Asus - ROG GU501GM 15.6" Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 - 1TB Hybrid Drive + 128GB SSD - Brushed Black

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ASUS Laptop: Experience powerful gaming performance in a slim, compact package with this 15.6-inch ASUS laptop. Its 16GB of DDR4 RAM and Intel Core i7 processor let you multitask between programs, and its GTX 1060 graphics card smoothly renders 3D scenes. This ASUS laptop has a 1TB HDD, 8GB SSHD and 128GB SSD for versatile storage options and fast boot times.

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Overview

What's Included


  • ASUS ROG GU501GM BI7N8
  • 4-cell battery
  • Power adapter

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
95% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (33 out of 35)

Energy Ratings


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Features


  • Intel 8th Generation Core i7

Windows 10 operating system

Windows 10 brings back the Start Menu from Windows 7 and introduces new features, like the Edge Web browser that lets you markup Web pages on your screen. Learn more ›

15.6" Full HD display

The 1920 x 1080 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity. Energy-efficient LED backlight.

8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8750H mobile processor

Powerful 6-core, twelve-way processing performance. Intel Turbo Boost Technology delivers dynamic extra power when you need it, while increasing energy efficiency when you don't.

16GB system memory for intense multitasking and gaming

Reams of high-bandwidth DDR4 RAM to smoothly run your graphics-heavy PC games and video-editing applications, as well as numerous programs and browser tabs all at once.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics

Backed by 6GB dedicated video memory for an ultrafast, advanced GPU to fuel your games.

Weighs 5.51 lbs. and measures 0.7" thin

Thin and light design with DVD/CD drive omitted for improved portability. 4-cell lithium-ion battery.

HDMI output expands your viewing options

Connect to an HDTV or high-def monitor to set up two screens side by side or just see more of the big picture.

Thunderbolt port for connecting advanced monitors and external drives

This single interface supports both high-speed data and high-def video — plus power over cable for bus-powered devices — ideal for digital content creators.

Next-generation wireless connectivity

Connects to your network or hotspots on all current Wi-Fi standards. Connect to a Wireless-AC router for speed nearly 3x faster than Wireless-N.

Built-in HD webcam with microphone

Makes it easy to video chat with family and friends or teleconference with colleagues over Skype or other popular applications.

Basic software package included

30-days trial of Microsoft Office 365.

Additional port

Headphone/microphone combo jack.

Note: This laptop does not include a built-in DVD/CD drive.

Intel, Pentium, Celeron, Core, Atom, Ultrabook, Intel Inside and the Intel Inside logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.


Overall customer rating

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with 35 reviews

95%of customers would recommend this to a friend

Pros

Cons

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Solid Build with Performance to Spare

