SUS ROG Strix GL553VE Review – Gaming Laptop Review. We’re going to take a look at the ASUS ROG Strix GL553VE laptop and find out what it’s got to offer and how well it performs in games. Inside the box we’ve got the laptop itself, manual and warranty information, ROG sica gaming mouse, power cable and power brick. Let’s start with the specs of the laptop, in my configuration here there’s an Intel 7700HQ quad core Kabylake CPU, which runs at 2.8GHz and can turbo up to 3.8GHz.
There’s 16gb of DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz with the option of 32GB available. For storage there’s a 256GB SATA3 M.2 SSD and 1TB 7,200 RPM hard drive, however different sizes are available. There’s an Nvidia 1050Ti for the graphics, which powers the 15.6 inch 60Hz 1080p IPS panel. For network connectivity there’s a built in gigabit ethernet port and Intel Dual Band 7265 WiFi which supports 802.11AC, as well as Bluetooth 4.0.
The laptop has a brushed black metallic look to it with some tasteful orange coloured accents around it, and overall I think it both looks and feels nice. The physical dimensions of the laptop are 38.3cm in width, 25.5cm in depth, and 3cm in height which makes it a little thicker than laptops I’ve recently reviewed, but it’s still a decent size, not too thick.
The total weight of the laptop with battery is advertised at 2.5kg, and I found my particular model to weigh just under 2.6kg, and when adding the power brick and cable for charging the total weight increases to 3.1kg, so it’s still fairly portable. As mentioned the screen is a 1080p panel, which I personally prefer at the 15 inch size. It’s a 60Hz display which is fine considering the Nvidia 1050ti inside, as we’ll see in the benchmarks it doesn’t often go too far above 60 frames per second in many games anyway.
I’ve performed my usual backlight bleed test on the display, which involves having the laptop show a completely black screen in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding around the edges. I then take a long exposure photo with my camera to help display any bleed, so basically this is a worst case scenario test. We can see there’s a fair amount of bleed, mainly from the top but also most corners, and I did notice this while using the laptop in a normally lit room during darker game scenes. This sort of thing can differ from laptop to laptop, I was curious and looked at some other reviews of this model and didn’t see any others that were as bad, so it seems like your mileage may vary.
The brightness of the screen can be adjusted quite a bit, and I’ve found the viewing angles to be quite good, I can see the image and colours clearly on any angle thanks to the IPS display. The screen also has a matte finish to it, which I personally prefer as you can more easily see what you’re doing despite your lighting situation, as reflections are harder to see. While moving the display I only found a little bit of flex, nothing serious, overall it feels pretty sturdy and the lid can be opened easily with one finger.
Above the display is a HD camera, so it’s only capable of 720p video, it looks ok but not great. The built in microphone doesn’t sound that great either, but I’ll let you be the judge. The keyboard has been pretty nice to type with, it’s definitely one of the better laptop keyboards that I’ve used. It’s a full sized chiclet keyboard with numpad, and all of the keys are RGB backlit over 4 different zones, allowing you to customize the look with the included ROG Aura Core software.
The effects available are lacking a little, hopefully that can be updated in a future update. There’s just a little keyboard flex, but it’s only noticeable if you push down quite hard, it wasn’t a problem while typing normally. The ROG button launches the ASUS gaming app which lets you view system information and change the fan speed. I also liked the touchpad, it felt nice and smooth to the touch and the left and right buttons are built in towards the bottom. In addition to this, you can left click anywhere on the touchpad with one finger press, or right click with two fingers.
Additionally I’ve found the touchpad to work very well, with the tracking working all the way right to the end of all edges. The front facing speakers actually sound pretty decent, at least for a laptop. They sound a little muffled and aren’t as clear at louder volumes, but there is some bass. Now onto the available I/O. On the left there’s the power input, air exhaust, rj45 ethernet port, HDMI port, 2 usb 3.0 type-a ports, a usb 3.1 gen 1 type-c port, and 3.5mm headphone and mic jack. Over on the right there’s a usb 2.0 type-a port, a dvd drive which I was a little surprised to see, and kensington lock. As the USB port is close to the front I found that I had to plug the included sica mouse in on the left, otherwise it got in the way while using the mouse.
