ASUS ROG STRIX G531GT Review

ASUS has always been one of the few companies to heavily invest in PC gaming. Every gamer knows that any computer accessory or laptop that carries the Republic of Gamers brand is one of the best in the market. In 2019, the Republic has chosen to build a laptop for its mid-range users, and it is one of the best laptops ever, barring a few minor problems.

Design & Build

The Strix G53 is the more affordable brother of the Scar III series of laptops, so it retains a lot of the design elements of it. The laptop is completely made up of polycarbonate and not metal which was a let down at first, but upon testing, the base of the laptop didn’t flex when applied with pressure. Even the display looked sturdy despite being as thin as it is, which is a major plus point. The laptop weighs in at around 2.3 kgs, which is a tad bit more than the median weight of mainstream gaming laptops. The fact that the entire chassis is made from plastic might be a turn off for some people, but the plastic used by ASUS is fabricated well enough for it to give a premium feel to the laptop.

The entire keyboard area is surrounded by a textured plane which gives a certain grip to the wrist while typing and gaming. The plastic also prevents the Strix G53 from being a fingerprint magnet, which would’ve been a major problem with matte and rubberized surfaces. The thickness of the laptop is 2.58 cm, and it isn’t the thinnest laptop out there either. The Strix G53 also has an RGB ribbon that extends from the bottom of the laptop to the sides, carrying forward the SCAR lineage and turning it into an instead head turner. The ROG logo on the lid isn’t RGB, but a glossy metallic finish. One of the most striking things about the laptop is that it doesn’t have a webcam. ASUS usually provided an external webcam within the box of the laptop with earlier models, but they chose not to with the latest one. This might be a problem for some users, but most users like me, who use their laptop purely for gaming and rarely for video conferencing, won’t notice (or even appreciate) the absence.

Connectivity and I/O

The Strix G53 has a Type C USB3.2 port, three Type-A USB3.2, an HDMI 2.0b, a 3.5mm Audio Jack and one RJ45 LAN Jack. The Type C port is located on the backside of the laptop along with the power, RJ45 port, and the HDMI port. The audio jack and the USB Type-A ports are located on the left. The right side of the laptop is completely empty. This proves to be a major problem since the USB ports on the left are closely spaced, so there is a chance that your peripherals may block each other’s connections.

ASUS could’ve easily shifted one USB Type-A port to the right side for better spacing. Ignoring that, the presence of the Type C port in the 2019 edition shows that the Strix G53 is VR Ready. The absence of the SD card reader means that a lot of content creators would be hindered from buying this laptop and the lack of a Thunderbolt 3 port means that the laptop cannot be connected to a plethora of peripherals, most notable of which is an external GPU enclosure. This hinders the future-proof aspects of the Strix G53. Overall, the collection of ports is good, but it could’ve been far better.

Display

The ASUS ROG Strix G53 comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display. It has a refresh rate of 120Hz and a response time of 3ms. The display is moderately bright, crisp, and the higher refresh rate makes normal usage conditions look appealing as well. The bezels of the display are thin, barring the huge chin of the display. The thin bezels make for a pleasurable viewing experience and the size of the chin is acceptable since it hides the controller for the display.

ASUS hasn’t released an official color gamut rating for the display, and the display isn’t even Pantone or Calman Validated. However, independent tests reveal that the display only covers about 57% of the sRGB color gamut, which is disappointingly low. The color reproduction is average and shouldn’t be an issue for gamers, but for those users who need near-perfect color reproduction like content creators and creative professionals, the display will be a major turn-off. If content creators do plan on buying this as a daily driver, we would suggest investing in a USB-C DP compatible external display.

The default color temperature is slightly cold, and the colors don’t seem washed out. The Strix G53 does come with Asus’ proprietary Game Visual software that allows you to fine-tune the display to your liking, but there isn’t much that can be done about the color gamut. All in all, the lightning-fast 120Hz display shouldn’t be a problem for gamers but for those who are fastidious about having accurate color reproduction, it’s a major turn-off.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard on the ASUS Strix G3 is the only laptop keyboard that we have found that is closest to perfection. It isn’t a full-sized keyboard, and while the Numpad is missed sorely, the keyboard is amazing even without it. The key travel is between 1.5 and 2.0 mm, which is perfect. The keys make a soothing clicking sound, giving the impression of a mechanical switch. There are five hotkeys for the volume controls, mic mute, mic unmute and a shortcut key for the ASUS Armory Crate. However, this keyboard isn’t completely perfect. The arrow keys are placed weirdly. I say weirdly for the lack of a better word to describe the placement. The sizing of the regular keys and the arrow keys have a vast difference. The users who use the arrow keys a lot are going to have to ease into the new size and position of the keys. Apart from that, the typing experience on the Strix G53 is comfortable and satisfying. The hand rest for the keyboard is comfortable is provides good support to the wrist while typing.

