Through the last years, the Asus ROG G7xx laptops have been some of the best 17-inch machines a gaming enthusiast could get for the money.
The ROG G752 is the latest addition to the family, unveiled at the end of 2015, with the launch of Intel’s Skylake hardware platform. In this post we’re going to analyse the mid-level version of the G752 series, the Asus ROG G752VT, configured with a Core i7-6700HQ processor, an Nvidia GTX 970M graphics chip and a 1080p matte display.
Other G752 models are available with Nvidia 965M or 980M chips and 4K screens, but hardware specs aside, all the G752s share the exact same traits. So even if you’re interested in a different configuration than the one we had for this review, you should still read this post.
Disclaimer: Our test unit came from Asus for the purpose of this review. It’s a retail model, identical to the ones you can get in stores, and I’ve used it for about a week before gathering my impressions here. The laptop went back to Asus after the review was published, but if you have any specific questions, get in touch in the comments section at the end of the post and I’ll try to answer.
The video review
The specs sheet
|Asus ROG G752VT|
|Screen||17.3 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||Nvidia GTX 970M 3GB|
|Memory||8 GB DDR4 2133Mhz (4xDIMMs)|
|Storage||1TB 2.5″ 7200 rpm HDD|
|Connectivity||Wireless AC Intel 7265 , Gigabit LAN, Intel Bluetooth 4.0|
|Ports||4x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1(Thunderbolt 3), HDMI, miniDP, mic, earphone, SPDIF, SD card reader, LAN|
|Operating system||Windows 10|
|Size||428 mm or 16.8” (w) x 333 mm or 13.1” (d) x 43mm or 1.69” (h)|
|Weight||3.99 kg or 8.79 lb|
|Extras||anti-ghosting backlit keyboard with macro keys, 2.1 sound system, optical drive|
Design and exterior
This new 17-inch model looks nowhere like any of its predecessors. Asus dumped the black theme and the aggressive design that’s been a trademark of the previous Gs for completely new looks, with a mix of mostly silver and orange elements, but also some black parts on the interior.
The lid cover is made from a sheet of brushed aluminum, the hinge is orange and gets a Republic of Gamers engraving, while the entire lower-body gets a plastic shell made from several different pieces well bound together. They kind of look like brushed metal, but that’s plastic nonetheless. On the bottom there’s also a strip of transparent plexiglass that showcases the heatpipes and part of the cooling fans. That’s a nice touch, but this window will scratch easily. And BTW, the metallic hood is also highly susceptible to scratches.
If you’ll lift up the screen you’ll notice the interior has been redesigned as well. The Silver elements on the sides get a textured finishing, while the black surface on the palm-rest and around the keys is soft and grippy, just like on the previous G751. It will show smudges and fingerprints very easily though.
With the exception of the metallic hood and the plexiglass window on the bottom, I feel this G752 is still overall a well built machine. The interior and the belly are made from different pieces, but the are overall well stitched together and the chassis feels solid. There’s a little flex in the keyboard area, but you’re probably not going to notice it in daily use. The aluminum lid flexes a fair bit though, so normally I’d advise extra care when carrying this laptop in a backpack. However, pressing hard on the outer-lid has absolutely no impact on the panel, so I wouldn’t worry about this aspect much.
The screen itself is strongly built as well and the hinge is smooth and sturdy. Based on the previous experience with the previous Gs, Asus use a strong metallic chassis for the hinge and assure us it’s going to survive “gaming environments”. Just like on the older 17-inch ROG laptops though, the hinge only allows the screen to lean back to about 120 degrees, which is enough for desk use, but might not suffice for other scenarios. Also, due to the overall design, the screen is positioned somewhat closer to the user than on other machines that have the hinges all the way to the back, which is another aspect I personally appreciate.
You should also know that the G752 is still a large and heavy laptop, weighing around 4 lbs in the tested configuration. In fact, it’s wider than most of the other 17 inchers, due to having the cooling system on the back, and has an overall larger footprint than the G751. It’s slightly thinner though, but it’s still around 4 cm thick.
Overall, I’m not entirely sold on this new design. It’s not ugly, just a bit too flashy for my taste, and some of the materials are more sensitive than I’d want on a computer that’s probably going to see a lot of hassle during its life. I’m not a big fan of the three the light bars on the hood either (two around the logo, one inside the cooling grill), but they can be switched OFF from the software. The backlit ROG logo on the other hand remains backlit all the time, but it’s at least fairly dim.
However, I also have a major nit with this computer: the front lip and the front corners, which are both tall and extremely sharp. My wrists didn’t like them all all, as you can tell from the picture below and I don’t know if there’s a solution to that. Perhaps if you have a large desk that would allow you to place the laptop towards its middle, so you’ll rest your elbows on the desk and thus limit the pressure on the wrists. That might work. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to use some sort of arm-pillow, which is far from ideal.
