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Asus ROG GL552VW review – Skylake multimedia 15-incher

Asus ROG GL552VW review – Skylake multimedia 15-incher
By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , last updated on August 2, 2016
Summary: The Asus GL552VW performs well, runs cool and quiet in pretty much every situation, and the IPS screen is a pleasure to look at. On the other hand, the build-quality is only average, and the keyboard and trackpad could use a breath of fresh air. Asus compensates that with some solid prices, that's why the GL552VW is one of the most popular 15-inch multimedia notebooks available these days.
Rating: 4 / 5   Price range: $999 - $1299

THE GOOD

great display; solid performance; easy to upgrade; runs cool and quiet; the battery is not encased; fair price

THE BAD

chunky and heavy body; very weak screen frame on the plastic covered version - get the metallic unit instead; mushy keyboard and not the best trackpad; rather small battery

If you have a little over $1000 and want to buy a full-size all-round laptop, a machine that can handle everyday multitasking, multimedia content and gaming at ease, the Asus ROG GL552VW is one of the options to consider.

Asus have a long history in this segment with their N-series and later on the G-series notebooks. The GL552VW is one of their latest launches at the time of this article, bundling a matte IPS display, a Skylake quad-core processor, dual-storage options and Nvidia GTX 960M graphics. So at least on paper, it looks like a great buy, but in keep in mind this is a rather chunky and heavy machine, thus not an ultraportable.

Asus sent in a pre-production sample for us to have a look at, and after spending many hours with it in the last week, I’m left with mixed feelings. You’ll see exactly why in the following paragraphs. Or if you want the quicker version, from the included video review.

The GL552 is available with either a plastic or a metallic hood. Get the latter!

The GL552 is available with either a plastic or a metallic hood. Get the latter!

Before we start our analysis though, you must know that Asus offers the GL552VW in two versions, one with a plastic lid-cover, the one we tested here, and another with an aluminum hood. That’s important, because the entire screen ensemble is flexible and weak on this plastic version, so make sure you get a version with the metallic lid, which is sturdier and better built.

Update: Follow this link for updated info on the available configurations and the latest prices of the Asus ROG GL552VW at the time you’re reading this post.

Update2: The metallic version of the Asus GL552VW is actually a big step up in terms of build quality over the plastic covered variants, and most configurations actually come with the metallic lid these days. That’s why I’ve updated the review’s score from 3.5 to 4/5 and I do think now this laptop can be a good buy, for the right price.

The video review

The specs sheet

Asus ROG GL552VW
Screen 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px resolution, matte, IPS, non-touch
Processor Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ CPU, quad-core 2.6 GHz (3.5 GHz TBoost)
Video Integrated Intel HD 530 + Nvidia GTX 960M 2GB
Memory 16 GB DDR4 2133Mhz (2xDIMMs)
Storage 128 GB M.2 SSD (Samsung MZNLF128HCHP) + 1 TB 2.5″ HDD (Hitachi HTS5410)
Connectivity Wireless AC Intel 7265 , Gigabit Lan, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 4x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1, HDMI, mic, earphone, SD card reader, LAN
Baterry 48 Wh (external – not encased)
Operating system Windows 10
Size 384 x 257 x 34.7 mm (15.1” x 10.1” x 1.36”)
Weight 2.57 kg or 5.66 lb
Extras backlit keyboard with macro keys, webcam, optical drive

Design and exterior

First of all, you should know the GL552 is not a very portable or thin 15-incher, as it weighs about 2.57 kilos, or 5.7 pounds, and is about 34 mm thick, but at least it’s fairly compact and especially shorter than most other notebooks in its class, as you can tell from the narrow bezel around the screen.

The main competitors are a bit lighter (within 0.5 lbs) and some of them way thinner, and the list of competitors includes devices like the Lenovo Y50, the MSI GE62 Apache or the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black-Edition, with similar specs and price tags.

Plastic is used for the entire case of our ROG G552VW test unit, with a textured finishing for the lid-cover and a smooth one for the interior. The dimpled outer shell feels rather cheap and that silver shield on the hood is also made from plastic. The soft interior shows smudges and prints extremely easily, especially on the palm-rest are the area around the trackpad. On the other hand, I like how the interior actually looks and feels, with the dark background, the few red accents and the graphic design of the area on top of the keyboard. I also appreciate the subtle ROG logo on the hood, which is backlit, but glows mildly and is not as obvious as on other computers.

The more premium version gets a sheet of brushed aluminum on the hood, with a narrow plastic strip for the antennas, but its shape and interior design is identical to the version tested here.

The laptop’s build quality is decent, with the exception of the screen ensemble. The lid is weak and flexible, as you can see in the video, so don’t put anything heavy on this computer and be extra careful when you carry it around in your backpack. The screen’s hinges are weak as well, so fragile that the display actually wobbles when typing. So if you end up getting one of these computers, make sure you treat it nicely and take special care on how you lift up the screen: always grab it from the middle, never from the corners.

The interior is better crafted, doesn’t squeak or flex much in daily use, but there’s still a slight amount of warping in the keyboard frame, which has an impact on the typing experience.

Now, once we look past the craftsmanship quality and choice in materials, the GL552VW is actually a fairly good laptop. The interior is roomy and houses a full-size chiclet keyboard, the IO on the sides includes 4 USB slots, one of them being an USB TypeC connector, plus full-size HDMI video output, a card-reader, an optical drive and a LAN port, while the matte screen is a pleasure to look at.

