It’s not easy buying a gaming laptop. While specifications are important, thermal management is far more important and it’s almost impossible to measure that without thorough testing. It’s also difficult to draw the line when it comes to horsepower.

So how does one balance the aspects of price, performance and portability?

Asus appears to have the perfect answer to such questions, and it’s called the ROG Strix GL553VE FY127T. Here’s why…

Build and Design: 7.5/10

The GL553VE is big and heavy, weighing in at 2.8kg, but it’s not a flimsy device as such. The lid features a really thin, flexible top cover that you can depress with a finger. The keyboard area is also similarly flimsy and I could feel the region flexing as I typed. These areas aren’t critical for the overall build of course, and the rest of the device is very sturdy. More importantly, the thin areas aren’t brittle, so I don’t think they’ll break easily.

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The rear half of the device appears to be given over entirely to the chipset and cooling. The front portion houses the battery, speakers, USB ports and everything else. I personally prefer the USB ports to be towards the rear half of the device, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Speakers fire from the front of the device, where you’ll also find the 2-in-1 card reader.

The laptop itself is covered in brushed aluminium and painted black, but you’ll find red accents on the grills, the rubber feet and the logo on the lid.

Keyboard and Trackpad: 8.5/10

I love the keyboard and trackpad. As mentioned earlier, the keyboard tray itself is a little flimsy, but the keys offer generous travel (2.5mm) with precise response. These aren’t mechanical keys by any means, but they’re among the best laptop keys I’ve used.

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RGB lighting is also a bonus. Asus says that the keys support 30-Key Roll Over (KRO). You also get a full NumPad.

Asus’ own software provides a bunch of tools for managing lighting profiles on the keys.

The keyboard’s LED backlight is also of good quality and high refresh rate. Some manufacturers scrimp out on the quality of the LEDs, resulting in headache-inducing blur when looking at the keyboard.

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The trackpad is also a pleasure to use. It’s very responsive and Windows 10 gestures, including vertical and horizontal scrolling, work perfectly. In fact, this is the first touchpad I’ve used, since that on the Surface Pro 4, that I actually liked. The trackpad could have been a little larger though. It’s easily as responsive as Apple’s stellar trackpads.

Publish date: March 7, 2017 2:41 pm| Modified date: March 7, 2017 2:54 pm

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