An affordable gaming laptop is always a welcome sight: often those rigs geared towards players cost a lot, so why pay so much if you can get a decent notebook for cheap? ASUS ROG GL551JW-WH71(WX) looks like that, sporting a powerful Core i7 processor, 8GB memory and of course, a dedicated GeForce GTX960M to speed up your games a big time. But how well can it actually run new games, and is the price to performance ratio really so good?
Heck, you don’t have to worry about this system lagging and slowing down. ASUS ROG GL551JW-WH71(WX) features the faster-than-light Core i7-4720HQ, a real quad-core CPU with 2.6GHz clock speed and 3.6GHz turbo. Impressive, yes, but these specifications don’t always tell the whole truth. Benchmark tests do, so let’s look at them: the popular CPU Mark seems to give this unit a nice 8150 points, easily surpassing regular processors like 5th generation Core i5s with ~3500 points in the same benchmark. Core i7-4720HQ is indeed a heavy duty CPU, consuming a lot of energy, but no program will be too much for it I promise.
The memory amount is 8GB, there’s no info about the configuration but I suspect it’s one 8GB stick. There are two DIMM sockets on the mainboard, meaning you can upgrade the memory all the way to 16GB. Sadly, the laptop doesn’t come with a solid-state drive, just a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, but you can always remove it and put SSD in place if you want.
Any comments about the screen?
There aren’t a lot of user reports available about ASUS ROG GL551JW-WH71(WX), so it’s hard to rank the screen. Anyway, it’s a 15.6″ matte display supporting Full HD, and 1080p is something you should be able to use pretty much all the time, considering there’s a dedicated graphics installed. Bear in mind the screen is not a touch sensitive model.
What games does it run?
In ASUS ROG GL551JW-WH71(WX), graphics card is the dedicated GeForce GTX960M using 2GB GDDR5 memory. It accepts all kind of games – like GTA 5, Battlefield 4 and The Witcher 3 – most of them even when settings are high and resolution 1920×1080. Of that list, the first two are smooth as a silk on high and 1080p. The last, Witcher 3, will get playable 30FPS using those settings. Pretty nice, but still far from a high-end gaming notebook.
What devices can be connected?
It’s just three USB ports you’ll find in in ASUS ROG GL551JW-WH71(WX), fortunately all of them support the USB 3.0 version. Video outputs include HDMI and miniDP. A Gigabit RJ-45 port is also there in case you want network connection with cable. Of course, 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card is at your disposal as well.
If you want/need to install games from discs, feel free to use the laptop’s internal DVD burner for that. Other types of data, like images from cameras, can also be transferred using the built-in SD/MMC card reader.
The laptop sports a quality 1.2MP front-facing camera, you can shoot a video for YouTube or chat with your buddies no problem.
This notebook doesn’t have great “on-the-road” features. It weighs 6 pounds (often these 15-inchers are five) and the 6-cell battery won’t last long. I think you’ll get one or two hours if you’re gaming, tad more if not.
The keyboard is backlit on this model.
Summing it up
Someone said ASUS ROG GL551JW-WH71(WX) is really just an entry-level gaming laptop. That I can agree on, you can’t expect +60 FPS using ultra settings with many games. But you also have to notice the price: this thing costs about half of what those fancy gaming laptops are. In exchange, you’ll still get a capable rig to run most games with a lot of eye candy turned on. If you’re happy with that, you don’t need to spend too much – this ASUS would be all you need.