Still, I can’t stop thinking that this GL552VW is actually a step backwards from the GL551 and the N551 models in terms of build quality and how the laptop feels in daily use. And that for me is hard to understand, or accept. I mean, how on earth can you take a rather chunky, yet strong body, and turn it into a still chunky, yet weak one?

Screen

Asus chose a FullHD IPS panel with a matte finishing for this laptop and I can hardly say anything bad about it. They replaced the Samsung panel used on the G551 with an better LG Philips one, and the numbers below talk for themselves. I’m using a Spyder4 sensor for my measurements and the Spyder4 Elite software package.

  • Panel HardwareID: LG Philips LP156WF6;
  • Coverage: 93% sRGB, 69% NTSC, 72% AdobeRGB;
  • Measured gamma: 2.2;
  • Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 282 cd/m2 on power;
  • Contrast at max brightness: 760:1;
  • White point: 7100 K;
  • Black on max brightness: 0.37 cd/m2;
  • Average DeltaE: 2.65 uncalibrated, 1.07 calibrated .

screen-brightness-distribution

With a nearly 300-nits brightness and 750:1 contrast ratio, good color coverage and large viewing angles, I’m pretty sure this display going to satisfy most users. You might want to calibrate the screen if you want to use the computer for color-accurate work, as out of the box it has a cold tint.

There is one aspect to keep in mind here, and that’s potential light bleeding. Our test unit came with serious light-bleeding in the upper right corner, and I blame this once again on the poor craftsmanship, as the plastic bezel puts pressure on the panel in that certain point, which causes the bleeding. So make sure you check your unit for any problems when you get it out of the box and send it back if it doesn’t meet your standards. Slight bleeding is acceptable on matte panels, but this kind of bleeding is only visible at high brightness on a dark background, and shouldn’t be visible in everyday use.

Keyboard and trackpad

Back to that keyboard, well, it’s alright, but someone who types thousands of words per day will probably want to look elsewhere.

First of all, it inherits the same layout we’ve seen on Asus’s mainstream 15-inchers for a while, which unfortunately includes a cramped right side, with narrower directional keys and NumPad section. There’s also that Power key in the top-right corner, but I’m not even going to complain about it, since you’ll get used to it after a while.

The keyboard types alright, and I didn’t need much time to get used to it, as it has a short stroke just like most of the ultraportables available these days. However, the keys feel a bit mushy and lack a precise click, which leads to occasional missed strokes if you don’t hit each key vigorously and preferably in its middle, not on the sides.

Last but not least, I’m definitely not a fan of the Black and Red color scheme, which makes the keys undistinguishable in dim rooms, but at least the keyboard is backlit and as long as you keep the illumination active and set on the top intensity, the keys should be visible enough.

As for the trackpad, well, it’s smooth and mostly accurate, but it’s not consistent when it comes to gentle and precise swipes and there’s no way to adjust the sensitivity or the cursor’s speed. It handles taps and gestures well most of the time, but even in their case I did ran into some occasional stuttering when scrolling in Edge or occasional missed taps, especially those gentle ones, so the experience leaves something to be desired.

Hardware, performance and upgrade options

But how about performance, as people are going to buy this computer primarily for what it’s capable of?

Asus put a Skylake Core i7-6700HQ processor inside our test unit, paired with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, Nvidia GTX 960M graphics and hybrid storage, with a M.2 SATA SSD and a 2.5” HDD. The computer runs Windows 10 and the preinstalled software package is frugal, with an Office and McAfee Trial, Dropbox and only a few other programs.

There are two memory DIMMs, both accessible through the service trail on the laptop’s back, hold in place by just two Philips screws. You’ll also find the M.2 slot and the HDD bay in here.

With such a powerful configuration, the laptop feels very snappy in daily use. It easily handles browsing and multimedia content, including 4K or HEVC clips. It can cope well with more demanding software too, like Photoshop or Premiere, and that Nvidia 960M graphics chip can tackle some games, as long as you don’t expect to run the most recent titles with maximum details.

Now, the Core i7-6700HQ processor is not that much faster than the Core i7-4710HQ used on the previous generation G551, as you can tell from this article, but it does provide a slight performance boost, runs more efficient and cooler.

I’ve added a few benchmarks results below, and I’ve also compared them to those recorded on the Asus G551 tested a while ago, with a very similar configuration (Core i7-4710HQ processor, 16 GB of RAM, dual-storage and Nvidia GTX 860M graphics).

Asus GL552VW
Asus GL551JM
Cinebench R11.5 CPU 7.44 pts 6.94 pts
Cinebench R11.5 CPU – single core 1.48 pts 1.40 pts
Cinebench R15 CPU 677 cb 638 cb
Cinebench R15 CPU – single core 145 cb 135 cb
x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 – Pass 1 157.2 fps 145 fps
x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 – Pass 2 42.45 fps 38 fps
x264 HD Benchmark 5.0.1 – Pass 1 70.95 fps
x264 HD Benchmark 5.0.1 – Pass 2 15.1 fps
Cinebench R11.5 GPU 46.09 fps 58.35 fps
Cinebench R15 GPU 52.89 fps 97.35 fps
3DMark 11 P5342 P4964
3D Mark – Sky Driver
12094 11231
3D Mark – Fire Strike 3820 3594

The Cinebench GPU benchmarks are skewed, but all the others show a 5-10% boost for the GL552VW, so not a major increase. However, compared to the GL551JM, the newer laptop does run cooler, as you can see in the pictures below.