    Posted
    aarondr
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Make no mistake, this is a gaming laptop. It’s big, heavy (5lb 8oz), has middling battery life, and compared to ultrabooks it’s thick. It has some garrish flares that might scare off the more conservative laptop buyer, and comes with a folder full of stickers with text like “Join the Republic”. But beyond all the gaming hubbub, this is a solid machine and solid value. Overall Build: The build overall is solid. The lid is nice asymmetrically brushed aluminum finish that while attracting fingerprints, does give a nice appearance. It’s broken up by Asus’s republic of gamers logo, which appears reflective until the screen is on, at which point it glows red. The top body is made from aluminum, which keeps it from flexing. Because the casing is aluminum it feels quite premium. The materials however, do make the laptop quite heavy, weighting in at 5.5lbs. Even in a 15.6” laptop, this weight is significant. The keyboard is quite nice. The keys have a decent amount of travel, but are quite quiet without feeling squishy. This translates into a very comfortable keyboard to both type and game on. I was able to easily hit 82 WPM without any adjustment period (high 80s is my best case scenario). Most keys are solid black all the way around with transparent letters for the backlight. The WASD keys are set-off from the rest with translucent sides. The W key as a little nib so as to allow you to easily orient yourself to the WASD quad. The space bar is slightly larger on the left side, as to allow more comfort for long FPS session (it did not interfere with day to day typing). The CTRL key on the left side is the leftmost bottom row key. The top row provides various extra functions, such as media control, fan control, screen brightness, etc. There are 4 dedicated keys above the left side of the keyboard that also control volume and launch the ROG gaming center. The power button is a key located above the number pad. It’s nice that the power button is placed as to avoid the laptop from accidentally turning on while in a bag. The keyboard area is slightly sunken in to avoid the keys touching the screen. There are 4 zones of LED backlighting, which can provide a rainbow effect. I set mine to solid color, but there are also 6 other effects, ranging from breathing to music strobing. The software even allows you to sync with other Aura compatible components to keep you color coordinated. The power connector is located on the left side (right handers rejoice!) along with an HDMI, 3 USB 3.1 ports and a headphone jack. The right side is much simpler with only a USB 3.1 and USB-C port (Gen 2). The edges of the aluminum unibody are chamfered and finished in a bronze color. The adds just a touch of color while avoiding any sharp edges that would otherwise dig into your wrists. Essentially the entire back third of the chassis is dedicated to cooling. Fans are adjustable in the ROG software. There are 3 fan profiles out of the box, quiet, standard, and overboost. Standard is a ok balance, but if you’re just browsing or other intermittent load you may as well just switch it to silent. Standard keeps the fans running at a decent speed keeping everything cool. Any profile ramps up in any mode if the CPU and GPU are too stressed. These profiles can affect performance on and off battery. Specifically I found the CPU would stay around its base frequency 2.2GHz on battery with all threads loaded unless you set the power profile to “Best Performance”. Plugged in the CPU would boost up to 3.8-4.2 GHz. Depending on your sensitivity to noise, you may want to default to the ‘silent’ setting and either use the hotkey or software to crank the fans up if gaming. Performance: The highlight of the GU501GM is the new 8th generation Coffee Lake CPU - the i7-8750H. It brings with it 6 cores, 12 threads of processing power that turbos up to 4.2GHz. On battery the default profiles will keep its turbos down, but plugged in this powerhouse CPU can tear through just about anything you throw at it. It eats my work laptop’s (a Surface Book 2 15”) lunch, besting it’s i7-8650u by nearly 50% in many benchmarks. Now the target TDP of 45w is a far cry from the 15w TDP of the ‘u’ series, so the performance difference is somewhat expected, but keep in mind,even compared to the i7-7700hq and i7-6700hq, this is a significant increase in performance. The GPU is the venerable Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB. While aging, it still represents the upper mid-range market for gaming laptops, and is on par with a desktop GTX 970 and performs quite close to its desktop brethren. I say aging, because the first GTX 1060 laptops came out late 2016, but with Nvidia Volta still off in the horizon, it’s the only option that blends a sleek chassis and great performance. And make no doubt, it does perform great. With the included 1080p screen, a workable framework will almost always be achievable even with most of the goodies turned up. The GTX 1060 pared with a 1080p screen will have many years of use in it. It should be said that the fan profiles can really affect performance here. Comparing the silent and overboost profiles, it’s clear that overboost allows the GPU much more headroom. A 3DMark run of Fire Strike yielded 8713 on stanard and a whopping 10353 on overboost. It’s very encouraging to see the cooling solution perform so well, allowing it to break 10k in Fire Strike. Display: So this is a Best Buy exclusive model, and one of the places that is cut compared to the GM501 model (found at other retailers) is the screen. This model is a AHVA IPS screen at 120Hz (panel is: AUO45ED). It’s only 72% NTSC color gamut, and it’s brightness is limited. It also lacks G-Sync capabilities and 144Hz that the GM501 models have. Now, this is still an upgrade from many a mid-range laptop, which only include 60Hz panels. Overall the screen does 120Hz quite well. If you’re into e-sports shooters, this will be a killer feature. Response time is seems adequate and I noticed no ghosting. One thing you may notice is that by default, the Intel GPU will switch refresh rates on battery down to 60Hz. This appears to be another battery optimization. Sound: In a word, the sound is nice. It’s not amazing, but it’s one of the more solid thin gaming laptop I’ve heard. Bass drops off quickly at a distance, but if you’re sitting close, the sound is pretty well balanced. It’s excellent for gaming session, but a bit more limited if you’re listening to music. The speakers are downward facing on each side and this arrangement works pretty well due to how the bottom is angled. Battery: The GU501 includes a 55 Wh battery. While nothing to sneeze at, it won’t keep the 45w CPU and 80w GPU fed for long. That said, due to the various battery optimizations, out of the box it can pull at least 3-4 hours of web browsing, perhaps more if you turned the screen brightness down. Given the laptop’s performance focus I believe this is a tradeoff the target market can live with. Gaming on battery can work, but I saw faster than 1% a minute drop - even w/ 30FPS/downclocked OOTB settings. Storage: The GU501 model only includes a 128GB SATA M.2 SSD. The model included was a Kingston RBUSNS8154p3128, and while only being SATA, it performed admirably. I’m not sure how, but the drive was able to sequentially read at 1400+ MB/s (limit should be around 550MB/s). Write speeds were definitely in line with SATA at around 400MB/s. The biggest limiting factor here is the size. At only 128GB, it’s probably best left as the OS drive. Also included is a 1TB Seagate Barracuda hybrid drive. The hybrid drive has 8GB of NAND to serve as cache, but performance is as you’d expect from a spinning drive. This setup is certainly workable, but with NAND prices finally falling, I’d probably consider an upgrade. Which leads me to… Upgrability: The GU501 has 13 Torx T-5 screws on the back plastic cover. Once the screws are removed, the back cover can be gently pried (I used a small flat head screwdriver) up around the plastic hinge. Once the initial ‘pop’ of the plastic clip by the hinge occurs, the backing comes off with almost no effort. Underneath the cover you’ll find access to all major replaceable components: WiFi card, RAM, SATA drive, M.2 2280 slot, and even easy access to CPU/GPU if the time comes for a repaste. It was encouraging to see warranty void stickers on certain components (like the CPU cooler), but nothing impeding you from upgrading RAM/Storage. In fact, the GU501GM has 1 RAM slot populated, and another open, ready to receive another 16GB stick to become a 32GB monster. The M.2 slot should accept PCIe NVMe, just like it’s GM501 brother. All in all, this makes this laptop quite future proof in my opinion. Conclusion: If you’re looking for a solid gaming laptop under $1500, then look no further. You get a great combination of performance, build quality, and customizability. What faults I can find, are rectifiable through later upgrades to storage.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good price, good performance, SOLID

