Asus announces new mid-range and 4K gaming laptops
By Chris Wood
June 3, 2014
Asus has announced two additions to its Republic of Gamers (ROG) laptop range. The systems, known as the GX500 and the G550JK, make use of the same design language, while occupying two distinct product spaces – one svelte and high-end with an impressive 4K display, the other a mid-range offering with a premium build.
G550JK – a mid-range gaming laptop with a premium build
The first addition to the ROG range is the modestly powerful G550JK. Announced last week, the system features an attractive aluminum design, measures 2.77 cm (1.09 in) thick and weighs in at 2.5 kg (5.5 lb).
Internally, the laptop has a lot going for it, running on Windows 8.1 with an Intel Core i7-4700HQ at its heart. The machine can be fitted with up to 16 GB RAM and will be offered with a choice of 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 or 1366 x 768 LED backlit displays. For a laptop this size, the full HD panel is definitely the better choice.
A range of storage options will be available for the system, ranging from a 750 GB 5400rpm HDD up to a 256 GB SSD. Despite the machine’s fairly compact nature, there is a disk drive on board, with a choice of DVD or Blu-ray reader/writers available.
In terms of graphics, the G550JK offers an Nvidia GeForce GTX 850M GPU with either 2 or 4 GB of DDR3 VRAM, augmented by the company’s GPU Tweak overclocking software. While NVIDIA’s latest 800M graphics cards are certainly a step above their predecessors, the 850M sits a little further down the line than would be ideal for a gaming machine.
That said, Asus is quick to point out that the system’s internals would be well suited to professional or prosumer applications. For example, it would be more than capable of running demanding apps such as Adobe Photoshop CC.
GX500 – a thin and powerful 4K gaming machine
The newly announced GX500 is a decidedly different beast to its G550JK cousin. Like the company’s recently unveiled NX500 Ultrabook, the machine features a 15.6-inch 3840 x 2160 panel, something that’s sure to be its standout feature. It’s powered by an unspecified Intel Core i7 processor and houses a competent Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU.
While that card can’t hope to compete with Nvidia’s top shelf GPUs, it’s certainly a capable option, and given that the GX500 is just 19 mm (0.75 in) thick, it’s impressive that Asus managed to pack in such a solid solution. The laptop weighs in at 2.2 kg (4.85 lb), and there’s no word yet on storage configurations or the level of RAM that it will carry.
Asus has yet to announce full pricing and availability for the new systems, though we do know that the GX500 won’t hit shelves until September or October.
Update 27 June 2014: Since the time of writing, Asus has updated its laptop lineup to include a new G550JK-DS71 model. The system, which is set to launch on July 20, will feature the more recent Intel Core i7-4710HQ CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and will be slightly heavier than the already available GJ550JK-DB71 (detailed above), at 2.7 kg (6 lb).