I’ve also taken the GL552 through our stress tests. For the first part, I pushed the CPU to its limits with Prime95. For the first 3-4 minutes the processor ran at its maximum 4-Core TurboBoost speed of 3.1 GHz, but once the Cores went past 90 degress Celsius, it started to trickle down a bit, jumping from 2.8 to 3.1 GHz. That’s still over the default frequency, so no throttling here.

Then I pushed both the CPU and the GPU with Prime95 and Furmark and in this case you will notice that while the processor keeps running between 2.8 Ghz and 3.1 GHz, the graphic’s Core frequency quickly drops and stabilizes at 405 MHz. I’d reckon this is a safety measure implemented by Asus here in other to prevent overheating and potential damage and is a limitation imposed by the single-fan cooling solution with linked heat-pipes.

However, there’s no trace of throttling or performance loss in everyday use, when rendering videos in Premiere or when playing games for hours, including demanding titles like FarCray 4 or Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. And this is what actually matters. Keep in mind the Nvidia 960M chip is a mid-level solution, so don’t expect to run smoothly the latest games with maximum settings, but as long as you trim them down to High or even Medium, you should be able to enjoy most titles.

The 1920 x 1080 px native resolution is perfectly suited for the chosen graphics chip and personally I wouldn’t get a 4K panel on such a configuration if I was planning on running a lot of games on it.

FHD High FHD Low
Shadow of Mordor 29 fps 37 fps
FarCry 4 22 fps 30 fps
Grid Autosport 44 fps 79 fps
Tomb Raider 65 fps 31 fps
Bioshock Infinite 41 fps 68 fps
Total War: Rome 2 21 fps 79 fps
Total War: Attila 11 fps 29 fps

To wrap this section up, performance wise the GL552VW performs impeccably. It’s also easy to upgrade, which is a welcomed bonus and would allow you to get a lower end configuration and then upgrade the RAM and storage when you get extra funds.

Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers and others

Now, performance on a modern laptop needs to be properly inter-weaved with thermals and acoustics, and the GL552 scores high in these sections as well.

The hardware is cooled by a single fan, as I mentioned before, which spins quietly in everyday use and only ramps up at high loads. Despite that, both the inner components and the outer case remain cool, with very few areas going past 40 degrees mark, even when running games for a long time, as you can see in the pictures below. The are on top of the keyboard gets hotter than any others, even than the underbelly.

temperatures-dailyuse temperatures-load

*Daily Use – 1080p Youtube clip in Edge for 30 minutes
*Load – playing Need for Speed Most Wanted for 30 minutes

In other words, you shouldn’t have any problems using this computer on your lap or even when you cover the air intake grills on the bottom (although that’s definitely not recommended), as long as you don’t perform very demanding tasks.

Asus did a great job with the connectivity options on this device, adding a fast wireless chip and a Gigabit LAN solution. I’ve used the GL552VW mostly on wireless and it was able to max-out my connection easily, both when right near the router, but also at 30 feet with 2 walls in between. That means the antennas are really capable on this machine and will allow it to perform well even in those areas with dodgy Wi-Fi signal.

I should also tell you a few things about the speakers, but I actually can’t, as they weren’t working properly on this test unit. Should be decent, since they are placed on top of the keyboard and push the sound towards the user’s ears, although some reviewers complained about the audio quality on the GL552JX model, which probably bundles the exact same speakers. So that’s something to keep in mind.

One final aspect to mention here is the fairly good webcam placed on top of the screen, backed up by an array of dual microphones. It will handle videocalls well and you could even used it for your streams if you want to, but it’s still and embedded webcam, so don’t expect anything spectacular.

Battery life

There’s only a 48 Wh battery on the Asus GL552VW, which is rather small. However, I’d reckon many of you will be happy to know the battery is actually easily removable, as it’s not encased within the frame. In other words, Asus sacrificed capacity in order to get you a removable battery.

Personally, I would have preferred a larger and encased battery, cause in the end the battery life ends up suffering with this approach, as the laptop can only go for a maximum of 5 hours of light use on a single charge, with the screen brightness set at around 120 nits (40%). More details below.

  • 7 W (~7 h of use) – idle, Power Saving Mode, screen at 0%, Wi-Fi OFF;
  • 10 W (~4 h 40 min of use) – very light browsing and text editing in Google Drive, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 12 W (~4 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Internet Explorer, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 11 W (~4 h 15 min of use) – 1080p fullscreen .mkv video in the Movie app, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 13 W (~3 h 40 min of use) – 1080p fullscreen .mkv video in VLC Player, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 27 W (~1 h 50 min of use) – heavy browsing in Edge, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON.

Asus bundles the GL552 with a 120W power brick and a full-recharge takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes if you use the computer while it charges, and a little over two hours if not.

Expect around 3-4 hours of daily use from this laptop

Expect around 3-4 hours of daily use from this laptop

Price and availability

The base version of the Asus ROG GL552VW is available in stores for around $999 (or around 950 EUR in Europe) and that kind of money will buy you the version with the metallic lid cover and a Core i7-6700HQ configuration with 16 GB of RAM, a 1 TB HDD and Nvidia 960M 2GB graphics.

There’s no SSD included, but that’s actually a good thing if you ask me, as it allows you to buy your own M.2 SSD cheaper or a better one then the Samsung MZNLF128HCHP chip sold by Asus. And then you just have to place it inside and reinstall Windows, which should be a walk in the park.

