We've finally got our hands on the ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD, the most affordable gaming laptop in the entire ROG Strix series. It looks very similar to its predecessor, the GL552, besides the orange stripes and ROG logo at the back of the laptop. Let's see what are the pros and cons of this laptop and see whether is it really the choice of champions.
The ASUS ROG Strix GL553VD is equipped with Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU @2.80GHz, NVIDIA GeForce 1050 GDDR5 4GB, 1TB HDD 5,400 rpm, and 128GB M.2 NVMe SSD, which is good enough to run your favorite games. The charging port is located on the left side of the laptop, along with 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB Type-C port, a LAN cable port, an HDMI port, and an audio port. On the right side of the port, you will see a USB 3.0 port, a DVD drive, and a Kensington lock slot.
The laptop weighs around 2.5kg with the dimension of 38.3cm x 25.4cm x 3cm. It is surprisingly thick for a newer laptop model but it did help with one thing which will be explained later on.
Things that I like about the ROG Strix GL553VD
1. ASUS ROG Gaming Center
Similar to a lot of gaming laptops in the market nowadays, it comes with a software dedicated to enhancing your gaming experience by making sure that the laptop is fully optimized to run games smoothly. With features like the ROG Aura Core to change your keyboard colors, Fan Boost to control your fan speed, ROG Game First IV to prioritize your games and more, the ASUS ROG Gaming Center allows you to tweak around to find your desired settings.
It also allows you to monitor your CPU and GPU temperatures, how much RAM is currently in use, how much hard disk space is still available for you to store more games. Android phone users can connect their phone to the laptop by downloading the ROG Gaming center app from the Google Play Store so that you will not need to Alt+Tab from your game to change any settings.
Talking about the keyboard, the distance between each key is adequate to reduce the percentage of pressing the wrong keys while gaming. The RGB lighting for the keyboard is bright enough yet comfortable to look at. The height of the keyboard is high enough for me to get the key-press response and ensure that it registers the key.
3. ROG-exclusive Cooling Overboost
The best thing that I like about the ROG Strix GL553VD is that it never gets hot on the keyboard or touchpad, and it is all thanks to the Cooling Overboost, as well as the thickness of the laptop. Majority of gaming laptops out there are getting thinner and thinner to make it more convenient for people who are on the go, but the major drawback is that it heats up extremely quickly, especially at the keyboard area where the CPU is located beneath it. Even though the temperature went up to 83 degrees Celsius while playing PlayerUnknown's Battleground in high settings, the keyboard area is still cool as usual. For people who use their left hand to hold your mouse, this might be a problem for you as the heat from the laptop dissipates from the left side.
Things that I didn't like about the ROG Strix GL553VD
I own a GL552 and the biggest dislike I have about it is the speakers, and it is the same case as its successor, the GL553VD. The sound system on this laptop is absolutely terrible, even with the Audio Wizard in the ROG Gaming Center. The bass is totally absent from the machine, the ASUS Zenfone 4 probably, most definitely have a better bass than this laptop. You can overcome this problem by plugging in your headphones or speakers.
2. Battery Life
The battery life for the GL553VD is unexpectedly low. When left idle, the laptop can last approximately 3 to 4 hours, and it can last for 2 hours when watching videos or a movie, so you do the maths for gaming when the laptop is not charging.
Overall, it is a very good entry level gaming laptop to own if you can't afford the higher end ones. The problems about the laptop that I dislike can be easily solved with my pair of headphones and if I can remember to bring the laptop's AC adapter along with me or if the cafe that I am visiting has a plug point for me to use.
I've tried playing Overwatch and PlayerUnknown's Battleground in high settings for both games and the result is very satisfying. It doesn't take long for the game to load and render, plus, the FPS rate is constant throughout my games, even though it dropped a slight bit as compared to playing the game in low settings.
Temperature wise, Overwatch went up from 60 degrees Celsius to 73 degrees Celsius after changing the settings to high, whereas for PUBG, it shot up to 83 degrees Celsius, but, not a slight heat was felt when my hand was stuck on the keyboard.
If you are looking to get this laptop or test it out before making a decision, simply head over to the ASUS website to find out where you can get your hands on the ROG Strix GL553VD in a store near you.