Asus ROG Strix GL502 gaming notebook gets ready to hunt

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.

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    • kurazarrh
    • 4 years ago

    Personally, I’m more than a little fed up with ASUS gaming laptops. Don’t get me wrong; they’re great machines. I still have my G53SW, though with a 460M, it’s really showing its age. No, my problem is specifically with the graphics cards.

    See, in the G53SW, most of the big things can be removed and replaced, or upgraded. Hard drives (2 slots, though they sell extra caddies separately, THE BASTARDS), RAM, Bluetooth and WiFi radios–they’re all slotted, not soldered.

    The same is true for the graphics card, which fits into a standard MXM PCIe slot on the motherboard. The problem? ASUS has a disturbing tendency to use graphics cards that don’t quite fit the MXM specification, which defines where screw holes, RAM chips, and the GPU chip should go so that they can be used interchangeably. Since ASUS uses non-standard “MXM” cards in their laptops, you can’t upgrade them.

    So I’m sitting here with a perfectly fine laptop that doesn’t really need a RAM/SSD/CPU upgrade but could really use a new graphics card. And I can’t. Yes, I’m aware that I could go way out of my way to purchase a second-hand set of heat pipes from an Alienware x15 that will quite surprisingly fit the ASUS G53SW. Then I can go through the song and dance of replacing it, except I’d have to MacGuyver an adhesive solution to keep the graphics card from wandering because the screw holes won’t line up.

    They engage, of course, in this planned obsolescence so that I have to give them another $1000-1600 for a new PC instead of just $200-600 for a graphics card, and I’m at the point where I’m ready to jump ship to a manufacturer who doesn’t screw over their customers with this bullshit. MSI is looking to be a likely prospect.

    Also, fuck ASUS for its complete lack of support for its tablets. Damn I hate that.

    • rwburnham
    • 4 years ago

    I have an Asus ROG gaming laptop that is a couple of years old (4th gen i7, 870M GPU) and it’s amazing, mainly because even at full load it’s quiet. You can hear the fans, but they’re not at all intrusive.

    When I see this new Asus laptop, my first thought is, how loud are those fans? There are already a lot of nice, stylish, thin gaming laptops on the market and they’re all horribly loud. Does this new laptop address that? Finding the right balance of performance and noise in a gaming laptop is clearly not easy.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]Nvidia's [s<]G-Sync[/s<] [i<]VESA-Adaptive-Sync-over-eDP-that-is-arbitrarily-unavailable-for-desktop-Geforces[/i<] tech could smooth out any frame-rate hiccups[/quote<] FTFY /shakes fist at NGreeeedia

      • ColeLT1
      • 4 years ago

      100% agree with you, but I’d rather have the superior tech (needs to be an open/universal standard though), just support both!

        • Chrispy_
        • 4 years ago

        This is my beef. I have Geforces and I want to buy an adaptive sync monitor that will work with any graphics cards.

        Not only are the G-Sync monitors grossly overpriced for what they are, I cannot support such dirty anti-competitiveness on principle because it hurts the PC monitor industry and it hurts us end users; the only beneficiaries are the Nvidia shareholders and, frankly, they can go to hell.

          • ColeLT1
          • 4 years ago

          That’s what I said. I wanted gsync to be the open standard that everyone uses (from the start), because it is the better one. The only thing I disagreed with you on was the choice of standard, because the vesa adaptive sync has some disadvantages.

            • Spunjji
            • 4 years ago

            There’s no need for nVidia to bin G-Sync, and it being an open standard wouldn’t solve the problem of it being exorbitantly expensive.

            They could let their buyers have their cake and eat it with G-Sync AND adaptive-sync support. They just don’t want to because the cheaper good-enough standard will beat their pricier one.

            • ColeLT1
            • 4 years ago

            It’s better than adaptive sync, and the price is only because they are using a FPGA, if it was open, a cheapo ASCI chip would be made.

            • Chrispy_
            • 4 years ago

            I’ll agree that the VESA sync is the lower standard, but that’s usually the case with wide adoption, the lowest-common-denominator wins because it’s the best value and ubiquitous.

            G-Sync is 10% better for 2000% more cost. Don’t forget, Freesync screens require no special hardware at all – It’s just a case of using a modern ASIC in the monitor rather than using up old stock that doesn’t support the latest displayport standards.

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    The GPU needs fewar nanometers.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    This close to mainstream Pascal rollout, any gaming laptop purchase with Maxwell subjects you to justifiable criticism, mockery, and shame.

    Also that bright red WASD cluster is both unnecessary and offensive to my eyes. There are plenty of games where WASD isn’t relevant, and plenty of FPS gamers who don’t use WASD.

      • curtisb
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]plenty of FPS gamers who don't use WASD[/quote<] Count me in that crowd. I use ESDF...have ever since the original Quake game.

        • tay
        • 4 years ago

        ESDF for lyfe!

      • ZeneticX
      • 4 years ago

      Not everyone can afford to wait for Pascal mobile chips to roll out. For those in the market for a gaming laptop now this is a good choice compared to the likes of MSI

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