“You don’t stop gaming because you grow old, you grow old because you stop gaming.” Well, that’s what I believe in when it comes to gaming. It’s been a long time since Asus introduced its gaming series laptops under the hood of “Republic of Gamers” sub-brand. Similar to all the other gaming sub-brands, Asus also assembled computers with overclocked chipsets and top-end graphic cards packing into a beast of a body. Gaming PC usually follows a bombastic and aggressive design philosophy with aggressive colour accents. Asus’s ROG Strix GL553VE is no exception.
Republic of Gamers Strix GL553VE is one the latest products Asus has launched into the Indian market. With the ROG Strix series, Asus is catering to those who have a restricted budget but are looking forward to buy a gaming laptop. Now Strix is a synonym to budget-friendly gaming laptops. So, let’s see whether the ROG GL553VE justifies its budget as a gaming laptop or not?
It’s a common notion that gaming laptops are bulky packing all those top-end hardware. ROG GL553VE is no exception either. It’s big, heavy and sturdy. Even though the body is made up of plastic, the finishing and build is commendable. The colour combination used in terms of looks gives it kinda unique flavour. The backlit neon orange coloured ROG logo combined with claw marks is an icing on the top. The body, however, does picks up some fingerprint marks and smudges, but that won’t trouble you much and can be easily avoided by getting a laptop skin.
Once you flip the lid open, the first thing you’ll notice is the orange bordered trackpad. There also sits another ROG logo on the keyboard deck. Talking about the keyboard, it sports an RGB backlit keyboard. And trust me, it’s a delight to eyes. With a travel of 2.5mm, the keys offer a strange satisfaction and precise response. It’s the kind of satisfaction you get with a fidget spinner, or cutting the quick sand with a knife.
The keys are said to support 30-Key Roll Over (KRO), which loosely means you can press 30 keys simultaneously and it would still register each keystroke. The keyboard also features a full Numpad. The keyboard tray, however, is bit flimsy and tends to bend in sometimes. You can also customise the backlighting using Asus Aura software as per your taste to give it a unique look. You could also adjust the brightness level as well as set different colours for four different zones in the keyboard.
The trackpad is also very responsive, and there’s nothing to complain. It supports Windows 10 gestures as well as vertical/horizontal scrolling and works perfectly well.
Specs & Features:
The ROG Strix GL553VE comes in two different variants, the one we got had an Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake chipset ticking at 2.8GHz, which can be boosted up to 3.8GHz. Obviously, the heart is pumped by another star, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU with 4GB of dedicated graphics video RAM. Accompanying the chipset, the GL553VE also gets 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 128GB of SSD along with the primary 1TB of hard drive. Coming to the display part, it sports a Full HD 15.6 inches display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It has a refresh rate of 60Hz and Asus also claims the IPS panel to reproduce up to 72 percent of the NTSC colour gamut.
Talking about the connectivity ports, on left side, the laptop features an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, combined audio/mic jack and three USB ports including two USB 3.0 Type-A and one USB 3.0 Type-C port. On the right side, it houses one USB 2.0 Type-A port only.
There’s also an 8X DVD-RW drive included, which may come in handy if you’re still into buying CDs for games. Apart from these, the laptop also features Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.2.
Software & Performance:
The GL553VE ships with Windows 10 Home with a lot of bloatware packed inside. Some of these bloatware could irritate you to some level, while some of them are useful too. Asus Giftbox is one example for the former case.
Asus also claims to provide a high-performance cooling system which throttles the CPU and GPU to keep the temperature in the mark. Well, that doesn’t seem to work with our unit to be precise. We also noticed strange issues with its performance while using the device plugged in for charging. There were minor stutters, and the performance variation which we heard from Asus are common due to change in power level.
While in the review period, our unit also received a forced BIOS update which unfortunately resulted in crashing the laptop with a black screen. Thanks to the Asus PR team, the review unit was promptly replaced. However, it could have caused a major havoc for a normal user making him run to the nearest service centre.
While playing games such as GTA V, Prototype, Farcry 4, COD Infinity Warfare and NFS Rivals among others, it didn’t show any sign of stutter or lagging even in the highest graphic settings. Even with continuous gaming for hours, we didn’t come across any plunge in the performance. The temperature, however, reached as high as 80 degrees while playing graphic intensive games. Combine that with the weight of the laptop; it is not advisable to put it on your laps.
When it comes to battery, the GL553VE performance took a little dip. However, that wouldn’t be an issue considering how bulky the device is. Unless you consider this as a portable device, battery life won’t be a major hassle.
The Asus ROG GL553VE is a complete package. Of course, it’s not the cheapest gaming laptop out there, but it surely justifies the price tag. It comes with great specs and performs exceptionally well thanks to its internals.
With inputs for Tanmay.