    Posted
    BADog
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    DISCLAIMER: I have internet DL/UL speeds of 25/5 though AT&T U-Verse. This ASUS gaming laptop is what I have been looking for... Fortnite Battle Royale, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and Rocket League are the games being played the most. This laptop comes in a box in a fancy box. Pretty sweet packing job. Package includes the PC, power adapter brick/cord, stickers, key chain, and pamphlets. Rather than go over ALL the specs which you can already find on this Bestbuy.com page, I'll try to give more observations of those specs instead. PROS: ----------- * Great-looking laptop. Keys light up and change color from left to right. * Solid feel, well-built construction. Keyboard is solid with little/no flexing. * PC is built for speed which I do like. * I have played all 3 games listed above, and I honestly don't have any issues with latency and graphics. I DO have to wear over-the-ear headphones to drown out the fan noise (see below - CONS), but the graphics and movement of the screen graphics is what it's all about. The specs claim a 120Hz refresh rate and it seems up to par. * Rocket League is probably the most graphics-intensive game I play, and most of the movement was seamless/smooth. * Connectivity was a cinch to wi-fi. I was able to hook up to 5MHz channel with ease. Installation of updates and programs was quick. * Boot-up time was incredibly fast. * Plenty of 3.0 USB ports (4). No one wants to have to hook up a USB hub. All inputs are on left side except 1 USB & 1 Thunderbolt port which gives more room for mouse. * Built-in speakers actually sound better than even high-end laptops. The sound really surprised me in a good way. * PC comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM and upgradeable to 32GB. This will be a viable option to take advantage of in the near future. Also comes with the latest in 8th-gen intel i7 processors - the 8750H - which really flies. * BT devices (headphones, keyboard, mouse) all connect seamlessly and work great. Absolutely no latency with the Logitech input devices I used... and Sony BT headphones. * Quick accessibility to dedicated volume buttons (usually embedded in a Fn button). The MUTE function is in the Fn button area though. CONS: ----------- * With the smallest of tasks, it seems like it's working hard due to the fans always coming on. The simple task of downloading updates cause the fans to run in excess. * FAN AGAIN... Perhaps this is the goal of the PC - to try and ALWAYS keep the inside cool because the fan really hardly ever stops when playing online. It's not going to blow up, but it feels like it. On the bright side, the PC doesn't get overheated where your palms sit... so that's a positive. * Because of the fan, you will want to wear noise-cancelling headphones. Even desktop speakers (at times) can get overshadowed by the constant fan noise. * Battery life will shrink quickly due to excessive fan use. OTHER OBSERVATIONS: ----------- * Keys are a bit small on the right side (numeric keypad, arrow keys)... however, if you use a full-size BT keyboard/mouse, you'll be ok. * I have not tried anything VR-related, but it does state it is VR-Ready. Unable to vouch for VR performance. * I used Skype at the last minute so I could test out the camera, and it worked fine. Very little-to-no latency with the other party. Video was crisp. Picture on their end (they said) was very clear. * To keep the PC minimal, an optical drive is not built-in to the unit. With all of the downloadable games today & USB/SD-cards taking over, optical drives will become more scarce. * Screen is 1920x1080.... so NOT 4K. However, at this size, 4K isn't needed, and speed is improved with staying at 1080. ASUS made a good choice here to avoid latency issues. * The PC is already pretty fast and includes a 1TB "Hybrid" SSHD (8GB of "SSD" built-in). I'm not really seeing much difference in performance due to this feature but perhaps over time, it will help. CONCLUSION: ===================== This is one of the new low-end gaming laptops that ASUS is offering this year. The more expensive versions offer up a better GPU (GeForce GTX 1070) and 256SSD. That may be a good upgrade, but unless then fan usage changes, you may want to stick with this model as movement and online play is quite good. I would like to know why the fans are used as much as they are though. They are quite loud, and perhaps that's by design in order to keep things as cool as possible. However, for gaming, it's also good to be able to play with headphones on and not annoy people around you with fan noise. This is a good PC with great performance. ASUS is on the right path here as they continue making high-quality PCs... It would be nice to see what can be done about keeping the unit cool without so much fan usage.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Awesome Gaming Laptop

