ASUS offers a wide assortment of gaming laptops under “Republic of Gamers”, or 'ROG', with models such as the G752 lineup, the liquid cooled models in the GX800 series, and a few models for those who need more gaming per dollar.
Today we are looking at the ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS, which ASUS labels “Compact and Potent”. The Strix branding has morphed a bit over the years, and now tends to signify the more economical products from ASUS, and the GL502VS certainly fits that bill, with quite a bit of hardware packed into a reasonable budget.
There are a couple of models of the GL502, and the VS version here for review is the top end version, featuring an Intel Core i7-6700HQ, NVIDIA GTX 1070, and up to 32 GB of DDR4. There are both 3840x2160 and 1920x1080 displays available, and both feature NVIDIA G-SYNC for a smoother gaming experience. SSDs are available for the boot drive, up to 512 GB, and ASUS also includes a 1 TB 5400 or 7200 rpm HDD for bulk storage to cope with the size of today’s games.
The laptop is fairly compact for a 15.6-inch gaming laptop, with the GL502VS model being 30.1 mm (1.18 inches) thick, and 2.34 kg (5.15 lbs) in weight. But it is not the thinnest or lightest gaming laptop of this size. The lower powered GL502VM model drops the GPU down to a GTX 1060, shaves 7 mm off the height, and 140 grams off the weight.
Although I’m not a huge fan of ASUS’s laptop naming schemes, I am a fan of them putting in the latest and greatest technology into their devices. They were very quick out of the gate to transition to SSDs, PCIe SSDs, and USB-C, and that’s the case here as well. The GL502VS features an NVMe Samsung drive, along with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, but they’ve also kept plenty of older I/O as well, including three USB 3.0 ports, mini Display Port, HDMI, RJ45, and a SD card reader.
Wireless is supplied by the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 card, which has been a strong performer on all laptops this year. The 62 Wh battery is certainly on the small size for a gaming notebook, but as with most gaming notebooks, they are mostly designed to be plugged into the wall for almost all scenarios, with a battery for the odd time where you need to be a bit more mobile.
The GL502 lineup is quite a bit of performance for not a lot of money, with the GTX 1060 based GL502VM starting around $1300, and the higher performance GTX 1070 based GL502VS starting around $1600.