Asus ROG Strix GL753 Review

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Editors' rating:
The Pros

Comfortable, RGB-backlit keyboard; Keeps cool while gaming; Vivid display; Above-average battery life

The Cons

Not a looker; Finicky touchpad; Struggles with intense games at high settings; A little pricey

Verdict

The Asus ROG Strix GL753 offers gaming on a budget with a comfortable keyboard and vivid display, but it struggles with intensive titles at high settings.

If you're looking for a gaming PC but don't have the cash to drop on something that's VR-ready, you can still find a laptop that will play most games. The Asus ROG Strix GL753 ($1,099 to start, $1,299 as tested) is one of the first notebooks on the market with Nvidia's GTX 1050 Ti GPU, along with the company's first RGB-backlit keyboard to add a bit of color. It's a solid laptop, but other systems are on the way with similar specs for under $1,000.

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Design

Asus took the awesome design that it uses with its premium ROG machines and dumbed it down for its budget models. The result is a plastic beast that's more garish than sleek. The lid is made of black plastic with a faux-aluminum pattern, and while the premium machines have glowing lights on the sides of the logo, the company opted for orange neon paint on the lid of the Strix, making it look like a race car bed.

Asus ROG Strix GL753VELifting the lid reveals the 17.3-inch, 1080p display and an island-style keyboard complete with number pad. There's a bit of neon orange on the plastic chassis, too: the ROG logo in the bottom right-hand corner and a stripe around the touchpad. There are a few more orange accents on the front-facing speakers under the palm rest.

At 6.4 pounds and 16.3 x 10.7 x 1.3 inches, the Strix is light for a 17-inch gaming notebook. The Alienware 17 R3 is a noticeably heavier 8.3 pounds and 16.9 x 11.5 x 1.3 inches. Unsurprisingly, the 14-inch MSI GS63VR 6RF Stealth Pro is lighter at 4.2 pounds and smaller at 14.9 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches.

Asus ROG Strix GL753VEThe sides are lined with ports to connect to external displays and attach peripherals. An Ethernet jack, HDMI and Mini Display Port outputs are on the left side, along with two USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 3.1 Type-C port and a headphone/microphone jack. The right side features a Blu-ray drive, another USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port as well as a lock slot. An SD card reader is hidden just beneath the palm rest. 

MORE: Best Asus Laptops

Display

The Strix boasts a 17.3-inch, matte 1080p display that shows off sharp, vivid details, but it isn't as bright as the competition's. I watched the latest trailer for Power Rangers and was able to make out every little cube that made up Bryan Cranston's character Zordon. Elizabeth Banks' Rita Repulsa costume was a deep, emerald green that popped against the street during a battle with the Rangers. Thanks to the screen's 178-degree viewing angles, I could see the trailer even from the far side of the laptop.

Asus ROG Strix GL753VEWhen I played Batman: Arkham Knight, the red-and-purple neon signage atop stores in Gotham City contrasted nicely against a cloudy night sky, and I could see the raindrops pelting the Dark Knight's cape. The viewing angles were still great, but it was hard to make out Batman in the dark when I wasn't looking straight at the screen. Even though the screen doesn't support Nvidia's G-Sync, I didn't have any problems with screen tearing.

The screen on the Strix reproduces an excellent 124 percent of the sRGB color gamut, though it falls just short of the desktop-replacement average (128 percent), and far below the Alienware 17's (174 percent), but it's better than the Stealth Pro (111 percent).

With its high Delta-E score of 2.2, the Strix's colors aren't very precise (0 is ideal). This mark is worse than the average (1.5), the Stealth Pro (2) and the Alienware (0.8).

Our light meter measured the Strix's average display brightness at 285 nits, which is just below the 295-nit average and dimmer than the Alienware (319 nits), but it was brighter than the Stealth Pro (242 nits). Despite the score, I found the screen to be bright enough for both casual use and gaming.