And one more thing: you probably noticed that Asus put some large rubber feet on the laptop’s bottom, which are extremely grippy. In fact, they are so grippy that a lot of effort is required to rotate the device while sitting on a desk, unless you just lift it up and placed it back down in the right position. I’m not telling this is an issue, it’s just an aspects I wasn’t very happy with, that you should be aware of.
OK, enough about the outer design changes. A close look at the sides will reveal a complete IO, with 4 USB slots, HDMI and miniDP video output, a ThunderBolt 3 connector, a card-reader and an optical drive, among others. There’s no VGA, in case that’s important to you. However, most of the ports are closely cramped together on the right edge, which on one side means that you might have trouble accessing all of them at the same time, in case you want to connect multiple peripherals (two external monitors, some USB accessories, the wired Internet), while on the other means the entire right side is going to be cluttered with cables that will get in the way of your mouse. Personally, I prefer layouts that put the ports on the left or on the back, or at least split them evenly around the sides, butthat’s not the case here.
Keyboard and Trackpad
Then there’s the keyboard and trackpad, which have been inherited from the G751. The keyboard’s layout is really close to perfection, with full-size keys across the board and properly spaced directional keys. There’s also a set of five configurable macro keys on the top-left side, this time placed further away from the Escape key that on the G751, so the chance of hitting the Screencast key while aiming for Escape is not longer that high.
The keyboard is backlit and the red LEDs can be adjusted to three levels of brightness. As a novelty, the font used for the writing on the keys is brand new and looks geeky, a good fit for a gaming machine.
But how does this keyboard type? Well, it’s one of the better ones I’ve ever tested. The keys are firm and have just the perfect amount of drop (2.5 mm). The feedback is great and there’s little flex in the frame, which all combined lead to an excellent typing experience, with no time required to get used to the keyboard’s feel and specifics. I also appreciated the enlarged Space key, which is easier to hit with my thumb, and the fact that this keyboard is fairly quiet.
Gamers will surely appreciate the Anti-Ghosting features as well, which means that you can hit up to 30 different keys simultaneously, and still have the commands correctly interpreted. Many other gaming notebooks lack this ability.
The trackpad is pretty good as well, but there’s some room for improvement here. Its surface is large, smooth and mostly responsive. It handles swipes and gestures well, but it does miss some taps here and there, and unfortunately there’s no way to adjust the sensitivity from the software. There are mechanical click buttons placed beneath the touchpad, but these are poorly made and rather wobbly, so unless you make sure to hit that properly and preferably in their middle, they won’t always register clicks.
I found these issues annoying in everyday use. Most of you won’t probably care that much about the trackpad though, as the G752 is a gaming laptop and you’re probably have a mouse plugged in all the time. But it’s something to keep in mind nonetheless.
As for the screen, well, the G752VT is available with a Full HD IPS panel at the time of this clip, and gamers will be happy to know that the display includes G-Sync support.
There’s little to complain about the panel’s quality, which is bright, provides deep contrast, surprisingly accurate colors and good viewing angles. It’s not a Wide-gamut panel and is not as sharp as the UHD options available on some other laptops, but the G752s will also get an UHD option on the higher end configurations.
This is a brand new LG Philips LP173WF-SPF3 panel, one that I haven’t found on any other laptops released in the past, and across the line an overall improvement of the previous FHD panel Asus used on the G751 lines. You’ll find a few more technical details about it below, measured with the Spyder4 Elite colorimeter and software.
- Panel HardwareID: LG Philips LP173WF-SPF3;
- Coverage: 94% sRGB, 70% NTSC, 72% AdobeRGB;
- Measured gamma: 2.2;
- Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 328 cd/m2 on power;
- Contrast at max brightness: 650:1;
- White point: 7200 K;
- Black on max brightness: 0.51 cd/m2;
- Average DeltaE: 1.61 uncalibrated, 1.20 calibrated .
The colors are pretty accurate out of the box, but if you want to try out my Calibrated profile, you can download it from here.
It’s also worth adding that this screen runs at 75 Hz and supports G-Sync, like mentioned before, both greatly appreciated features in games.
In conclusion, I feel this 1080p screen is very good match for the ROG G752VT. And that’s because it’s a really good panel and there’s only an Nvidia 970M graphics chip on this configuration, which can handle gaming at 1080p, but would otherwise struggle with higher resolutions. And with that in mind, let’s turn our attention onto the hardware and this laptop’s performance.
Hardware, performance and upgrades
Our test unit gets the Intel Core i7-6700HQ quad-core processor, only 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB HDD for storage. In other words, this is the most basic version that’s going to be available in stores and I believe it could a version of interest for many of you. And that’s because on the back of this laptop there’s a service bay which provides quick access to two of the RAM slots, the 2.5″ bay and the two PCIe M.2 slots. That means you can add more RAM and the type of SSD storage you might want, paying less than if you were to buy these upgrades from Asus.