Higher end versions with included SSD storage and Nvidia GTX960M 4GB graphics are also available. You can find more about them and their up-to-date prices at the time you’re reading this post by following this link.

The Asus GL552VW is available in stores for $1099, but other configurations will be released in the weeks to come

The Asus GL552VW is available in stores for $1099, and other configurations will be released as well in the weeks to come

Wrap-up

As we draw the line on the Asus ROG GL552VW, I can’t really recommend the unit tested here, with the plastic lid cover. And that might sound harsh, but shows how one bad design decision can ruin an otherwise good laptop.

Our test unit performed smoothly, ran cool and quiet, and packed a great screen. The battery life is average, while both the keyboard and the trackpad leave something to be desired. But the weak lid is the major deal-breaker. You might think I’m getting carried away here, but from my experience, those who buy this kind of computers expect to keep them for a long time. And they expect them to work flawlessly during this period, which can’t be the case if the screen breaks, can it?

The the end of the day, the GL552VW could have been a great buy, if not for the poor build quality and choice in materials.

The the end of the day, the GL552VW could have been a great buy, if not for the poor build quality and choice in materials.

In conclusion, stay away from the plastic version tested in this post.

The metallic variant on the other hand is much stronger buitl, from the reviews and reports I’ve seen online, so that one gets a rating of 4/5 in our review. It’s not the absolute best pick out there, but for the right price, it can be the one to get.

With that in mind, it’s time to wrap this up. Let me know if you have anything to add to this post or get in touch in the comments if you have any questions, I’m around and will help out if I can.

Andrei Girbea, aka Mike, Editor-in-Chief and a huge fan of mobile computers. Since 2007, I've only owned smaller than 12.5" laptops and I've been testing tens, if not hundreds of mini laptops. You'll find mostly reviews and guides written by me here on the site.

102 Comments

  1. tna

    October 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    The specs sheet seems wrong. The display is listed as 17″ and the model of that samsung ssd is 128GB not 512GB.
    Anyway, I was wondering does the GL552VW support M.2 PCIe 4x NVMe SSDs – thinking about samsung 950 pro here.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 28, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Hmmm, right. thanks for noticing that.

      While I can’t be 100% sure without trying, I’d say PCIe drives are not supported on the GL552, and that meant PCIe NVMe aren’t supported either.

      • kikedugarte

        December 30, 2015 at 1:53 pm

        hi i purchased a 950 pro and the BIOS doesnt recognize it, i really wanna know why exactly the GL552 doesnt recognize the samsun 950 pro… i mean, the chipset is an INTEL HM170 wich supports it, i cant find info about the motherboard, but the M.2 port is M-keyed, soooo the onl thing that comes to my mind is that it would work with a BIOS update(wich is not available in the page, may be in the future)… sooooo well i wanna know if i can find some way to install it, or simply give up and give the 950 back and purchase a 850 evo… if you have an answer to that would be great(asus support is totally useless).

        • Andrei Girbea

          January 2, 2016 at 11:13 pm

          I’ve read about issues with the 950 on various configurations and I can’t really give you any advice other than Google for “Samsung 950 not recognized” and try to find any solutions from other users. Tweaking some BIOS options could make it work. Besides that, you should find the Owner’s Thread topic on the forums at notebookreview.com and maybe other owners will be able to provide better replies to your question. Sry I can’t do more.

          • Davide

            February 22, 2016 at 10:05 am

            You know, because it is not compatible with the Samsung 950 Pro because of NVMe standard not supported, can run 951 sm AHCI?

          • Andrei Girbea

            February 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

            I can’t tell for sure unfortunately, I haven’t tried it and my experience with these types of SSDs is rather limited. My advice, go here forum.notebookreview.com/threads/asus-gl552vw.784339/ and ask the other owners what they’re using on their devices.

    • Louis Shriver

      May 8, 2016 at 2:16 am

      Is it possible to change out the 960 for a Gtx 970? I’m looking at the version with 1 terabyte ssd and 16 gig ram, but I do heavy 3D modeling (not gaming) and a better graphics card really improves performing. I’m not worried about any other specs as I’m really happy with everything this computer has specs wise, except for the fact you can’t choose your graphics from the factory.

  2. Marco

    October 31, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Do you think they’re gonna making a “no-gaming” version of this? Like the n551, Or they’re gonna just refresh the n551?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 31, 2015 at 4:30 pm

      Hmm, haven’t heard of a N552 yet, but will let you know if I do.

  3. Sorin

    November 2, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Does it support the Power Delivery 2.0 standard? Can you power this laptop over the USB Type C connector?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 2, 2015 at 9:07 am

      No, it can’t be powered via the USB 3.1 connector.

  4. Nefoncbbeli

    November 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Nice review !
    Would you recommend it (with the aluminum hood, IPS screen and SSD) for photo and video editing ? So far I can’t find onr true competitor for the same price ? (usb-c is the future I won’t buy a computer without this connector)

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 3, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      If the aluminum version is better built, then yes, it would be a good buy. But I’d say away from the plastic model.

      • toutouto

        November 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm

        Thanks for the review. Is there any news on when the metallic version will become available (in the UK) or when you might review it? This computer looks super great in terms of specs but I want a durable machine if I’m spending that much.

