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Asus ROG G703 – Gaming Laptop Review

Asus ROG G703 – Gaming Laptop Review

Asus ROG G703There’s nothing subtle about the Asus ROG G703. This monster machine emerges from the Republic of Gamers range with one mission: to blast through the latest games.

The current trend for slim design has been thrown out of the window for the G703. Instead, this laptop is all about performance. That’s great, but it doesn’t come cheap: it’ll cost you £3,100 in the UK and $3,499 in the US.

Asus ROG G703 review – Design

The G703 looks superb, but it’s not exactly subtle. The body is made from a mixture of gunmetal aluminium and a softer, matte black material. Sharp angles and straight lines divide the two shades, and burnt orange metal houses the air vents and the imposing Chimera logo.

There are, of course, loud logos and RGB LEDs. The Asus Republic of Gamers emblem on the lid is illuminated, and each key has its own light.

The G703 doesn’t just look the part – it’s one of the heaviest and thickest laptops we’ve ever seen. It weighs 4.8kg and it’s 50mm thick, which makes it almost a centimetre chunkier and about twice as heavy as many of its rivals.

Asus ROG G703The huge size does mean that build quality is exceptional, with no give in any of the G703’s surfaces, or in the screen. However, it does preclude this laptop from being truly portable. It’s the kind of machine that’ll be placed on a desk and won’t be moved often, and you’ll need strong arms and a good backpack if you do want to take it to a friend’s house or a LAN party.

The size of the G703 does mean loads of room for ports. This machine provides four USB 3.1 connectors and a Type-C jack. It’s got mini-DisplayPort, Thunderbolt and HDMI and a card reader. On the inside there’s dual-band 802.11ac wireless, Gigabit Ethernet – and even an Xbox wireless receiver.

The G703’s bulk also means that there’s solid internal access. Remove one screw from the base of the machine and you get access to two spare memory slots, two free M.2 connectors and all of the existing storage. That’s more upgrade room than most laptops provide.

Asus ROG G703 review – Ergonomics

The G703’s size means it’s got a top-notch base for its keyboard. There’s no give in the metal, which bodes well for really hammering the keys during fast-paced games.

Asus ROG G703The keys provide 2.5mm of travel, which is a bit more than most gaming keyboards have. The good travel and solid base mean that the G703 has one of the best chiclet keyboards that we’ve used on a gaming notebook. It’s certainly sturdy enough to handle FPS games, MOBAs and other fast-paced titles.

The layout is great, too. There’s a separate numberpad, large keys throughout and extra highlights on the WASD buttons. There are more buttons above the keyboard, too: they open the Asus Gaming Center app, XSplit Gamecaster and the Xbox Gamebar, and can also alter audio settings.

This is one of the best chiclet keyboards we’ve used on a gaming notebook, then, but mechanical units are better still – not least because of their extra travel and firmer typing action.

The trackpad occupies a similar position. Its two buttons are snappy and light, which is good for a gaming laptop, but a proper mouse will still be better.

Asus ROG G703 review – Components

Asus ROG G703Asus has taken Nvidia’s mobile GeForce GTX 1080 and given it a boost for the G703. The GPU has a stock speed of 1,556MHz, and here that’s been overclocked to 1,682MHz. That’s impressive enough, and the GPU also serves up 8GB of GDDR5X memory and 2,560 stream processors.

That formidable power will handle games at the screen’s Full HD resolution at a high enough frame-rate to really make use of the screen’s 144Hz refresh rate, and that’s not all. The GPU is powerful enough to output to VR headsets, and it’ll play some games at 4K.

The overclocked graphics core is paired with a tweaked processor – a rarity for laptops. The i7-7820HK is one of the only mobile processors that can be overclocked. In this machine its original 2.9GHz speed has been boosted to 4.3GHz – a huge boost. It’s paired with 32GB of memory, a 512GB SSD and a 1TB hard disk.

The overclocked processor won’t just handle any current game. It also means that the Asus will blitz through any work task, and it’ll run streaming tools and video editing applications with ease.

The overclocked components – and, indeed, the entire machine – are governed by the Asus Gaming Center app. This tool switches the CPU and GPU between their default Extreme overclocks and their slower Standard modes. It also monitors clock speeds and temperatures. It’s got screen modes, fan customisation, networking tools and audio utilities.

Asus ROG G703 review – Performance

Asus ROG G703The overclocked GTX 1080 delivered stonking pace in games benchmarks. Its weakest 1080p minimum was a superb 75fps in Witcher 3, and at 1080p it romped past 100fps in every gaming test.

