Asus gets almost everything right with the new Republic of Gamers (ROG) G752 gaming laptop.
It is surprisingly quiet for a gaming laptop, with just a slight humming noise when the laptop is running a game.
It also runs pretty cool for a gaming rig. Asus says the flagship Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics chip in the G752 uses liquid cooling, which lowers temperatures by up to 11 deg C compared to a typical thermal solution.
The bottom of the laptop did get warm during gaming, but not uncomfortably so. But you should probably avoid placing this notebook on your legs anyway, because it weighs a hefty 4.4kg.
The matte black design of the older G751 model is gone. Instead, the G752 has a brushed aluminium finish with orange highlights. The logo and the air vents at the back glow red when the laptop is turned on. The keyboard has a red backlight, too. I prefer the new look, simply because it breaks away from the trend of black gaming laptops.
The 17.3-inch display is non-reflective and has very good viewing angles. It supports the Nvidia G-Sync technology, which reduces screen lag and stutter during gaming.
Above the keyboard are five extra keys, which can be programmed to launch apps, websites or custom game macros. There is a dedicated button to launch the XSplit Gamecaster app for those who wish to record or broadcast their games to an online audience.
The keyboard has excellent key travel and supports up to 30 simultaneous key presses, which means it will not miss your input during frenetic gaming moments.
However, the keyboard feels mushy and is not as satisfying to use as a mechanical keyboard.
Like the other ROG products, the G752 is loaded with a Gaming Center app that lets you change settings easily and monitor things like temperature and fan speed. Press the special button with the ROG logo to launch this utility.
My biggest nitpick: The laptop does not come with a solid-state drive (SSD), only a single 1TB hard drive. This means longer wait times for apps to load and for the laptop to boot into Windows.
Asus probably chose to omit the SSD because it would drive the price past $3,000. As it stands, the G752 is relatively affordable at $2,898; more so when you compare it against rivals such as the Alienware 17, which costs $3,500 for a similar system.
While local custom notebook firm Aftershock PC does sell a similar model for $2,878, this Aftershock laptop does not have a Blu-ray writer or software extras such as a lifetime licence for the XSplit Gamecaster app, which the Asus laptop has.
Besides, if you can wait till next month, Asus has said it will have an SSD-equipped version, though it has not revealed the price.
My other complaint is the audio. I was expecting to be blown away by the laptop's two speakers and subwoofer, but the audio was not loud enough and lacked punch.
Battery life is decent for a gaming laptop. The G752 lasted 3hr 45min in our video-loop test with the screen at maximum brightness and with Wi-Fi enabled.
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-6700HQ (2.6GHz)
GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M 8GB GDDR5
SCREEN SIZE: 17.3 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
CONNECTIVITY: 4 x USB 3.0, Thunderbolt port, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet port, SD card slot, audio jacks
BATTERY: 90 watt-hour
BATTERY LIFE: 2/5
A powerful gaming laptop that runs quieter than expected. The price is very competitive, too.
This article was first published on December 16, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.