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm

          the metallic versions should be available in most regions, but I can’\t tell for sure when i Will review it

          • Lee

            December 15, 2015 at 5:26 am

            Just bought one with the aluminum hoodie. It is nice and a bit stronger than a plastic. Only one thing went wrong after seven days of use. The display driver starting to act up and screen blanking out not good to be having that. ASUS online techie said to download a provided NVIDIA. Graphics driver. Did not work so sent purer back for another one. Has not arrived yet. Hope not Another Dud

          • Jamie

            January 1, 2016 at 3:14 pm

            I Think its time for you to review the version with alu hood and also test the speakers.

            Since your review is quite negative. And I still havnt made my choice. :P
            This one or a Acer Nitro with I7 4720 and 860m . :P
            Soundquality is important to me.

  5. Bappy JM

    November 6, 2015 at 6:29 am

    nice #admin_review

  6. Jorge

    November 6, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Hi! Does this model is DH71 or DH74? because I read that DH71 version doesn´t have M.2 SSD slot.

    • alex

      November 26, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      This is the DH71.

      The -DH74 is a newer version “coming soon” according to asus.com of the notebook with more GPU memory (geforce 960m 4gb instead of this 960m 2gb) and a 128gb SDD + 1tb HDD.

      I was really hoping this to be a powerfull yet lightweighted new gaming laptop, but after reading your review and other reviews about the somewhat weak geforce 960m, I wont be buying this one.

    • Dome

      November 28, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      I can confirm you that there’s a M2 SSD slot in DH71. It just doesn’t come with any SSD. You have to buy it separately and install it by your own.

  7. Romen

    November 12, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Does it support 32gb of RAM ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 12, 2015 at 11:08 pm

      Yes, there will be some configurations with 32 GB of RAM

  8. Bogdan Matei

    November 17, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    In The specs sheet, please replace “Acer” ROG GL552VW with “ASUS” ;)

    Also, can you express your opinion about ASUS G551VW? (Intel Core i7-6700HQ Skylake; 8 GB DDR4 2133Mhz, nVidia GeForce GTX960M 4 GB GDDR5).

    As I can see, it’s a combination between the aluminium design of ROG G551JM and the new hardware available on GL552VW. Any PROs and CONs?

    Thank you and keep up the good work! Multumesc!

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 19, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      Hi, is it available in any stores? Should be good, the only concerns are screen quality (whether they chose the 4K screen or not), temperatures and noise.

      • Bogdan Matei

        November 19, 2015 at 10:44 pm

        Hi.
        ASUS G551VW is available in local RO online stores (like eMag, cel or PCGarage) at around 4700 lei (1050 euro)
        According to Asus product page (www.asus.com/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/G551VW/) it has a FHD IPS display. I will let you know about temperatures and noise after the purchase.

        Thank you!

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 20, 2015 at 8:27 pm

          I’ve mistaken it with something else. I’m familiar with the G551, I’ve even reviewed it a while ago. Check for throttling, my test samples had some issues under high load if I’m not mistaken.

          • vapor

            November 23, 2015 at 6:49 pm

            Andrel Giirbea thanks for prompt reply, but I am talking about GL551vw and one available on amazon right now is GL552vw (rog metallic), its lid is metallic but hands rest area is not also its doesn’t have red line labeling around hands rest area, so its different from GL551 model, these are two different model series GL551 and GL552, and VW are ones with skylake and Nvidia 960m. Can you get info about when GL551vw will be up for sale in US market?

          • Andrei Girbea

            November 24, 2015 at 4:12 pm

            Hmm, sry for the confusion. I wasn’t aware they updated the GL551 series to Skylake. You should try to contact Asus North America on Facebook or Twitter and see if they can give you any details on that model getting to the US.

        • vapor

          November 23, 2015 at 5:51 pm

          I am also looking for this model Asus ROG GL551vw with skylake and Nvidia GTX 960m, but I can’t find it on any reliable online store like amazon, I can get it both from England or U.s but I can’t find it. Also the price the price you are mentioning is way less than what I have seen on one of websites you mentioned and another one its more like 6099 lue or 938 Uk pounds. Can you please share any link links for Uk or from you have bought ? I am more interested in GL551vw because of its meant have better build quality than GL552vw, So I am willing to pay like little more for specs of GL552vw in a better build. But So far I can’t find such specs in any other laptop with such price. Also do share your views if you have received yours. Thanks

          • Andrei Girbea

            November 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm

            It’s available on amazon.com right now, just search for Asus GL552VW. I’m not familiar with UK stores though.

  9. Darko

    November 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Hi! I have a doubt.. What’s the specific model number of the metallic version??
    is it ROG GL552VW-DH71. ??
    Thank you for responding! :)

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      I believe the same modem number is used for both for the Core i7 config with 16 GB of RAM. However, the listings include the fact that the model is the Metallic Version in their title, from what I’ve seen. And the pictures are also a good way to tell which is which

      • Jp

        November 30, 2015 at 6:50 pm

        Can you tell me if it’s the metallic ? It only say in the color ‘ROG Metallic’ , but its the metallic coloc and maybe plastic made?

        • Jp

          November 30, 2015 at 6:59 pm

          Nevermind, I just saw its Metallic with the photo ;)

          Somewhere in your comments, you say it supports 32GB and on many website, it says it only support up to 16GB, and some others 32GB. Strange !

          • Andrei Girbea

            December 1, 2015 at 1:54 pm

            It supports 32 GB of RAM. There are two slots and each can take a 16 gig DDR4 DIMM. I’ve seen configurations with 32 GB preinstalled.

