Gaming Laptops are a trend that wasn’t there just a few years ago. This market was almost zero & no one ever thought that it’ll grow this much in such a short time. We came a long way, with Gaming Laptops where they became thinner & more powerful moving from one generation to another. Now, we live in a time when a GTX 1080 equipped laptop the ASUS ROG Zephyrus, that’s just slightly thicker than ASUS’s own Zenbook Pro that we consider as thin.
But, we’re not talking about a top notch Gaming Laptop here. We’re talking about a rather balanced setup. The ASUS GL553 is rather a mid-end setup focused towards casual gamers who are already into e-sports or just getting into gaming. Equipped with the latest GTX 10 series GPU this shall provide a good gaming experience in that particular gaming segment. So in real life, how does the GL553 performs ? Well, let’s test it out.
ROG GL553VE SPECIFICATIONS
Dimensions: 38.3 x 25.5 x 2.10 ~3.00 cm (WxDxH)
Display: 15.6 inch, 60Hz, 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD Display
Processor: Intel’s 14 nm Kaby Lake Core i7 7700HQ (45W TDP, Boost upto 3.8 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
RAM: 16GB 2400 MHz DDR4 Memory (Samsung M471A1K43CB1)
GPU: Nvidia’s 14 nm GTX 1050 Ti (768 CUDA Cores)
VRAM: 4GB GDDR5
Storage: 256 GB SATA3 SSD + 1TB 5400 RPM HDD
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
Ports: 1 x Headphone-out jack (Audio-in Combo), 1 x Type C USB 3.1 GEN 1, 2 x Type A USB 3.0 ports, 1 x USB 2.0 port, 1 x RJ45 Ethernet port, 1 x HDMI port
Audio: Dual Front Facing Stereo Speakers
Webcam: 720P HD Webcam
Battery: 48Whrs, 4 Cells
Weight: 2.5 Kilograms
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
The ROG GL553 takes design inspirations from it’s elder sibling the ROG GL502 that was the first ROG to dump the old school cool Black & Red color scheme. The GL553 also dumps that color scheme for a Black & Orange color scheme. I kinda liked this combination as that Red & Black color scheme was getting to common & was enough to make me bored throughout these years.
So, we have Brushed Aluminium on the top & the rest of the part is completely made of Plastic. However, the quality of the Plastic feels really good but, the top Aluminium is a bit wobbling near the ROG Logo if you apply some pressure on it. The Screen is however really solid with just a minimal flex on it. It’s surprising to see a 15.6 inch screen to be this solid. However the ROG logo also Lights up with the Screen.
The Main Deck is also very rigid. There is no flex on the Keyboard area or anywhere else. Talking about the Keyboard, it has RGB Backlighting. They are customizable via. the ASUS Aura Software & there are Four zones that you can add different lighting on.
The Hinge is also very steady. So, overall a pretty good build quality. The Brushed Aluminium however catches fingerprints quite easily. But, the finish blends them in a bit so it doesn’t look messy everytime.
The GL553 also comes with a solid ports selection. It probably checks all the important boxes that you’ll need when it comes to connectivity.
In the Left we have a Gigabit Ethernet Port, a HDMI port, two USB 3.0 Ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C Port & a 3.5 mm Combo Headphone Jack. The charging port can also be found on the left. The only thing that disappoints me is that, the USB Type-C port does not come with Thunderbolt 3 support .
On the right we have a USB 2.0 port & a DVD Drive. Now, DVD drives are less desired things in 2017 as most of the games we play are on mainly on Steam. But, in case you wish to have a dedicated DVD Drive for gaming, this laptop is one of the very few options out there right now.
There is also a SD Card slot in the front. Now, unlike most of the other ASUS Laptops, the SD Card slot here is not a shallow one. So, the SD Card goes pretty deep inside the slot & that’s kinda a good thing as this minimizes the accidental damage rates for that part.
One thing you may have noticed till now. This device is not a thin one & ASUS mainly did it to maintain the Thermals when it’s under load. We’ll discuss more of it later in the Performance section of this review.
The GL553 comes equipped with a 15.6 inch Full HD Display. So, a 1920 x 1080 IPS panel with 340 nits of Brightness & a 60 HZ Refresh Rate.
Now, though this is an IPS Panel but, it isn’t that much color accurate if that matters to you. The Screen has a slight yellow tint even after I made some adjustments via. the Splendid App that comes pre-installed with this laptop. So, for Gamers it’s completely fine but, if you are into some kind of content creation like Photo or Video editing, this Display probably can’t be your primary one.
