AT A GLANCE
Among the affordable gaming laptops that combine Nvidia’s Pascal graphics technology with Kaby Lake processor, the ASUS GL753VE-DS74 offers superb performance, tons of storage and strong build–all at a fair price.
PROS: Reasonably priced. Top-notch gaming performance. Plentiful storage. Appealing, relatively portable design.
CONS: Physical design may be unappealing to some. Ports aren’t well marked.
The epitome of a midrange gaming laptop is one whose price below what we see in the expanse of high-end systems, but still excites on muscle and power. The ASUS GL753VE-DS74 tosses the dice in the right direction, for that matter, by ringing a price that is far much less than the competition while offering similar –and, in some cases, better–performance. Featuring a Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, and Pascal-based Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics, makes this system a value proposition in every angle.
The 1080p resolution isn’t bad, though we’ve seen rivals like the HP Omen 17 ring 4K display, but it’s acceptable for the category. If you’ve always desired to own the Asus ROG Strix GL702VM-DB74, our top pick midrange gaming laptop, but price has been an obstacle, then the ASUS GL753VE-DS74 is something that you can seriously consider, thanks to forward-looking technology and solid feature set at a relatively affordable price.
Design and Features
The ASUS GL753VE-DS74 is –at least by gaming standards–not large and bulky like predecessors. At 1.2 by 16.3 by 10.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 6.6 pounds, it won’t take the least of desk space and is somewhat travel friendly as it can slide into a Bonvince 18.4″ Laptop Backpack, though it isn’t heavy as you might expect. The 17-inch model of the same model the ASUS ROG Strix GL753VD-DS71 measures 1.2 by 16.3 by 10.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 6.6 pounds.
Both the aluminum lid and plastic cover on the base still have the metal finish, which might be quick to pick fingerprints and not easy to clean. Certainly, it has the looks of a gaming laptop thanks to a black ROG metallic profile that has red accents, including the Republic of Gamers logo on its lid as well as the palm rest. The base is made of plastic and the lid aluminum, which is a nice balance for a gaming laptop that can be pushed to the core sometimes, thus the need of a stable design.
The 17.3-inch FHD (1,920-by-1,080) resolution panel offers wide viewing angles of up to 160-degrees, but it still keeps the colors vibrant, and the images are sharp. The panel is very bright at up to 349 nits in the center, and the average luminance of the Asus GL753 is not much lower at 337 nits. The jump to 3K and 4K resolution in the gaming category is reserved for other systems like the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 3K (2,880 by 1,620) and the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 4K-238 (3,860 by 2,160).
In fact, such high resolutions have remained a compromise for gaming systems, since these displays are much more demanding, and the performance is further held down by mobile graphics cards, so you’ll have to choose between size, resolution or performance, but the most important is to choose the best mix. Nvidia’s G-Sync technology isn’t supported here.
On the GL753VE, you have a chiclet-style keyboard with a numeric keypad, which offers some decent key travel, at least for gaming standards. To that, add a responsive touchpad with two touch areas; the same we’ve seen in previous modes in the ROG line. Similarly, it maintains the familiar ROG logo on the lid and the curves and corners give the system a rugged look that is acceptable among most gamers.
Connectivity on the GL753VE-DS74 is excellent and varied. Here you have the I/O ports you might need including: three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 Type C (gen 2)—doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3, an HDMI port, a miniDisplayPort – for hooking up to external monitors, an Ethernet jack, and mic-in, headphone-out, and line-out jacks, as well as an SD card reader. The system also features Bluetooth 4.1 and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity, as well as an HD Web camera. You also have an optical drive in case you need to play some games or media from DVDs.
Overall, the laptop comes with three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 Type C (gen 2)—doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3, an HDMI port, a miniDisplayPort – for hooking up to external monitors, an Ethernet jack, and mic-in, headphone-out, and line-out jacks, as well as an SD card reader. The system also features Bluetooth 4.1 and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity, as well as an HD Web camera.
Alongside the brand new 4GB Nvidia GTX 1050Ti graphics card, the Asus ASUS GL753VE-DS74 is equipped with a similarly new Intel Core i7-7700HQ chip, a quad-core CPU based on the latest Kaby Lake generation. For storage, you have a hybrid configuration consisting of 256GB SATA SSD + 1TB HDD (in our review unit), although we get that Asus will offer different memory and storage configurations over time for the different variants of the same base model.
Given the new graphics system, though, it’s the 3D and gaming test results that are of most interest. The new notebook cards are meant to be very similar to their desktop counterparts for the first time, and this can be reflected on GPU scores. The 3DMark benchmarks point to relatively fast rendering on the gaming front, especially, when put side-by-side with its predecessors including the popular GTX 960M.
The next faster models the GTX 1070 are GTX 1080 present an impressive experience of NVidia’s high-end chips that are bringing desktop performance to mobile devices. For gaming, you expect some solid frame rates per second, thanks to a combination of a strong CPU nand equally potent GPU. The GTX 1050 totes some solid frame rates per second (FPS) on most modern titles in HIGH settings including: The Witcher-43FPS, Fallout 4-56FPS, and Battlefield 1-57FPS.
As expected for a large gaming laptop, the ROG GL753’s battery life is nothing to write home about. The much we got in our testing from the 4-cell battery 4 hours 28 minutes —although Asus claims up to 5 hours; just drop the hype, it’s a gaming laptop. The demanding hardware in gaming laptops generally drains the battery quickly, but you shouldn’t expect the full gaming performance if the system on battery power since it can only use a fraction of its potential without a socket.
For a very reasonable price for the Kaby Lake processor and GTX 1050Ti, the ASUS GL753VE-DS74 $1,259.99 at Amazon is an attractive proposition. Its performance is at par with or better than you’ll see from midrange gaming laptop that come in for far much more, many of which can’t match its performance. Here you get more than what you pay for, and it’s just hard to argue against performance that rivals what you get from even some latest gaming desktops.
It’s also true that there’s not much competition out there—yet. In the coming months, there are sure to be less expensive and thinner laptops with the same –or even better– Pascal graphics cards alongside the latest Kaby Lake processors, as we’ve seen in the 12-inch Razer Blade Stealth.
The only real concession is the plastic body, especially if an aluminum build is important to you, but the design is pleasant and it doesn’t feel cheap. The Asus ROG Strix GL702VM-DB74 also powerful, and equally affordable but adds features like Nvidia’s G-Sync and is VR Ready. but more expensive, and the screen is smaller and only 1080p. At the midrange price tier, where bang for your buck plays a pivotal role, the ASUS GL753VE-DS74 is a superior option that effectively demonstrating the power of Nvidia’s new Pascal notebook cards.