I don’t really know where to begin with this. When I reviewed the ASUS ROG GL552VW I was very happy with it, because its price-to-performance ratio is great. Thanks to that, I’ve been mighty excited to test the capabilities of its bigger, beefier sibling, the ROG GL752VW. Now that I’ve spent some time with it, the GL752VW is kind of disappointing. And that makes me sad. I’m sad now. And I’ve run out of tissues. This is not a good day.
In terms of look and design, the GL752VW is practically identical to the GL552VW. It’s built around a foundation of smooth contours and stylish curves, and is relatively subtle for a gaming notebook, although it nevertheless screams quality and is sure to garner attention from envious onlookers – especially with that ROG logo that lights up on its hood when the power’s on. With its 17.3-inch display, it’s quite a bit larger than the GL552VW. The extra screen real estate is welcome, because to me a bigger screen is more fitting for a gaming notebook.
The keyboard is functionally identical to that of its smaller chum, as is the trackpad. The typing and gaming experience on the keys is pleasantly satisfying, and the keyboard features ROG red backlighting for low-light environments. As I explained in my previous review, I personally prefer a trackpad with clearly demarcated buttons, which the GL752VW doesn’t have, instead opting for a seamless trackpad design. Chances are you’ll be using the laptop with a dedicated gaming mouse, however, so that shouldn’t present any issue if you share my feelings about trackpads.
Its display is excellent. It’s bright, it’s lively and the viewing angle is surprisingly good. The colour production is great, and overall it’ll provide a pleasant visual experience. The built-in speakers don’t provide the same level of satisfaction though. As with the GL552VW, the speakers here produce lifeless, tinny audio, and while it seems to pack more sonic punch than the smaller laptop, the GL752VW’s speakers can’t compete with certain other gaming notebooks out there. The SonicMaster tech that can be used to adjust the texture of the audio does little to alleviate the issue. I’d definitely suggest using external speakers or headphones to get the most out of the SonicMaster suite.
Right now is when things get real. For all its positive qualities, the GL752VW falls flat in the most crucial area of all: hardware performance. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that if you choose a different hardware configuration for your GL752VW, you may have a vastly superior experience to what I did with the unit I was sent. You’ll have to spend even more money though, and given that the price tag here already sits at R29,999, that may not be an option. 3DMark’s Fire Strike benchmark awards the GL752VW a score of 3,478. It’s not bad, but considering that it’s a significantly lower score than the GL552VW’s 4,034, it inevitably sets off some alarm bells. It’s because the smaller notebook carried the 4GB variant of the GTX 960M, whereas the GL752VW we received sports the 2GB GPU.
Still, it’s not all doom and gloom: the Core i7 6700HQ and 16GBs of RAM ensure that the laptop is incredibly speedy when it comes to productivity applications and general use. For gaming, however, you’ll have to sacrifice some visual quality and do a bit of tweaking to get playable performance in more power-hungry games – but for less stressful titles like League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm and Dota 2, the GL752VW will be a perfect fit for gaming on the go.
The package is rounded off with a bunch of cool extras, like the GameFirst III software which prioritises gaming activity when playing on a network. It’s also got a bunch of other presets besides gaming, like one which lets you quickly prioritise network activity for specific applications like Steam and Chrome, and there’s another preset which puts media streaming at the top of the list. It’s outfitted with one USB 3.1 Type-C port and there’s Mini DisplayPort out as well. As with the GL552VW, reaching the innards of the notebook is brilliantly simple. Upgrading the RAM or adding an M.2 SSD or other hard drive to the GL752VW is a breeze.
Even with its dubious hardware performance, I can’t help but like the GL752VW. It’s a great all-rounder, with a strong feature set and quality design. That said, if you’re looking for a gaming notebook that’s packed with raw power, it’s probably best to consider something else, or to opt for more powerful hardware when ordering your GL752VW.