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ASUS ROG GL552 Review: A Budget Gaming Notebook?

ASUS GL552 09

We review the ASUS ROG GL552!

ASUS’ gaming sub-brang, Republic of Gamers, is the defacto gold standard in hardware for people looking to get serious about PC gaming. It’s one of the most desirable gaming brands in the market, and despite the premium pricing for devices sold under its wing, ROG products are still in high demand, its notebooks, especially. To ease the crippling effect that buying one of their notebooks does to a gamer’s bank account, ASUS has released several relatively more affordable gaming notebooks, chief of which is the GL552 that we’re reviewing today.

ASUS GL552JX specs:

  • Intel Core i7 4750HQ processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M GPU. 4GB of VRAM
  • 8GB of DDR3 RAM
  • 15.6-inch IPS matte full HD display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 1TB HDD
  • 3 x USB 3.0 ports, VGA port, Ethernet port, Optical disk drive

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A more modest exterior than its brothers

While we’re used to seeing premium materials and build with ROG’s other notebook offerings, ASUS has gone with something a little more practical. The usual metal lid of more premium models is now gone, replaced with hard plastic. No, that’s not a typo – even the aluminum-looking trim on the top of the lid is still plastic, which gives you an idea of the sacrifices that ASUS had to make to make the GL552 (relatively) affordable.

 

Despite that the notebook still looks good, at least from a distance. The lid of the notebook as a textured pattern to try and add a visual flair to the otherwise plain-looking notebook. The silver plastic trim doesn’t look like plastic at a distance – you’ll have to touch it and press down on it with your finger to determine that it’s not really made out of metal. The ROG logo on the middle of the lid lights up as well.

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That plastic style and design extends to the chassis of the notebook as well. Open the lid and you’ll see the full QWERTY keyboard with a separate numpad. The trackpad is big and easy to use, and the keyboard isn’t too shabby either, backlit by ASUS’ favorite color, gamer red. As for the typing experience? It’s pretty good – keys are easy to depress, and key travel is rather generous, all things considering. Our mechanical keyboard spoiled fingers have absolutely zero complaints about the keys on the GL552.

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The GL552 weighs around 2.5 kilos, which puts it the heavier end of the scale. It’s also rather thick, but considering the price, that’s really not surprising.

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Just like other gaming notebooks, the GL552 has a number of ports and connections on its chassis. There’s three USB 3.0 ports scattered on the left and right side of the body, as well as a Ethernet port if you prefer the reliability of a wired connection. Interestingly enough, the GL552 also has an optical drive and a VGA port for Throwback Thursdays (seriously ASUS, get rid of these).

The screen is a 15.6-inch full HD matte IPS panel that’s good enough for most applications. The display has good color reproduction all around, and is bright enough to be seen even under direct sunlight.

Can run most modern games, but temper your expectations

Hardware is the heart of most notebooks, and the GL552 is no exception. Inside its chunky chassis is Intel’s Core i7 4750HQ processor, paired with 8GB of DDR3 RAM and NVIDIA’s GTX 950M and a 1TB HDD. That hardware is capable of playing most games in the market, but you’ll be limited to moderate settings while playing. Let’s take a look at its benchmark numbers:

PC_Mark_Benchmark

Anyway, playing our current addiction The Division on medium settings (1920 x 1080) gave us an average FPS of 30, with the occasional spike down to 20 depending on the location of the firefights. On Battlefield Hardline, that FPS came up to almost 60 frames per second, but again on medium settings and at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Crank the resolution higher and you’re going to start seeing drops in frame rate. The GL552 isn’t a monster when it comes to gaming but at least it can hold its own when it comes to newer games, at least for the meantime.

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The GL552 also became our go-to video editing rig for many of our videos the past few weeks. It came along with us during our trip to Singapore and India, and managed to render a full HD video around 5 minutes long at 10 minutes give or take with the help of the discrete graphics card.

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Thermals of the notebook isn’t bad, but you’d probably don’t want to place your phone on the right side where the exhaust vent is when you’re using it.

Dismal battery, but it’s expected

Gaming notebooks aren’t known for their battery endurance, and the GL552 is no exception. With brightness cranked up to max and doing productivity tasks, we managed to record a run time of around 3 hours. You can probably game with this without it being plugged in, but expect your battery performance to drop like a rock.

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Verdict: it’s a good notebook for budget gamers who want to game on the go

Overally the ASUS GL552 isn’t a bad gaming notebook. It’s relatively powerful and makes short work of heavy number crunching tasks like editing photos and videos. It has adequate performance for a gaming notebook but you’ll have to keep the settings on medium if you want smooth gameplay.

The ASUS GL552 as configured is priced at Php 54,995.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

13 Comments

  1. The Dell 7559 is a better alternative – It only has an i5 6200, but it has a 960M which is better suited for gaming.

  2. Acer v15 Nitro Black Edition – i7 quad, 8gb, 1TB with a much more powerful gtx960M saka hindi kasing kapal nyan. No ODD.

      1. I’ve been using one for 6mos now and so far so good both in work and play. Been an acer user also before and didn’t encounter any issues with it. (Timeline X)

        Baka yung sirain ay yung mga lower end models. Most of the time you really do get what you pay for sa lower end models.

      2. I’m using my Acer Aspire 4745G laptop with 1st gen core i5 laptop for nearly 6 years now. So far, my discrete graphic card just died a year ago, and some of the keys on the keyboard isn’t responding. Other than that, its going okay. 🙂

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