Audio

The speakers on the Strix GL753 are pretty powerful. When I listened to Tegan and Sara's "Closer," the sound immediately filled our small conference room with a blast of synths, vocals and drums. With the preloaded Dolby-powered ICEPower AudioWizard, I switched to the Action preset, which emphasized the percussion and cymbals, but I think the default multimedia setting is fine for most people when they're just watching YouTube videos.

When I played Batman: Arkham Knight, I found that the speakers really packed a punch when the Batmobile fired missiles at drones and enemies talked through walkie-talkies. The background music, however, was quiet. I tried switching to action mode, and it provided a more well-rounded soundscape. 

MORE: The Best Gaming Laptops

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Strix's keyboard offers an extremely comfortable typing experience. Between its deep 2.1 millimeters of key travel and 60 grams of required actuation, I never came close to bottoming out. On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I typed at a speedy 115 words per minute, exceeding my average of 107 wpm. My only complaint is that the keys could stand to pop up a bit faster, which would be better for quick-twitch reactions while gaming.

Asus ROG Strix GL753VEThis is one of Asus' first laptops with an RGB-backlit keyboard. Out of the box, all of the keys were red, but with the new ROG Aura Core software, I was able to change or cycle between hues and separate the keyboard into four different zones to give them each their own colors. I would prefer a bit more customization, like the ability to customize every single key's color, but it's nice to finally see something other than red on a ROG. The software is limited to colors, however, so don't expect to start setting custom macros.

Get a gaming mouse, though, because the 4.1 x 2.8-inch touchpad is a bit finicky. While the cursor is accurate and I had no trouble performing gestures like swiping three fingers up to see all of my open programs, I had to be very specific about where I clicked. Particularly, I often had to use the very bottom of the trackpad to right click, as it didn't always accept that input in more comfortable locations.

Gaming, Graphics and VR

The Strix will play intense games, thanks to its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM, but that entry-level GPU can have a little trouble running intense titles at their highest settings.

When I played Batman: Arkham Knight at 1080p on high settings, the Strix ran the game between 40 and 55 frames per second as I used the Batmobile to trade missiles with unmanned tanks on the streets of Gotham City. I noticed that when I drove really fast, however, the frame rate dropped slightly. It was smoother when I switched all of the settings down to normal, and the game stayed between a more stable 47 to 60 fps.

While playing Batman: Arkham Knight, the speakers really packed a punch when the Batmobile fired missiles at drones.

The GPU struggled on our regular benchmarks. On Metro: Last Light (high settings, 1080p), the Strix reached just 28 fps, which is lower than our 30-fps playability threshold. The Stealth Pro (GTX 1060) and Alienware (GTX 980M) delivered a better 45 fps and  37 fps, respectively.

On Hitman (1080p, Ultra settings with DirectX 12), the Strix again hit 28 fps, falling far short of the 88-fps average and the Stealth Pro's 48 fps.

On the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark at medium settings, the Strix reached 28.9 fps, falling just short of the average.

Don't expect to connect an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift to the Strix, because it won't work. While The GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti are meant to provide better performance than Nvidia's previous generation of GPUs, neither is really considered to be VR-ready. The laptop earned a score of 2.4 on the Steam VR benchmark, rendering those immersive titles unplayable. The Stealth Pro hit 7.4 on the same test.

When you aren't gaming, the laptop falls back to integrated Intel HD Graphics 630.

Performance

Thanks to its 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU (it's among the first gaming notebooks with a "Kaby Lake" processor), 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and a 1TB 5,400-rpm HDD, the Strix is primed to multitask. I switched between Grand Theft Auto V on very high settings and an instance of Chrome with 25 open tabs without experiencing any signs of lag.

Asus ROG Strix GL753VEThe Strix notched a score of 13,693 on the Geekbench 3 overall performance test, falling short of the desktop-replacement average (17,478) and the Alienware (Intel Core i7-6820HK, 13,906) but surpassing the Stealth Pro (Core i7-6700HQ, 13,454).

It took the Strix 23 seconds to copy 4.97GB of mixed-media files, which translates to a rate of 221.3 megabytes per second. That's significantly slower than the 560.8-MBps category average, the Stealth Pro (565.5 MBps) and the Alienware (509 MBps).

