- Solid games and application performance
- High-end design
- Good screen quality
- Comfortable keyboard
- Underwhelming battery life
- Disappointing speakers
- 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics
- 17.3in 1,920 x 1,080 IPS 60Hz Nvidia G-Sync screen
- 16GB 2,400MHz DDR4 memory
- 256GB Toshiba XG3 M.2 SSD
- 1TB hard disk
- Windows 10 64-bit
- 2yr RTB warranty
- Manufacturer: Asus
- Review Price: £1,600.00/$2,400.00
WHAT IS THE ASUS ROG GL752VM?
Most 17.3in gaming laptops pair their imposing stature with huge, flagship components. That’s great for smooth frame rates, but not so good for the price.
The Asus ROG GL752VM is different. This machine has a 17.3in screen, but its £1,600/$2,400 price keeps things relatively sensible in a market that sees many laptops costing twice as much.
ASUS ROG GL752VM – FEATURES
The GL752VM’s price hasn’t led to much compromise when it comes to components. Graphics horsepower still comes from one of Nvidia’s latest Pascal graphics chips: the GeForce GTX 1060. It’s proved to be one of the more popular new parts, and it’s the perfect GPU for 1080p gameplay.
The GTX 1060 deploys 4.4 billion transistors across 1,280 stream processors, and it has 6GB of GDDR5 memory. The mobile chip runs at 1,404MHz, which is about 100MHz shy of the desktop card – but these specifications still outpace most full-fat desktop GPUs.
The current-generation GPU is paired with a Core i7-6700HQ. The familiar chip is a 2.6GHz quad-core processor with a Turbo peak clock speed of 3.5GHz. Here it’s paired with 16GB of 2,400MHz DDR4 – another bit of familiar hardware, and a decent speed too.
There’s a 256GB Toshiba XG3 SSD and a 1TB hard disk, which is entirely conventional. A slightly stranger inclusion, in 2017 at least, is a DVD drive – a welcome addition if you’re into playing older games, or watching films.
The GL752VM’s nearest competitor is another Asus machine: the ROG Strix GL702VM. That system also has a GTX 1060, but it costs a more affordable £1,200 – and that means it has a Core i5 processor rather than a beefy Core i7 chip. That machine also sports just 8GB of memory and a 128GB SSD.
The GL752VM has dual-band wireless and Gigabit Ethernet, plus plenty of ports. There are four USB 3 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C connector, an SDXC card slot and both HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs.
ASUS ROG GL752VM – DESIGN
The GL752VM is at the affordable end of the 17.3-inch spectrum, but that hasn’t stopped Asus from ensuring that it looks the part.
This machine adheres to the firm’s “armour titanium and plasma copper” design language, which means plenty of brushed metal and burnt orange. There’s a vibrant-coloured area on the hinge with the Republic of Gamers logo, orange slashes on the lid, and dramatic vents across the entire rear.
The interior has an angled power button and an area decorated with the Mayan-inspired design that now appears across most Republic of Gamers products. There’s also a two-tone colour scheme with brushed metal around a darker, matte core.
The Asus looks the part, but there’s no sign of slimming down: this machine weighs just over 4kg, and it’s 44mm thick. That’s at the top end, even for 17.3-inch machines – the Asus ROG Strix GL702VM is about 1.5kg lighter and about half as thick.
The GL752VM is sturdy, with barely any movement on the screen and only a little depression on the wrist-rest. I’ve no qualms about putting this machine in a bag to take to LAN parties, but other machines are stronger. Laptops such as the Scan 3XS LG17 Carbon Extreme are more expensive, for example, but they exhibit no weakness.
Elsewhere, smaller touches indicate the Asus’ gaming pedigree. The row of five macro buttons and a streaming key come straight from the firm’s pricier laptops, and elevate the GL752VM – only expensive machines from Asus and Gigabyte’s Aorus range have included such features.