    Posted
    DoctorHoo
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    The first thing you notice is the impressive build quality. The casing is made of brushed black aluminum that allows it to be light yet also strong. The laptop felt sturdy with no flex. The screen is bright, vibrant and has a matte finish so you won’t be bothered by glare. The keyboard is responsive and has a good feel. I’m a software programmer and the layout of the keyboard seems good for both programming and for games. One problem I’ve encountered with the layout is that I keep hitting the F12 key instead of the Delete key. According to the utility CPU-Z, it comes with 16 GBytes of Hyundai DDR4-2666 in a single channel configuration. The utility CrystalDiskInfo indicates that the main OS drive is a 128 GB Kingston RBUSNS8154P3128GJ SSD and communicates using the NVM Express 1.2 interface with a PCIe 3.0 x2 transfer mode. According to the specs, it’s supposed to be using the slower M.2 SATA mode so this is an unexpected and nice surprise if true. Results from CrystalMark indicate a read speed of 1499.9 MB/s for the Seq Q32T1 test which seem to confirm it is indeed using the faster M.2 MVM Express 1.2 protocol since the M.2 SATA protocol’s maximum is about 550 MB/s. There is also a 1 TB Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD that helps offset the relatively small size of the main drive. This drive can be used to store most programs, games, and data. This is my first gaming laptop and it is actually more powerful than my desktop computer. I was surprised by how light and thin it was. Some reviewers have mentioned that they felt it was a bit on the heavy side, but my previous laptops were bulkier and about the same weight but much less powerful. So, for me, this is actually a pretty light laptop considering the beastly hardware inside that can play all my games better than my current desktop. The first thing I did was to install some of my games like Witcher 3 and Mass Effect Andromeda. In Witcher 3, the framerate was locked at 60 fps and Mass Effect had framerates that ranged from 150 to 80 fps. Very impressive. The built-in speakers was loud and very good from such a thin laptop. During gameplay, I could hear the fans rev up fairly loud but it wasn’t too distracting for me. When performing non-gaming activities such as web browsing, the laptop was very quiet with the occasional light whisper of turning on and off of the fans. It supports the newest wireless-AC standard which was able to maintain a strong 780.0 to 866.7 Mbps connection to my Linksys Velop WiFi Mesh router. Transferring files wirelessly from my NAS showed a solid transfer rate from 35 to 40 MB/seconds. Bluetooth comes standard and I was able to use my HP Touch Bluetooth mouse with no problems. This is really a great laptop. It’s more powerful than many desktops so it offers first rate portable gaming and can be used as a main desktop replacement. The only criticism I have is the relatively small 128 GB SSD for the main OS drive. The inclusion of a secondary 1TB 5400 spinning HD helps elevate this but some programs like Visual Studio will take up a lot of space on the C: drive even if you instruct it to be installed on the D: drive. For this use case, the 128 GB SSD is a little too small. Luckily, another reviewer has shown that it is possible to upgrade the internals of the laptop with a larger SSD and adding more memory (pictures show that there is another slot for adding memory). This upgrade might be too intimidating for a lot of users (you need a Torx screwdriver and you need to carefully pop the lid) and this includes me for the initial time. This laptop is just so beautiful that I probably won’t try upgrading memory or the SSD until I’ve had it for awhile for fear of damaging it while trying to remove the lid. But it’s nice to know that it will be possible to upgrade memory and replace the SSD with something larger if the need arises.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Almost Perfect Mid-Level Gaming Laptop

