ASUS ROG GL702VM-DS74 17.3″ Gaming Notebook Review

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March 9, 2017
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In the year of 2017 there is no shortage of gaming laptops. Myriads of notebooks designed for gaming exist, each of them claiming to be better than the other. However, one thing is common for all of them: they’re all pretty damn expensive! ASUS ROG GL702VM-DS74 is not a different item, having extra cash to spend is a must if you want to acquire it. But, perhaps the notebook packs some serious power, it would be only fair considering the price, right? In this short overview I’ll find the answer to these things…

Design

ASUS ROG GL702VM-DS74 looks like a gaming notebook with its streamlined design and grey finish and logo on top. Nothing special in that department, all of these laptops look more or less that they’re meant for other things than just web surfing!

What is however less common is the size of this unit. The thickness is about 0.9 inches which puts the ASUS right in the ultrabook category as far as that dimension is concerned. For a 17-incher the computer also weighs a little, six pounds. Personally, I wouldn’t find it inconvenient to carry this ASUS around.

Performance

The meat and potatoes of gaming laptop is the graphics engine. In ASUS ROG GL702VM-DS74 it is the GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB video RAM) card. It’s the lightweight member of the newish GTX 1000 family, with 1070 and 1080 being the heavy-duty cards. But do not fear, the GTX 1060 is a fast graphics engine, about as fast as the older GTX 970. If you are content with 1080p gaming and don’t need to go beyond that, nothing is coming on your way. For example, the extremely demanding Witcher 3 on very high settings will net you +50FPS. Grand Theft Auto and Battlefield 4 are in the +80 frames per second range.

Given the high price of this notebook you can also expect a lot from the processor department. And yes, a lot is offered, there is a desktop-level Intel Core i7-7700HQ with four cores and 2.8GHz base frequency welcoming you. The unit also has a turbo boost which, when activated, ups the clock speed to 3.8GHz. Not many processors found in laptops can beat its ~9000 score in CPU Mark – your gaming and demanding software sessions are in good hands, really!

The standard memory is 16 gigabytes DDR4-2400 which should please the gaming folks. The RAM is also upgradeable to 32GB as two memory slots are on the mainboard. The other one is free so adding more RAM happens without effort. But if you’re asking me, installing more than 16GB – even for gaming – will probably be an overkill. Unless you plan to multitask a lot at the same time.

Storage drives are all good here. On one hand, plenty of space is offered by the “traditional” one terabyte 5400RPM spinning hard disk drive. But it does not end here. Included is also a 128GB M.2 NVMe solid-state drive. True, it is not big in storage size, but Windows is installed there to make the system operate and boot fast. It also has space for a couple of your favorite games.

Video

Ports and connections

A player needs a few ports in his laptop to connect his favorite peripherals. For that, the ASUS ROG GL702VM-DS74 is equipped with three regular USB 3.0 connectors and one USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 2) port with Thunderbolt support. The latter one you can use with many technologies, like the said Thunderbolt or HDMI, provided you have a right kind of adapter. Indeed, it is said the USB Type-C is the future of ports because it combines the majority of technologies into a single connector. That being said, available is one dedicated HDMI-output and miniDP if you just want the real video port and no play with adapters.

As expected, networking side of things is well thought. If you want the robustness of wired networking you can use the notebook’s Gigabit LAN port. If going wireless is more your cup of tea, please use the 802.11 WiFi AC adapter. It also works with your Bluetooth devices!

The notebook is so thin that finding place for a DVD burner would be a hard task. So, Asus decided to leave optical drive out of this unit. Instead, it is possible to use an external DVD drive with the laptop’s USB port. What might also come handy to you is the 3-in-1 card reader which takes SD, MMC and MS cards.

Other important things

It is always nice to play games with a big screen. Also the manufacturer knows this and has included a prominent 17.3-inches Full HD display on ASUS ROG GL702VM-DS74. Reading user comments almost everybody likes this matte display, noting that it’s fast enough even for first person shooter games. G-sync is enabled and the viewing angles are up to 170 degree horizontally. If you want to say hi to your gaming buddies, the top bezel hosts a HD webcam for that.

The only outright bad thing with this, and any gaming laptop, is the battery duration. You see, the components are very fast but in turn require a lot of power. And not even a heavy-duty battery can provide power for these hungry components for long. The 4-cell integrated battery on this ASUS will last a maximum of four hours if you don’t play, but under gameplay it changes to 1-2 hour.

Keyboard is an illuminated one but as far as I know the color is fixed to red, it can not be altered.

Final thoughts

My original assumption stays true: to get ASUS ROG GL702VM-DS74, one must have deep pockets. But if one has such pockets he will surely get a beast of a laptop. Any game already released or that will be released this or next year will be a smooth sail for this ASUS to run. You might not even need to upgrade it ever (mainly the memory), so solid is the performance right out of the box. The large and sharp screen will make gaming sessions a happy experience. If you can overlook the bad battery there is very little reason to complain about anything. A serious gamer should go for such a serious gaming laptop!


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