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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  • negusp - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    In most cases I would agree with you, but not in this case. This laptop is going to be rarely moved. It's effectively a 15-inch DTR.

    The thing is, a complete desktop system would still be about ~25% cheaper. Even more, dedicated input peripherals and screen make for a much better experience than gaming on a small laptop. Might as well purchase a cheap laptop and build a good rig.

    Even more, I can build a $300 PC that can best a PS4, easy. And there are plenty of compatible controllers and MCE remotes that can be used for cheap as a multimedia system.
  • Samus - Sunday, December 11, 2016 - link

    While I agree with your message, you most definitely cannot build a desktop PC for $300 that rivals a PS4 in virtually any media or gaming tasks. Even if you pirate the OS.
  • xenol - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    Also I didn't realize there was another indent level so I thought your reply was for my comment :P
  • Great_Scott - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    At ~$1600 I'm struggling to imagine that anyone cares. Sure, it might even be a good deal, but I can't remember the last time *anyone I know of* spent 4 figures on a laptop. ~$999 at the most or irrelevant.
  • faster - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    It's gaming laptop. You can't play Battlefield1 on a $999 laptop. This is an intriguing product.
  • p1esk - Sunday, December 11, 2016 - link

    Why would anyone want to buy this laptop to play games? It's clearly too big and heavy to lug around if you want to game during your daily commute on a bus, and it's clearly not as fast as a (cheaper) desktop.
  • DanNeely - Sunday, December 11, 2016 - link

    Other than being slightly thicker to hold the bigger heat sinks in terms of size/weight this is comparable to a mainstream 15" laptop from 5-10 years ago. OTOH that 10yo mainstream laptop would probably weight 6 pounds instead of 5 like this one does.
  • sundragon - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    It's about 5.7 lbs when you actually weigh it. I'm not sure why ASUS says 4.8 lbs. The power adapter is large and weighs about 1.2 lbs so we're talking realistically 7lbs if you're moving it.
  • mrcaffeinex - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    It is not mainstream to me, but it does appear that more of what would have been deemed to be enthusiast in the past is now the upper mainstream.
  • bigboxes - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    Anything over $1k is not mainstream.

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