Asus' notebook paired 20,000 names and addresses in 3 minutes and 19 seconds on our OpenOffice spreadsheet macro. That's speedier than the average (3:34), as well as the Stealth Pro (3:38) and Alienware (3:53).

Battery Life

The ROG Strix will last longer on a charge than most desktop replacements. It endured for 5 hours and 25 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi. That's 1 hour longer than the average (4:23) and far better than the Stealth Pro (2:54). The Alienware, perhaps thanks to its last-gen graphics card, lasted the longest at 6:07.

MORE: Laptops with the Longest Battery Life

Webcam

If you're using this computer for streaming, get yourself an external webcam. When I used the 720p webcam for a selfie in our lab, the resulting photo was dark and blurry. My brown shirt appeared closer to black, my hair was blurry and the walls behind me looked grainy.

Heat

The Strix was nice and cool in our testing. After streaming 15 minutes of HD video from YouTube, the bottom of the laptop measured 88 degrees Fahrenheit, the keyboard reached 83 degrees and the touchpad hit 81 degrees -- all of which are below our 95-degree comfort threshold.

Asus ROG Strix GL753VEWhen I played Batman: Arkham Knight for 15 minutes, the center of the keyboard hit 91 degrees, the touchpad reached 88 degrees and the bottom of the notebook was 105 degrees.

Software and Warranty

Asus' pre loaded software is a mix of gaming-specific apps and a few other useful utilities. Most notable is the ROG Gaming Center, a complete dashboard that shows everything affecting performance, including CPU and GPU memory and temperature, as well as options to boost fan speeds and disable the Windows key. The other major gaming app, GameFirst IV, makes it easy to prioritize which apps use internet bandwidth for a lag-free experience.

Additionally, Asus' Splendid Utility lets you control color temperature (perfect for some late-night gaming), and XSplit Gamecaster is onboard for streaming.

Unfortunately, there's a bit of bloatware packed in too, including Netflix, Minecraft, Drawboard PDF, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Royal Revolt II and Twitter.

Asus sells the ROG Strix GL753 with a one-year warranty. See how the company did on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands rating.

Configurations

The Asus ROG Strix GL753 we reviewed is a $1,299 model that packs a 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-770HQ CPU, 16GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM, a 256GB M.2 SSD and a 1TB, 5,400-rpm hard drive.

For $1,099, you can get a version with an Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU instead of the 1050 Ti. That version also ditches the SSD together, leaving you with only the hard-disk drive.

Bottom Line

The Asus ROG Strix GL753 is an affordable gaming laptop with a comfortable, RGB-backlit keyboard, vivid display and Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti GPU.

When a laptop comes along with a 1050 or 1050 Ti with a subthousand-dollar price range, that will almost assuredly become a better deal (and we know they're coming. We saw the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming and Acer Aspire VX 15 at CES). Otherwise, I'm hard-pressed to recommend anything with a GPU that isn't Pascal-based.

The one exception is if you immediately need a laptop with more configuration options. You can still buy a version of the Alienware 17 R3 on Amazon (though Dell is phasing it out for newer models), some of which offer 4K displays. It's great for watching movies, but you sure won't be gaming at that resolution with a 980M GPU.

Your best bet right now is to accept the Strix for what it is: a solid budget gaming laptop with a nice keyboard and finicky touchpad, that's available immediately. But keep in mind that laptops with this GPU will be very competitive in pricing sooner rather than later.

