http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images2500x2500/asus_gl552vw_dh74_i7_6700hq_16gb_1tb_128ms3_windows_10_64_15_6_1183449.jpg
I'm not gonna lie, originally I wanted to buy a Mac laptop. I like the Apple hardware, build quality and software better than nearly all of the Windows alternatives. And even though I may love Apple's products I don't love the price because when you buy Apple you pay a premium for it. And with that price and quality premium you also lock in to your hardware specs. Apple used to allow upgrades to it's laptop harddrives and ram after your initial purchase but that is no longer the case. I want a system that's reasonably priced, is mobile and something I can upgrade when the time is right. Playing games well is also important to me so after a bit of searching I finally pulled the trigger and bought an ASUS ROG laptop.

Show Me The Specs

The ASUS ROG was in the right price and spec zone as it features an Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz, 16GB RAM; 1TB 7200RPM + 128GB SSD harddrive & an NVidia GeForce GTX 960M -w 4GB VRAM. The OS runs on the SSD which means this thing boots up wickedly fast. The ROG features an HDMI port so plugging it in to my desktop monitor and TV is a breeze and after a bit of learning on my part I figured out how to rock a dual monitor/laptop screen setup in Windows 10. I went with the 15" laptop as 17" seemed way too large for a laptop and since the hardware of both sizes is nearly identical, I think the smaller size was a better choice. The ROG also features a nice illuminated keyboard that really helps with typing in the dark. In general the laptop hardware is solid in nearly every respect but I do have a couple gripes with it. The black finish is very neat looking but it's also a fingerprint magnet. It's not too bad but I do have to wipe it down from time to time because the smudges bother me. The other annoying part of using the ROG is that if you bend it slightly on occasion the DVD drive opens. Originally I thought i'd use the DVD drive more but apparently I don't use it at all so the only time the drive ever opens is on accident.

Beyond those minor issues the ASUS ROG is a very solid and powerful laptop. It's not too heavy has a good build quality to it and is very enjoyable to use.

Apparently, Windows 10 Is Pretty Good

I'll be honest, I am not a huge fan of Windows or Microsoft. This is mostly because I found the Microsoft of the 90's to be really bad in terms of it's anti-competitive behavior but recently the company has come around a bit. Windows 7 was a pretty good Operating System and after using Windows 10 for a month I can say that it's pretty easy and isn't too annoying to use. That said it phones home more than E.T. so if you don't want Redmond knowing when you go to the bathroom, I suggest you run SpyBot Anti-Beacon. The ROG also comes with a ton of crap-ware installed and that takes a bit to get removed but after all of that is gone and Windows isn't calling Bill Gates every 5 minutes, it's a solid experience. I can't honestly tell if Windows 10 performs better than 7 but I haven't noticed any slow downs in any games or actions on Windows 10.

This Thing Plays Games Well Too

If you want the biggest bang for your buck in PC-land you shouldn't go with a laptop. I went with a laptop because I wanted to play games and have a very portable system. I also wanted a machine I could hack Cheerful Ghost code using Linux and the ASUS ROG does that really well. It also plays games well, but again, if you want more power for your dollar go with a regular ol' PC. That said, I was able to max out StarCraft II with zero issues and the ROG can also play the new Doom game in 1080p without dropping below 30 FPS.

After using the ASUS ROG for a month I can say that i'm really happy with my purchase. It's a solid system for the price and it plays all the games I want to at a very acceptable speeds. It's comfortable to use on the couch and slides right in on my Desktop and works great with my monitor, keyboard and mouse. If you are looking for a nicely spec'd laptop that plays games well you might want to look into the ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH74.

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 08/05/2016 at 08:06am

Sweet! How's the battery life? Does it get hot?

JaBo wrote on 08/05/2016 at 06:15pm

Huh, yeah, pretty similar to what I bought last year. ASUS G751JL 17-Inch Gaming Laptop
I love mine. Max graphics gaming on a laptop with a quiet fan that doesn't get too hot... I still love it. It's huge though... I had to buy a $100 gaming back pack for it lol. (I use it for school too ).

Will_Ball   Game Mod   Super Member wrote on 08/05/2016 at 06:34pm

Mmm, new hardware. Does it VR? :)

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 08/05/2016 at 11:41pm

> How's the battery life? Does it get hot?

The battery life is about 4-5 hours JUST with a browser open doing light surfing in battery saver mode. It's a couple hours if you are playing a game on battery.

It gets how when you have Steam or Battle.net open and/or are playing a game. It pushes hot air through a side fan, and it gets a bit warm on the bottom but nothing too bad.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 08/05/2016 at 11:42pm

> It's huge though...

I bet. That's why I got the 15" :D

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 08/09/2016 at 12:26pm

I just noticed in the picture you included in your post that the WASD keys seem to be highlighted. That reminded me of a keyboard change I'd like to see. On most keyboards you'll find that the J and F keys have little protrusions on them so that when you put your hands on your keyboard, you know where the "home keys" are without having to look. I think the WASD keys deserve the same treatment for gamers like us. :)

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