The move to FinFET fabrication for graphics processors has really opened up the options in the laptop gaming market. While some vendors like Eurocom are taking advantage of the new efficiency to stuff ever faster hardware into laptops, Asus is hunting in the middle ground between speed and power with its new ROG Strix GL702VM slim gaming laptop.
Gaming laptops that don't mimic cinderblocks in more ways than one have hardly been suited for the 'gaming' appellation until recently. At first sight, these new ROG Strix laptops aren't exactly tiny. The GL702VM uses a 17.3" 1920x1080 G-Sync display, which of course necessitates that the chassis be a certain size. Despite the large display, though, the GL702VM weighs just six pounds and is under an inch thick at its thickest point when closed. Asus doesn't say which panel tech the display uses, though it says that viewing angles should be fairly wide.
Asus packs a pretty good amount of power into that one inch of thickness. The GL702VM's Core i7-6700HQ is a quad-core, eight-thread CPU that can hit 3.5 GHz under Turbo boost. 16GB of DDR4-2133 memory come as standard equipment, as does a 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. The graphics chip in that card is the same one found in the desktop versions of the GTX 1060 6GB, too.
Our commentors have been eager to point out that these chips will face thermal issues in laptops they generally would not in desktops. Asus steps out in front of that concern by stating that the GL702VM includes a specialized triple-fan cooling system with separate fans and radiators for the CPU and GPU. The third fan is designed to spin up during periods of lengthy GPU load, and should help the GP106 processor maintain its boost clocks.
The GL702VM comes in two variations, DB71 and DB74. The only difference between them pertains the storage configuration. Normally, the machine includes a 1TB HDD as its only storage device and is priced at $1,399. For an extra $200, Asus will install a 256GB SATA SSD. Regardless of which version you pick, the laptop includes a USB 3.1 Type-C port with Thunderbolt support alongside three USB 3.0 connectors, a mini-DisplayPort, and an HDMI output. Asus says the GL702VM is available immediately.