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.

CPU Intel Core i7-6700HQ
2.6-3.5 GHz
6MB Cache
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.

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  • nathanddrews - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    Is $1600 mainstream?

    Hopefully we see FreeSync (or G-Sync) laptops on the "low end" $800 laptops. Seems like a ripe market for Adaptive Sync technologies, given the lesser performance of GTX 960m and similar parts.
  • close - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    Given the prices I saw recently on deeply flawed (unbalanced) gaming machines, ~$1600 for something that comes with more than decent CPU, GPU and SSD might as well be called mainstream. The rest is still compromised as opposed to a proper gaming machine (small screen, integrated keyboard and touchpad) but at least you get a reasonable package for a relatively reasonable price.

    Do not compare it to a desktop. The desktop will still be twice as cheap and a lot more powerful for a long time.
  • xenol - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    Find me a complete desktop system (that includes all of I/O) that performs about the same for half the cost.
  • sorten - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    It would be difficult to find a comparable desktop for the comparison. You could probably go with an i5 65W CPU and it would significantly outperform the laptop's 45W i7. The 1070 is the same for desktop and mobile, but much more thermal headroom on the desktop. Memory and SSDs are cheap. I also wouldn't count the cost of the monitor in the comparison, because the only time I wouldn't dock the laptop so I could use my 27" monitor would be in the rare trip to a hotel or similar place.

    The other thing is that anyone who is building a desktop for gaming is only replacing one or two components. For example, I could build a faster desktop gaming system than this laptop by just spending the $400 on the GPU. I've had the same case, PSU, optical drive, etc. for probably 7 or 8 years.
  • Samus - Sunday, December 11, 2016 - link

    The other thing to keep in mind is you can build a mini ITX system with an i7 and GTX1070 while still being incredibly tiny, less expensive and more capable (aside from being slightly more bulky and lacking battery power.)

    But that's the real killer with gaming laptops. Unless they are DTR's, they are too weak in graphics performance, and when they are DTR's, battery life is a joke anyway.
  • close - Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - link

    @xenol, if it's any easier for you to understand read it as "performance/$". Or do you specifically want me to lookup some desktop CPUs/GPUs that are gimped by thermal headroom to match the equivalent laptop ones, a case that allows for close to 0 upgradeability, a 15" mediocre screen, crappy keyboard, integrated buzzers... erm, speakers, and a touchpad instead of a mouse?

    I was talking more of a hypothetical equivalent since it's hard to build a desktop that matches *any* gaming laptop in compromises. Yeah, I get that if you want portability a laptop is the way to go. It's still a severely compromised machine, it's still extremely expensive for the hardware but maybe the difference is how much "portability" costs.
  • Donny2005UK - Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - link Sorry cheapest I could find with a decent cpu
  • mrmcmurren - Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - link

    hey if you are intested i am selling my desktop with better specs for a great price 1200

    email me at

    specs as follows

    CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
    CD2: None
    COOLANT: Standard Coolant
    CPU: Intel(R) Core� i7-3820 Quad-Core 3.60 GHz 10MB Intel Smart Cache LGA2011 (All Venom OC Certified)
    CS_FAN: Maximum 120MM Color Case Cooling Fans for your selected case
    FA_HDD: None
    FAN: Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enhanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) (Single Standard 120MM Fan)
    GLASSES: None
    HDD: 2TB (2TBx1) SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Drive)
    HDD2: None
    IEEE_CARD: None
    MEMORY: 16GB (4GBx4) DDR3/1866MHz Quad Channel Memory (Corsair Vengeance [Free upgrade from 1600MHz Major Brand])
    MONITOR: None
    MONITOR2: None
    MONITOR3: None
    MOTHERBOARD: (3-Way SLI/CrossFireX Support) ASUS P9X79 LE Intel X79 Chipset Quad Channel DDR3 ATX w/ Remote GO!, 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, 3 Gen3 PCIe X16, 2 PCIe X1 & 1 PCI
    NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
    OS: Microsoft(R) Windows 8 Pro (64-bit Edition)
    OVERCLOCK: No Overclocking
    POWERSUPPLY: 800 Watts - Standard Power Supply - SLI/CrossFireX Ready
    SPEAKERS: None
    TEMP: None
    TUNING: None
    TVRC: None
    USB: None
    USBFLASH: None
    USBHD: None
    USBX: None
    VIDEO: GTX 1070 AMP Mini
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    Desktop PCs are cheaper, and are more serviceable, and you avoid the pitfalls of going with a prebuilt system loaded with adware, or in the worst case with Lenovo's Superfish, blatant malware. However, I think you're overestimating the cost of PC ownership, and assume that a complete PC system with peripherals is _half_ the cost of a gaming laptop.

    GTX 1070 laptop video cards are very roughly comparable to desktop GTX 1070 performance, and Nvidia's gone a long way to help bridge the gap between mobile and desktop class performance. A balanced GTX 1070 PC build will cost ~$1000, with no peripherals or OS. Add in a basic 1080p monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc. and you're at $1250 or so. So the $1600 laptop isn't a farcry from what PC build enthusiasts would claim.

    You pay about a 25% premium, I'd think for the compactness and convenience of a fully ready platform. But given that time is a resource, it's not an unjust cost for people who just want a system to be ready without the hassle of the PC building research, parts acquisition, and assembly.

    These days prebuilt systems are cheaper than ever, so the argument that building your own PC saves a lot of money is losing its argument. I still do it as it's a fun hobby for me, but I know it's not for everyone.
  • xenol - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    I'm poking fun of the desktop fanboy that every time they say "I can make a desktop build for cheaper!" they seem to fail to remember a laptop is a complete system. I'm all for price comparing, but please, make it as apples to apples as possible.

    It's like every time someone goes "I can make a $400 PC that can best a PS4" fails to account for the fact a PS4 also comes with a $60 controller and a BD drive. I mean, as a pure gaming machine, maybe. But at the same time, if I wanted something that could replace the PS4 as much as possible, I need that BD drive.

    I mean, I didn't buy a PlayStation just to play games. I bought it because it's also a media player.

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