A few weeks ago I got the chance to try out the ASUS ROG Swift PG348q, ASUS was then nice enough to let me try out the new GL502 Gaming Laptop! You could not be more hyped than I was at that point. All my life I’ve had subpar to crap computers and finally I get handed a computer that is able to handle all of these dusty old games I have in my steam library. The days of the ‘console peasant’ are over (at least until I give the laptop back). Now the question is, did the ASUS ROG Strix GL502 live up to all the hype? Well…lets see.
Let’s start with the good. The packaging is VERY nice. Pretty standard as Laptops come I suppose, but it was much nicer and sleek than the one my laptop came in. The case opens nicely to the clean sight of a laptop in a cloth slip case. The very first thing I noticed about the laptop itself was how light it was. While taking it out of the box I almost dropped it due to overcompensating for the weight (chill out ASUS, I’m joking). But seriously, it is very lightweight, a huge plus for me. To coincide with the weight, the system is quite thin and sleek. It really looks nice both closed and open. The laptop weighs a minuscule 2.2kg and sits at about 2.3 cm high when closed. The shell is composed of a black sort of brushed aluminum, with some neon orange highlights.
After I got past the weight and look of the overall laptop, I opened it and began to experience just what ASUS has to offer. Once my finger tips reached the keyboard I knew I was touching something special. This is, no doubt, the BEST keyboard I’ve ever used. From the silky feel of the keys, to the tension below the letters, I fell in love. Once I finally powered on the system the keyboard began to light up beneath my touch. I was sold.
But Kyle, what about the specs? Well, the GL502 comes equipped with the insanely powerful Intel i7 Core Processor, 16gb of the sexiest DDR4 RAM designed to consume as little power as possible while boosting your overall gaming experience. It features HDMI, USB 3.0, USB C, and Mini Display ports to aid and assist in an unforgettable gaming experience any way it can. Every game I played ran beautifully, I have absolutely zero complaints concerning gaming performance. Even connecting my Xbox One controller was hassle free.
Admittedly the one of the first things I did on the GAMING laptop was watch YouTube. That’s when I noticed that the speakers were very impressive (at least compared to my laptop). Very loud, very clear, and they project sound like none other (that I’ve heard at least). The microphone is great; it filters out ambient noise while focusing on your voice to make sure you’re heard. My parents can’t even do that. The display is crisp and beautiful, second only to the Swift PG348q in my experience. Lastly the battery life is exceptional, it will hold a charge for the better part of the day without needing to be plugged in, great for when you’ve finally perfected the butt imprint in your couch and detest getting up.
Keyboards, and good Specs, and speakers are great and all, but I had a HELL of a time getting started with this thing. After a quick boot up, I was marvelling at the beautiful display and the difference between Windows 10 and my Windows 8.1 when all of a sudden CRASH. I just though “Ok one crash is forgivable”, boot it up again and Oh…you’re just going to…crash again? …OK. I battled with this this machine for hours and after 5 crashes I had enough and walked away for a couple days. I found out the crashes had to do with the video card. Gaming laptops don’t really need a functioning video card, right?
Remember how I said Windows 10 up there? Well, this computer has Windows 10! I understand how Microsoft is revamping gaming with Windows 10 with all the Xbox One integral features coming up. But I’m sorry, Windows 10 is garbage. I’d like to consider myself tech savvy, but I don’t find Windows 10 to be a friendly interface at all, god help the people new to technology who pick up Windows 10 as their first OS. Windows 10 is a bad operating system. Maybe that’s what happens when you skip numbers.
Finally, I got to playing some games. Well that is until Microsoft had to shove some more Windows 10 down my throat. Just as I was winning a game of CTF in Battlefront 2, or Swoop Racing for an underground rebel gang in Knights of the Old Republic (yea I like Star Wars) Windows 10 decides to interrupt it all to remind me just how wonderful it is. Anything from service updates to ads (YES ADS) there must have been close to a dozen interruptions thanks to the wonderful Windows 10. Now if I wasn’t being interrupted Windows 10, I was being told that my game was not in the proper resolution (the game looked fine, so I didn’t much care), Ok that’s fine, I’ll just click that little [x] there. Oh that closed the entire game. Closing resolution notices ended my gaming sessions.
Lastly some smaller issues I had are that it heats up pretty fast. Like a good hour of mild YouTube mixed with heavy gaming gets it hot enough to cook eggs on. After each of the many initial crashes, the boot up times seemed to just get longer and longer. And finally, as if all this wasn’t bad enough, 2-3 times it just restarts suddenly out of no where, no matter what I was doing.
Now, with all this being said remember-take it all with a grain of salt. These could all be one time occurrences, isolated events. I’m sure not all systems will crash 5 times within the first 24 hours of use. There was much I loved about the ASUS ROG Strix GL502, such as the keyboard, the speakers, the way it handles my games, and even the beautiful design. You definitely can not judge this little beast based on size. If you’re looking for a laptop I would recommend this one, but do yourself a favor and research ahead of time.