The ASUS K501UW-AB78 is an entry-level gaming laptop that strikes a balance between performance and the price. The laptop does not scream at you with flamboyant colors but rather it chooses to maintain the normal design fit for use in different scenarios. It therefore fits well in office and work use and still delivers when it comes to gaming without much whistles. Under the hood, the laptop features a sixth-generation Intel Core i7-6500U processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M gaming graphics card. It combines this with 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM memory and a 512 SSD that balances between performance and storage. The laptop features a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It comes pre-installed with Windows 10 operating system with cool features. The laptop is well equipped for gaming or heavy editing and for day to day handling of tasks such as document editing, surfing the internet, watching movies and videos.
The ASUS K501UW-AB78 is thin and light for a gaming machine, making it great for gamers after a portable solution. The laptop features a clean and elegant look and feel with a gray metallic cover with a hairline textured finish. The laptop measures 15.6 x 10 x 0.8 inches and weighs 4.4 pounds. It is much lighter than the Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop which measures 15.1 x10.4 x 1.0 inches and weighs 5.9 pounds. The laptop suffices as a good companion for road warriors who want to work while mobile.
The Asus K501UW-AB78 is powered by a low voltage processor, the dual-core Intel Core i7-6500U clocked at 2.5GHz that can run up to 3.1GHz with turbo boost Technology. It gets a good CPU Mark score in the range of 4300. As such, it has enough power to handle any software thrown at it and it is sufficient for serious gaming. The notebook comes with 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM memory soldered on the motherboard. Some heavy users may want to increase this memory, the SODIMM socket is in place for doubling the memory to 16GB. The Asus K501UW-AB78 outdoes some of its competitors by packing a standard 512 GB SSD storage from the normal 256 GB SSD seen in most of them. The SSD offers quick boot times and loading of programs. It has also plenty of space for storing all your games, movies, photos, videos, music and other important documents.
The laptop comes with dual cooling fans that do a great job in keeping the system cool when under load. However, you will hear the fans slightly when the hardware is pushed a little hard. A gaming laptop is not complete without a dedicated graphics card. Well, the Asus features a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M Graphics card with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. It handles games such as Overwatch and Fallout 4 on ultra-settings without stuttering. GTA 5 runs at 50FPS using Full HD resolution and high details. Power demanding games run on medium and high settings to maintain good frame rates. The hardcore gamer will have to think upwards to systems like the Alienware AW15R2-6161SLV with better frame rates. The gaming monster sports a superior or powerful graphics card, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M.
The laptop comes with one USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.0 ports for faster transfer speeds of files and connecting to other devices. Conspicuously missing is the USB Type C-port which could have given the laptop a futuristic look. There is a VGA display port and an HDMI port for extending the display to larger screens such as HDTVs and monitors for playing games or watching movies. The laptop keeps in tandem with the emerging trend of excluding a CD/DVD drive. This helps in increasing the portability of the laptop but you can purchase an external optical drive if need arises. There is a media card reader slot and headphone-out and Audio-in Combo Jack. An RJ45 LAN Jack is available for wired LAN insert to access the internet. It supports wireless standards including 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 for faster internet connection.
The 15.6 inch full HD matte display on this laptop comes with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels covering around 45% of the NTSC color gamut. The system does not come with an IPS display but the Asus Splendid Display does a great job in enhancing and adjusting the settings for deeper contrast and vibrant colors.
The Asus comes with a full-sized backlit chiclet keyboard that is spacious and comfortable to use for fast typing. It comes with a responsive key travel of 1.6 mm and the backlit keyboard will allow you to game or work in dim lit places with a lot of ease. The keyboard comes with a number pad, which is suitable not only for gaming but also for the normal needs of the user. The trackpad is just below the keyboard. The laptop produces some clear and defined sound even on higher volume settings thanks to the Asus Sonic master.
The system comes with a 3-cell, 48Whr battery that gives you around 4 to 5 hours of normal everyday light use. Gaming will get the battery drained in a maximum of two hours hence you should not lose sight of your power adapter.
There is no doubt that the Asus K501UW-AB78 notebook is a gaming laptop. It combines a Full 15.6 Full HD display with an Intel Quad core processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card to get the job done. It also features 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM of memory expandable to 16GB and a massive 512 GB SSD for storage. This is an entry level gaming laptop that gives its competitors in the same category such as the Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop and the Asus K501UX a run for their money. They are however both great gaming laptops that you may want to consider depending on your preference. All said, the Asus K501UW-AB78 is a mid-range priced laptop packs enough power to play powerful titles on reasonable settings without leaving a hole in your pocket.