  10. Lloyd

    November 30, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I really wanted one of these. Fan noise is my number one priority in gaming laptops, and this seemed perfect.

    Unfortunately, I can confirm that the Australian models use TN panels which are absolutely shocking. Both Harvey Norman and JB Hifi sell the model, and it’s impossible to see anything except from direct on. It was sitting next to the new Dell Inspiron 7559 and the difference was night and day.

    Complete shame. I ended up going with the Dell.. but would have paid significantly more for the Asus is the screen wasn’t such rubbish over here.

    Australian models:

    jbhifi.com.au/computers-tablets/laptops/asus/asus-gl552vw-dm210t-15-6-notebook/801292/

    harveynorman.com.au/computers-tablets/computers/laptops/asus-gl552vw-dm210t-gaming-laptop.html

  11. Kapoor Germai

    December 1, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Thank you for your review Andrei. When I googled for GL552VW review, only your page was relevant to what I was looking for. Anyway, I have a few questions:

    1. I searched around, and I think that the Silver-metal cover version is only available in US market only (GL552VW-DH71). So everywhere else, we need to be content with the plastic cover one. Anyway, from your video, it seems like the screen is pretty weak. When you tested it though, do you think that the screen is fragile enough to be carried around daily?

    2. Regarding upgradability, would removing the rear hatch on our own would void the warranty? (maybe there is some kind of sticker at one of the screw holes)

    3. Personally, if you were to compare it to the MSI GE62-6QD (very similar specifications and price), which one would you recommend?

    Once again, thanks in advance.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 1, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      1. I wouldn’t get the plastic version
      2. No
      3. Haven’t tested the MSI, but it’s better built from what I’ve read. Look for some detailed reviews on temperatures, performance, keyboard quality, etc

  12. Juan

    December 1, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    I can’t find the the metallic one in my country, is the plastic one really that bad?

    Usage would be at gaming at home and in work in the office/desk. Maybe some car usage.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 2, 2015 at 7:41 am

      WEll, you would have to be careful with it. Personally, I wouldn’t get the plastic version though

  13. thea

    December 5, 2015 at 8:02 am

    what type of motherboard does this model has? could’nt find anywhere that says anything about its motherboard. really appreciate it if u could help~

  14. harryjo

    December 23, 2015 at 4:26 am

    You said that the Asus laptop you reviewed here (GL552VW) has a displayport. However, when I checked the Asus US website and downloaded a manual for it, they do not mentioned any displayport in the specs sheet and the specs page. Do they really provide that port to the units of GL552VW they sell in the market? Thanks in advance. =)

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 25, 2015 at 7:40 am

      Sry, that was a error on my part. There’s no DP on this laptop

  15. yoshi3

    January 2, 2016 at 10:26 am

    First of all Happy New Year to everyone.

    I have a problem with an additional SSD Samsung SM951 M.2 PCI-E and ASUS ROG G552VW, which I have bougth seperately. The problem is that BIOS cannot detect SSD disk. I tried to upgrade the BIOS, also removed storage HDD disk and tried to install via Intel drivers and nothing.

    I do not have clue, what could be wrong? Do you have any other ideas what could be wrong?

    • hassan

      January 10, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      i think the compatible ssd with model is sata 3 not pcie

  16. pere

    January 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    I am interested in this model, I have the idea of adding an SSD 256 or 512 GB.
    You can add more than 128 ssd?
    But seeing the problem.
    Cheers

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 9, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Yes, you should add a larger than 128 GB SSD

  17. Isaac

    January 8, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    I’ve got the same problem, the BIOS doesn’t recognize the SSD of Samsung SM951-nmve M.2. Does the motherboard accept this ssd m.2??? Thank’s

    • SS

      January 12, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      Of course it does, why else would it have the slot? But only SATA, not NVMe.

  18. Cas

    February 13, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    What’s the difference between the two?
    ASUS ROG GL552VW-CN320T
    ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71

    Cant seem to find any DH-71 version on stores here, only the CN320T.

    Southeast Asia

  19. Victor

    February 18, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Hi.

    Would you recommend this for school work and World of Warcraft gaming or should I go with the ASUS Rog GL552JX? The GL552VW will cost about $1300 and the GL552JX will cost about $1000. In Denmark however 25% of the price is taxes and therefore really can’t be compared to American prices or so.

    Thank you.

  20. Alin

    February 23, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Salut Andrei , am cumparat acest laptopt cu capac de aluminiu dar am intampinat o problema nu ma lasa sa instalez windows 10 bootat pe un dvd , aceeasi poveste si pe usb. Imi poti oferi niste sfaturi , am incercat sa instalez win 7 imi intra dupa ce se copiaza fisierele primesc eroare iar la win 10 imi scrie pc run into a problem pe un fond albastru( a nu se confunda cu blue screen ) Am nevoie de o anumita versiune de windows sau ce trebuie sa fac nu prea ma pricep la laptop=uri am citit ceva in legatura cu bootare uefi am incercat si asa si nici nu imi booteaza .

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 23, 2016 at 10:27 am

      E complicat sa imi dau cu parerea de la distanta, insa:

      1. In BIOS vezi ca AHCI/UEFI sa fie enabled
      2. Folosesti o versiune originala de Windows, creata cu utilitarul de pe site-ul Microsoft?

