We go hands-on with the ASUS ROG G501!
A few weeks ago we reviewed the ROG G551, a powerful, massive notebook that’s been our partner in crime for a substantial amount of time. While we love the flexibility it gives us, being able to edit hefty, full HD videos from literally anywhere, it is quite a substantial piece of kit. It’s heavy for a notebook, and a full day of events lugging the thing around tired us quickly.
That’s where the ROG G501 comes in. The G501 has a similar feature set compared to the G551, but it’s thinner and more importantly, lighter, giving you access to a powerful machine without the associated bulk.
ASUS G501 specs:
- Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor
- NVIDIA GeForece GTX 960M GPU
- 4GB of RAM, expandable via an additional 8GB
- 15.6-inch full HD display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 1TB HDD, can be replaced with either 128GB or 256GB SSD drive
- WiFi, Bluetooth, SD card reader (2-in-1)
- Bang & Olufsen ICEpower sound
Initial impressions: an ultrabook on steroids
ASUS made an effort to make the G551 look like a gaming notebook without falling into the same design cliches as comparable products, and that design mantra extends to the G501. The big difference here is that the G501 looks more like an ultrabook rather than a gaming notebook because of its smaller and thinner frame. At 2KG, it’s lighter than the 2.7KG G551, but it’s still not exactly what we’d call lightweight.
Just like the G551, the G501 sports a 15.6-inch display, though the model that’s here in the Philippines sport a TN (twisted nematic) display instead of the IPS and even 4K models that are available in other countries. This may be a concern for some, as TN panels don’t offer the same kind of display quality and viewing angles as IPS displays.
The lid is still made out of metal and sport a brushed metallic finish, with the ROG logo smack dab in the middle. Just like the G551, the G501 has red, aluminum chamfered edges, as well as a full QWERTY keyboard and a numeric pad. There’s also a large number of ports, including USB, SD card reader, full sized HDMI and DisplayPort.
Inside beats Intel’s Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, along with NVIDIA’s GeForce 960M GPU and 1TB of storage. You can swap out the hard disk drive in favor of either a 128GB or 256GB SSD drive and add an additional 8GB of RAM. The addition of the powerful GeForce 960M GPU is surprising, considering the notebook’s compact body – most other notebooks settle for something lower spec’d.
Overall the G501 is a fast notebook, which isn’t surprising given how beastly the specifications are. The keyboard is a pleasure to type on, and it’s capable of running and playing all the latest games in moderately high settings. We’ll be retiring the G551 in favor of this lighter notebook in the coming days, so check back then on the overall performance and review.
The ASUS ROG G501 is priced at Php 59,995.