For Example here is a comparison of the GL553VE’s Display with the ROG G501VW 1080P Model,
So, as you can see the GL553 tends to have warmer color tone & is comparatively less color accurate then the G501VW. And this is the 1080P model & not the 4K one of the G501VW. So, I’ll not say that Content Creation is a bad thing in this device as the Hardware is really powerful but, if you need that color accuracy, hooking to a more Color Accurate External Monitor is recommended.
The performance on the GL553 is solid. It’s rocking a Quadcore, Kaby Lake i7 7700HQ & a GTX 1050 Ti. Our review unit comes with 16 Gigabytes Of LPDDR4 RAM running at 2400 MHz. So, performance is pretty good. If you’re curious to see how it did for Benchmarks, here are some Benchmarking charts.
CPU Benchmarking Scores:
Graphics Benchmarking Scores:
Virtual Reality (VR) Benchmarking Scores:
Coming to the Real Life Performance, the Kaby Lake i7 in the GL553 feels pretty similar to it’s predecessor when performing regular tasks. Moving to more intensive tasks, the GL553 is a pretty capable device. I had no issues Editing Photos on it. Even while Editing Videos, it was comfortable. 1080P edits were great & 4K edits were comfortable.
Gaming is also pretty good on the GL553 and that’s expected as it’s made for it. The GTX 1050 Ti is definitely way more powerful than the GTX 960M & even the 970M from the Last Generation. So in case you don’t know, the GTX 1050 Ti is actually an upgrade over the GTX 970M. There is also a lower a lower end model available of the GL553 with a regular GTX 1050. The GTX 1050 is an upgrade over the 960M & it’s quite a bit less powerful than the 970M.
So, on the 1050Ti model that we have here, most of the popular Games like Dota 2 & Overwatch do a great job for keeping frame rates over 60 FPS in all situations while keeping the Graphics High (Ultra). Something more demanding like Witcher 3 messes up the frame rates completely on High settings so, for keeping the frame rates floating somewhere near 60 FPS you need to drop the quality to Medium. Here is a graph that shows the average frame rates for the games I just mentioned tested on the GL553.
Thermals were a strong area for the GL553. I never experienced any thermal throttling while playing games on this device. Even while running a Stress Test, the thermal throttling was around 6%. So, that’s really impressive for a gaming laptop. ASUS really did a great job cooling this thing. As, I mentioned earlier this device is not on the thinner side. So by making this device a bit thicker, ASUS managed to fit in two Heat Pipes & the Fan quite comfortably. That’s why the thermals are managed this well.
If you want to do VR though, well you can but the 1050 Ti isn’t actually that much capable for VR. So, the experience will be pretty terrible. For VR, go for a laptop that at least has a GTX 1060 or higher GPU.
However, the Battery Life isn’t great. The 48 Whrs Battery delivers around 3+ hours of Battery life while performing regular tasks & it gives about an Hour while gaming . So, you’ll need the charger pretty soon if you wish to game on Battery.
The Audio is a pretty important thing when it comes to Gaming & Media Consumption. So, I was curious to see how the GL553 performs when it comes to the Audio Experience & it kinda nailed it in that segment. It has Dual Stereo Speakers located at the Front of the device.
The speakers get reasonably loud & they also have some Bass to them. I liked the speakers quite a lot & I used them for gaming with no problem. So, if you want to ditch your headphones while gaming, these speakers are a good alternative.
I don’t have any Wattage number for these speakers as ASUS literally didn’t mentioned it anywhere. But, they’re actually good for both Gaming & Media Consumption. The Power Adapter is a 120 Watts one & it get’s pretty hot during games.
So, the perticular model of the GL553VE we’ve tested costs around (+-) 120000 INR online. But, at such a high price point like this, is it really worth your money ? Let’s focus on the Pros & the Cons for this device.
- Near to zero Thermal Throttling when playing games.
- Good quality Speakers with decent loudness.
- Pretty capable CPU & GPU.
- Decent amount of Ports.
- Not so color accurate Screen
- Below average Battery life
So, should you buy this Laptop ? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you just want a capable machine that can handle most of the popular games like Dota 2, CS:GO & Overwatch with great Frame Rates, this device is perfect for you. But, if you’re looking for something that’s capable of VR gaming, this isn’t the machine for you. Get something equipped with a GTX 1060 or more powerful Graphics Card. But, if you’re just into the casual e-sports, this is a very good option.
Ok, that wraps up our review for the ASUS ROG GL553VE. Let us know if you have any questions about this device in the comments section right below this article. Also, feel free to share this article with those people who may get benefited from this information. So, that’s it for now. Thank you for reading !
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