Introduction, Design, Features
The marketplace for bill gaming notebooks is a hotbed of activity, and we’ve reviewed copiousness of them. Models with 15.6-inch displays tend to be a many popular; a stream tip collect in that distance is a Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (7577), an under-$1,000 section with a GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q graphics chip. Should we confirm to burst adult to a indication with a incomparable 17.3-inch screen, however, you’ll find a preference a lot some-more limited. For instance, when we searched on Newegg.com for 15.6-inch gaming laptops underneath $1,150, we got 5 pages of results. When we increasing a shade distance to 17.3 inches, a formula dwindled to reduction than one full page.
That creates a theme of this examination something of a unicorn. What you’re looking during is a Asus Republic of Gamers Strix GL703, privately a indication GL703VD-WB71 that retails for $1,149. This value-oriented gaming appurtenance packs an Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics label with 4GB of dedicated memory. This section also includes 16GB of memory and a vast 1TB hybrid tough drive. As is customarily a box with Asus notebooks, a GL703 array is sole usually as a preconfigured model.
The processor and graphics label combo in a examination section is absolute adequate to run many of today’s AAA-level games during 1,920×1,080 (1080p) fortitude with medium-to-high fact settings, yet don’t design many some-more than that; a graphics label is Nvidia’s GTX 1050, not a faster 1050 Ti variant. We found usually one 17.3-inch aspirant with a GTX 1050 Ti chip in this cost range, a HP Omen 17t. It lacked some of a facilities of a Strix GL703 examination unit, such as an RGB-backlit keyboard, yet it was differently competitive. (On paper, anyway.)
Although a Strix GL703 is deliberate a bill gaming notebook, a laptop that retails for north of 4 sum is frequency deliberate budget-friendly in a operation of a ubiquitous cover market. (A loyal bill appurtenance would be something like a $250 Lenovo Ideapad 120sStrix GL753 that we reviewed in Feb 2017.
There’s no removing around that this appurtenance is a handful, given a 17.3-inch erratic display. However, a 0.98-inch density and 6.5-pound weight make it a acceptable messenger for sparse trips. Don’t forget to cause in a comparatively massive 150-watt energy adapter.
The all-black extraneous of this cover has some singular styling elements. The matte black cosmetic on a palm rest both looks and feels improved than a mistake aluminum finish of a GL753. You’ll still find some of a former tarnishing opposite a chassis, yet a erratic pellet gives it an upscale look.
There’s some genuine brushed aluminum on a lid backing. The orange-backlit ROG trademark is prominently situated off to one side. It’s splendid by a shade itself, so we don’t have eccentric control over possibly it’s illuminated adult or not.
The lid was resistant to flexing. The framework felt plain as well, nonetheless it had some obvious plane flex. That’s roughly unavoidable given a cosmetic construction and vast distance of this notebook. The cosmetic is comparatively thick and of good quality.
The full-size keyboard is recessed so that a pivotal tops are flush with surrounding chassis. The pleasing feedback from a island-style keys is accessible and encouraging. The blueprint is where this keyboard has some difficulty. The two-thirds-sized series pad keys need additional precision, generally a pinky-sized 0 key. The same is loyal of a arrow pivotal cluster. In an peculiar spin of events, there’s no End pivotal on this keyboard, nonetheless there is a Home pivotal during a tip right corner.
At slightest a energy symbol isn’t a keyboard pivotal as it was on a GL753; on a GL703, it’s a dedicated symbol usually above a series pad. (Thanks, Asus!) We also adore a dedicated volume and microphone buttons above a left side of a keyboard. There’s an Asus RoG symbol subsequent to them that launches a pre-installed ROG Gaming Center software.
The program shows apparatus use and provides shortcuts to a series of apps, including Asus Aura Core for determining a keyboard backlighting.
The four-zone keyboard backlighting is a offering indicate for a GL703. It’s not per-key RGB backlighting as you’d find on, say, a MSI GT75VR Titan Pro, yet we’ve nonetheless to see that functionality offering around a cost indicate of this Asus laptop. The program allows we to emanate and store adult to 3 profiles. Each lighting section can be one of a 16.7 million colors in a RGB spectrum. A respirating outcome is available, along with 3 levels of brightness. The backlighting isn’t quite splendid even on a tip setting, yet it looks good in a dark.
We suspicion a clicking movement of a GL703’s hold pad was average; it was a tad on a unbending side for a preferences. The pad’s anti-glare aspect done for well-spoken finger tracking, though.
The speakers in this cover face horizontally outmost from underneath possibly side of a palm rest. The volume turn was excellent for personal listening, yet don’t design to perform a crowd.
The Strix GL703VD-WB71 we’re reviewing has a full HD (1,920×1,080) arrangement with a 17.3-inch diagonal. It constructed a great-looking design in a testing.
Deep blacks, high brightness, and plenty tone done games and roughly anything else demeanour lifelike. The in-plane switching (IPS) record in this quarrel provides far-reaching observation angles for a unchanging design from any angle. Wide observation angles aren’t indispensably a vital underline for gamers, given they’ll flattering many always be looking during a arrangement head-on, yet we’re not complaining.