CPU 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU
Operating System Windows 10
RAM 16GB
RAM Upgradable to 32GB
Hard Drive Size 1 TB
Hard Drive Speed 5,400rpm
Hard Drive Type Serial ATA
Secondary Hard Drive Size 256GB
Secondary Hard Drive Speed
Secondary Hard Drive Type M.2 SSD
Display Size 17.3
Highest Available Resolution 1920 x 1080
Native Resolution 1920x1080
Optical Drive BD-ROM/DVD
Optical Drive Speed 8X
Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB)
Video Memory 4GB
Wi-Fi 802.11ac
Wi-Fi Model Intel 2x2 802.11ac
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0
Mobile Broadband
Touchpad Size 4.1 x 2.8-inches
Ports (excluding USB) HDMI
Ports (excluding USB) Lock Slot
Ports (excluding USB) Mini DisplayPort
Ports (excluding USB) USB 3.1 with Type-C
Ports (excluding USB) USB 2.0
Ports (excluding USB) USB 3.0
Ports (excluding USB) Combo Headphone/Mic Jack
Ports (excluding USB) Ethernet
USB Ports 6
Card Slots SD memory reader
Warranty/Support 1 year
Size 16.3 x 10.7 x 1.3 inches
Weight 6.4 pounds
Company Website asus.com
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3 comments
  • Marie Says:

    I bought this computer for my son. after about 1 hour use (basically loading programs for practical applications like the printer drivers and adobe, the computer began to heat up and power itself off. I returned the computer after another hour of waiting for it to cool enough to turn back on so that I could erase my information off it to return it. In the end it never did and remained very hot to the touch. I ended up taking all the accounts I'd signed on to and changing all the passwords as well as deleting the access from another computer source and returned the computer to Costco. Total time of possession 2.5 hours. Total usage 1 hour. Very sad performance for a gaming laptop. I can't imagine any serious gamers could use this in any practical fashion.

  • NunYa Says:

    When sepcifications liste a USB 3.1 port with Type C, some people assume this is also support for Thunderbolt. I have seen the USB C port listed as a Thunderbolt port supporting 10GB which isn't really of use to anyone who wants Thunderbolt. But to me and I am sure many other people, listing any computer that qualifies as upper tier in performance at this price point or higher better have a Thunderbolt port supporting at least 20GB if not 40GB . This technology is and has been out long enough that we should have seen it implemented in many laptops, especially those with an intel i7 quad core 6 or 7 series CPU. It's beginning to look like alot of outdated hardware is getting pushed out the door at lower pricing just so companies can justify unrealistic pricing on a laptop that is truly up to date. An intel 7700k with 16GB, a GTX-1060 w/4GB performance laptop with T-Bolt 3, USB C, HDMI 1.4 and all of the latest hardware specs including a 17.3" UHD touch-screen is something that so many people want and yet these companies keep toying with 1080p screens and trying to say it's enough. If someone can actually see the difference from FHD, UHD, QHD or not is not even relavant because people who cant tell the difference think they can. People want to see more in these laptop offerings. Support for NvME is absolutely a must to anyone considering high performance. And to find a laptop with only one slot for this and then srticking a mechanical 1TB drive in a high end laptop is cheating people out of what they would rather have. Bottom line is, people are not ultimately happy with what the market is offering. they are settling. And some may not admit this but that's what's happening. It is not only me who feels this way, but current laptop offerings and their respective reviews are really a bunch of nonsense meant to convince people what is actually good. When I see a review for a laptop costing $2000 or more and the review says it is absolutely an awesome deal with the hardware it has,I am immediately thinking how nice it would be to tell that reveiwer he's a sellout. Nobody has to pay $2000 to get a laptop with top tier performance with the highest level specs. It's the reviews that are telling us this but they are nothing but marketing fluff. Good research and intelligent minds will immediately see righht through this and realize that a 15.6" UHD touchscreen on a laptop that is loaded with all the bells and whistles might even outperform laptops costing twice the price that do not even offer a touch screen and it's only 1080p. Marketing is full of crap. And so are all these laptop prices

  • Qyygle Says:

    Just wanted to note, the GS63 is a 15.6 inch. The GS43 is the 14 inch. Specs are the same.

    However, the last part of the story I also disagree with. MSI has several 1050-1050Ti laptops in the sub 1k price already. But, if you simply looked for laptops with Skylake processors which are still on the market, you'd find for the same 1,300 price you can easily jump to a gtx1060 which is much more worth the cost than an update to kaby lake. Even a similar Asus ROG from the skylake gen can be found with a 1060 for the same cost.

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