ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX502G Review: An Awesome Portable Gaming Laptop
Republic of Gamers, the gaming division of ASUS, has always praised itself with some of the best performing gaming laptops on the market, often overlooking issues such as design or portability in favor of frames per second in games. In the last few years, however, ASUS has begun to take seriously the need of users to buy very portable laptops with powerful hardware, and this is how the range of ROG Zephyrus devices was born, which promises top performance in thin, easy-to-carry cases in a backpack. normal.
After about two years of experiments, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX502G seems to be the result that combines the pleasing design with high performance, in a lightweight laptop.
The original ROG Zephyrus introduced for the first time a much more, let’s call it “special design”, with a folding metal base, which opened when the display was in the normal position of use, for a more efficient ventilation, but also a better position, a weird keyboard and trackpad.
For the GX520G, ASUS chose a more "normal" design, but retained the fold-down cooling system, which automatically opens when the screen is in use. The result is a laptop that does not "scream" gaming at first glance, something that many will certainly appreciate.
The GX520G can easily be mistaken for a business laptop if we judge by the shades of dark gray and matte black used for the outer and inner casing (around the keyboard), the ROG logo being the only element that can provide a hint that this is actually a gaming laptop.
Although not exactly in the same product range, the ROG Zehphyrus GX502G could easily be compared to a MacBook Pro in terms of size and design, but with more connectivity ports. There are 4 USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C, one HDMI, an Ethernet port, and separate headphone and microphone jacks. Unfortunately for those of you who want to use this laptop for photo or video editing software, an SD card reader is not included, so you will need to bring an external one.
Moreover, the fact that ASUS has omitted the inclusion of such a port is rather strange, as the monitor is validated by Pantone for color accuracy, which might suggest that it could be used for editing purposes at least on an amateur level, if not on a professional level.
Speaking of the display, this is quite impressive for a laptop monitor. ASUS has chosen a 15.6 "Full HD panel for this laptop, but not the usual 60 Hz, or even 144 Hz as we have encountered in the last period. The company wanted the most powerful panel available, one that displays images at 240 Hz, at the same level as desktop gaming monitors do. ASUS notes that we are dealing with an IPS panel, however, so the response time is slightly higher, 3 milliseconds, compared to 1 millisecond on ultra-high performance desktop TNs.
Another component that is not integrated into the GX502G is a webcam. ASUS has tried over time to move the webcam to the bottom of the screen, but this solution resulted in filming fingers when doing video calls or livestreaming, and the quality of laptop webcams has not improved significantly over the past five years, so those who want this will have to get a dedicated webcams. Thus, ASUS managed to make a laptop whose display is surrounded by very thin edges, only at the bottom being a pretty thick plastic tape.
The keyboard was a pleasant surprise, first because it is well-spaced, and the keys are normal in size, and secondly because they have a fairly short stroke. This is well done both for those who play a lot and for those who write a lot and fast.
ASUS has also integrated a few "gaming" buttons at the top, controlling the volume, the microphone, or the start up of the Armory Crate, which controls certain aspects of the laptop. The trackpad was also surprising. It offers a nice touch surface and an uncommon sensitivity for Windows laptops. Of course, most people who choose the GX502 won't use the trackpad very much, but when they have to, they won't be disappointed.
Armor Crate provides access to the lighting profiles (yes, the keyboard is RGB, but the lights can be set to one color, including white, but also completely off. The air vents are also lit), the cooling profiles and special key settings. Also from here the monitor overdrive can be activated, which ensures low response time. In the absence of this option, in theory, the monitor should be slower. In practice, it is difficult to see a noticeable difference between these modes.
The laptop comes with two plug adapters, a 230W one, which allows the use of the entire performance of the hardware and a second 60W one, which you can take only for slow charging and use in "office" mode. This solution can be good for those who use the same laptop both at the office and at home. In addition, the small adapter is very light and portable, compared to the high-performance one, which weighs about half of the entire laptop.
Now that we know what is on the exterior let’s see what’s under the hood of the Zephyrus GX502G:
- Screem: 15,6”, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 240 Hz, G-SYNC
- CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H @ 2,6 GHz (4,5 GHz boost)
- GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 630 + NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB GDDR6
- RAM: 32 GB DDR4 2666
- SSD: 1 TB NVMe
- Sound: Stereo
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, 2 x USB 3.0 Gen1 Type-A, , 1 x USB 3.0 Gen2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 X HDMI 2.0, 2 x 3.5mm jacks, 1 x Ethernet (RJ-45)
- Weight: 2 kg
- OS: Windows 10 Home
All these look good on paper but what happens when we put it to work? Here are a few gaming benchmarks that we ran and we can say the results are pretty good. Take a look:
Given the performance in many of these titles, we could say that the 240Hz monitor is not used to its true potential, but the truth is that such a monitor is not exactly dedicated to those playing AAA titles with single player campaigns.
In eSports games, where multiple frames per second are important and the turnaround time crucial, this laptop can definitely reach values close to 240 frames per second. If you are a player of Counter-Strike Global Offensive, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, Fortnite or similar titles, chances are that the GX502G will provide the high level of performance throughout the game sessions. Also, G-SYNC technology will ensure that response time will remain low, even if the framerate drops below 240 FPS.
ASUS has succeeded in creating a gaming laptop that does a lot of good things, with minor gaps when it comes to integrating a card reader, for example. The keyboard and trackpad are among the most enjoyable we have used on a gaming laptop so far, while the excellent screen and high performance audio system have impressed us.
Yes, it is an expensive laptop (over $2000), but the top ROG laptops have never been cheap. Those who want both performance and portability now have a new alternative on the market, which compared to direct competition, has an even competitive price.
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