      Daca da, si tot nu e OK, contacteaza serviciul de suport Asus : https://www.asus.com/ro/support/CallUs

  21. shahar

    March 6, 2016 at 9:05 am

    To connect external monitor to ASUS ROG GL552VW via usb 3.1 type-c port I can use simpale usb 3.1 to DVI adapter? it support Intel Thunderbolt 3?
    if not what are the options to connect to external monitors?

  22. Mihai

    March 31, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Salut Andrei! Am citeva intrebari:
    1.Video cardul are fuctia optimus?
    2.Exista Video cadr la modelul dat cu 4 gb gddr5
    3.Este prezent PWM cind dai luminozitatea mai incet?

    4.Parerea proprie: Asus gl552vw sau lenovo y700?

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 2, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      Please let’s keep the conversation to English here. I haven’t tested the Lenovo, so can’t comment on it.

      1. Yes
      2. I don’t understand what you’re asking :)
      3. Haven’t tested for PWM

  23. Zaigham

    April 1, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Can we upgrade graphic card from gtx 960m to gtx 970m or 980 m???

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 2, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      No, the GPU is not upgradeable on most laptops, including this one

  24. Ashwin M Mahajan

    April 6, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I wish to buy this laptop for photo/video editing, is the color accuracy is good enough for that?
    Is the metallic version truly made of metal or it’s just metal finish?

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 13, 2016 at 10:18 am

      It gets a sheet of metal on the hood, but it’s built on a plastic frame. Still, the version is much sturdier than the plastic variant I tested here.

  25. Oryza Agam

    April 9, 2016 at 3:23 am

    still worth to buy right ? the metalic version are available in my region,and i’m looking to buy it, but i’m trying to compare this one with lenovo ideapad y700, which one is better from your opinion ?

    sorry for my bad english :D

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 13, 2016 at 10:19 am

      I haven’t reviewed the Lenovo, but the metallic GL552VW is a solid pick for the money right now

  26. Winfred

    April 11, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Can I replace the stock HDD with a SSD?
    Does this support up to 32 GB of RAM MEMORY?
    And is the SSD stick a PCIE or M.2?

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 13, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Yes, you can replace the HDD with an SSD.
      Yes, it supports up to 32 GB of RAM.
      The M.2 Slot only supports SATA speeds, if I’m not mistaken. NVMe drives are not compatible, but I’m not 100% sure whether PCIe drives work or not. The test version came with a SATA stick, so PCIe sticks are probably not supported.

  27. Marian

    April 12, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Andrei,
    I’d like to attach 2 external monitors.
    I’ve already attached the 1st one via the HDMI output and it works great. Can I use the USB 3.1 TYPE C port with a converter to HDMI so that I can plug in the other one? For instance something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Thunderbolt-Compatible-Adapter/dp/B00X4S5C7G

    Thanks in advance!

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 13, 2016 at 10:25 am

      I might be wrong, but if I remember correctly there’s only an USB 3.1 5 Gbps port on this laptop and now a Thunderbolt 3 port, in which case you won’t be able to output video of it. Might be wrong, please double check, it’s been a while since I reviewed this.

  28. mystiq

    April 14, 2016 at 12:34 am

    magnificent review, would you mind to review new asus ROG G501VW skylake with 4k screen please ?

  29. Alistair Gene Yap

    April 17, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Hi there. I just got myself one. How in the world do you get to fit this notebook into the backpack it came with? You’d think they’d make it match in size but I’m having trouble packing the laptop in. I’m afraid I might wreck the bag.

  30. Jeff Struve

    April 22, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I just purchased one of these. Before I purchased, I asked the vendor if it was the metal version, or the plastic version. It took them about a week to get back to me, and they said it was the middle one. After taking possession of the unit, I am not sure which I ended up with, how can I tell if it is the middle one or the plastic one? Is it a different color?

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 24, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      The “metal” version has aluminum on the lid cover and plastic is used for the rest of the case (main body, bezel, etc). The plastic one is entirely made out of the plastic and looks like the one tested here.

      • Jeff Struve

        April 26, 2016 at 4:43 pm

        Thanx… so the metal one is silver colored and the plastic one is what ever color that is (I’m color blind)

  31. jose

    April 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

    does the bottom cover flexes when pressed at the edges especially at the hard drive region. Here’s a video to demonstrate it : youtube.com/watch?v=NFQPPNUch5Q

    is it normal?

  32. Wick

    May 2, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Hey guys can this asus g552vw dh71 16 gb ram, 2 gb graphics laptop run watch dogs , wicher 3 , gta v smoothly?

    • Shihab

      August 18, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Runs gta v on high settings fhd :D

  33. Mihai

    May 4, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Hi! Andrei did you notice some high pitched sound coming out while the computer is running? The sound i have is pretty low. but still it is there.

  34. renz

    May 15, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    sir andrei how about gl552vx-dm076t?im planning to buy this one because its the only model available here in asia thx for reply

  35. Rahul

    May 21, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Thanks for a detailed review….. I just have one question.. I want to buy Asus ROG GL552VW-CN426T model… However I’m not sure if this model has a metallic lid or not… Since you mentioned to go with a metallic one.. Please reply!

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 23, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      To be frank, I can’t tell from the info available online, but looks like the plastic model. You should ask the store you’re buying from, just to be sure

      • Shafin Hamed

        June 25, 2016 at 12:33 am

        Can i later upgrade the gtx version of my gl552vw?

  36. Leon

    June 7, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Can someone explain to me what the differences are between the Asus ROG GL552VW-CN470T and the ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH74?

