Asus RoG G752VM review: Screen

Like a lot of gaming laptops, though, the Asus ROG G752's screen spec may not blow you away. It's a large 17.3-inch display, but the resolution is only 1920 x 1080 pixels. You'll notice this on the Windows desktop, icon text looking pixellated just as it would appear on a 1080p monitor.

However, the GTX1060 graphics card our test model has it actually perfectly-suited to 1080p gaming. It has enough power to let you max-out the visuals in current games, where doing to at 4K would be too much of an ask.

If you must have ultra-high resolution gaming, check out the Asus ROG GX800, which has an Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU and a 4K screen option.

Other than unremarkable resolution this is a good screen, though. Colour is solid and the matt screen finish takes the edge off reflections. Max brightness is excellent too at 354cd/m2. We've been using the Asus ROG G752VM as our normal work PC, and even at 40 per cent brightness it seems a bit too bright with indoors lighting, if anything.

Asus RoG G752VM review

Looking a little deeper, colour and contrast performance are decent but not at a level that’ll impress design pros. The G752VM hits 85 percent of the sRGB standard, where at this price you can often get 100 percent. Coverage of the more demanding Adobe RGB and DCI P3 standard are relatively good given the sRGB coverage, though, at 62.5 and 71.5 percent respectively.

The slight weak point we actually noticed with the naked eye is contrast. At 569:1 it’s only reasonable, and at higher brightness you’ll see a slight blueish hint to blacks. It’s a good idea to play around with the backlight level to see what best suits your gaming environment, but this is still a very solid, satisfying screen for gamers.

The display also has G-Sync, Nvidia's hardware-powered alternative to V-sync, which stops ugly tearing in games. G-Sync gets you the benefits of V-sync without the performance hit.

Asus RoG G752VM review: Keyboard and trackpad

It's easy to think of the Asus ROG G752VM as a pure performance laptop, and in most respects it is, but there's attention to detail paid in the keyboard and trackpad too. As in previous high-end G-series laptops, the keyboard keys have much greater travel than the average laptop.

They are extremely comfortable to type on, and have meaty resistance that simply feels good. It's about as far removed as you can get from the ultra-shallow style of Apple's newer MacBook designs.

The Asus ROG G752VM also has a full numerical pad and a series of custom buttons up above the standard key set. One boots-up the XSplit Gamecaster video streaming software, and the other five are customisable macro buttons. You can set your own key sequence for each, or make them launch an app or website, which may be of more interest to those not into competitive gaming.

Aside from their programmability, though, these are normal keys, so you need to remember exactly which button does what. Given how much the OLED shortcut bar adds to the price of the new MacBook Pro, we'll take the extra brain work involved.

The last bonus button sits in the NUM pad: a ROG button that launches the Gaming Center app. This lets you see how hard the CPU and GPU are working and how hot they are. It also lets you turn off the light strip on the back.

For an extra shot of gaming cred, the keyboard uses anti-ghosting tech that means it can register up to 30 keypresses at once. It's techy overkill, the sort of feature you can only test by mashing the keyboard with a palm, but does mean no keypress will be missed in the heat of the action.

The Asus ROG G752's mouse buttons match the feel of the keyboard too. Instead of being built into the pad they sit below. They're oversized pads that depress almost as much as the keys but with a lighter feel, a bit like miniaturised space bars. This actually makes them easier to rapid-fire tap than a normal mouse button, and gets rid of the problem of awkward-feeling mouse layouts that a lot of larger laptops suffer from.

Its actual pad is large too, although it's disappointing to see a laptop this high-end use a plastic surface rather than a textured glass one. Your finger doesn't coast over it quite as smoothly, even if many people may not notice the difference. This seems to be a nod to the idea most serious gamers will want to use a mouse a lot of the time.

This is one of the Asus ROG G752's few weak points. Its greatest strength is performance, although it's the GPU alone that sets the laptop apart.

Asus RoG G752VM review: Performance

Arriving just before Kaby Lake CPUs are set to arrive, the Asus ROG G752VM uses a Skylake-generation CPU, which has been around for quite some time. It's an Intel i7-6700HQ, a quad-core CPU with a clock speed of 2.6GHz and a Turbo Boost of 3.5GHz. While we haven't tested a Kaby Lake laptop yet, it's unlikely to prove a good reason to wait: we don't expect a massive performance increase.

Asus RoG G752VM review

This CPU is paired-up with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive for all the data that doesn't need to be accessed too quickly, like photos, video files and music. The SSD reads at 757MB/s and writes at 749MB/s so is not an entry-level drive, but also isn't as fast as the quickest PCIe SSDs.

The companion hard drive reads at 141MB/s and writes at 135MB/s, so while nowhere near as fast as the SSD it's clearly a decent 7200rpm model rather than the lumpen sort of drive you'd find in a cheap laptop.

With that out of the way, we can tackle the Asus ROG G752's Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU, the main reason to get excited. The claim for this "mid-range" graphics brain is that it is 30 per cent faster than the GTX 970M, the model up from the last generation of Nvidia laptop cards. It's a good time for gaming laptops.