    Posted
    DarthNeyehilus
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    This Asus GU501 ROG Laptop is the one you want. It's got everything a gamer needs, and then some. It strikes a nice balance between elegance and gaming oriented, where style is concerned. It's got enough power to push through for the next couple of years. It's thin, and doesn't weigh much.The only overall drawbacks here are battery life, no G-SYNC tech, and big bezel. Like I said, almost perfect, but still five stars. For starters, this laptop is honestly a looker. Featuring only one big chrome logo (that lights up red) on top of a brushed aluminum case, it looks good. Like, really good. The full laptop is aluminum, save for the bottom of the case (for cooling reasons), and features a nice gold accent trip along the outer shell. The keyboard features four zone lighting areas, and all are RGB, meaning colors can be changed or turned off. It houses a full sized keyboard, that feel pretty good for the most part. Actuation is good, and typing was better than on my wife's chiclet MacBook Pro 2015. The only real non-looker areas here are the screen's bezel. On the sizes, it's about 3/4 inch thick, while on top measures in around a full inch. I understand why it's there (just due to the full size keyboard), but still could be distracting for some. The screen itself is a solid, 120hz IPS anti-glare, which I really like. It loses some of the shine that glossy screens provide with color content, but overall is better for strictly gaming. I found the screen to be goo Moving on, let's talk internals, because this is a gaming laptop. Featuring Intel's 8th gen hex (6) Core i7 processor, this thing is a beast. That's all that needs to be mentioned there. The RAM is adequate at 16 GB, but can easily be upgraded within the second DIMM slot. The SSD and 1TB HDD were sufficient enough, although my sleep boot times were a little wonky-every time I would open my laptop, the booting would take longer than expected to happen. Of course, the backbone of this system is the full-size NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1060 6GB. It handles games great, and can play pretty much any games at 1080p 60FPS+. Realistically, this can do it all, and you won't have issues with games. Older games like BF4 can easily do 100+FPS. and that's perfect performance here. You know what you're getting with a 1080p screen and a GTX 1060. All this said, the only things that really drag the system down are the overall battery life, fan speed and noise, and the lack of G-SYNC tech in the screen. The battery life, for me after 6 days of use, hovered around 3 hours, not gaming, unplugged. When gaming, I could hit around 1hr50min unplugged. This isn't terrible, but man it can be a drag. The power brick is bigger, and weighs about 1 lb itself, making it hard to cut the cord, so to speak. When under any heavy loads (or even just random times) the fans really crank the speed and noise up. This isn't an issue for me, especially when using headphones, but it could be for some. Knowing that going in is essential. Lastly, no G-SYNC (as the higher end models of this computer have) is a minus, but not a killer downgrade. There are far more expensive machines that don't have the same tech, so no biggie. All in all, I was truly impressed with this laptop. Asus did a very nice job of bringing sophistication and sharp, gaming roots into one computer. Everything works like it should, wrapped up in a lighter (5.5 lbs) and thinner (.78in thick) package than a 15.6" system could do. This has my approval, and is almost on par with my desktop at home now. Would definitely recommend.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Super Performance Laptop

