Asus ROG laptops are at a bit of a disadvantage to me, because I immediately associate them with Rogg – the dimwitted claymation monster from kids TV classic Trap Door. Of course, what it actually stands for is only slightly less ludicrous: Republic of Gamers, an Asus sub brand yet to be recognised by the UN as an actual nation state. In any case, the company’s gaming laptops are pretty damned good, and Best Buy have a pretty tempting offer on the Zephyrus GA502DU model: it’s 25% off right now, down to $900 rather than the usual $1200.
For that money, you get a surprisingly svelte laptop with pleasingly beefy innards. An AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor runs the show, backed by 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, while an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q GPU makes the light show happen on the 15.6in, 120Hz 1920×1080 screen. It’s pretty thin and light too at just 0.78in thick and tipping the scales at 4.63 pounds.
If the words “gaming laptop” make you imagine some strobe lighting-encased monstrosity, you’ll be pleased to know that Asus have actually kept this particular machine on the tasteful end of the spectrum with its ‘Metallic Hairline Black’ chassis. The ROG logo on the back of the lid is a little distracting, but it’s far from the most offensive laptop design I’ve ever seen.
Indeed, Katharine reviewed this very model – the Asus ROG Zephyrus G GA502 – last year. Its screen left something to be desired in the colour accuracy department, but it was able to hit decent frame rates on all of today’s top games. Some, like Monster Hunter: World, had to make do with Medium graphics settings to maintain a steady frame rate, but older games such as The Witcher III and well-optimised ones like Forza Horizon 4 were able to hit 60fps on High and Ultra without much trouble.
While you’d probably be wanting to look for a better graphics chip at its regular price of $1200, at $900 it’s not a bad price at all.