There’s a bit of interior access available, too. Remove one screw and pull on a rubber tab; a base panel lifts away to reveal two spare memory sockets, the hard disk and the M.2 SSD, alongside a spare M.2 connector. That’s better than the cheaper machine, which had no practical way to get inside the system.
This machine also comes with the Asus ROG Gaming Center app. It’s a one-stop tool for tweaking several aspects of this machine, with Standard and Extreme performance modes, screen options, audio tools and a macro-recording module. It covers most bases, although higher-end Asus laptops do offer more.
ASUS ROG GL752VM – PERFORMANCE
The GL752VM comes with Standard and Extreme modes, with the latter chosen by default. In practice, there’s little difference between the two: the 1,404MHz clock improved to around 1,600MHz in Standard mode during gameplay, and managed about 1,680MHz in Extreme mode.
In Extreme mode, the GTX 1060 had no problems playing games at 1080p. It managed solid minimums of 45fps in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and GTA V, and returned averages of 71fps or higher in every title.
Those scores were recorded in the default Extreme mode, but there’s little difference between that option and Standard mode. With the latter chosen, games were only a frame behind – or sometimes less.
Those scores are virtually level with the cheaper Asus ROG Strix GL702VM, but the GL752VM does have an advantage over its rival as a result of its Core i7 processor. The difference can be seen in 3DMark: Fire Strike; the GL752VM scored 9,664 in this test, but the GL702VM could manage only 8,456.
The GL752VM’s single-core Geekbench score of 3,198 is only slightly ahead of the GL702VM’s 3,036, which is no surprise – there isn’t much between those two chips in terms of raw single-core speed. However, the GL752VM’s multi-core score of 12,534 is thousands of points ahead of its rival – that’s the difference that Hyper-Threading makes, and that advantage will be particularly obvious during multi-tasking and complex games.
Once again, I saw little performance difference in Standard mode: the single-core score dropped by a couple of hundred points, and the multi-core result decreased to 11,853.
The Core i7 processor and GTX 1060 graphics core secures the GL752VM for a wide variety of uses. It will play any current game at 1080p, and it has enough power to output to ultra-wide panels and VR headsets. However, those more demanding tasks will likely require some tweaking to get games running smoothly. Don’t expect 4K, though.
Similarly, the processor will handle anything except top-tier tasks – it won’t bottleneck games, and it will run the vast majority of work applications.
There were no surprises from the storage: it was blisteringly fast. The Toshiba SSD delivered read and write speeds of 1,981MB/sec and 1,419MB/sec, which is enough to speed up system boot and game load times. It’s also better than the cheaper Asus, which had a standard SATA drive.
The mid-range specifications and large design meant that the GL752VM didn’t cause any thermal problems. In Extreme mode, the CPU and GPU peaked at 89oC and 77oC respectively, and in Standard mode only the GPU cooled down by a single degree. The GL752VM’s CPU result is a degree cooler than the cheaper model, while the graphics core is much chillier.
The solid temperature results translated well to the rest of the notebook. There was a little heat on the underside of the laptop, but that was it – as far as I’m concerned, that’s nothing to worry about.
The noise output was good, too: the Asus generated a low and quiet tone that was consistent and easily drowned out with a headset or the speakers.
ASUS ROG GL752VM – SCREEN AND SOUND QUALITY
Asus has kitted out the GL752VM’s 17.3in screen with a Full HD resolution. That’s fine for gaming, and it makes sense when the GTX 1060 is considered, but it does mean that this panel can’t match the sharpness of some other gaming machines.
Its density level of 127ppi is relatively low, so individual pixels will be easy to spot. If that’s a concern, seek out a laptop with a higher resolution that will deliver a more crisp image.
This screen supports Nvidia G-Sync to a limit of 60Hz, which is fine for a mid-range machine, and it has a matte coating – good for gaming under bright lights.
Quality is decent. The contrast level of 1,044:1 is ample, and the black level of 0.32 nits is enough to deliver impressively deep shades. The average Delta E of 3.27 is fine; the Asus’ screen delivers 86.5% of the sRGB colour gamut, and the colour temperature of 7,532K is a tad cool – but not chilly enough to make an impact.
