Asus is broadening the reach of its ROG Strix brand today with the ROG Strix GL502 gaming laptop. This machine has a 15.6", matte IPS display in your choice of resolutions: 1080p or 4K. For pushing those pixels, Asus suggests buyers will have the choice of a GeForce GTX 980M with 8GB of GDDR5 RAM or a GTX 970M with 6GB of GDDR5 memory. Nvidia's G-Sync tech could smooth out any frame-rate hiccups those graphics chips run into.
Asus will offer the machine with 8GB of DDR4 RAM as standard, and there appears to be a single SO-DIMM expansion slot for up to 16GB of RAM in total. Buyers also get a choice of Intel quad-core CPUs: a Core i5-6300HQ or a Core i7-6700HQ.
The GL502 further offers buyers a dizzying array of storage options. SATA SSDs ranging from 128GB to 512GB populate the option sheet, and PCIe SSDs in 256GB or 512GB flavors are available, as well. Mechanical drives as large as 2TB bolster the GL502's solid-state options. For I/O, this laptop has a combo microphone-in/headphone-out audio jack, an SD card reader, three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.0 Type-C port, one Ethernet port, and HDMI and mini DisplayPort ouputs.
The laptop weighs in at 2.2kg, or roughly five pounds, and cuts a slim profile at 23.5mm thick. The GL502 comes with a four-cell battery that Asus claims is good for up to six hours of web browsing. Given the powerful CPU and graphics chips inside, though, we'd expect significantly lower battery life during gaming sessions.
Speaking of gaming, the keyboard has red-backlit scissor switch keys with 1.6mm of travel. The WASD key caps are molded in red plastic for easy hand-positioning during those most intense of gaming moments. For gamers in noisy environments, the GL502 features a noise-cancelling microphone array above its display for clear in-game chatting.
The software Asus provides for this Windows laptop is meant to make gaming easier, too. The ROG Gaming Center provides a single dashboard for finding system information, setting up hotkeys, adjust audio settings, and recording gameplay. The Asus GameFirst III utility lets users enable network traffic shaping for better network utilization with four preset modes: "optimization," "game," "media streaming," and "file sharing." Asus didn't discuss pricing or availability for this bird-of-prey.