    Posted
    DSPARKA
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I had a lot of anticipation while I was waiting for my new Asus GU501GM gaming laptop but I was not disappointed when I opened the package and was welcomed with another box inside another box. My Asus was well protected and after handling it I know why. It feels great and you can instantly see the quality. It looks beautiful with some weight to it and I’ll point out some reasons in my opinions later. So what did I get in the package? I got the Asus laptop, AC power cord & Block, very simple instructions, Republic Gaming decal stickers for promo, and a cool key chain. Getting started: It is instructed to charge the Asus for at least 3 hours before the first use. I recommend keeping yourself occupied by deciding on which game you want to play first. Like I mentioned earlier I think this laptop is beautiful with a black brushed nickel finish and you can see the craftsmanship detail all around. Initially I thought it was heavy but it really is not bad at about 5 lbs. The longer I used it the more I got used to it. To me it feels like a premium device and I feel quality in the weight so that’s reassuring to me that it is built to last. True pc gamers will truly appreciate the power that this Asus laptop is packed with. The New Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card can handle just about any game. Now that VR gaming is picking up I read that this gaming laptop is capable and VR ready. This laptop can handle any speed because of this advance Nvidia graphics card. You can also work on this laptop because it has windows 10 and runs the 8th generation intel core i7. It has plenty of system memory for multitasking so you can work hard and play hard. You get all this on the 15.6 inch HD LED screen. For those who do video chat this Asus laptop have a built in webcam. I’m not into that but it’s great to know that I have it handy just incase. The Asus has 4 usb ports, headphone jack and a hdmi which you can use to mirror your gaming in a bigger screen. So some big extras in this Asus laptop for me are: Massive 1 TB hard disk drive and 128 GB solid state drive. GTX 1060 graphics card which is top of the line for gaming. Cooling technology that is unmatched because there are cooling holes all over. GPU mode button lets you activate full gaming power or the power saving mode to let you do basic things like surf the web and doing office work. The screen gives you HD visuals at a high refresh rate. To conclude my review: I’m loving this Asus laptop more every time I use it. The color changing keyboard makes it fun to use but the performance will make this my go to for just about anything I’m doing.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A very capable "notebook" gaming computer