That bodes well for smooth gaming with Nvidia G-Sync – you won’t have to make many tweaks to graphics settings to get games running smoothly towards the system’s 144Hz peak speed.

The GTX 1080 also has the power to handle tougher resolutions, too. It ran through Shadow of Mordor at 67fps when we ran the game at 4K, and it was playable in the rest of our test titles – although you may have to alter settings in the most demanding games.

And, if you need more convincing, just look at 3D Mark Fire Strike: its result of 16,587 is one of the best we’ve ever seen on a notebook.

Asus ROG G703The graphics chip isn’t the only impressive component. The overclocked processor returned single- and multi-threaded Geekbench results of 5,266 and 17,409. That first result is excellent, and the second result is the best we’ve ever recorded from a laptop. Suffice to say that this machine won’t struggle with many CPU-intensive tasks, and it won’t bottleneck games.

The SSD then delivered read and write speeds of 3,269MB/s and 1,699MB/s, which are reliably excellent.

The G703 has some of the most powerful parts we’ve ever seen in a laptop, but its huge size and solid construction mean that the Asus remains relatively chilled. During our toughest CPU and GPU stress-test the CPU and GPU peaked at 93°C and 81°C, with that former figure about as high as we’d like a laptop processor to go. During that test the fan noise was low and the laptop’s external panels remained cool – more than we can say for most other gaming notebooks.

The CPU and GPU peaked at a more reasonable 87°C and 80°C during a gaming test, with noise and external heat levels remaining fine. The machine never had throttling problems, either: the processor ran at 3.5GHz during full load and 4.3GHz during gaming, and the GPU rattled along at 1,950MHz.

The machine ejected heat from vents on both sides. That could be an issue if you’re using a USB mouse, but that’s our only thermal issue.

It’s no surprise that the G703 delivered poor battery life. It lasted for about 30 minutes in a gaming test, so make sure you’re near a plug if you want to play on this notebook.

Asus ROG G703 review – Screen and Speakers

Asus ROG G703We have no qualms with the screen’s gaming credentials. Nvidia G-Sync can run at a peak of 144Hz, which means silky-smooth gaming. The native resolution of 1080p is fine – sharp enough for today’s top games and low enough to enable G-Sync to work properly.

Good benchmarks back up those solid credentials. The brightness level of 269cd/m2 is ample, and the black level of 0.21cd/m2 is better than most gaming laptops can manage. That’ll really make dark areas look their best, and the contrast ratio of 1,278:1 ensures vibrancy throughout.

The average Delta E of 4.1 is fine, and the colour temperature of 7,573K is too cool – but it’s not going to ruin games or movies. Uniformity and viewing angles are good enough, too.

The excellent black level and contrast figures may not quite be matched by the colour accuracy, then, but this screen is still easily good enough for gaming thanks to those solid benchmarks and its 144Hz G-Sync.

The audio kit is impressive. The two 3W speakers pump out loads of volume, with plenty of clarity throughout the range. Bass could be better because there’s no subwoofer, but that’s our only issue.

Asus ROG G703 review – Conclusion

It’s rare to see a gaming laptop that’s as large as the G703, but Asus has made this machine’s size work to its advantage.

This machine has a keyboard that’s better than most gaming laptops can manage, loads of ports, and rock-solid build quality. It has high-end components that function with overclocks without proving too hot or loud.

Elsewhere, you’ve got a good-quality 144Hz screen, solid speakers and unsurprisingly dreadful battery life.

The Asus ROG G703 is a huge, heavy and powerful laptop, and that means it certainly won’t be for everyone – especially with a price like this. But if you do want a reliable and capable machine for high-end gaming and don’t mind paying extra for high quality, this heavyweight contender is excellent.

The Asus ROG G703 costs £3,100 in the UK and $3,499 in the US. Do you like the idea of a slim and light gaming laptop? Join the discussion on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration, check out our guide to our favourite laptops!

The Good

  • Excellent all-round performance
  • Good screen and speaker quality
  • Above-average keyboard
  • Great design and sturdy build quality

The Bad

  • Heavier and bulkier than rivals
  • Bad battery life
  • Extremely expensive

The Specs

CPU: 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-7820HK overclocked to 4.3GHz
Memory: 32GB 2,400MHz DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB
Screen: 17.3in 1,920 x 1,080 144Hz IPS
Dimensions: 424 x 320 x 50mm
Weight: 4.8kg
Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1
Hard disk: 512GB Samsung SM961 SSD, 1TB hard disk
Warranty: 2yr RTB

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Asus ROG G703

About Author

Mike Jennings

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