The Asus FX502VM-AH51 suffices as a mid-range gaming laptop which eschews its competitors in terms of design and features that promises to offer a powerful performance.
PROS: Thermal cooling. Lightweight chassis. Brilliant display
CONS: Mediocre battery life. Lacks SSD storage
The Asus FX502VM-AH51 is a newcomer in the mid-range gaming laptop category which packs some decent features that is likely to stir the competition. The laptop catches the attention of gamers with the inclusion of top-notch graphics, the latest Pascal based Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB discrete graphics.
It is powered by a 6th generation Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor clocked at 2.3GHz with 16 GB of DDR4 system RAM and 1 TB 7200RPM mechanical hard drive for storage.
The 15.6-inch display laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10 for a better functionality and user experience. The connectivity department is also well staffed thus pushing it to the top of mid-range gaming laptops category to compete with the likes of the ASUS K501UW-AB78 and the Dell 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop that have been on the lead for some time now.
The laptop comes with a brushed metal finish that looks nice and hides fingerprints. It measures 10.5 x 15.4 x 0.9 inches and weighs 4.9 pounds which is slightly lighter than the ASUS ZX53VW 15.6″ Gaming Laptop that measures 10 x 15.1 x 0.8 inches and weighs 5.5 pounds. The 15.6 inch screen is big enough to feel like you’re not missing anything but small enough to make the laptop portable. As such, it won’t be a big issue when it comes to packing it in your backpack to travel.
Under the hood, the Asus houses a 6th generation Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor clocked at 2.3GHz that can run up to 3.2GHz with Turbo boost technology. The system combines a 16GB of DDR4 system RAM that most users will find to be more than enough.
It however gives room for upgrading. The system packs enough power to handle complex or demanding programs including video or image editing and programming. Storage comes by way of a 1TB 7200 RPM mechanical drive that is big enough to store all your movies, photos, music and videos. The HDD is however not as fast as an SSD, luckily there is an empty M.2 2280 slot that you can use to install your Solid-state Drive for fast loading of programs and booting speeds.
Gamers will feel at home with the inclusion of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB discrete graphics based on the latest Pascal-architecture that delivers a thrilling performance on a laptop similar to what we are used to in desktops. The system is good for playing new titles giving decent frame rates per second.
For instance, playing Grand Theft Auto V, the system gave 59.2fps, Hitman 49fps and the Shadow of Mordor delivered 87fps. At ultra-settings, it was also delivered smooth frame rates per second such as the Witcher 3 delivered 50fps and battlefield 4 pushed it to 90fps. It therefore does not shy away from getting the job done by offering an ultimate gaming experience.
Gaming notebooks have a history of having poor batteries that drain out quickly, this is the case with the Asus. It comes with a 4 cell battery with a dismal performance averaging 3 hours on web browsing and half the time when gaming. It is not a surprise as most of gaming oriented processor drain the juice faster.
Connectivity options on the Asus are at its best. The notebook features three USB 3.0 ports for faster transfer speeds and connection to other devices and peripherals. There is a USB 3.1 Type-C port for extended connectivity. Extending the display is also possible with the presence of an HDMI and Mini Display port for better viewing experience while playing games or watching movies.
There is an SD card slot that supports SD, SDHC, SDXC and MMC formats but DVD burner is missing in this model, so you will have to purchase an external optical drive separately in case you need one. Internet is accessible by way of the Gigabit Ethernet port or by use of the top-class 802.11ac Wi-Fi card that works with Bluetooth as well.
The laptop features a 15.6 inch matte non-touch display with a resolution of 1920×1080 that is appropriate for laptop gaming as it comes with a refresh rate of 60Hz. The matte finish on the screen is very nice and doesn’t reflect light like a glossy screen would. There is an HD webcam that makes video chatting through Skype possible with friends and family.
The laptop comes with a full-sized chiclet styled keyboard that is backlit, red. Typing on the keyboard is comfortable and it offers up to 1.6mm key travel distance, and a full numeric keypad. The WASD keys are highlighted on the key board for easy gaming and the touchpad is responsive. The built-in speakers are loud and clear to enjoy your gaming or watching movies. The system has dual rear vents, so heated air is channeled away from the user.
The Asus FX502VM-AH51 is a decent mid-range gaming laptop that has its house in order. It comes into the mix flaunting the latest Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB discrete graphics and plenty of storage space compared to its competitors such as the Asus K501UX and the ASUS K501UW-AB78.
Gamers will find it easy using this machine, and it will also handle other day to day tasks without stuttering thanks to its 6th generation Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor and 16GB DDR4 of RAM. All said, the Asus FX502VM-AH51 is a nice pick for gaming in the mid-range gaming laptops category.