The front features some basic status LEDs, full size SD card reader and the speakers are behind the orange mesh. There’s nothing at all on the back except some subtle republic of gamers branding. Up on top there’s some more ROG branding which is LED backlit when the laptop is on. The aluminium lid was quite the fingerprint magnet, but nothing a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth couldn’t fix. Underneath there’s some air intakes to keep everything cool, as well as some orange rubber feet which both stop the laptop from moving around on flat surfaces when in use, and also rise it up slightly to help let cool air in. There’s a 48 Watt hour 4 cell battery, and with a full charge and doing basic tasks such as browsing the Internet and watching YouTube with the screen on around half brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for 4 hours and 24 minutes. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings the battery lasted just 38 minutes. It would have been nice to have a bigger battery, personally I’d have been cool if they removed the DVD drive and used that for battery space instead.
Based on the the specs and size I thought the laptop would have adequate cooling space, during normal use with an ambient room temperature of 18 degrees celsius, both the CPU and GPU idled at 40 degrees celsius. While benchmarking for an hour with the same room temperature, the CPU reached a maximum of 87 degrees celsius, while the GPU peaked at 75, which was a little warmer than I expected but not too serious. The laptop was warm underneath, but fine on top so no issues using it on a table. I also found the laptop fairly quiet, at idle it sat around the 30-32 decibel mark and I could barely hear it. With the fans maxed out it went up to 53 decibels. I also didn’t notice any coil whine while playing games.
Finally let’s take a look at some benchmarks, we’ll first cover some real world gaming benchmarks followed by tests with various benchmarking tools. All tests were run at the 1080p resolution with all Windows and Nvidia updates to date installed. I’ve been playing a lot of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds lately, so let’s start there. Even playing at high settings we’re sitting around the 60 frames per second sweet spot, though of course this can quickly dip depending on what’s happening in the game and how many people are in the area. In battlefield 1 we’re getting decent frame rates, even with ultra settings we’re still close to 60 FPS.
The Witcher 3 is a bit different, even at the lowest settings we’re only start getting close to 60 FPS, however it was still very playable up to high. Watchdogs 2 is another game that likes more resources, again we’re almost at 60 FPS on the lowest settings, however I had no issues playing at high to very high and everything still looked great and played well enough. Ashes of the singularity seems to be quite CPU intensive, and again to get a decent frame rate we have to play with low to high settings.
Shadow of Mordor on the other hand worked well even at ultra settings, but I needed to swap to very high to sit around the 60 FPS mark. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon was another that only reached 60 FPS at low settings, you could play on medium or high alright but it wasn’t a pleasant experience going up any higher. With DOOM I was easily able to average above 60 FPS even at ultra settings, no real need to play any lower. We’ve seen that some of the games tested play at 60 FPS even with maximum settings, while others only barely reach this target at minimum settings, so it really depends what games you’ll be playing on the laptop.
If you’re curious just look up benchmarks of your favourite game with the 1050ti and 7700HQ CPU and you should expect similar results with this laptop. Now onto the benchmarking tools, while a useful indicator note that these results are less practical compared to the real world gaming results previously shown. This is how the laptop performed in Heaven benchmark with the tessellation set to extreme, and anti-aliasing set to x8, and this is how Valley benchmark performed with anti-aliasing on x8 at various graphics settings.
I ran both the Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks from 3DMark and got scores of 6,317 and 2,406 respectively. In Crystal Disk Mark the 256gb Hynix SSD performed around 560 MB/s in sequential reads and 255 MB/s in sequential writes, which is about what you’d expect from a SATA3 based SSD for the read speed but the write speed seems quite a bit lower. After looking at the details for the particular model installed it is performing exactly as advertised, so worth noting if writes are important to you.
The 1TB 7,200 RPM hard drive gets around 146 MB/s in sequential reads and 139 MB/s in sequential writes which is about all you’re going to get from a mechanical disk. Overall I think we’ve got a pretty good laptop here. The build quality is nice and it feels quite sturdy, and the orange accented colouring is fairly subtle compared to other gaming laptops I’ve seen. The IPS screen looks great apart from the noticeable backlight bleed that was present in my model, and the battery is large enough for you to get a fair bit of work done away from power, but not too much gaming. If you’re going to be doing a lot of gaming depending on your games you might want to look at a higher model with a 1060 instead of a 1050ti, as I’ve found that to provide a better all round 60 FPS gaming experience at 1080p, but of course that will cost more. With these exact specs I’ve seen the laptop for sale in Australia for anywhere between $1900 to $2100 AUD, which at the time of recording translates to roughly $1520 to $1680 USD for my international viewers. As mentioned you can get different disk and memory sizes, so the pricing can still vary a bit.
So what did you guys think of the ASUS ROG Strix GL553VE gaming laptop? I’ve found it to work pretty well, it offers a decent gaming experience with fairly good battery life for the size and specs.
Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, leave a share on the post to let me know what you thought.