Those scores are in line with my expectations for mid-range gaming laptops, and they ensure that the Asus will deliver good depth and colour accuracy for games and movies. They’re also better than the Asus GL702VM in every category.
Asus includes a Vivid mode on the GL752VM, but that option made little difference – it boosted the brightness, but most results remained the same.
The GL752VM continued its good form in uniformity tests. This machine’s 17.3-inch panel lost only about 3% of its brightness along the top edge, with 6% vanishing across the middle row and about 10% disappearing at the bottom.
That result is more akin to what I see from gaming laptops that cost £1,000 more than this one, and it means the GL752VM delivers impressive consistency, with no sign of colours changing their shades or strength levels from one corner to another. There’s no sign of backlight bleed, either.
The Asus’ screen delivers solid performance in every key category, and it helps the GL752VM make its case.
The audio kit is less convincing. The Asus has two 2W speakers and a subwoofer, but the latter component is the only one that really impressed. The sub ensures that there’s a decent amount of bass depth here, but the mid-range is muddy and high-end sounds are too tinny for my taste.
They’re not the loudest speakers, either – there’s enough volume, just, but most gaming notebooks have more punch.
The Asus audio tool has Music mode chosen by default, but the Movie and Game options make little difference – they’re a tad punchier, but that’s it. The GL752VM’s speakers are just about acceptable, but I’d always use headphones or third-party speakers rather than the kit included here.
ASUS ROG GL752VM – KEYBOARD AND TRACKPAD
The Scrabble-tile keyboard has a decent layout: the macro and recording keys are paired with a number pad, and there are full-sized Return and Space keys.
The entire unit has a red backlight with adjustable strength, and Asus boasts of 30-key rollover, which is solid for a gaming laptop and should prevent issues for all but the busiest of gamers.
The typing experience is decent, too. The base is firm, and there’s good travel considering the Scrabble-tile hardware – as much as I’ve seen on notebooks that cost twice as much. There’s satisfying snap and pace to the keys, which helps for gaming.
My only complaint is that the keys are, perhaps, too light – they lack the firmness and weight that’s found on the best laptop keyboards. This isn’t a huge issue, and the Asus’ typing hardware remains some of the best I’ve seen on a mid-range gaming portable.
The trackpad is mediocre. The pad itself is fine, but the buttons push down too far and are a little too slow to respond. A USB mouse is usually better than the hardware on gaming laptops, and that’s certainly the case here – I’d always choose an external mouse,especially in a fast-paced game.
ASUS ROG GL752VM – BATTERY LIFE
I didn’t expect revolutionary lifespan on a £1,600/$2,400 gaming notebook, and the Asus certainly delivered. This machine’s 67Wh battery lasted for 3hrs 7mins in the standard benchmark, which is an undemanding browser and video test with the screen at 40% brightness.
That result is more than 30 minutes behind the more affordable Asus ROG Strix GL702VM, and it’s also less than a slew of other gaming systems that I’ve seen over the past six months.
A high-end 3D gaming test revealed that the Asus could barely last an hour away from the mains, which is precisely what I expected and no different to any other gaming machine.
SHOULD I BUY THE ASUS ROG GL752VM?
There’s an awful lot to like about this laptop. Asus has put together a well-balanced specification for a decent price, and that makes it more appealing and practical than many other gaming notebooks.
Problems are small and understandable. Few laptops at this price have decent speakers, the trackpad is middling, and battery life is poor.
At this price, many of those minor issues are forgivable, and the Asus manages to avoid many of the pitfalls that hamper some more expensive gaming laptops – thermal issues or unbalanced specifications, for example.
The Asus GL752VM is an excellent option if you’re looking for a large, mid-range gaming machine.
Asus has paired this machine’s mid-range price with solid performance in most key departments. The GTX 1060 runs games smoothly on the high-quality screen, and the rest of the components are rapid. Other machines might be lighter or faster, but this 17.3-inch brute is an excellent mainstream option.