It can handle Alien Isolation with all settings maxed-out and resolution set to 1080p at an average 75fps, and at 188fps with the visuals dropped and the resolution at 720p.

It sails through the more challenging Thief too, managing 70fps with all the effects turned up and the resolution at 1080p, and at 80fps with the visual quality dropped.

The Asus ROG G752VM is an excellent 1080p gaming laptop, with enough reserves to ensure top-end games will be playable (if not necessarily at a rock-solid 60fps) for some time to come.

While there are smaller, lighter laptops with this same CPU including Asus’s own FX502VM, the ROG G752VM has a cooling system designed to take the heat produced with ease. It's extremely quiet. Like almost any laptop with a high-performance CPU, the fans run constantly, but will be drowned out by even minor ambient noise when you’re just browsing or reading emails. 

We were surprised by how well the G752VM copes even after 30 minutes of gaming. It remains alarmingly quiet, a lot quieter than we remember the last generation of G752 being. If you're looking for a laptop you can play for hours without the keyboard getting hot and fans sounding like a Dyson hand-dryer, this is a great option: the best we’ve reviewed to date.

You only need to look at its back to see how it words. The chunky rear of the laptop is all-grille, giving the large internal fans room to push out all the hot hair.

Asus RoG G752VM review: Battery Life

One element of the Asus ROG G752VM that was never going to be that strong, though, is battery life. Despite using a 14nm CPU, the core components just aren't designed for battery-saving the way other chipsets are.

Used as a normal work PC, with plenty of typing and some browsing  - and the odd five minutes away from the laptop to make a cup of tea - the Asus ROG G752VM lasts just over four hours. This is fair longevity for a laptop with these brains, and a sign of the effort Intel and Nvidia have put into improving the efficiency of their processors. But it's still not going to get you through a day's work.

Playing a looped video at 120cd/m2 brightness, the G752VM lasts 3 hours 23 minutes, giving you an idea of what it’s capable of when working at a low level consistently. Expect it to last about an hour when gaming flat-out: a reminder that this really isn’t a portable machine.

Asus RoG G752VM review: Speakers

The Asus ROG G752VM also deserved to have some speakers or headphones plugged-in, rather than relying on the internal speakers. While top volume is good and there’s a “bass woofer” driver on the bottom to add some weight to the sound, a coloured mid-range leaves music and speech sounding stilted and unnatural.

Asus RoG G752VM: Specs

  • 17.3in (1920 x 1080) 141dpi IPS LCD matt anti-glare
  • 2.6 GHz, up to 3.5 GHz Turbo Intel Core i7-6700HQ, four cores eight threads
  • Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB GPU
  • 16GB RAM DDR4-2400
  • 256GB SSD
  • 1TB HDD 7200rpm
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • DVD multi-writer
  • 802.11b/g/n/ac 2x2
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 4 USB 3.0 port
  • 1 USB-C 3.1 port
  • HDMI
  • mini DisplayPort
  • SDXC card slot
  • stereo Band & Olufsen speakers
  • HD webcam
  • Digital array mic
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • UK tiled keyboard
  • 67Wh lithium-ion battery non-removable
  • 428 x 334 x 43 mm
  • 4.06 kg
  • 17.3in (1920 x 1080) 141dpi IPS LCD matt anti-glare
  • 2.6 GHz, up to 3.5 GHz Turbo Intel Core i7-6700HQ, four cores eight threads
  • Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB GPU
  • 16GB RAM DDR4-2400
  • 256GB SSD
  • 1TB HDD 7200rpm
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • DVD multi-writer
  • 802.11b/g/n/ac 2x2
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 4 USB 3.0 port
  • 1 USB-C 3.1 port
  • HDMI
  • mini DisplayPort
  • SDXC card slot
  • stereo Band & Olufsen speakers
  • HD webcam
  • Digital array mic
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • UK tiled keyboard
  • 67Wh lithium-ion battery non-removable
  • 428 x 334 x 43 mm
  • 4.06 kg

SHOULD I BUY ASUS ROG G752VM?

The Asus ROG G752VM is a terrific gaming laptop for those who want top performance in a form designed to handle that power with ease. It doesn't get overly hot or loud, even under a good amount of pressure, making us confident that even the step-up model with the Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU will also be a joy to use. As the prices of top-end style laptops like the MacBook Pro and HP Spectre 13 increase, the Asus ROG G752VM starts to look like an even better buy than last year's models. And, as hoped, the latest 10-series Nvidia graphics cards blow away what came before. Despite being two rungs lower, gaming performance is not all that far off the former top dog GTX 980M, and similar to that of the desktop-grade GTX 970. In other words, it's perfect for 1080p gaming. There are just a few issues. A textured glass (rather than plastic) trackpad would have been appreciated and we'd like to see Asus put a little more work into the sound quality of the speakers, rather than just trying to make them as loud as possible.