Even if you’re something of a PC gamer, you don’t necessarily need a powerful gaming laptop. Some customers are simply looking for a laptop with great build quality and features, plus a graphics chip just powerful enough to run some of their favorite games. Alas, many laptop vendors implement only low-end graphics hardware into non-gaming models, providing casual gamers an inferior experience.
An ideal chassis for casual gaming would be something like the Asus ROG Strix GL502 , which we reviewed in the middle of 2017. As it turns out, Asus has updated the ROG Strix with the GL503VD, a brand-new model with an updated chassis. Specifications Packaging Asus’ packaging is stylized with black ink and ROG and Asus logos, nearly identical with the previously reviewed GL502’s wrappings
. The top of the box has a plastic carrying handle, which makes transporting the laptop easy. The box interior is slightly updated. Gone is the plain brown cardboard, which is replaced by black cardboard with a holographic ROG logo on the inside cover. You’ll find the Strix on the very top, wrapped in cloth. Beneath the laptop are additional compartments housing the AC power cord, the 240V power brick, an information booklet, and a warranty card. The packaging is very straightforward. The Strix is well-protected, and the addition of black cardboard makes the presentation feel slightly more upscale. The rest of the presentation is the same, as nothing needed to be changed in the first place. Exterior Our first impression when we unboxed the Asus ROG Strix GL503VD was,
“ike the Asus Zephyrus.” The brushed-metal finish is a spitting image of the latter, with everything from the same finish to the chrome logo. Some key differences are the direction in which the brushed finish runs; the Zephyrus finish has a 45° brushed texture on the top half of the laptop and a 90° texture running vertically. The Strix is also split down the middle by a diagonal accent, ‘
but the brushed metal bias runs at 45° on both portions. Our only gripe with the finish is that fingerprints and smudges easily appear after normal use. This is a symptom all metal finishes present, and the Strix is no exception.
Finally, the Strix has “REPUBLIC OF GAMERS” printed in a subtle, almost unnoticeable black on the very bottom of the lid, whereas the Zephyrus has it printed in white. Similarly, the Strix has a reflective chrome ROG logo on the right side of the lid. When the system is powered, red LED lighting will emanate from behind the chrome. The main difference is the pattern, or rather the lack thereof, that shines through the logo. The Strix’s LEDs emit a solid light through the chrome logo, whereas the Zephyrus logo shines with a pindot pattern.
Speaking of LEDs, the Zephyrus’ diagonal accent has a grille from which additional red lighting emits; the Strix’s diagonal accent has no such lighting. The surface surrounding the input devices is constructed out of plastic, much like on the GL502, but the brushed-and-diagonal aesthetic from the lid makes its way here, as well.
The diagonal edge starts from the top left corner and ends at the bottom right corner. Above the diagonal, the plastic surface features a brushed texture, whereas the surface below the diagonal edge is smooth.
As a result, the smudges and fingerprints don’t show up as easily on the top right portion of the plastic surface, but are quite prominent on the bottom left half. Various logos decorate this surface: a Strix to the top left of the keyboard, […]