You can squeeze a little bit of extra performance from your CPU or GPU by overclocking, or you can avoid doing that work and have all of the extra power come straight out of the box. The $2,499 Asus ROG G752VS boasts an overclocked Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU that's ready to play any game you want at buttery-smooth frame rates, no tinkering required. Pair that with stunning looks, strong build quality and vents that keep the machine cool even while gaming, and other players will envy your laptop.
If a time traveler ever shows up from the future, it could be in a machine that looks like the G752VS. While the laptop retains the same design as last year's model, I still admire its sleek and smooth aesthetic, mixing brushed, gunmetal-gray aluminum with orange and copper accents.
The lid features the ROG logo (which I'll never like) situated between two glowing tangerine lines and a rust-colored hinge. Lifting the lid reveals the 17.3-inch, full-HD display surrounded by a thick, black bezel, as well as an island-style keyboard and a black, soft-touch deck. The back of the machine has some style, too. Orange grills cover the rear vents, looking like they could help propel this spaceship of a computer into the atmosphere.
It's a hefty beast that weighs 10 pounds and has a 16.4 x 12.7 x 1.9-inch footprint. The Aorus X7 v6 (7.2 pounds, 16.1 x 12.2 x 1 inches) and Razer Blade Pro (7.8 pounds, 16.7 x 11 x 0.9 inches) are both lighter. The MSI GT62VR Dominator Pro is much smaller, thanks to its 15-inch frame (6.5 pounds, 15.4 x 10.5 x 1.6 inches).
Plenty of ports line the sides of the notebook. On the left side, you'll find a lock slot, two USB 3.0 ports, a DVD drive and an SD card slot. The right side houses headphone, mic and S/PDIF jacks; USB Type-C; another pair of USB 3.0 ports; an HDMI output; and an Ethernet jack.
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The G752VS' 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is crazy bright and plenty colorful, which is perfect for multimedia. When I watched a 1080p trailer for Logan, the blue sky popped against the sands of a Texas desert, and I made out little gray patches in Logan's beard and caught all of the bulging veins on actor Hugh Jackman's ripped biceps.
When I played Batman: Arkham Knight, the green lighting in the Riddler's puzzle-turned-racetrack reflected off of the Batmobile's black, metallic frame. And when the Dark Knight soared over Gotham, blue billboards and red neon signs stood out against gray buildings and the night sky.
The panel measured an excellent 112 percent of the sRGB color gamut (we consider over 100 percent to be great), but some of its competitors were even more vivid. The Blade Pro measured an astonishing 185 percent. The Aorus was only slightly higher than the Asus, while the Dominator Pro was slightly lower.
The G752VS' screen registered a Delta-E color-accuracy score of 2.1, surpassing the average 1.5 (0 is ideal). The panels on the Aorus and Blade Pro were less precise, while the Dominator Pro was far more exact.
In our brightness testing, the G752VS literally outshone the competition, at 476 nits.The Dominator Pro and Blade Pro and Aorus were all below 350 nits.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The G752VS has a solid keyboard, but I wish it weren't set so far back on the computer. I found myself tiring while typing, especially with the laptop's fairly sharp edges digging into the bottom of my forearms (soft-touch material didn't help there).
The keys have 2.3 millimeters of travel and require 62 grams of force to press, and I never found myself bottoming out. I do wish, though, that the keys would pop up faster. On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I reached 113 words per minute, which is in the middle of my average range of 107-115 wpm, but my error rate jumped from my usual 2 percent to 5 percent.
The keyboard is backlit with red lighting, and I couldn't help but pine for the RGB backlighting found on Asus' cheaper Strix laptops. If a $1,000 laptop can have that feature, a notebook more than twice that price should have something just as good, if not better. On the bright side, you can use the ROG MacroKey software to customize the keyboard's five built-in shortcut keys.
The 4.6 x 2.6-inch touchpad is smooth, spacious and accurate. I had ample room to navigate Windows 10, flick between programs and two-finger scroll in Chrome without any issues at all.
The speakers on the G752VS produce muddy sound. When I listened to The Fray's "Over My Head (Cable Car)," the keys and guitar melded into each other. I could hear the bass, but it wasn't very strong, the drums were extremely weak and the vocals were hollow.
When I opened up Sonic Studio II, I was able to boost the bass slightly, and the Smart EQ setting made the song a bit clearer, but I was never completely satisfied. On the bright side, the speakers were loud enough to fill our midsize conference room with sound.
While the sound was loud enough for music, it lacked the oopmh I wanted for gaming. While the Riddler's voice was clear as he taunted the Caped Crusader in Batman: Arkham Knight, the Dark Knight's punches didn't sound like they were landing.
Gaming, Graphics and VR
Whatever game you want to play, the G752VS and its overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB of VRAM can handle it. I launched Batman: Arkham Knight on 1080p at high settings, and the notebook barely broke a sweat. It hugged the game's 90-fps cap even when Batman brawled with gangs on the streets of Gotham City, but dropped to 70 fps during a complicated grappling-hook combo that sent the Dark Knight winding around buildings.
