while bringing VR-ready gaming to the full lineup of Asus gaming systems. The company's upcoming Strix G702ZC is the first laptop to be powered by AMD's new Ryzen processor platform.
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Asus' impressive ROG Zephyrus is one of the first to use Nvidia's Max-Q technology, which allows it to pack a powerful Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU into a svelte, 0.7-inch thick chassis. The gorgeous laptop also features an exhaust port that flips out when the lid is open and a touchpad that can transform into a numeric keypad.
The company also brought the first wide-angle display to gaming laptops with the ROG G7101VI. The panel features Nvidia's G-Sync technology with a 120Hz refresh rate, setting the bar for this year’s display technology. For pure wow factor, few systems top the Asus GX800, a gaming laptop with a water-cooled dock.
You get a solid array of tools from Asus' Gaming Center app, which is found in all of its notebooks, including the ROG Strix GL553VD, a budget system. Those utilities include ROG GameFirst IV, which allows users to prioritize which programs get access to their Wi-Fi networks. It also contains software tools to adjust the system (CPU, GPU, fan speeds), disable the Windows key during gameplay and record macro key shortcuts. The Sonic Radar overlay shows you where sounds, like gunshots or enemy footsteps, are coming from when you're playing games
You also get the XSplit Gamecaster app for broadcasting to Twitch and other services. Certain notebooks, such as the ROG G701VI and Asus ROG G752VS OC Edition, includes a license that lasts for the life of the notebook.
Selection and Customization (4/5)
With a number of configs for its 15- and 17-inch systems and a beastly 18-inch laptop with a removable water-cooled dock, Asus has most people's gaming wants and needs well-handled. And with systems starting at $1,099, its notebooks are also some of the most affordable. Asus will even let you configure certain laptops like the ROG G701VI with a whopping 64GB of RAM, which is almost certainly overkill, but we're still glad it's an option.
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Currently, Asus is somewhat lacking in the thin-and-light gaming notebook department, but with the upcoming arrival of the ROG Zephyrus, customers will soon have even more options.
All Asus laptops come standard with a one-year limited warranty where the company pays for shipping if you need to send a product in for service. Depending on what retailer you purchase your laptop from, you may get free accidental damage protection or not (check the fine print).
Unfortunately, swapping out your RAM or storage voids your warranty. The company does not offer extended warranty options.