Final Thoughs on the ROG Strix GL502VT-DH74
Performance Summary: Between the Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M graphics, the ROG Strix GL502VT-DH74 is both a capable gaming system, especially at the system's native 1920x1080 resolution, and a good all-around performer. We saw playable framerates in every benchmark, the best of which came in Hitman Absolution where the laptop averaged 110 FPS, followed by nearly 70 FPS in BioShock Infinite.
ASUS in the gaming category, and for the most part the ROG Strix GL502VT-DH74 delivers. At just 4.85 pounds, it's relatively lightweight for a gaming laptop, and its waistline of 0.92 inches is far skinnier than what you'll find on the bulk of desktop replacements out there. It's also a fairly stylish looking system, assuming you're into the matte black and orange color combination, along with the faux brushed metal finish. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
What's less subjective is the material choice by ASUS. Though the laptop gives the impression of a brushed aluminum finish, it's actually made of plastic and feels less-premium than a machine that costs $1,599, which is the asking price for this particular configuration. That's not necessarily a deal killer, but it's a definite buzz kill in what's otherwise a slick setup with a potent combination of hardware.
If you're having reservations about gaming on a GeForce GTX 970M GPU, you can spend $100 more for the ROG Strix GL502VY-DS71 and step up to a GeForce GTX 980M. You also get G-Sync support, which is perhaps a more compelling selling point—our benchmarks show the combination of an Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor with a GeForce GTX 970M is more than powerful enough to handle gaming at the display's native resolution.
ASUS also deserves props for including accidental damage protection with its 1-year warranty, you just have to be sure to buy the laptop new from an authorized reseller and register the purchase within 60 days. Should you do that, you're protected from coffee spills and other unfortunate accidents.
It will be interesting to see how ASUS balances its gaming brands going forward. In the meantime, the marriage between ROG and Strix is off to a solid start with the ROG Strix GL502VT-DH74.