GAMING LAPTOP

Asus ROG G703 Review

GAMING LAPTOP – Asus R0G G703

Even the largest gaming laptops seem to be slim and light in comparison with the massive slabs of a few years ago, but that’s not the case with the latest Asus machine. The G703 leans towards performance rather than portability, and it looks great, thanks to its two- tone metal design and burnt orange accents. It also weighs a hefty 4.8kg, and it’s 50mm thick. That’s 2cm thicker than the Gigabyte Aorus X9, and more than 1kg heavier.

The bulk does have advantages though. The Asus is supremely sturdy and reassuring. The G703 has more ports too: four USB 3.1 ports and a USB 3.1 Type-C connector are included, and there are HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs. It’s also easier to get to the internals than with the Aorus X9. A single screw can be removed to access the base panel, where you’ll find two spare memory slots, two vacant M.2 ports and all the storage.

The solid base houses a high-quality keyboard as well.

It’s a Scrabble-tile unit with a good layout and an unusually generous 2.5mm of key travel. The keyboard feels substantial, and the ample travel, solid base and consistent, reliable action makes for a better typing (and gaming) experience than most laptop keyboards. If s the closest we’ve seen another laptop come to the X9’s mechanical keys, although the X9’s keyboard remains better. Similarly, the Asus’ touchpad is good, but the X9’s is better.

Meanwhile, a row of buttons provides quick access to gaming extras. One opens the Asus Gaming Center app, another loads XSplit Gamecaster and another loads the lighting settings. That Aura lighting app has the usual bevy of keyboard effects and customization. Gaming Center can be handy too – it can switch the CPU and GPU between their Extreme and Standard modes, and monitors the system’s stats. It has links to fan customization, screen modes, audio tweaks and networking tools. You can also download an app to manage the laptop from your phone.

The 17.3in screen has impressive gaming credentials too. Its 144Hz refresh rate is a little better than the X9’s 120Hz and, unlike the X9, it also supports G-Sync, so it syncs the refresh rate with gaming frame rates to eliminate tearing artefacts. On the downside, the screen only has a 1080p resolution (although a 4K version is also available), but the

The CPU has had its 2.9GHz stock speed boosted to 4.3GHz

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-7820HK overclocked to 4.3GHz

2400  MHz  DDR4

Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB

Screen 17.3 in 1,920×1,080144Hz IPS

Storage 512GB Samsung SM961 dual-band 802.11ac WiFi SSD, 1TB hard disk Networking Gigabit Ethernet,

Weight 4.8 kg

Ports 4 x USB 3,1 xUSB 3.1 Type-C,1x mini-DisplayPort 1 x HDMI, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x SDXC, 2 x audio Dimensions (mm) 426 x 321 x 50 (WxDxH)

Operating system Windows 10 Home 64-bit

Warranty Two years parts and labor return to base

Despite its size, the G703 looks great, thanks to its two-tone metal design with burnt orange accents G703’s overclocked GTX 1080 GPU may well be able to meet the high frame rates needed for gaming at a high refresh rate.

The G703’s GTX 1080 arrives overclocked from 1556MHz to 1682MHz, and that’s not the only bit of tweaking. Like the X9, the G703’s Core i7-7820HK CPU has had its 2.9GHz stock speed boosted to 4.3GHz. In the machine’s Standard mode, the CPU and GPU clocks sit 3.7GHz and 1582MHz – so you’re still getting an overclock.

Elsewhere, there’s 32GB of memory, a 512GB Samsung SM961 SSD and a 1TB hard disk. The SSD is a generation ahead of the X9’s storage, and the latter is a boon – the X9 didn’t have one at all. Meanwhile, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a Gigabit Ethernet adaptor handle networking duties, and the machine is covered by a two year warranty.

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Performance

The GTX 1080 had no issues at 1080p. In the default Extreme mode, its minimums ranged from 74fps to 93fps.

It lost a handful of frames in Standard mode, but not enough to derail performance. Those frame rates are high enough for gaming at high refresh rates, and the toughest games will only require graphical tweaks to get them beyond 100fps. G-Sync works smoothly too.

The G703 is quick in Windows software too. Its overclocked system score of 128,764 is a little quicker than the X9’s score, and it performed well in all our tests, thanks to an overclocked quad-core CPU – we rarely see laptops score benchmark results this high. The SSD is fast too, with read and write speeds of 3,353MB/sec and 1,687MB/sec respectively.

Meanwhile, the bulky chassis does a solid job with thermals. During a system stress test, the CPU and GPU delta Ts of 70*C and 58*C were fine, and not much different from the X9, but the Asus was quieter, and its exterior remained cool. In the same test, the louder X9’s base became too hot to touch. The G703 hit solid delta Ts of 64*C and 57*C during gaming, and it was quieter than the X9 too.

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VERDICT

A bulky design enables Asus to create a winning gaming laptop in this sturdy, fast and high-quality machine.

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ASUS ROG G703VI Gaming Laptop, 17.3” 144Hz G-SYNC, Overclocked Core i7-7820HK CPU...

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Last update was in: June 11, 2018 11:30 pm

The 17.3in screen not only has a 144Hz refresh rate, but it also supports G-Sync

The only slight problem is the heat ejected from both sides, which could be annoying if you’re using a mouse next to it.

There were no serious throttling issues either. The CPU remained at 4.3GHz during gaming, and it ran at 3.5GHz in a system-wide stress test. Meanwhile, the CPU ran at around 1950MHz throughout testing.

The screen is decent too. Its contrast of 1,278:1 is better than the X9’s 669:1, with a far darker black level of 0.21cd/m2. Its 2.21 gamma level is great, and while its color temperature of 7.573K is chilly, it’s still better than the Aorus. The delta E of 4.1 is mediocre, but that’s the only area where the G703’s screen falls behind. Uniformity and viewing angles are good as well.

Even the two 3W speakers are louder and clearer than most laptop audio kits, with snappy top end and punchy treble output. We’re a little surprised there’s no subwoofer, but the speakers are good enough for gaming and films.

The G703’s Extreme performance mode doesn’t work on battery power, but it’s not a machine for gaming away from the mains – the battery doesn’t even last an hour running a games test in the laptop’s Standard mode.

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Conclusion

The Asus ROG G703’s size and weight look out of step with slim gaming laptops such as the Gigabyte Aorus X9, but this throwback design aids the Asus. It’s cool and quiet, plus it has great build quality, more ports than the X9 and a better screen. The size isn’t a huge issue anyway – this laptop will rarely leave a desk or a backpack – it’s designed to be a portable gaming rig, rather than a machine for gaming on your lap.

The GTX1080 isn’t quite as fast as the X9’s two GTX 1070s, and that system has a marginally better keyboard and trackpad, but none of those factors is transformative. The Asus is better balanced and cheaper, making it the best option if you want a 17.3in super-powerful gaming laptop.

MIKE JENNINGS

8.7 Total Score
Asus R0G G703 Review

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