The market for gaming laptops is getting quite crowded in India. We’ve seen a recent glut of devices from the likes of Dell, MSI and Asus and all of them are aimed squarely in the Rs 1,00,000 segment.

Interestingly, almost all the devices we tested boasted of the exact same configuration. Even more interestingly, there’s quite a wide variation in performance, despite the identical specifications.

From our tests, it’s quite apparent that the determining factor for performance is thermal management. Asus’ latest entrant, the ROG G551VW, is a relatively large and bulky laptop and given its size, we’re hoping for some excellent thermal management and by extension, excellent performance.

Did it really meet our expectations or is it just another also-ran? Let’s find out.

Build and design: 7.5/10

Asus ROG G551VW review logo Tech2 720

At 2.70 kg, the Asus G551V is not light. It’s also quite large as it hosts a 15.6-inch screen. The top of the lid is aluminium, but the underside seems to be plastic. The rest of the body is also predominantly plastic, but it’s very sturdy plastic and I didn’t find any flex. I assume that there’s a sturdy metal frame underneath all that plastic.

The hinge cover feels very flimsy. The hinge mechanism is very sturdy though.
The hinge cover feels very flimsy. The hinge mechanism is very sturdy though.

The hinges are a mixed bag. While the display is quite stable, with much less wobble than I’m used to, the plastic hinge covers feel cheap and lend no confidence in their longevity. You can even hear them click when you press them.

Asus ROG G551VW overview Tech2 720

As far as vents are concerned, there only seems to be one outlet along the left side of the device. The intakes are at the bottom. I was hoping for a larger vent on the device, but considering the performance, it wasn’t all that limiting.

Keyboard and trackpad: 8/10

Asus ROG G551VW keyboard Tech2 720
Asus’ standard backlit gaming keyboard with accented WASD keys

The keyboard and trackpad were pleasant to use. The keys are backlit in red and the WASD keys are highlighted with a special, red accent. The trackpad is also large and comfortable to use, though click response was a bit off when using the buttons. Tracking was spot-on however and we don’t really have complaints with the keyboard and trackpad.

Features: 7/10

Asus ROG G551VW vemt Tech2 720
Note the full-size LAN port and the fins in the vent

The specifications of the Asus G551V are quite nice. You get an Intel i7 6700HQ CPU, 16GB RAM, an Nvidia 960M GPU, a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. It’s worth mentioning that the HDD is claimed to be a 7,200 rpm drive, which is great when you consider that most laptops ship with a 5,400 rpm drive.

The sides are lined with three USB 3.0 ports, one of which doubles as a charging port. “What‘s the difference?”, you ask? The regular USB ports output about 500mA of current, the charging port outputs about 1000mA of current (up to 1,500mA).

It's not often that you see a DVD drive on a laptop these days
It’s not often that you see a DVD drive on a laptop these days

You also get a 15.6-inch 4K display and, surprisingly, a DVD-RW drive.

The rest of the connectivity comprises of a 3.5mm combo jack, a full-sized LAN port (you’ll need that if you want good pings), an HDMI port and a mini-display port. An SD card reader is placed towards the front of the device.

Asus has loaded up the device with a whole bunch of software, all of which I promptly uninstalled, and as you’ll see later on, with good reason.

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