The 60Hz modernise rate of this arrangement is standard for a notebook. For gaming, that means a arrangement can uncover adult to 60 frames per second though tearing. The GeForce GTX 1050 GPU in this cover isn’t expected to pull over that in today’s games, as a benchmarks (to follow) will show, so there’s no need for a 120Hz screen. We would, however, like to have seen Nvidia G-Sync support to make in-game opening even smoother.
The ports on a Strix GL703 are situated along a left and right edges of a chassis. Something we favourite about a pier chain was that they were clustered as distant behind as probable from a front of a chassis. This means we won’t have cords projecting into your outmost rodent space. We wish some-more notebooks would take this approach, generally gaming notebooks.
The left corner has a AC energy jack, a Ethernet jack, mini-DisplayPort and full-size HDMI video-out connectors, a span of normal USB-A 3.0 ports, and a headphone/microphone multiple jack.
The right corner has a SD label reader, a USB-C 3.1 port, a USB-A 3.0 port, a bequest USB-A 2.0 port, and a wire lockdown notch. SD cards thankfully inset entirely into a reader.
For selfies, a Strix GL703 has a 720p Webcam above a display. The design peculiarity was grainy and pixelated, yet no some-more than is a normal for a cover Webcam.
As we said, a GL703’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics can transparent a 30fps threshold for well-spoken gameplay with many of today’s AAA-level titles, yet it’s a nearby thing. (Look for a benchmarks on a subsequent page.) The faster GTX 1050 Ti, or VR-ready 1060 and above, would be preferable, yet would bust a Asus’ cost ceiling.
The GL703’s other components are mostly standard for a course. Its Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core processor is a blazing quick chip for a laptop; it’s ordinarily found in high opening notebooks by a $2,000 mark. With 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory, gaming and usually about any other perfectionist charge isn’t many of a challenge.
Our GL703VD-WB71 struggled a bit in storage opening since of a 1TB tough drive. Although a expostulate in a section had a vast 8GB solid-state cache, it still didn’t magnitude adult to a loyal solid-state expostulate in real-world performance. Updates for Windows 10 seemed to take perpetually to install. Fortunately, upgrading a GL703 is a charge that doesn’t need an engineering degree. A singular screw binds on a bottom entrance panel. The quarrel can afterwards be pried off with amiable effort.
In here you’ll find a 2.5-inch bay, an M.2 Type-2280 (80mm) container for SSDs, and one of a DIMM slots for memory. The other DIMM container is expected located on a other side of a motherboard, and is therefore untouched though sum disassembly. Fortunately, that untouched container was assigned by a 16GB DIMM in a examination unit, a many it can support, negating a need to ascent it. You can strech a GL703’s limit upheld memory of 32GB by adding a 16GB DIMM underneath a bottom entrance panel.
Cooling opening is critical for any notebook, generally gaming notebooks that will be stressed for continual durations of time. We played Square Enix’s Rise of a Tomb Raider for 30 mins on a Strix GL703 to consider a ability to stay cool.
Here’s a demeanour during a outward of a GL703 by a FLIR One Pro infrared camera.
You can see that a feverishness is strong towards a center-rear, where a processor and GPU are located inside a chassis. Two fans send atmosphere out a behind of a framework by vents on possibly side.
Here’s a closer demeanour during a keyboard. The rise heat we available adult here was 117 degrees F usually above a keyboard. That’s not an area you’re expected to hold during normal usage, yet it’s still hotter than we cite to see. Fortunately, a keyboard area remained right around 100 degrees F, and a palm rest didn’t surpass 83 degrees F.
You can clearly see a cooling fans during work from this perspective of a bottom of a chassis. The temperatures were identical to a tip of a chassis, maxing out during 113 degrees F during a center-rear. The rest of a surfaces down here were around or underneath 100 degrees F. Putting a GL703 in your path while gaming isn’t a best thought in any event, as you’d expected retard a all-important airflow to a fans.
For serve analysis, we available a GTX 1050’s opening over a gaming event with GPU-Z.
What we’re looking for here is justification of thermal throttling, where a GPU would revoke a clocks due to heat or energy restrictions. That didn’t occur during all with a GTX 1050 in a Strix GL703; as a matter of fact, a chip’s core time (blue line) averaged 1,807MHz, since it was usually rated for a 1,454MHz bottom time and a 1,593MHz boost clock. The memory time (black line) confirmed a rated 1,752MHz a whole time. Looking during a red heat line, a GTX 1050 surfaced 72 degrees C, a decidedly low series for a gaming-grade GPU inside a notebook. We didn’t uncover CPU information in a chart, yet a Core i7-7700HQ strike 92 degrees C during this session. We’d cite to see a CPU stay in a 80 grade C operation or below, yet a chip is rated for 100 degrees C.
In terms of noise, a dual cooling fans inside this cover were tolerably loud. Our ears listened them opposite a vital room. The fan sound was unchanging while gaming, not ramping adult or down. Thus, we can get used to it after a few minutes. It’s doubtful you’ll be means to costume a fact you’re gaming on a Strix GL703, so don’t try it in class. (Well, don’t lay in a front row, for starters.) The fans were mostly respectful while idling, nonetheless they did tend to burst adult and down if we installed a formidable web page or did another charge that peaked a processor usage.