Review of the ASUS ROG G701 Gaming Notebook - Unbeatable Gaming Experience. Period.

Introduction


When NVIDIA launched the new GTX 10 Series graphics card for gaming notebooks, they changed the perspective of gaming on a notebook computer. Gamers can now get desktop class graphics performance in a laptop form factor. Gone were the days when gaming notebooks are always inferior to their desktop counterparts. Today, we are going to delve into one of best of the best gaming notebooks available in the market, the ASUS Republic of Gamers G701 Gaming Notebook, and find out what sets it apart from any other gaming notebooks in the market.



Why Gaming Notebooks? First and foremost, notebook computers are made to be portable, and can easily be brought around for a LAN party. Secondly, as notebooks computers just work out of the box, users will not need to worry about the complexity of a self-built PC. With the rise of eSports and LAN parties in general, gaming notebooks are starting to become a superb choice as a gaming desktop replacement.

Design and Specifications



The ASUS ROG G701VI offers no compromise in terms of hardware and performance. It has all the various features and hardware that is required in a gaming desktop computer. GTX 1080? Checked. 120Hz Display? Checked. RAID 0 SSD? Checked. Kaby Lake Core i7 proccesor? Checked. 32GB or more RAM? Checked. What else more could you ask for?

Processor
Intel Core i7 7820HK Processor
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro
Chipset
Intel CM238 Express Chipset
Memory
64GB Apacer DDR4 2200MHz RAM
Display
Anti-Glare 120Hz Full-HD 17.3” Display
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
Storage
2 x 512GB PCI-e Based SSD in RAID 0
(Samsung SM961NVMe)
Keyboard
Chicklet Keyboard with Isolated Num Keys
Card Reader
Multi-format card reader
WebCam
HD Web Camera
Networking
Integrated 802.11AC
Interface
1 x HDMI
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
1 x Headphone-out Jack
1 x Type C USB3.1 (GEN2) Thunderbolt
3 x Type A USB3.0 (USB3.1 GEN1) 
1 x Type C USB3.1 (GEN2) 
1 x mini Display Port
1 x Microphone-in jack 
Audio
ASUS Sonic Studio
ESS Sabre Deadphone DAC and Amplifier
Power Adapter
Output :
19 V DC, 16.9 A, 330 W
Dimensions
(WxDxH) 429 x 309 x 44 mm
Weight
4.1 kg ~ kg with Battery

The ASUS ROG G701 is not your usual gaming notebook. In order to integrate the best hardware, the G701 is built at the expense of weight and portability. (Of course, it is still a lot more portable than any desktop computers!) For a start, it weighs a whopping 4.1KG! That is about 3 times the weight of your usual business laptops. However, "you lift what you get", as the G701 has a high chance of performing better than your current desktop setup!



Putting gaming experience at the center, ASUS has went with a rather humble design. None of the surface on the G701 glossy. This is a preferred choice for gamers as they can focus on their games. There would be no need to wipe stains and fingerprints off their notebooks after every use. 


The fancy lighting on the ASUS ROG G701 is also kept to a minimal for aesthetic reasons. Adding a sense of sophistication to the overall aesthetics of the notebook, the rear of the notebook is decorated by a simple ROG logo and two strips of red LEDs. The whole display panel is kept in a strong brushed metallic enclosure, keepomg the whole system sturdy.


On the left, we can spot 2 x USB 3.0 ports, the headphone and microphone jack and the Multi-Format Card Reader slot. 


On the right, there is another USB 3.0 port, a HDMI out port, a mini Display Port, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, a Thunderbolt (USB Type C) port and lastly, a Gigabit Ethernet port. It must be noted that the HDMI and Display Port opens up further gaming opportunities with multiple displays types. Gamers can simply hook this gaming laptop up to an external monitor, and have a desktop like gaming experience set up!

Thanks to the Intel CM238 Express Chipset, this laptop will have up to 20 PCI-e lanes to work with. It also has native USB 3.0 support of up to 10 ports. These are the reasons why the G701 is able to have enough bandwidth to support the best of the best hardware within the notebook form factor. It is not by chance that this notebook can run PCI-e based SSDs in RAID 0, or have 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen2 and Thunderbolt Connectors. This is all while having a bandwidth hungry graphics card all in one package. The CM238 Express Chipset indeed holds a great potential for a powerful gaming notebook. 