When I turned on the Nvidia Gameworks options, including interactive smoke, fog and paper debris as well as enhanced rain and light shafts, the game fell to a still solid 67-73 fps during a fight and dropped between 49 and 60 while I had Batman maneuvering with the grappling hook.
On the Hitman benchmark at 1080p and Ultra settings, the G752VS ran the game at 91 frames per second. That's higher than the 83-fps desktop-replacement average, but the Dominator Pro (GTX 1070, 94 fps), Aorus X7 (GTX 1070, 101 fps) and Blade Pro (GTX 1080, 103 fps) were all even smoother.
The G752VS played Rise of the Tomb Raider at 1080p and very high settings at 55 frames per second, eking out a few extra frames over the 52-fps average and the Dominator Pro's score. The Aorus X7 and the Blade Pro performed better.
During the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark, the G752VS hit 73 fps, falling below the 82-fps average, but still beating the scores of the Blade Pro and Dominator Pro. The Aorus squeezed out one extra frame (74 fps).
The G752VS earned a score of 10.4 on the SteamVR performance test, so this machine is more than capable of handling VR experiences in an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. The average desktop replacement laptop notches a 9.
Armed with a factory-overclocked 2.9-GHz Intel Core i7-7280HK CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB and 7,200-rpm HDD, and two 256GB PCIe SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration, the G752VS is primed for getting work done. I had 40 tabs open in Chrome, two of which were streaming 1080p video from YouTube, and had no issues with lag whatsoever.
The G752VS notched a score of 14,717 on the Geekbench 4 overall-performance benchmark, which is better than the desktop-replacement average (13,140) and the showing by the Blade Pro (Core i7-6700HQ, 11,702), though the Aorus X7 (Core i7-6820HK, 16,411) outperformed them all.
Asus' gaming notebook has blazing speed. It copied 4.97GB of mixed-media files in 7 seconds, which translates to a transfer speed of 727 megabytes per second. That's far ahead of the average (487.3) and is speedier than the competition.
The laptop continued its speedy dominance on the OpenOffice Spreadsheet macro test. The G752VS paired 20,000 names and addresses in 2 minutes and 51 seconds, outpacing all of its foes
The G52VS lasted for 3 hours and 53 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi. While that's less than the desktop-replacement average (4:25), the G52VS still endured longer than the Dominator Pro, Blade Pro and Aorus X7.
The G752VS stayed remarkably cool while I played Batman: Arkham Knight. As the the Dark Knight was in a heated race against the clock in one of Riddler's puzzles, the center of the keyboard (between the G and H keys) was an airy 88 degrees Fahrenheit, and the touchpad hit 89 degrees. Only the bottom, at 102 degrees, surpassed our 95-degree comfort threshold, but that showing is still relatively cool for a gaming laptop.
Asus' machine also stayed nice and cool during normal use. After we streamed 15 minutes of HD video from YouTube, the bottom of the notebook measured 92 degrees, the center of the keyboard reached 86 degrees and the touchpad hit 84 degrees.
The 720p webcam takes blurry photos that will have you reaching for an external webcam before streaming on Twitch. In a photo I snapped at my desk, the fluorescent lights in our office were totally blown out. The color accuracy was so off that the purple stripe in my sweater blended into the black. My face, however, was clear enough for video calls.
Software and Warranty
Asus offers quite a bit of useful software on the G752VS. The most helpful by far is the ROG Gaming Center, a dashboard that gives you information on your CPU and GPU, and where you can change fan speed and access other helpful utilities.
There's also the Splendid Utility, which lets you adjust the amount of blue light in the display (great for late-night gaming) or boost colors to make them more vivid. GameFirst IV allows users to prioritize which apps get access to their Wi-Fi networks, and the Sonic Radar overlay shows you where sounds, like gunshots or enemy footsteps, are coming from when you're playing games. Finally, XSplit Gamecaster makes it easy for you to stream your games to Twitch or other services, and the G752VS comes with an unlimited free recording license for as long as you use the machine.
But a bunch of bloatware also comes with the system, such as Royal Revolt II, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition and Drawboard PDF.
The Asus ROG G752VS OC Edition is a powerful gaming laptop with an overclocked CPU, a bright display and plenty of graphics power, thanks to its GTX 1070 GPU. This rig also catches the eye with its futuristic design, and it manages to stay cool while gaming. It's heavy, at 10 pounds, though, and the sound could be better
If you want something easier to carry around, the Aorus X7 v6 is roughly the same price (starting at $2,499) but just 7.2 pounds, though you'll sacrifice a bit of overall performance with that system. If you're ready to take the next step up, the Razer Blade Pro features a GTX 1080 GPU for better gaming performance and includes a customizable backlit keyboard, but it's a very pricey $3,699.
Overall, you can't really go wrong with the G752VS. It's a solid price for butter-smooth gaming and a great screen. You just may want to invest in some external speakers.
Photo credit: Jeremy Lips/LaptopMag