Asus ROG Strix GL502VS and GL702VS game without compromises

We tend to recommend desktop PCs for gaming, because the compromises you have to make to get good gaming performance into a portable form factor are significant. Still, if you're on the road all the time, it's just not convenient to haul around a gaming desktop. Over at Asus' ROG blog, the company is showing off the 15.6" Strix GL502VS and 17.3" Strix GL702VS. These machines promise to pack serious gaming speed into a size that won't cause back injuries if you have to carry it around all day.

We'll start with the graphics card. These two new machines both come with a GeForce GTX 1070 and its associated 8GB of GDDR5 memory. That's a pretty good start. Asus pairs that potent GeForce with the buyer's option of a 120Hz 1920x1080 display or a 60Hz 3840x2160 display. Both displays use IPS LCD panels and support Nvidia G-Sync.

The machines come standard with Intel's Core i7-7700HQ processor, a quad-core, eight-thread design that clocks up to 3.8 GHz. Either machine can take up to 32GB of DDR4 memory running at 2400 MT/s using a pair of SODIMM slots. You can also outfit them with both M.2 storage and a 2.5" drive. Asus offers SATA and NVMe M.2 SSDs and 2.5" SATA hard drives as purchase options.

The hardware on offer is certainly powerful enough for us to call one of these a "desktop replacement", and yet both the GL502VS and GL702VS are only a little over an inch thick (3 cm). They aren't light, though—the smaller GL502VS weighs 5.2 lbs (2.4 kg), while the GL702VS weighs 6.4 lbs (2.9 kg). The extra weight likely comes from the high-powered cooling hardware, comprising two relatively large radiators and a pair of blowers that exhaust toward the back of the machine.

Asus' blog post talks up the repairability of these two machines, and says that removing ten Philips screws is all that's required to replace all components, short of the motherboard itself. If you aren't willing to dig into your laptop's guts, you can still use three USB 3.0 Type-A connectors, a USB 3.1 Type-C connector, or a regular old Gigabit Ethernet jack to hook up other devices. The larger GL702VS gets its Type-C port upgraded to a Thunderbolt connector.

The ROG blog doesn't talk about pricing or availability for the new laptops, but Newegg already has a listing for the GL502VS-DS71. This particular model includes 16GB of memory, a 128GB SSD, a 1TB HDD, and the 120Hz display for $1699.

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