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Asus ROG Strix GL703V review

1080p gaming from a well known brand

Benchmarks

Here’s how the Asus ROG Strix GL703V performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Sky Diver: 24,453; Fire Strike: 9,681; Time Spy: 3,707
Cinebench CPU: 739 points; Graphics: 95.2 fps
GeekBench: 3,992 (single-core); 12,929 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,983 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 2 hours
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 2 hours and 20 minutes
Total War: Warhammer 2 (1080p, Ultra): 34.9 fps; (1080p, Low): 76.1 fps
Middle Earth: Shadow of War (1080p, Ultra):  52 fps ; (1080p, Low): 104 fps

The Asus ROG Strix GL703V has a 7th generation Intel CPU rather than an 8th gen one. However, this is largely because at the laptop’s release 8th generation laptop CPUs are all 'U' series ones designed for slim and light laptops. And the Core i7-7700HQ here still, for the most part, outperforms a Core i7-8550U.

It’s a quad-core processor with four cores, eight threads, a clock speed of 2.8GHz and a 3.8GHz Turbo.

New G-series 8th gen CPUs are heading our way, but at the time of review at least, the Core i7-7700HQ isn’t heading to the graveyard just yet.

General performance in Windows 10 is great thanks to the 256GB SSD, which you’ll also want to use for your favorite games. It’s not a lightning-fast SSD with read speeds of 562MB/s and writes of 264MB/s, but provides the crucial performance boost over a hard drive.

It’s the graphics card that matters most, of course. The Asus ROG Strix GL703V’s 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU doesn’t quite match the performance of desktop GTX 1060, but is still great for 1080p gaming. Middle Earth: Shadow of War runs at an average 52fps at Ultra settings, rising to 104fps at Low settings.

Creative Assembly’s demanding Total War: Warhammer 2 runs at 34.9fps at Ultra, 76.1fps average at Low settings.

If you can’t stand dips below 60fps, you’ll have to lower graphical effects in some games. However, the sad truth is GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 laptops are prohibitively expensive for many, and probably most, gamers.

The Asus ROG Strix GL703V offers a good balance between cost and performance. Our review spec it also has 16GB DDR4 2800MHz RAM, letting you be careless about how many tabs and apps you have open when not gaming.

When you’re simply writing documents or browsing websites the Asus ROG Strix GL703V is near-silent apart from some light coil whine, although the fan does seem to fire up every now and then to flush out some excess heat. Under pressure the fan is louder than those of some of the thicker gaming laptops, although as it has quite a low-pitch tone we don’t find it particularly obtrusive or annoying.

After longer stints of gaming, some of the heat from the GPU and CPU does bleed into the keyboard, though, the upper keys starting to feel warm to the touch. If you tend to play for hours (and hours) at a time, you might want to consider a thicker laptop with a more substantial heat dispersal system. Those great big vents on the HP Omen 17 and Alienware 17 aren’t just there for the looks.

As with any gaming laptop, you’ll likely want to use headphones or speakers while playing, although the Asus ROG Strix GL703V’s stereo speakers are reasonable. There’s at least a hint of bass and passable clarity, although higher frequencies sound soft.

An app called Sonic Studio also lets you alter the sound profile too. However, trying to bring out more treble clarity tends to make the speakers harsh.

Battery Life

Last year we reviewed a lower-power laptop in the Asus ROG GL703 family and found its battery life to be remarkably good. But in this higher-performance, 120Hz-screen notebook, that has flipped.

Despite having a solid 64Wh cell, the Asus ROG Strix GL703V only lasts 2 hours when running PC Mark 8’s mixed use battery test.

Playing a 1080p movie on loop at 50% brightness sees its stamina increase to 2 hours 20 minutes. However, it’s clearly pretty useless away from its charger. Is the 120Hz screen really that much of a power drain?

Of course, this isn’t quite the killer issue it would be in a laptop otherwise well-suited to use outside the home.

We liked

The Asus ROG Strix GL703V is a good laptop for 1080p gaming. A GTX 1060 GPU and Core i7 HQ processor remains a great combo for the job.

Its screen is the biggest draw, though. Great color saturation and contrast makes games look stunning on the large 17.3-inch screen. Its 120Hz refresh rate would be more useful with a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 GPU, but you’d have to pay a lot more for that spec.

We disliked

Battery life of just 2.5 hours makes the Asus ROG Strix GL703V useless as laptop to use on-the-go. You probably wouldn’t buy a 17-inch gaming laptop for the purpose, of course, but bear this in mind.

There’s also a cost to the laptop’s relatively slender 24mm thickness, as after a while some heat starts to bleed through to the keyboard when playing games.

Final verdict

The Asus ROG Strix GL703V is a solid choice for 1080p gaming if you don’t plan to use it away from its power adapter. 

A rich, deep-looking screen makes moves and games alike look great. However, you do have to put up with some keyboard warmth under strain, which may be off-putting for the hardcore crowd.