The touchpad is decently sized and comes installed with Windows Precision drivers. It works as it should. The physical left-click and right-click buttons are amazing. However, even though the tapping experience is decent, and the gestures work amazingly, the trackpad isn’t as smooth as it should be. There is a lot of recession and it isn’t up to the mark. Considering that this is a gaming laptop, ASUS might’ve assumed that their buyers would invest in a separate gaming mouse, which led them to do a bit of cost-cutting in the trackpad department. The trackpad is decent and exactly what you would expect from a gaming laptop.

Audio

The speakers on the Strix G53 look average. You wouldn’t expect much from two small slits on either side of the laptop. However, the Strix G53 stunned us with it’s audio. The bass thrown out by these speakers is far above what you would expect from a laptop speaker. They are also very loud. As for vocals, you can use the equalizer to shift to the Vocal Boost profile. As always, the ROG Sonic Studio app allows you to fine-tune your audio settings as per your desire.

Gaming, Graphics, and Performance

The ASUS ROG Strix G53 comes with the six-core 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H Processor, clocking at speeds of up to 4.5 GHz. It is assisted by 8 GB of DDR4 memory and an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 GPU. For storage, the laptop packs a 512 GB M.2 SSD, which is one of the fastest storage media in its segment. The laptop can easily run day-to-day tasks without breaking a sweat. It can run around 40 tabs in Google Chrome while running four 1080p videos in the background.

The ROG Strix G scored 1172 in the Cinebench R 20 multithread test and a 177 in single thread test. Crystal DiskMark 6 returned sequential read and write speed of 1586.2 MB per second and 1649.5 MB per second respectively. On 3D Mark Time Spy 2K, the laptop scored 8735 and on 3D Mark Fire Strike, it scored an 8560. It ran Shadow of The Tomb Raider (on Medium settings) at 51 frames per second, Battlefield V (on Medium settings) at 85 frames per second and Far Cry 5 (on Low/Medium settings) at 54 frames per second. The middleweight GTX 1650 can handle modern games at low/medium settings easily but struggles at higher settings and resolutions.

Battery Life

Gaming laptops have a notorious reputation for having exceedingly low battery lives, and the ROG Strix G53 doesn’t break any stereotypes. It comes with a 66Wh battery. The laptop has a normal battery life of around 4 hours with usage consisting of media consumption and web browsing. With gaming, the G53 lasts for around 1 hour and 15 minutes. The bundled 150W charger takes around 1.5 hours to fully charge the battery from 0 to 100. ASUS’ Armory Crate comes with a variety of power profiles, allowing you to maximize the battery life of the laptop as much as possible, but we wouldn’t recommend gaming on this laptop when on the road.

Heating and Temperature Management

The ROG Strix G53 comes with a dual-fan cooling system and two heat pipes. While the two fans are expected, the number of heat pipes is far lower than what was expected. During testing, the laptop managed to reach 74 degrees Celsius and settled at around 78 degrees Celsius. The laptop does not experience throttling even during heavy workloads and that is an appreciable quality about it. ASUS has laid special emphasis on ventilation and has laid, what it calls, a heavy ventilated 3D Flow Zone. The exhausts open on the rear and there are raised ridges above the keyboard base for air circulation.

Webcam

As mentioned earlier, the ROG Strix G53 doesn’t come with an in-built webcam.

Software and Warranty

The ASUS ROG Strix G53 comes preloaded with the standard set of software that you would find on any ROG laptop. It comes with the proprietary Republic of Gamers software such as Armoury Crate, GameFirst V, Sonic Studio, GameVisual, and Aura Creator. It also comes with storage management software by Intel and the Nvidia Control Panel for GPU control.

Conclusion

All in all, the ASUS ROG Strix G53 is one of the best gaming laptops out there. Although it has its flaws, the hardware, the keyboard and the price of the laptop take the win for ASUS. It is a great machine for those looking to have the latest hardware for the best prices.

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