When it comes to gaming laptops, ROG is one of the laptops you’ll be looking for to having an experience for gaming. But back then, gaming laptops are in the 6 digit category and nowhere near the budget of an average joe. Fast forward to today, gaming laptops are now the front of performance for most brands.
This is thanks to the ever-growing e-sports arena in the Philippines and worldwide, more and more people are now recognizing that gaming isn’t a niche hobby anymore and everyone wants to be a part of it. With this, laptop brands strive to provide more and more laptops to bring out the gamer out of everyone and their latest product to let you join the republic is the GL503.
The GL503 is taken from the latest design philosophy of ASUS ROG laptops which is first seen from the Zephyrus, the lid panel is now a brand new with a more aggressive non-stealth fighter design. Finally, ASUS learned and started to take inspiration elsewhere for their latest laptop and the overall previous design language is already copied by most new players.
Before we proceed, here are the specs of the ASUS GL503
- Intel Core i7-7700HQ (Quad-Core)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GDDR5 4GB
- 15.6″ IPS 1920×1080 Matte (Non-Touch)
- 8GB RAM
- 1TB 7200rpm HDD Storage
- 128GB SSD Primary Storage
- RGB Keyboard
- 64 Whrs 4 Cells Battery
- 38.4 x 26.2 x 2.3 cm (WxDxH)
- Windows 10 Home – ASUS recommends Windows 10 Pro.
- 1 x mini Display Port
- 1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
- 1 x Type C USB3.0 (USB3.1 GEN1)
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
- 4 x USB 3.0 port(s) Type A
- 1 x HDMI
Design and Display
The GL503 has a new back as per said before, it’s inspired by the Zephyrus which is currently ASUS’ latest thin-gaming laptop. The solid aluminum plate with a striking one direction hairline finish is a definite eye catcher, along with the right indexed ROG logo.
The GL503 has a great set of ports such as 4x USB 3.0, Display Port, Ethernet LAN, Audio Jack combo, SD Card Reader and a USB Type-C. Overall body is now at black with the only design are the hairline metal accents for the panel and keyboard palm placement.
Quick LED notifications can be found at the upper right of the laptop. This time, it’s now highly visible whether the lid is closed or open. We appreciate this approach as the extra grip space is a great place for your fingers to hold the laptop when carrying.
ROG branding on this laptop is everywhere, one “Republic of Gamers” inside and outside. On top of that, there are two ROG logos at the back, inside and underneath. We think ASUS overdid the branding here with even an ASUS and Strix logo inside.
Opening the lid welcomes you on the top are grills for cold air intake, this is for the thermal fans that operate inwards to exhaust at the back. Fan controls are either auto or over boost, this can let you manage the temperature better when needed.
The GL503 has top dedicated function keys at the top to access the volume, microphone, and the ROG Game Center. A nice gesture as it’s the most used hit keys for gamers and we were glad that opening the ROG Gaming Center was fast and responsive.
At the gaming center, you can access quick information about your laptop and even access controls such as the fan thermal speed, screen display, priority apps, GPU limiter, XSplit Gamecaster (Needs to have a subscription) and quick access toggles for the touchpad, ROG key, and windows key.
For different game scenarios, there can be different game profiles depending on your settings. But if you’re in gaming and always plugged-in the socket, we think this won’t matter much for you unless you want a super power saving mode when just doing regular document work.
As with any ROG laptop today, the Aura is now present with more design and customization. The keys are now more visible with translucent sides, for the customizable RGB Aura to bounce out.
We liked, as usual, are the ASWD keys are given with extra touch for better distinction. The fonts are likable as it’s thematic to the Strix design branding. The only complaint we would have to raise is the arrow keys ate too tight for our preference.
Keyboard tactile keys are softer than the usual laptop, it doesn’t click too much and it has a great feedback. It has a learning curve if you’re not into the gaming scene of keyboard, but we fell in love with it as using it on microphone intense game such as PUBG isn’t bothersome.
I got an average of 45fps on medium settings for PUBG with the current setup, downgrading to low settings can give you 70-90fps easily. During our use of the laptop, we were only able to use PUBG but it didn’t disappoint when it comes to loading time, wireless internet connection and audio quality.
The 3.5mm audio jack combo was easy to use, without the annoying prompts of an inserted jack notification anymore. The audio production was clear and sounded what it should be, nothing spectacular about the audio though.
Thermal and Comfort
Despite a fully utilized system of reaching 80 degrees for the CPU and 75+ degrees for the GPU, we didn’t encounter any annoying hot spots on the laptop, especially in the keyboard area.
Two thermal exhaust is located at the back, another difference we noticed as gaming laptops at this price point before only have one vent. One thing that might disturb you are the fans working when reaching 75°C, it goes to the over boost mode which is the fastest rotation for the fans. If you’re using headphones, it won’t be any factor for you but it does get slightly annoying when using the speakers.
As we mentioned earlier, the audio quality is normal and nothing spectacular. For the speakers, it’s the same as the latest laptops of ASUS today where the audio is loud, clear and has a bit of bass.
As with any gaming laptop, battery life is the concern. We were able to squeeze out 2 hours and 15 minutes of normal social media, videos and minor gaming of Sonic Mania at the laptop. For gaming like PUBG, we don’t recommend using the battery as it will drain in an hour and you won’t get the top performance you need for an intense game.
By the way, the bottom is expandable with two RAM slots, M.2 SSD Slot (already taken) and an HDD drive tray for upgrades or expansion.
Overall the ROG GL503 is a huge step from the gaming laptops 2 years ago, the new design revamp is a fresh sight for ROG laptops not only to design but also functionality. Having a true-quad core processor, decent GTX 1050 graphics, important fast SSD, ample storage and all in a sleek form factor are the must-haves and the GL503 hit on that spot.
For the GL503 Core i7 variant carrying a 69,995 price tag, it’s more than enough for all features included on a sleek form factor to love. IIf you’re a gamer who doesn’t really venture into maximum performance but also considers physical appearance, then the GL503 is a candidate laptop to highly consider.
The package also includes a ROG Mouse with additional freebies from their Christmas promo such as ROG Jacket and GM50 Mouse Pad.
With this, we award the GL503 our Hungry Geeks Recommended award for being a satisfactory gaming laptop. It’s perfect for the students who do video editing at school while playing games in their free time.