Price Analysis And Conclusion
The Asus Strix GL502VM-DB71 was a delightful surprise in the sea of GTX 1060-equipped laptops we've tested so far. We expected typical performance for a sub-$1,500 laptop, yet the Strix performed above par against its similarly-equipped competition. It even occasionally trades blows against a system with a superior GPU, thanks to its impressive thermal dissipation. The Strix also stands out aesthetically, with its orange accents, which deviate from typical red and black gaming designs (although the LED lighting is red).
The G-Sync display further adds to the value of the Strix, and it allows gamers to push the framerate below 60 FPS and maintain a smooth, tear-free visual experience. The Alienware 15 and Leopard Pro can’t offer G-Sync at this price point, and each of them make even more compromises to achieve their price tags (the Leopard has a 3GB GTX 1060, the Alienware sports a Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM). Asus doesn’t have to make the same sacrifices in order to offer the Strix GL502VM-DB71 for $1,399, and we’re inclined to believe that’s why it generally performed better in our benchmark suite.
Some may frown at the lack of SSD storage in this particular model, but as far as 1TB 7,200RPM HDDs go, the Strix GL502VM leads the field in the 4K random read/write tests, but falls slightly behind with its sequential read/write speeds. Generally, storage doesn’t play a vital role in gaming performance, but those who absolutely need an SSD will have to spend a little more money for that commodity, or install one themselves (the interior layout makes this easy).
The memory configuration (8GB onboard, 1x8GB DDR4-2133 SO-DIMM) could also be grounds for an enthusiast’s skepticism, but the two memory interfaces run in dual-channel mode (unlike similar onboard/SO-DIMM memory configurations that operate with two single channels), and the unorthodox implementation doesn't affect performance in a negative way.
When we purchased the Asus Strix GL502VM-DB71 from Newegg, it was priced at $1,499. Even at that cost, we thought it provided compelling value with its performance and feature set. Now that it has dropped $100, we’re inclined to believe that the Stix GL502VM-DB71 offers the best combination of performance, features, and price you could want in a GTX 1060-equipped VR-ready gaming laptop under $1,500.
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