    Posted
    Andy
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS The packaging is impressive… open the generic cardboard box and you will find a rather interesting container that, when opened, pushes the laptop up toward you with a hinged back to the box. This makes getting the plastic wrapped laptop easy to pull out of the protective container. Underneath, you will find a small compartment that houses the documentation for the machine. The “notebook” itself is covered in a black, brushed finish that runs in two directions, diagonally along the cover with the ROG logo that lights up when powered on. Right off I notice the three lights at the center for power, battery and hard drive access… some of which have been sorely lacking from recent notebook computers. USAGE Size - The notebook itself is slightly smaller in footprint than my old Dell XPS 17, but it is much thinner. I would have traded a few millimeters for a bit better cooling, but with the overheating safeguards that are in place, it keeps adjusting itself to stay just cool enough. Weight - I expected a “notebook” computer to be a bit lighter than this, although the specs of this machine almost demand more heft. After a few longer 3D sessions, it does get a bit warm and I found myself checking the gaming app to make sure the temps were not going to fry the poor thing! In several of the benchmark runs, it did slow down slightly as the temps reached high enough to demand it. We will see how things go as the cooling fins and other components get coated with dust during regular use. Performance -With 16GB of RAM and both an SSD and a hybrid hard drive, performance in Windows is very quick, as I expected. I had upgraded my XPS several times to faster drives and finally SSDs, so it performed as I would have expected. The i7 performs very well with all the apps I have thrown at it so far. I am amazed at the speed every time I run one of my games at the highest settings! I used to run them at medium and I get an entirely new experience with seeing them as the developers wanted them to look. Keyboard - It took a bit to get used to the keyboard, I’m not sure why laptop manufacturers can’t settle on a standard layout! I use the “Home” and “End” keys a lot in my work, and having them on the same physical key requires a FN key press to toggle the “End” function. Aside from the times I will be using it away from my desk, it will probably have an external keyboard attached, so this is not as big a deal as it could be. The backlit keyboard feels pretty good, especially for a notebook computer, and there are dedicated volume, microphone and ASUS app keys at the top. The W-A-S-D keys have a slightly larger lit area, so they stand out in a dimly lit room and the W key has a small bump on it to help tactile feel during those intense sessions. The colors and intensity can be adjusted to taste, I have it set to reflect the current temps and it changes constantly from a green to yellow to red to reflect how warm the machine is running. Software - After the normal Windows 10 setup procedure, it was off and running very well. There is a bit of bloatware, but much of that is Windows 10 itself, not ASUS. They have kept their installed software to just a few apps and they focus more on the gaming and performance aspects of the machine. FINAL THOUGHTS I have had some issues dealing with product quality and ASUS customer service related to some of our other computers recently, but that has been an exception to the quality I have seen form ASUS over the years. As with most companies, there are bound to be flaws in some models that don’t reflect their normal quality. The finish on this machine is excellent, the screen looks very bright and clear and all the keys and buttons are responsive in normal use. The trackpad is what I would expect on any modern mobile computer, and responds well to multi-touch movements. I can’t wait to throw more apps and games at it over the next few months to see just how well it outperforms my other machines. It is just the right size to carry with me all day.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Good price point and the right amount of sizzle...

    Posted
    banjo
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Good price point and very polished look with just the right amount of sizzle…. As a more mature gamer, I like having good quality equipment that is tasteful in appearance for daily use but still has enough “sizzle” to stand out from the crowd. This laptop fits the requirements, and is a good BB ‘private label’ model to steer you towards BestBuy to get a premium gaming laptop at a very nice price point. Best Buy made a good marketing decision on what to keep on this machine to keep the performance high and save a few hundred bucks off the price of the similar ASUS model. The pictures I saw of the laptop before seeing it in person did not do it justice. I was expecting kind of a “plastic case” appearance, but in the hands the machine feels very solid with a nice brushed finish on the metal case. The overall look is of a well-built and nicely styled laptop, very slim in appearance with some nicely stated color accents around the edges and the illuminated ROG logo on the lid. The ROG logo is one of the “sizzle” features that makes this laptop stand out (tastefully) in the crowd. The RGB keyboard really adds the final “pop” – quite eye-catching and very programmable. If it is too much for the occasion (as in school or office use) then the keyboard RGB effects can be turned off or put on single color just as a standard backlit keyboard. The 5.5 pound weight is not that much different from most laptops of the same size, and actually much less in the hand than other gaming laptops I have looked at. Final comments here are don’t go by the picture, see if you can get your hands on a laptop before spending the money and be sure it looks and feels premium – this one certainly does. In terms of hardware - for me, this machine has all the needed features of high-performance CPU, SSD, plenty of RAM, good storage space, and a very nice screen. There are also plenty of USB ports, with 1 Thunderbolt and HDMI. I must say having the Thunderbolt is nice as that is starting to be the way to go in the future to have one connection that rules them all. Quick comment that it was surprising at first not to have a network plug as that has almost always been pretty much standard on any laptop you look at. In the real world a hardwire connection is not needed that often, and have already gotten an inexpensive connector for Ethernet plug if the need should ever arise. Lack of a network plug has not been a problem – even when first setting up the machine it connected to home wireless system and was up and running without a hitch. The hardware, styling, and performance are what I want and expect from an up-to-date gaming laptop, but having all of this at the price point set for the Best Buy model is what really makes the package nice. What I am saying I guess is that there are a good number of gaming laptops on the market, but this model hits all the sweet spots for me, has better specs than many, performs at a high level, and comes in with an attractive price for a well-built and well-styled machine. I will be playing around with VR soon, and this unit passes the STEAM VR-Ready benchmarks with plenty of room to spare – no problem there. I have only had the laptop a short while, but with several current games set at high to ultra settings the laptop is able to provide a smooth, visual gaming experience. There will always be some games that need to be dropped down from the very highest settings to run at their best, but that is to be expected considering this laptop has the 1060 video chip. Just a technical note for you – if you are looking at the 1060 be sure you go with the 6gig of RAM and not the 3gig version on some of the mid-range machines. More RAM is really needed to get higher performance from the 1060 chipset. As always, you can spend more money to get a higher 1070 or 1080 video chipset, but this machine is about having a good price point and not about having the best of everything regardless of the price. No problems with a little compromise when you consider the quality of the components, sturdiness of construction, and attractive price of this laptop.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    One of the Best

