Asus has a huge lineup in their ROG catalogue of computers. From Desktops to Notebooks, there is a little bit of something for everyone. So who is Asus targeting with the G701? With its massive GPU and crazy 32GB of RAM, this has all the power of a desktop. However, don’t treat this huge hunk of computing as a laptop, more of a very portable all in one PC. What can you expect from this latest release in that case?4
The packaging of the G701, just like every other ROG product, is predominantly black with a picture of the laptop itself. This isn’t a bad thing, as black is eternally cool and leaves you now doubt that it’s a ROG that you have in your hands. Not much else can be said about the exterior of the box, other than its massive. Seriously, if you were able to convert it into luggage, you would have enough space for a two-week getaway. Just goes to show how big the G701 is.
ROG products all follow the same design rules, and it works. The sleek brushed aluminium casing with bronze highlights gives the G701 the same distinct look as its cousins, while the ROG logo is noticeable but surprisingly understated. It’s the kind of look that lets you know this is designed with a gamer in mind without being too ostentatious. The only exception to that rule is the back vent, which looks like the grill of a sports car. This is also the location of the charging port interestingly enough. We have become so used to having the charging point on the side of the laptop it looks slightly alien. The location probably has to do with the placement of the internals over any design aesthetic, but it gives the G701 a very distinct look when plugged in.
There is one thing to note with the design however which can be a detriment. At 3.6kg, this is not a light computer. Asus are making a big deal about how this is their thinnest gaming laptop yet, and while that is true, it’s still very wide. You definitely cannot lift it with both hands, and since it’s a 17″ screen the G701 is too big for most bags. This laptop is not a laptop, more of a PC that you can move around if you need to. What you are planning to use the G701 will decide if that is a bad thing or not. One thing that’s for certain is that you definitely won’t be putting this on your lap during the commute.
One final consideration is the placement of the keyboard, which is put quite far back into the main chassis. It’s not uncomfortable and gives your wrists plenty of support, but after a couple of hours it doesn’t
Often a real drawback for gaming laptops is the lack of ports over a standard PC tower. For a laptop of its size, the G701 really doesn’t have that many. There are just three type three USB ports and one type c, as well as a Thunderbolt port. I used a Bluetooth mouse during testing, so this wasn’t a massive issue, but this could be a real irritation for some users. Otherwise, there is the standard SD card reader, HDMI and mini Display Port as well as a LAN jack. There is no reason why Asus couldn’t fit at least a couple more type 3 ports in, especially since this is not a laptop that is going to be moved around a lot.
The battery is better than what you would expect with such a large PC, managing to last about two to three hours even during moderate gaming sessions. Like all other machines that use Windows 10 you can choose to make it prefer battery life over performance, but there is no need. Chances are you will never be far away from a power socket if you are planning to spend any extended period gaming.
It’s worth taking the time to talk about the power brick, however. It was never going to be small, but this is something else. It’s even bigger than the Xbox 360 power brick was, and if you are planning to move the Laptop around this will easily add another half a kilo to your carrying capacity. What’s more, it’s not a simple task to unplug the power supply. The Jack has a special catch that you need to slide down to unplug. It feels more like you’re plugging in some heavy industrial tool than a gaming laptop. It’s a powerful machine so it’s not necessarily overkilling it, but more powerful PCs have less engineered power cables. More than anything it makes it harder to replace any cable if you lose track of the original.
The G701 is not what you would call whisper silent, but neither does it emulate a jet engine when it’s going full gaming either. Even after a couple of hours playing particle-heavy titles like Total War: Attila I didn’t get any sensation that it was drowning out game audio. There was also no extra sensation of heat under my hands or drop in performance. Even leaving it turned on for days hasn’t had any impact on its ability to keep the system cool. It’s no liquid cooling, but it does very well, even in a climate as unforgiving as Singapore.