If gaming laptops have a perennial issue, it’s that they tend to be heavy, massive things: It’s a necessary evil required to pack in enough power to play demanding games on the go. But let’s be honest – you don’t always need a beast of a laptop to play the games you want, especially if you can settle for a smaller laptop and save some money. So the thinking behind the Asus ROG Strix GL502 goes, and the result is a compact machine that’s one of the top gaming laptops of 2018 that we’ve seen so far.
When it comes to specs, the ROG Strix comes with a 15.6-inch screen (that gives you a good idea about that size and weight), and one of those new Core i7 Skylake CPUs that’s supposed to be more effective at controlling and diminishing heat. You also get a Nvidia GTZ 980M GPU, with a choice between 4GB or 8GB of GDDR5 video RAM – clearly, Asus doesn’t want to skimp on graphics even if the screen is a little small (marketing materials focus on The Division, which should give you a good ballpark idea for what kind of games it can run)
Memory, meanwhile, offers up to 32GB of RAM but only around 500GB max of SSD storage – evidence of the compact nature of the laptop. The keyword is mostly standard, but does have orange WASD keys, and comes with a large trackpad.
But let’s talk about some of the more unique features here: The ROG Strix comes with a dual thermal designed that sports both copper heat pipes and a pair of fans to keep everything cool under pressure. If you pick the very best GPU, you also get G-Sync technology, which helps smooth out game images when it looks like the frame rates may start stuttering. The laptop also has the GameFirst III app that lets you make sure that your games get first dibs at bandwidth – particularly handy when gaming on the go where you don’t always have control of Internet quality.
There is one piece of bad news: We don’t know what pricing is going to look like, at least not yet. All these new features and the big RAM/GPU spec options lead us to suspect the price will be high – although presumably not as high as large mobile gaming machines.