There’s a quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor on this laptop and Nvidia GTX 970M graphics
You should know that there are four memory slots on this laptop, however, two of them are on the other side of the motherboard and require a complete disassemble to get to them, which is not a very simple process. So, if you’ll require a lot of RAM on this computer, you could get a version that has those two slots filled up with two 16 GB of RAM DIMMs, and then you can add two more, for a total of 64 GB of RAM. Most users will probably be just fien with only 16 or at most 32 GB of RAM though.
The HDD available on our configuration is a Hitachi Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630 drive, fairly fast for what it is, spinning at 7200 rpm and with 32 MB of cache. It can only do so much though and it’s rather noisy. Now, if you want a fast computer, you’ll want to add an SSD, and the G752 supports PCI3 3rd generation SSDs, or the so called NVMe SSDs. These are expensive, but can provide speeds of around 1 GBps. There are two PCIe slots, but based on what I’ve read online, the G752 does nut support RAID0 configurations, in case you want to double those speeds mentioned above.
The door on the back allows easy access to the internals
So bottom point, there’s a lot of room for upgrades on the G752VT and buying a lower-end configuration which you would then upgrade yourself is definitely an option to consider.
Now, even with the lower-end specs, the reviewed G752 performs well. It handles everyday activities at ease, any kind of multimedia content and most of the recent games, but the HDD shows its limitations in multitasking and loading times. Benchmark results are solid though, as you can see below:
- 3Dmark 11: P9043;
- 3Dmark 13: Cloud Gate – 13046, Sky Diver – 14600, Fire Strike – 6700;
- PCMark 08: Home Conventional – 3831;
- CineBench 11.5: OpenGL 61.15 fps, CPU 7.47 pts, CPU Single Core 1.62 pts;
- CineBench R15: OpenGL 74.07 fps, CPU 676 pts, CPU Single Core 140 pts.
- GeekBench 3: Single Core – 3049 , Multi Core – 11884;
- x264 Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 – 153.88 fps, Pass 2 – 42.14 fps;
- x264 Benchmark 5.0.1 64-bit: Pass 1 – 68.74 fps, Pass 2 – 15.01 fps.
You’ll find a few details on inner temperatures and overall performance in various activities in the pictures below. When playing games on battery, the GeForce Experience settings are on default (frame rates limited to 30 fps).
I’ve also ran a couple of games on this laptop, and overall the numbers look good.
|FHD High||FHD Ultra|
|Shadow of Mordor||69 fps||55 fps|
|FarCry 4||65 fps||54 fps|
|Grid Autosport||75 fps||73 fps|
|Tomb Raider||75 fps||75 fps|
|Bioshock Infinite||75 fps||65 fps|
|Total War: Attila||32 fps||20 fps|
|Metro: last Light||60 fps||31 fps|
Last but not least, I ran the stress tests with Prime95 and Furmark. At first I only ran Prime95, which pushes all the cores to 100%. The Cores run at 3.1 GHz most of the time, which is the maximum 4-Core TurboBoost frequency, with only occasional drops to around 2.7-2.8 GHz, still above the default frequency. So not trace of throttling. The Cores temperatures average around 70 degrees.
Then I ran Prime95 and Furmark at the same time, which pushed both the CPU and the GPU to 100%. In this case the CPU still mostly runs at 3.1 GHz, bur drop below more frequently, so the average frequency rests at around 2.9-3.0 GHz. The GPU averages a frequency of 770 Mhz, which is below its base frequency of over 900 MHz, so there’s some throttling here. CPU temperatures reach 87 degrees, while the GPU gets to 72 Degrees.
Overall, the G752VT barely shows any signs of throttling in our stress-tests and none at all in everyday activities, including demanding ones. That means the cooling system does its job well, with a headroom.
Noise, Heat, Connectivity, Speakers and others
That aside, let’s talk about the thermal and acoustic performance.
The G752VT gets a complex cooling system, with two individual fans for the CPU and the GPU, and fours heatpipes. The hot air is blows through the grills on the back, away from the user, just as it should be on a proper design.
In everyday use, both coolers are completely shut OFF. The laptop is passively cooled, yet the temperatures remain on the low side, with only some areas on top of the keyboard getting past the 30 degrees mark. However, despite that, on our test unit we could hear the HDD rambling, so it was never able to provide a completely quiet experience. If you opt for all-SSD storage though, that’s going to be an option.
