THE ROLLS ROYCE OF GAMING LAPTOPS
As tech geeks, we are fortunate to get our hands on some pretty cool gear, and there’s not much out there cooler than the Asus ROG G703 gaming laptop. Calling this a laptop is actually something of a misnomer. It’s more like a technical statement – Look at what we can make. Straight up, The Asus G703 is perhaps the most beastly laptop we’ve ever seen.
THE BEST OF EVERYTHING
Let’s rattle off a few specs, starting with an Intel i9-8950HK and overclocked GTX 1080. Not a bad start. Throw in 64GB of DDR4 memory, up to three 512GB NVMe RAID SSDs (two in the default con guration) and a 2TB SSHD. Then there’s the gorgeous 144Hz Gsync 17.3in IPS screen and you’re left with no doubt that this is not just a serious laptop, it’s a serious PC. Sure there are boutique SLI units out there, but they come with their own heat, power and noise concerns, not to mention a reliance on game support.
The i9-8950HK is a 6core/12 thread processor. It sits at the top of the range and is in fact the only Coffee Lake CPU to bear the i9 moniker at this time. It has a base frequency of 2.9GHz and a boost frequency of an incredible 4.8GHz. That’s even higher than a desktop i7-8700K CPU.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 is a well-known quantity at this time. Asus didn’t just bolt one on. They have overclocked it. During our testing, it was able to maintain a boost clock above 1900MHz without the cooler going berserk. Awesome!
The G703 measures in at 425mm (width) by 319mm (depth) by 51mm (height). Combine this with a chubby 4.7Kg weight and it becomes obvious that this is more like a desktop replacement rather than a laptop. These large dimensions work to the GL703’s advantage. It’s relatively thick height means is good for cooling. There’s no substitute for heatsink
surface area and during testing the Asus delivers noise levels that are not bad at all compared to the trendy slim gaming notebooks out there. The case features a premium feel and look as you’d expect of a machine in this price range. The lid is made of brushed aluminium and features the Asus ROG logo.
The thickness of the unit means there is no need to compromise on the connectivity options. The four USB ports are all USB 3.1 Gen2 capable. One of them is a Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support. It’s nice to see a Gigabit LAN port which is becoming rarer as laptops trend thinner. There’s a SD card reader and headphone and microphone jacks as you’d expect to see. The video ports consist of Mini-DP 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 ports. An extra one would have been nice to see for a triple screen setup though.
The 1080p 144Hz IPS 17.3In screen looks superb. Some may ask why Asus didn’t go for a 1440p screen. With a large desktop monitor, yes you’d like to have a higher resolution, but when you’re at 17 inches, does it really make a difference? We’d say not. There’s also the question of whether such a panel even exists anyway, and if it did, you’re probably looking at
another $500+ onto the price straight up.
The keyboard is a strong point. Many laptops have to sacri ce key travel in order to keep them as slim as possible. Thanks to the thick design, this is not an issue with the G703. Key presses feel satisfyingly clicky and responsive. Of course the keyboard features full RGB lighting, which can be controlled via the Asus Aura app. The track pad is large and the buttons feel good with a very nice resistance and feedback feeling. Of course you’re always better off with a mouse for gaming but the track pad does its job well.
WE DON’T NEED NO DESKTOP
The G703 cranks out frames per second at levels that make it the envy of anything short of a top spec GTX 1080 Ti desktop system. Even something demanding like Far Cry 5 runs at well over 100 FPS on average. In fact all our tested games came in at over 90 FPS. This kind of performance with very high settings is a real treat to behold and allows gamers to maximise the beautiful 144Hz Sync screen with silky smooth performance without sacri cing much, if anything in the eye candy department.
While the gaming experience is likely to be the most appealing feature of the G703, it is such a beast that it shreds every other performance metric too. Rendering, video conversions, le compression and SSD speeds are all excellent by any standard, and truly remarkable for a laptop. The i9-8950HK absolutely blows away the older 7700HQ, not just due to the extra cores and threads, but also the much much higher turbo boost frequency. If that’s not enough for you, how does up to 8000MB/s and 4500 MB/s SSD read and write
speeds sound? Insane..
With a spec like this, the battery life of the G703 is not a strong point as you’d expect. It gave us a result of 1hr and 17 minutes in PCMark 8’s rather demanding battery test. While not a great number compared to something like an Ultrabook, at least you can go a few hours with some light work without needing to have it plugged in. Battery life is not why you’re buying a machine like this though. In fact it’s basically irrelevant.
A TECHNOLOGICAL TOUR DE FORCE
The Asus ROG G703 is the most powerful gaming laptop we’ve tested to date. The G703 is classed as a laptop, but its size and weight along with twin power bricks makes it less a laptop and more a desktop replacement. In that capacity it does an exceptional job. Its performs better than all but the highest end 2018 desktop systems and looks great while doing it. Yes it’s expensive, but cost be damned when you’ve got a machine from the top end of town like this one. Silky smooth performance in every game you can think of with full eye candy and 144Hz G-Sync goodness. This is as good as it gets.
Intel i9-8950HK processor • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 • 17.3in 1920x1080 IPS 144Hz G-Sync screen • 64Gb DDR4-2666 • 3 x 256Gb NVMe SSD • 2Tb 5400RPM SATA HDD • Gigabit Ethernet • AC Wi-Fi
$5,999 • www.asus.com.au
“The Asus ROG G703 is the most powerful gaming laptop we’ve tested to date.”
All the gaming laptop boxes ticked, and the design is relatively tame
Premium materials give it a classy appearance There’s plenty of ventilation, including on the side panels