ASUS offers a wide assortment of gaming laptops under “Republic of Gamers”, or 'ROG', with models such as the G752 lineup, the liquid cooled models in the GX800 series, and a few models for those who need more gaming per dollar. Today we are looking at the ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS, which ASUS labels “Compact and Potent”. The Strix branding has morphed a bit over the years, and now tends to signify the more economical products from ASUS, and the GL502VS certainly fits that bill, with quite a bit of hardware packed into a reasonable budget.

There are a couple of models of the GL502, and the VS version here for review is the top end version, featuring an Intel Core i7-6700HQ, NVIDIA GTX 1070, and up to 32 GB of DDR4. There are both 3840x2160 and 1920x1080 displays available, and both feature NVIDIA G-SYNC for a smoother gaming experience. SSDs are available for the boot drive, up to 512 GB, and ASUS also includes a 1 TB 5400 or 7200 rpm HDD for bulk storage to cope with the size of today’s games.

The laptop is fairly compact for a 15.6-inch gaming laptop, with the GL502VS model being 30.1 mm (1.18 inches) thick, and 2.34 kg (5.15 lbs) in weight. But it is not the thinnest or lightest gaming laptop of this size. The lower powered GL502VM model drops the GPU down to a GTX 1060, shaves 7 mm off the height, and 140 grams off the weight.

ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS
CPU Intel Core i7-6700HQ
4C/8T
2.6-3.5 GHz
6MB Cache
45W TDP
GPU NVIDIA GTX 1070 4/8GB
2048 CUDA Cores
1442 - 1645 (Boost) MHz
Memory 2 SODIMM Slots, 32 GB Max DDR4
Display 15.6" 1920x1080 IPS 60 Hz w/G-SYNC
Optional 3840x2160 IPS w/G-SYNC
Storage 1 TB 5400/7200rpm HDD
Optional 128/256/512GB M.2 SSD, SATA or PCIe
I/O 3 x USB 3.0 Ports
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C)
1 x HDMI 2.0 output Port (with HDCP)
1 x mini DisplayPort 1.3 output Ports
SD Card Slot
1 x Headset Jack
1 x Realtek PCIe GbE RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)
Dimensions 390 x 266 x 30 mm
15.35 x 10.47 x 1.18 inches
Weight 2.34 kg / 5.16 lbs
Battery 62 Wh, 180W AC Adapter
Wireless Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC8260
2x2:2 with Bluetooth 4.1
Price $1650+

As Tested: 6700HQ, 16GB (1x16) DDR4-2400 ,
GTX 1070, 256GB SM951 M.2, G-SYNC FHD
$1650 USD

Although I’m not a huge fan of ASUS’s laptop naming schemes, I am a fan of them putting in the latest and greatest technology into their devices. They were very quick out of the gate to transition to SSDs, PCIe SSDs, and USB-C, and that’s the case here as well. The GL502VS features an NVMe Samsung drive, along with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, but they’ve also kept plenty of older I/O as well, including three USB 3.0 ports, mini Display Port, HDMI, RJ45, and a SD card reader.

Wireless is supplied by the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 card, which has been a strong performer on all laptops this year. The 62 Wh battery is certainly on the small size for a gaming notebook, but as with most gaming notebooks, they are mostly designed to be plugged into the wall for almost all scenarios, with a battery for the odd time where you need to be a bit more mobile.

The GL502 lineup is quite a bit of performance for not a lot of money, with the GTX 1060 based GL502VM starting around $1300, and the higher performance GTX 1070 based GL502VS starting around $1600.

Design
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  • wolfemane - Friday, December 09, 2016 - link

    And on that same note, why a 4K screen? The 1070 can run at that display but with reduced settings to achieve 60fps. Why not a decent 1440p 75 - 120hz screen? At least the 1070 can take full advantage of that and benefit with g-sync. Reply
  • MrRuckus - Friday, December 09, 2016 - link

    Screen tear is a problem, much more in older games, G-Sync removes it completely. You can catch streamers on twitch who's viewers complain about screen tear with 1080's in SLI. I thought G-Sync was a fad that would never catch on, until I bought a Asus G752VY with G-Sync. If you havent tried it, I would recommend you do. It can be a night and day difference with it and games as far as smoothness goes. I agree they should have gone with a higher end display. 60Hz G-Sync does seem a little lame. Mine is 75Hz G-Sync and the 980m keeps up in just about everything. Its hard to go back once you've been spoiled with G-Sync.

    The Asus ROG forums are also really lacking. You really only get community assistance in there from other users. Actual people working at Asus are VERY few. Maybe a handful at most, and rarely respond to issues. Even some of the MODs arent affiliated in anyway. Sometimes I wish they would come in with more of a presence. Especially for people who throw down $2500 or more on a laptop. They are getting into the ridiculous realm on price. This is my 5th ROG laptop, and I may go to another manufacturer next time around, depending on their build quality and price to performance. Once they get into the $3k category, that's like Alienware prices. Sad to see.
    Reply
  • lefty2 - Friday, December 09, 2016 - link

    40 db idle is pretty noisy. I thought Asus Strix GPUs ment to switch off the fan when idling? Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, December 09, 2016 - link

    I waited... waited a bit more. Then waited longer over here in the U.K.

    In the end I purchased an MSI GT62vr and do not regret it. Sure, of course, it's not worth the price at all but that's what I had to pay to get it. More fool me.

    P.s. The GT62vr is so damn quiet it's unreal!
    Reply
  • inperfectdarkness - Tuesday, January 03, 2017 - link

    That was my 1st choice. But I can't find it with a 4k or even 3k screen. And I would rather commit Seppuku than intentionally buy a 1080p laptop. MSI has a LOT of features that leave ASUS in the dust. Reply
  • shatteredx - Friday, December 09, 2016 - link

    Wow! Anyone else blown away by the performance improvement going from 980M -> 1070/1080? The 1070 is 66% faster than the 980M and the 1080 is 100% faster! Amazing. I guess those 1080 numbers are with a desktop 6700k but still. Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, December 09, 2016 - link

    Can you put the machine on a set of scales and actually weigh it rather than relying on the numbers Asus feed you?

    That machine is NOT 2.34KG.
    Reply
  • sundragon - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    Yup, it's heavier and weight the power adapter... It's 1.2 lbs all by itself. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, December 10, 2016 - link

    That main picture looks like the DOOM logo :) Reply
  • TallestJon96 - Saturday, December 10, 2016 - link

    Something like this with better build quality would be my ideal kind of laptop if I was in the market. Its a little of the expensive side for me though, so I won't be buying one anytime soon. Reply

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