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ASUS GL552VW: Lightweight and decent gaming notebook

ASUS GL552VW: Lightweight and decent gaming notebook
ASUS GL552VW: Lightweight and decent gaming notebook

A friend from school got in touch the other day after a really long time. A high-flying information technology (IT) consultant and mentor now, I've always admired him for blowing up his first big bonus on a state-of-the-art gaming laptop roughly around the time I was taking baby steps in journalism. But years of carrying around mean gaming machines had taken their toll; as he still spent considerable time in airport lounges and on flights, he was looking for a lighter gaming notebook, he said.

A gaming laptop that's light? It used to be something of a paradox. Till I came across the ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) GL552VW (Rs 82,490), launched late last month. At a shade above 2.5kg, this 15.6-inch notebook was roughly the weight of any mainstream laptop.

Boot-up was fast, though I've seen faster ones. The operating system resides on a solid state drive, while a 1TB hard drive takes care of storage. First up was Battlefield 4; the WASD keys worked fine and the backlit keyboard was a bonus. But I preferred using headphones as the sound seemed a bit low; also, there was too much play on the trackpad.

Next, up was Titanfall; but wait, while the notebook handled the game with aplomb, the colours did appear dull. I noticed the dullness of the screen again while playing Need For Speed: Rivals and FIFA 16. This dullness was noticeable even when we watched a DVD of the Hindi film Wake Up Sid.

Battlefield Hardline at maximum settings managed to become unplayable; at medium settings it was a decent game. Also, do keep in mind the video card might not support your favourite VR headset. One good thing was that despite the heavy duty gaming on, the notebook didn't scald me; it was warm but not enough to alarm me.

With this kind of hardware, I was itching to render some video files; I got hold of some HD videos I had shot on my SLR earlier this year on a trip to Rajasthan. It was way faster than my three-year-old PC. I also typed a lot on this notebook, including parts of this review; the keyboard is comfortable to use, though the keys of the number pad have been shrunk to fit them. As for battery life, I got more than four hours or so, with 30 minutes of light gaming thrown in. Suffice to say, stay near an electric outlet.




As for my friend, he is in two minds about the ASUS GL552VW because of the screen and touchpad; but at Rs 82,490, this makes a decent proposition for any gamer. Just don't expect to connect it to your Oculus Rift.

Specification:

 

  Asus ROG GL552VW
Screen 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px resolution, matte, IPS, non-touch
Processor Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ CPU, quad-core 2.6 GHz (3.5 GHz TBoost)
Video Integrated Intel HD 530 + Nvidia GTX 960M 2GB
Memory 16 GB DDR4 2133Mhz (2xDIMMs)
Storage 128 GB M.2 SSD (Samsung MZNLF128HCHP) + 1 TB 2.5″ HDD (Hitachi HTS5410)
Connectivity Wireless AC Intel 7265 , Gigabit Lan, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 4x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1, HDMI, mic, earphone, SD card reader, LAN
Baterry 48 Wh (external – not encased)
Operating system Windows 10
Size 384 x 257 x 34.7 mm (15.1” x 10.1” x 1.36”)
Weight 2.57 kg or 5.66 lb
Extras backlit keyboard with macro keys, webcam, optical drive



Screen

Asus chose a FullHD IPS panel with a matte finishing for this laptop and I can hardly say anything bad about it. They replaced the Samsung panel used on the G551 with an better LG Philips one, and the numbers below talk for themselves. I’m using a Spyder4 sensor for my measurements and the Spyder4 Elite software package.

Panel HardwareID: LG Philips LP156WF6;
Coverage: 93% sRGB, 69% NTSC, 72% AdobeRGB;
Measured gamma: 2.2;
Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 282 cd/m2 on power;
Contrast at max brightness: 760:1;
White point: 7100 K;
Black on max brightness: 0.37 cd/m2;
Average DeltaE: 2.65 uncalibrated, 1.07 calibrated .

 

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