My only problem with the Asus G550 (part of Asus’ gaming laptop series) is I keep touching the screen out of habit. It’s not a touchscreen device.
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Despite having to train myself not to sully the screen with fingerprints, I was most impressed with the cool black and red laptop.
The screen is 15.6” and plenty large enough for the games I played on it (all from Steam or GOG.com). It gave me beautiful crisp colours in full HD.
The battery life was perfect. I was often surprised by a “battery low” warning after a few hours of gaming. And everything loaded quickly and moved fast. As a disclaimer, I wasn’t running the latest, incredibly graphics-heavy games, but I did run a number of games at the same time. Games like Shogun Total War ran incredibly well without glitches.
The sound was excellent for a laptop and, for the most part, I didn’t even plug in the supplied subwoofer. Though for the best gaming experience I would suggest a set of headphones. You’ll also need an external mouse.
The touchpad is quite large and right where you might accidentally hit while typing. Moreover, because the G550 runs Windows 8.1, if you accidentally swipe in from the right you bring in the menu options.
The overall construction of the G550 is fantastic. Even running a bunch of games together it never heated up much in my lap. The internals are super solid too, with an Intel i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 800M series graphics card. And quiet too, the dual fans were almost silent and the solid state drives make it lighter and take away extra sound.
The keyboard is good for typing and I had no trouble typing for a long time with long documents. The lights got a little annoying though. Each key has a red light under it, which at certain angles shines right in your eyes.
The main thing with gaming laptops is that you don’t really game from your lap. Most games require a complex level of movement that is simply awkward while balancing a computer on your lap. Once you set the laptop on a table (and attach your favourite type of gaming mouse) you’re away laughing. Think of it less as a way of doing intense gaming from the couch and more of a way of carrying your gaming PC with you.
Depending on specs, prices range from $1899 to $2399.
First Looks are trials of new or interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Our lab-based tests offer truly objective product comparisons.
By Hadyn Green.
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