As mentioned, ASUS decided to go with a more serious gaming look with the G701. There is no fancy RGB backlit keyboard or any sort of designs. The G701 keyboard is plain minimal, simple and usable. Moreover, the G701 also comes with 5 customizable macro keys that can be hooked up to your favourite apps and keys.




With great power, comes a great power brick. In order to power such a powerful laptop, a rather large power brick is required. This is also another reason why the G701 is most likely to stay permanent at your table, rather than brought around like any other notebooks. The whole setup is simply too heavy and bulky!
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Gaming Experience

Display Awesomeness

If you have never experienced gaming on a 120Hz, the ASUS ROG G701 will blow your mind. Having a higher 120Hz refresh rate over the conventional 60Hz display drastically changes the whole experience. The human brain even perceives that every action on the notebook computer appears to be more responsive and much more "smoother". The difference is very apparent. 

Putting this in the context of games, a higher monitor refresh rate will ensure a silky smooth experience with fast-paced games. This is extremely useful in First Person Shooters, where accuracy of shots can be improved with a more responsive display. For example, gamers will be able to better pinpoint moving targets as these monitors will reduce image ghosting.

Oh yes, since the display is also G-SYNC compatible, gamers can also make use of the technology for a lag-free display experience. 

Great Speakers for a Notebook Computer

A whole gaming experience is not just defined with good graphics. The quality of audio and sound effects do equally contribute to the entire experience. Based on our own tests, we thought that the speakers on the ASUS ROG G701 performed much better than any other notebooks out in the market. Despite the lack of a dedicated subwoofer, the notebook was able to churn out decent lows that were good for FPS games. The loudness of the speakers are also considered average. Based on our time with the G701, we felt that the mids and highs are considerably well balanced and represented. Of course, such quality is incomparable to any decent external 2.1 speakers, but the G701 audio quality is most definitely better than most other laptop speakers in the market.


Superb Typing Experience

It is almost natural to be typing on the keyboard of the G701. The keys are well spaced and very comfortable to type with. They also have a slightly longer key travel distance as compared to other typical laptops, which give users a better feel when typing. The mentioned properties is also optimal for games.




Temperatures and Noise

The ASUS ROG G701 is designed to properly keep the heat away from users. Heatpipes are connected to the different processing units on the motherboard which brings the heat away to the rear of the laptop. That is where two 50mm blower fans intake cool air from the sides of the notebook, and blows hot air out back. Even though these fans remain rather silent while the notebook is idling, they can get quite loud when playing games or under load. 

Gaming Benchmarks



For our benchmark tests, we used the ROG Gaming Center software to set the performance profile to extreme. This allows us to have a feel for the performance that the notebook is capable of. 


A Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, that is included in the G701, is a Quad Core processing with HyperThreading enabled. We were surprised that despite it being a notebook component, it was able to surpass the performance of previous gen desktop processors. Specifically, we can see that the i7-7820HK is about 20% faster than the Core i7-3770!

Here are some of the different game benchmarks which we ran on the G701. All the games were run on the high possible settings at 1920 x 1080 resolution. 




Based on the benchmark results, we can really feel the prowess of the NVIDIA GTX 1080. The GTX 1080 handled all the games without much efforts, even at the highest settings. As shown above, the average FPS of all games recorded were above the 60FPS requirement.




3DMark Time Spy


http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/21087873

3Dmark FireStrike


http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/21088934

Conclusion

The ASUS ROG G701 is an amazing laptop with top-tiered gaming performance that is unbeatable by any other laptops to date. If you require desktop-level performance and do not mind carrying around several KGs worth of gear, the G701 is definitely for you.


Factor Description Score
Innovation - 120Hz display in a laptop form factor
- Rare to see RAID 0 PCIE SSD
8/10
Design - Amazing cooling system with heat being directed away from the user
- Minimalist design with no RGB
8.5/10
Value - Even though it is really expensive as compared to a desktop, it still provides a great value.
- All in one top-tiered components coupled with a great cooling system
7.5/10
Performance - Unbeatable performance with i7-7820HK + GTX 1080 and RAID 0 PCIE SSD
- 64GB RAM and is not scrimped on
- Nuff said
10/10
Final Score
8.5/10



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