    Posted
    Leonardo
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Before I begin my review, I would like to list some performance stats on this laptop for those who are interested: 3DMark (Time Spy): https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/26311020? Userbenchmark: http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/8471046 (Note that the calculated percentage scores are skewed since the SSD was not included in the tests). GAMES: TOMB Raider: HIGH (DEFAULT) 63 fps Rome Total War II: ULTRA (DEFAULT) 89.9 fps Witcher 3: ULTRA (DEFAULT) ~45 fps SSD Read/Write: 986MB/s | 458MB/s Max temperatures observed (celsius): CPU 96 | GPU 69 | SSD 52 With Laptop Cooler: CPU 89 | GPU 68 | SSD 47 Now, on to the review. I would like to start by saying this laptop exceeded many of my expectations both as a gaming laptop and as a workstation machine. There are many small changes that I realized really annoyed me on other laptops, but not on this one. PROS: The layout of the I/O ports and overall usability is amazingly well thought out. The only ports that are on the right side is one USB 3.0 and thunderbolt. The rest are on the left side, which is perfect for when you have a mouse and other things to connect. You're not cluttering your mouse with wires. The keyboard is very responsive, and the keys give a satisfying feeling when typing. There is no flex at all when applying force on the keyboard. Up top there are four extra buttons to control the volume, mute mic, and open the ROG Gaming Center (for configuring the laptop). It has been surprisingly useful to have those volume buttons instead of awkwardly using the FN key. Another thing to point out is that the palm rest never gets hot, and I mean NEVER. I've ran numerous benchmarks and played games for over an hour without feeling like my left hand is burning up. The only component to feel hot is near the speakers. Speaking of which, the speakers were also quite surprising. I did not expect them to sound as good as they do. Usually, laptop speakers sound more "tinny" with little to no bass. However, these perform close to the level of a decent Bluetooth speaker. Other things to point out is the aesthetics of this laptop. It looks very sleek, leaning more towards the side of professionalism as opposed to the gamer aesthetics. CONS: There is very little to talk about here. If I had to put one, it is that I feel the included 1TB SSHD could have been better. You will notice immediately when downloading Steam games to this drive that it's just very slow. In task manager, I saw it was allocating space at a speed of ~6 MB/s, compared to my other laptop with a 7200 rpm drive that does it at 15 MB/s. Some things other things to keep in mind if this laptop interests you: -While this is very similar to ASUS' Zephyrus lineup, it isn't quite the same. The internal specs are more or less the same with a couple of exceptions- 1. No GSYNC display, instead you get a 120Hz display 2. No fans that lift up when you lift the lid -The GTX 1060 that is included is not the MAX-Q design, meaning the performance is much better than the MAX-Q cards. -For those looking to expand, you can open the back cover easily enough by removing all the screws, and then pressing the clips near the side vents to lift the cover off. There are 2 DIMMS overall, with one available, meaning you can add more memory without having to replace the existing 16GB of ram. My Final thoughts on this laptop is that it is an amazing machine. The newest i7-8750H combined with a GTX 1060 allows this machine to rival high end desktops. At 1080p, it seems you can throw any game at it without experiencing lag. You can tell that ASUS put in a lot of thought in designing this to satisfy the gamer population. If you're on the fence, I'd say go for it. I highly doubt you will be disappointed with your purchase.

    I would recommend this to a friend





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