Even though it’s not 1944 and Bugs Bunny is just an epic cartoon character, when it comes to Asus’s Strix GL502VT you could definitely think there’s something cooking. The laptop is easy as a pan, but hot as a stove. Is this laptop the ultimate portable solution for gamers or is it just a short-term project which will be nailed after a few months by ASUS? We all know that heat and laptops don’t mix and this laptop is one of the hottest on the market with temps up to 120 F while gaming. Let’s take a closer look at this portable stove, shall we? Is there any reason why you should go with an ASUS Strix GL502VT?
Well, for 1.5 grand, you get an Intel 2.6 GHz Core i7 6700HQ processor, 16 GB of RAM (DDR4), 1 TB HDD and 128 GB SSD, and the star of the project itself: an NVIDIA GTX 970M with 6 GB of RAM memory. To be honest, on today’s market, this looks like the best way to spend $1500 if you need a portable laptop, something like 15.6 inches, 5 lbs maximum. There aren’t so many options on this niche and it might look like a very good deal. There is an ASUS Strix GL502VY which brings up the 980M, but for almost 500 bucks more it’s just not worth it because within the $2,000 budget range there are a lot of better options which comply with your portability needs.
Is ASUS Strix GL502VT the best solution for travelers and students?
To be honest, students need great portability and also horse power for epic LAN parties. Travelers also need great horse power to game or to edit some recorded on the go content. $1500 is not exaggerated for this niche, in fact, it gives a great bang for the buck. If you can live with the plastic case disappointment, poor audio and overheating, you can certainly enjoy this 15.6-inch gaming laptop like no one else. Of course, we don’t know how that heat is going to affect internal components, because ASUS Strix GL502VT is the new kid on the block, only time will tell, but by looking at the internal solution used by ASUS for cooling, there’s hope too, not only worries…
But how much heat does it generate? Why are we considering the ASUS Strix GL502VT a portable stove? Well, according to notebookchech.com, there are 147F on the front of the laptop and 158F on the back. These are some of the highest temperature readings on this kind of portable laptops I’ve ever seen. Well, if you can live with this problem and need a thin and light (4.8 lbs) gaming laptop, ASUS Strix GL502VT will be the right choice for you, within the $1500 range. There are a lot of good things to say about this laptop and you’ll see what I mean in just a moment.
Why you should buy an ASUS Strix GL502VT
Portability – this gaming laptop is one of the best on the market in terms of portability. It weighs close to nothing – 4.8 lbs. It’s quite good for a 15.6-inch model even though ASUS has been building light laptops for ages. It is two times lighter than its older brother ROG G752 and can easily fit in a backpack. Nowadays, laptops start to be thinner and thinner without compromising performance. That 970M with 6 GB of DDR5 can play any modern game at 1080p. Not all on ultra-high details, but you get the point…
Performance – speaking of performance, this portable gaming laptop is a good deal. It can run any modern game at 1080p and, of course, you might need to lower the detail level in some games to be able to get those 50-60 FPSs needed for the best gaming experience. Here’s a list of games and the average FPS which this laptop can perform. The numbers were provided by notebookcheck.com and it’s obvious that there is room for some extra performance. The problem is that extra performance will come with a higher price as well. If you want better performance on ultra-details, be prepared to pay some extra $500 for the GTX 980M version, the ASUS Strix GL502VY.
Display – The display is simple, bright, has good viewing angles and even though it’s not 4K, it gets the job done. It’s a 15.6-inch IPS matte panel capable of over 300cd/m2 in terms of brightness. Unfortunately, there is no G-Synk for that grand and a half, but you can still enjoy this panel. It’s good quality and even if you could go for the more expensive version, the one with the 4K panel, it is not recommended anyway due to the GTX970M. This graphics card is not able to give you more than 20 FPSs at 4K.
Easy to upgrade – This laptop is easy to upgrade. All you need to do is to get rid of that big back plate. If you have a screwdriver you will certainly upgrade an ASUS Strix GL502VT. If you go for one cheaper than $1500, you will have just one hard drive installed, the 1 TB one. If you want, you can throw in an M2 NVMe SSD in the open slot near the RAM stick. As for the RAM, some say 8 GB are soldered, ASUS says the laptop supports up to 32 GB of memory. This might vary from a region to another or from a model to another. There is another GL502, the VYone with the 980M graphics card, which could have two DIMM slots.
ROG Strix GL502 packs the latest 6th gen Intel® processor in a compact and lightweight design, 16GB RAM, 1TB 7200RPM plus 128GB M.2 SSD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M graphics with full Microsoft DirectX 12 support gives you efficient, powerful performance for heavy gaming or productive multitasking such as live streaming and video editing.
Ultra-portable design that fits snugly in a messenger bag or backpack. Whether you're waiting for your flight, kicking back at a café, or at a LAN tournament.
The Hyper Cool Duo-Copper cooling system uses heat pipes and a dual fan system to cool the CPU and GPU independently
The reversible USB Type-C port gives you easier device connections and hyper-fast 10Gbps data transfer speeds via USB 3.1 Gen 1.
Nice storage capabilities – As I said before, this laptop has good upgrade capabilities. You can easily put on RAM memory, HDD and SSD. If yours doesn’t come with an SSD installed, you have an M.2 NVMe port which you can use later on if you want to improve the general laptop speed, or use it for video editing. With 1 TB of storage and up to 512 GB of M2 flash storage, this laptop seems to be the perfect mix.
Good battery life – It’s hard to see nowadays a gaming laptop with good battery life. This ASUS ROG Strix GL502VT is quite an exception because the 4-cell 62Whr non-removable battery can last up to 5 hours on web browsing, or 2 hours on intensive gaming. People who will buy this laptop will certainly use it for some non-gaming activities. Students will want to take it to classes and travelers will use it on the road as well. If it holds 5 hours on the web with integrated graphics, it has a good battery life.
Ports – It has a lot of ports. Big props to ASUS for building 4 USB ports into this machine. I’ve always had a problem with laptops which lacked a multitude of USB ports. You always have a USB Memory Stick in use to transfer some files, a smartphone to charge, maybe a USB 4G modem and who knows what else you might need. (Not to mention the gaming mouse). So, 3 USB 3.0 ports are wonderful. Unfortunately, the USB 3.1 Type C is not Thunderbolt 3 compatible :(… As for display expansion, there is one full-size HDMI port and one Mini DisplayPort.
Why you should not buy anASUS Strix GL502VT
Unsafe future – Welcome back to reality. This laptop overheats much more than others and this problem makes us very unsure of its future. There’s no bang for the buck if this machine breaks down after 12-14 months or even earlier. Heat is the worst enemy of the laptop’s internal components. This being said, if you decide to buy this portable stove, cross your fingers and hope for the best. No problems have been reported so far but, like as I said, it’s new on the market.
Poor audio – Can you see those two speakers exiled on the right and left sides of the laptop’s margins? Well, this is dumb. The sound quality is poor but why do we even wonder? Laptops have had poor sound quality since humans landed on the Moon. In fact, there’s no laptop on the market with extraordinary audio. Not even the 5 grand beast has great audio onboard. I wonder why laptop manufactures keep writing things in the specs data sheet, in the AUDIO tab. We all know it’s crap anyway…
It’s made of plastic – Well, that’s what you get if you pay $1500 for high performance components. I know it’s a huge setback for all you quality lovers, but it’s time for you to face reality and learn to live with disappointment: there is no such thing as a quality cheap laptop. If you want performance but are not in the mood of spending $5000 on an ASUS ROG GX700, plastic is all you get. Anyway, for 1.5 grand I think this is something pretty normal.