Under load, each cooler is activated independently, based on whether the CPU or the GPU is put to use. That means that if you’ll perform an activity that only pushes the processor, the GPU fan will remain dormant and not cause any unnecessary noise. The fan will get fairly noisy in games and other tasks that tax both the CPU and the GPU, to a maximum fo about 48 dB at ear level. So you would either have to pump up the volume, or better yet, turn to some headphones. The temperatures remain reasonably low under load, as you can see in the following pictures.
*Daily Use – 1080p Youtube clip in Edge for 30 minutes
*Load – playing Need for Speed Most Wanted for 30 minutes
Now, onto those speakers. The audio system includes a subwoofer placed on the belly, and speakers placed just behind the screen, where there’s more room for them, plus a software package meant to give you the best of this configurations and allows tweaks. Overall, I’m happy with the results. The audio is loud (a maximum of around 88 dB at ear level) and the sound quality pretty good, even with some slight base. Audiophiles will probably want to turn towards headphones or an external audio system, where the SPDIF connector will come in handy.
As for the connectivity, there’s Wi-Fi AC, Bluetooth and Gigabit LAN on this computer, and they all work well. The Wi-Fi is especially good, as it was able to easily maximize my connection near the router (110 Mbps), but also maintain top signal strength and similar speeds at 30 feets with 2 walls in between, where many other laptops start failing. So top scores here.
Last but not least there’s the webcam, which I found muddy and overall just bad. If you were planning on using it for some video streams, you should look somewhere else. For occasional Skypes calls though, it will probably do. The microphones are fairly good on the other hand, crisp and capable of capturing voices properly.
The G752VT gets a 67 Wh battery, a significant downgrade from the 88 Wh one on the G751. That, combined with the fact that there’s no Optimus on this laptop (the integrated chip within the CPU is deactivated, and the dedicated chip is active all the time), leads to pretty poor battery life results. More details below:
- 15 W (~5 h 15 min of use) – idle, Power Saving Mode, screen at 0%, Wi-Fi OFF;
- 21 W (~4 h 15 min of use) – very light browsing and text editing in Edge, Balanced Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 20 W (~4 h 20 min of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Internet Explorer, Balanced Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 19 W (~4 h 30 min of use) – 1080p fullscreen .mkv video in VLC Player, Balanced Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 29 W (~3 h of use) – heavy browsing in Edge, Balanced Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
The laptop is paired with a large 180 Wh power brick and a full recharge takes around 2 hours.
Despite packing a smaller battery, the battery life is not that bad
Price and availability
The Asus ROG G752VT is already available in stores around the world at the time of this article.
The base version tested here is only available in some region of Europe and sells for around 1600 Eur.
Most other regions get a configuration with the same Intel Core i7-6700HQ proccesor, 8 GB of RAM and Nvidia 970M graphics, but also a 128 NVMe SSD and the 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD. This is listed for $1799 in the US, but quite a few stores list it for under $1550 at the time of this post.
Follow this link for up-to-date configurations and discounts.
In conclusion, the Asus ROG G752VT gets a new set of clothes, a slightly improved display and a few hardware improvements over the ROG G751 series. The implementation of the Skylake platform also brings along support for 64 GB of RAM and NVMe storage, for those in need of more speed. Some of the other appreciated elements are the excellent keyboard, the excellent cooling system, the complete IO and the upgrade friendliness.
On the other hand, the G752VT has a large footprint, a smaller battery than before and not the best of trackpads. However, I could live with these. The extremely pointy corners and front-lip on the other hand gave me numbs wrists during my time with this laptop, while the IO design, with all the ports crammed on the right edge, is going to be a headache for those who use multiple peripherals.
Asus have had a strong foothold in the 17-inch gaming laptop’s segment for a few years now, but the competition hasn’t been slackening. The ROG G752VT with its Nvidia 970M chip is a good pick for those of you who absolutely need the large screen, don’t care much about portability and have around $1500-1700 to spend for their machines.
The ROG G752VT could be a good buy if you’re into the market for such a laptop and find it for the right price
However, these days you can get a quad-core configuration with Nvidia 970M graphics for as low as $1100. The Asus ROG G751JT or the MSI GE72 Apache Pro are two of the 17-inch options, while the Gigabyte P55W is the one to consider in case you’d rather get a smaller 15-inch device. Yes, those lack Skylake hardware or NVMe storage, but in games those won’t matter that much anyway.
Then there are the Dell Alienware AW17R3 and the Acer Predator G9-791, both a close match for the Asus G752VT in terms of specs and features, but more affordable.
So, at the end of the day, while the Asus ROG G752VT is without a doubt a great computer, it’s not necessarily going to be the ideal buy for everyone. There are plenty of competitors out there, make sure you compare prices and read reviews, so you’ll know exactly what you’ll be getting, if you want to get the best value for your buck. And if you have any questions or anything to add to this post, get in touch in the comments section, I’m around and will help out if I can.