The ROG GX700 is the best of two worlds. As a desktop replacement it holds it weight even against dedicated PCs. As a Notebook its light enough to be truly portable whilst packing enough of a graphics punch to make it a worthwhile gaming experience. This is worth every cent with the only drawbacks being a limited battery life.
Build and Design
Just like every ROG laptop, the GX700 is a handsome beast with the brushed Aluminium look with a slight copper accent at the hinge. The colours are nothing new for ROG, but still look incredibly stylish. There are no LED lights in the case, which actually adds to the look.
This is however just the laptop. The water-cooled overclocking station that comes with the machine is, for lack of a better word, impressive. It is too big to fit on the desk where this review was conducted. At the very least it looks good, with black and grey finishes. Furthermore the handle used to connect and disconnect the laptop works with a very satisfying clunk.
When not connected to the massive cooling system, ASUS delivers on their promise of the laptop being portable. Despite being a large notebook, it weighs in at 3.9kg, the dock is 4.5kg, and with a lightweight charging block its not hard to imagine being able to take this around with you wherever you want. There are lighter computers out there, but the GX700 is a good compromise between portability and performance.
ROG likes to ensure that their laptops are well equipped with external ports, so the GX700 is not lacking in that department. The laptop boasts not just three USB 3.0 ports, but two USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt ports to support additional 4k screens. There is also the usual HDMI 2.0 out, an Mini DisplayPort 3.1, the headphone/mic input and output, and a 2-in-1 card reader. Nothing necessarily out of the usual, but enough to make sure that you wont need an additional splitter for most tasks.
Screen and Speakers
There are two configurations available for the GX700. The review copy came with a Full HD IPS panel that is G-sync enabled. The other version comes with a 4K screen. However, Full HD is still more than enough to have fantastic graphical fidelity. Loading up The Witcher 3 confirmed that this laptop display could make full use of its graphics cards.
The speakers are nothing too out of the ordinary however. The GX700 comes with Dual 22mm speakers (2W) and a 31mm subwoofer (3W, 36cc), which deliver clear enough sound, but not really enough to not warrant using headphones or your own speaker system.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The GX700 comes with a fairly standard tactile keyboard which is very responsive. A special addition is a subtle red accent around the WASD keys, to make it pretty clear what the primary function of the laptop is. The keys are backlit with a red LED for those game sessions in the dark. There are also five programmable Macro keys, but we didn’t try these out for the review.Overall the keyboard is well spaced and comfortable to use, which is paramount for a gaming laptop.
The touchpad, whilst still having the same issues as every touchpad does (iffy feedback, limited responsiveness) does its job remarkably well. However, since most users would add a mouse to their setup this is not really much of a concern. It does the job it needs to do, but not much more than that.
Performance and Benchmarks
For benchmarking two tests were conducted. 3DMARK by MSI ran the benchmark Fire Strike, set for high performance PCs:
Average FPS: test 1: 51.33, test 2: 43.37
Geeks3D FurMark was to stress test the CPU and GPU
Average FPS: 55
This laptop performs well at high intensity tasks, as can be seen with its benchmark tests. There were no overheating issues and the fan remained relatively silent even during the heavier tasks the laptop was subjected to. Multitasking proved to be no problem for the machine even when running on its battery. This is the benefit of have 64GB of RAM total to play around with.
One downside to having all of this power under the hood is that the battery simply does not hold up. Just sitting idle makes the laptop run flat in under two hours on the maximum performance power plan. If you want to have mobile gaming sessions make sure you are within easy reach of a power socket or you will find yourself with a heavy brick after even the shortest gaming periods.
As with other ROG computers, the gaming centre makes its appearance, although this does not seem to be necessary unless you have plans to overclock the machine. Even then, this is not worth attempting without the cooling station dock. One handy piece of software that is included however is the Xsplit gamecaster, which even comes with its own button. This is for budding streamers and lets-players to be able to easily stream their games without taking up too much performance. With live streaming becoming even more popular with each passing day, this is a very smart inclusion for the laptop.
When attached to the liquid cooling station, the GX700 is a beast of a machine that can rival desktop PCs in performance. As a notebook it still holds up well and performs admirably as its role as a portable gaming machine. With prices starting from $6,198 in Singapore however this is not a cheap piece of equipment. It is worth the investment for sure if you have the money though.