There’s a popular category of gaming laptops on the market – those without overly hefty price tags of the traditional gaming notebooks, yet with decent performance. The 15.6-inch Asus ROG Strix GL553VD-DS71 (usually selling for around $1,099) and GL553VE-DS74 (around $1,299) are a pair of these. There are also other GL553 models as well, but in the US-based stores you’ll mostly find these two.
Outwardly, the 5.5-pound GL553VD-DS71 and GL553VE-DS74 sport black 1.2″ thick casings with orange accents. The base is made of plastics, while the lid is made of aluminum. The notebooks feature a Full HD “IPS-like” screen. Since Asus claims the GL553 series has wide 178° viewing angles, “IPS-like” probably means some kind of IPS technology, as opposed to TN panels with narrow viewing angles. The keyboard sports backlight with full RGB color palette and 4-zone customizable lighting.
The Asus ROG Strix GL553VD-DS71 and GL553VE-DS74 have only a few differences. The former comes with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB video card and a 1-Terabyte hard drive, while the latter includes somewhat faster GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GPU and a 128GB solid state drive besides the 1TB HDD. Both the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti are mid-range notebook video cards. This means they are capable of running all available game titles on Full HD resolution, but in some demanding games you’ll have to dial down graphics settings for a smooth gameplay.
Asus’ GL553VD-DS71 and GL553VE-DS74 feature the 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core processor and 16 Gigabytes of DDR4 system memory. The Intel Core i7-7700HQ is among the fastest laptop CPUs, so it’s ideal not only for gaming and usual routine tasks, but also for high-intensity work like video editing. Furthermore, 16GB of DDR4-type RAM is sufficient for heavy games and multitasking scenarios, while the 1TB HDD can store a plenty of large PC game installations, movies, and other files. The 128GB SSD add-on on the DS74 version is provided to boost storage performance of the traditionally slow hard disk drive-only storage technology. The laptops feature a built-in DVD writer drive.
A subwoofer speaker which can be found in many gaming laptops is missing, so sound reproduction relies on a pair of standard stereo speakers. Video chats are enabled through a 720p web camera.
The Asus ROG Strix GL553VD-DS71 and GL553VE-DS74 provide admirable peripheral connectivity. They boast a small and fast USB-C 3.1 type port, alongside the standard size USBs (2 x USB 3.0 and 1 x USB 2.0), as well as HDMI video out, a combo audio in / out jack, and a SD / MMC media card reader. For gaming over the network and general Internet use, they include 802.11AC Wi-Fi wireless and wired Ethernet LAN port. There’s also a built-in Bluetooth module.
The included 48 WHr battery is averagely capacious. According to Asus, the battery can provide “up to 5 hours” of run time on a charge.