Looking around for a gaming laptop is probably more tedious than building a PC. For starters, there’s my personal preference to contend with. Secondly, I hate lugging around something that reminds me of encyclopedias. And lastly, I feel that they’re not that much of a powerhouse when it comes to playing games. But to change my outlook on things, the guys at ASUS decided to lend their most affordable gaming notebook, the ASUS ROG GL522JX. Yep. Affordable and ROG tend not to mix. But is this the thing that would make me change my mind or something to enforce my current belief?
Whether we like it or not, gaming laptops are always black. Or red. Or green. Or a bit of both. Going against the trend of thick or thin gaming laptops, the ROG GL522JX uses a bulky shell reminiscent of laptops from a few years back. Sort of like the middle child.
The top side of the ROG GL522JX is covered with a mesh material that is scratch-resistant and has the advantage of not being a smudge-magnet compared to a glossy finish. Located at the middle is the ASUS and ROG logo, comfortably sitting in the middle of a plastic/metal sheet. So far, so good. Behind it is a 15.6″ IPS panel that can display images up to 1920×1080 resolution.
At the right side, we’re treated to a DVD bay, a slot for a Kensington lock, a USB 2.0 port, and a pair of 3.5mm audio ports for input/output. On the other side, we have the exhaust for the laptop’s cooling system. Beside it is a VGA port (for, you know, school-related purposes?), an HDMI port, an RJ45 port, and two USB 3.0 ports.
The work area features the keyboard, speakers, and the touchpad. The keys are illuminated with dark red light with the WASD keys getting more attention with their highlighted sides. The LED lighting for the keyboard has four levels of brightness.
Moving a bit to the top, we have the speakers embodied underneath four slits that prove to be capable of booming a digital battlefield. To remove the plainness of the area, a line design is situated at the top and an ROG logo at the lower right edge of the keyboard.
The ROG GL522JX is armed with an Intel Corei7-4720HQ with a base clock of 2.6Ghz. The processor has four physical cores and has twice the number of logical cores. Backing the processor is a standard serving of 8GB of DDR3L RAM that can further be upgraded up to 16GB. For storage, it makes use of a 1TB HDD with a speed of 5400rpm. The HDD can be upgraded and complimented with an M.2 SSD.
Next we have the graphics. The ROG GL522JX utilizes Nvidia’s GTX950M for demanding applications. As Nvidia’s entry-level graphics chip that can handle gaming, you’ll be surprised by how it handles the latest games.
For benchmark, I decided to focus on gaming as this is made for that purpose. I lined up a mix of graphics-intensive games with some process-hungry ones.
I played and tinkered around a bit with the settings, mostly removing the anti-aliasing in all of the tested title as it has the largest impact in the performance. 30FPS is the magic number to be considered in order for a game to be playable. With Witcher 3 being the most demanding title in our list, it goes to say that lesser titles will find more numbers to crunch once played with the ROG GL522JX.
Given that this is a gaming notebook and it’s a bit stingy when it comes to performance due to its mobile nature, I can say that I’m quite impressed with the results. The numbers are likely to increase if the resolution was toned down to a less palatable 720p.
While the ROG GL522JX doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, it does implement features that make the device worth the while. It neither has the speeds necessary to skyrocket games into oblivion or slow enough to be undeserving of the monicker “gaming”. The ROG GL522JX sits snugly at the middle, a welcoming committee for those who wish to taste their first gaming laptop. Other than being a gaming machine, it goes that it can handle programming and a bit of graphics design. You can quote me on the last sentence if you wish to buy this laptop for your “schooling”.
For the physicality of the GL522JX, there’s that want to make it a lesser-sized laptop in order to mitigate the weight and the bulkiness. But the gaming laptop industry, or laptops in general, demand more premium for a biscuit-thin build. So, if you’re not that particular with size or weight, or not convinced to pay thousands more for a slimmer build, then consider this the gaming laptop that you’re looking for. Oh, and it’s not as heavy as grandpa’s encyclopedias.
It handles the latest games fairly well and the GTX 950M provides enough punch to run the games at an acceptable 30FPS without wholly sacrificing graphical fidelity.
The cooling system does a great job in diverting the heat away from the contact points of the ROG GL522JX. This means that no heat would be felt while having your hands over the work area.
However, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine with the ROG GL522JX. The most evident problem I experienced with the GL552JX is its IPS panel. While the colors and the brightness are spot on, screen tearing is inevitable. While not that much impactful in terms of performance, the tears show and it becomes a nuisance at times. A lesser concern is that the handrest may require the occasional scrub since sweat from the wrist can make a mark.
All in all, the ROG GL522JX is a good gaming laptop made for budget conscious mobile gamers. It has that unique ROG build that would wow or at least amaze bystanders and it has the guns to prove it. Is this a laptop that you’d bring to the beach while your friends play at the sand and whisk away the worries of youth, whilst you play DotA 2 just to increase your MMR? Definitely.
Anyhow, the whole bundle comes sits at an SRP starts at PHP 54,995 and comes with an ASUS laptop bag. For a more formidable version, with better specs, best prepare to shell out PHP 59,995.