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 7, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      They look the same to me, with the CN470T available in Europe and the DH74 in the US. Asus have a lot of confusing code names, I think that’s one of those examples.

  37. Adrián

    June 17, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Hi Andrei Girbea,

    I want to get a gaming laptop arround this price. Having a hybrid disk (SSD + HDD) is a must.

    I was looking at this model and also the HP Pavilion Gaming 15-ak003ns. Do you know the second one? If you do, could you tell me the main differences? I’ve found the HP model a bit cheaper despite being the plastic-cover Asus model.

    I would also apreciate if you could guide me to other similar models that you like more than these two.

    Thnak you in advance.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 17, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      I’m not familiar with the HP. You could however also check out the Acer V15-592G and the Dell Inspiron 7599

  38. Serge

    June 21, 2016 at 4:09 am

    Guys, does anyone know if there’s any num lock LED? Because I don’t see one on my 552VW, so I never know current numeric pad mode until I try it – that’s terrible and I feel like I don’t see something obvious.

    • Rudie

      August 12, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      The num-lock LED is on the user side of the laptop. So the LED position is visible even when the laptop is closed. It is near the left lower corner of the touchpad.

      • Shan

        August 29, 2016 at 3:13 am

        That’s caps lock LED.

  39. Shafin Hamed

    June 25, 2016 at 12:29 am

    Hey will you please sent me an image of the metallic version and the plastic version of rog gl552 vw..
    Does the pefomance get effected if i add an ssd and ram on the version which doesnot have an ssd and only 8gb of ram..

  40. Ivano

    July 17, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Hello, may you tell me the exactly size of the ssd screw?
    Because i’ve got this Laptop and there wasn’t ssd screw with it, i can’t put on the ssd who i bought. Thank you

  41. Shubham

    July 25, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I am planning to buy this laptop 552 vw 430t .. no shopkeeper knows wether its plastic or metallic but they are saying its grey in colour .. wat should i do?

  42. Shashank

    July 30, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Hey I loved the review.I want to buy this laptop but I am seriously confused between this(the metallic version),Lenovo y700 and Dell 7559.All of them have almost the same configuration and its so tough to pick one.Which one should I buy? Please help me,I would really appreciate your help.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 31, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      I’d probably go with the Dell 7559 out of these three, seems to have the best reviews and I like how it looks and feels. You might want to read more in depth reviews and search the forums for potential problems though, I haven’t properly tested either the Lenovo or the Dell, so Can’t say much about their hidden flaws.

  43. krish

    August 1, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    i am planning to buy this laptop in india. and when i went to shop he showed me the same version as shown in the review but he said it is metallic version not plastic one. that is true? and i should buy this laptop or not. the price is 90,000 indian rupees

  44. Alireza

    August 2, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Who saw the 4k screen model ?
    I saw a one with that screen but i can,t see a model like that , I exactly wanna do some 3D modeling and the screen color gamut benchs are important either . I even don’t know to choose this guy or a v15 nitro with 15.6 4k screen with replaced hdd and ssd , Acer made some changes to bios that now it can support NVMe SSD , I’m really looking for a nice one up to 1700$ price area , that Asus with 4k screen seemed good but i don’t whyat is that .

  45. Shihab

    August 18, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    My gl552vw gets upto 80°C when I play cod black ops 3 for about an hour

  46. michael

    August 20, 2016 at 10:36 am

    playing dota2 in this laptop ultra with 50-60fps check it out in the link youtube.com/watch?v=sJUhlbpyN3s

  47. Steve

    August 23, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Could you make your monitor Spyder4 calibration profile available for download for everyone?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 23, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      I don’t have it for this laptop, unfortunately. I do provide them for the newer reviews, but I didn’t use to save it at that time. Sry.

  48. Catalin

    August 26, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    hello
    I would really appreciate an advice
    I bought a ROG (i7, 8g ram, 1 tera hdd 7200rpm, gtx 950m 4m) and I am not sure if I should keep this one or change it for a hp pavilion 15-bc001nq (fullhd, i7, 8g ram, 1 tera hdd 7200 rpm + 128g ssd m2, gtx960m 4g).
    Main differences would be graphics and storage.
    What would you recommend?
    Thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 27, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Specs wise, I’d get the HP, that SSD makes a lot of a difference and the graphics are significantly faster as well.

      However, make sure to read some reviews on both models to know what to expect and to be aware of potential flaws, there’s more about a laptop than just specs.

  49. Ian Firmani

    August 30, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    I bought this laptop few weeks ago, but the GTX 960 4G and aluminium screen back version. It’s my first gaming/Hevy work laptop, I had a MB Pro 13 Mid 2012 before this one and the change was “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOW” even better than my actual tower.

    But, the battery life was really poor and I have to go with the charger to any place. Asus may have to created a small adapter or a extended battery pack.

    On the weight an height apart I think “I need a powerful laptop for editing with a great screen but can still mobile”. I pay for it and I love it, this is the sacrifice that we made every time we choose one product over another, If someone know about a 15″, i7, GTX 960 4g, 128ssd+1tb hdd and a better battery life thats was cheapest than this one (keeping the same quality), please say it!!!.

    Thanks for the nice review brb, I will make it on Spanish for YT soon.

  50. Sahasvat Bheesma R.

    September 4, 2016 at 1:51 am

    How’s the speaker!! Planning to buy it!!!!

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