Written by Mihir Patkar
The Asus G551 JK laptop is part of the company’s Republic Of Gamers (ROG) series, focussing on high-end hardware. This mean machine is meant to play the latest games at the best possible resolution, anytime, anywhere. But can it really do that?
Specs: 15.6-inch LED-backlit TN display (1920×1080 pixels) | 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 4th generation processor | 2GB GDDR3 Nvidia GTX 850M graphics card | 8GB DDR3 RAM | 1TB HDD | Blu-ray Drive | HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet port, 3xUSB 3.0 ports, 2-in-1 card reader | Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n | Up to 3 hours battery backup
Price: Rs. 82,999
What Makes This a Gaming Laptop?
It’s mostly the hardware inside. The processor, graphics card, RAM and display all point towards hardware that can support new games. The laptop has also been designed to support gamers. The keys are backlit (in red light, which looks pretty cool) and the trackpad is quite large. There is also ample room to rest your weary palms while you patiently wait in your sniping hideout.
Does It Play Games Well?
Yup, with most games, you can expect a smooth experience. The level of detail is the issue here. Can you play Borderlands 2 and FarCry 4? Sure. But not at 60 frames per second with all the settings clocked to as high as they can go. You’ll have to fiddle around with the settings in a lot of games, but the good news is that you’ll never have to bring them down to the default “medium” profiles.
What’s Wrong With It?
There are three big problems with the Asus G551 JK: the screen, the portability, and the battery life. The screen is a TN panel, which is inferior to technologies like IPS panels. The result is that the screen has poor colour reproduction and atrocious viewing angles. Tilt it just a little behind or ahead and the colours will change dramatically. At Rs. 82,000, that’s just unacceptable in a gaming laptop, where you are paying for premium graphics hardware so that things look good.
The laptop is also quite heavy, which compromises its portability. You need to treat this more as a desktop replacement, with only occasional use of actually moving it to different locations—and hardly ever gaming on the go.
Finally, the battery is poor and drains quickly, especially while playing games. It ran out of juice within 1.5 hours of playing Borderlands 2, and within 2 hours of playing Burnout Paradise. So again, you’ll need to keep it connected to an electrical socket. Not much in terms of portability here.
PC Gaming With A Trackpad?
On the bright side, Asus has thrown in a great mouse (the Asus GX850) that is ideal for gaming. They have also bundled in a gaming headset (the Asus Cerebrus), a comfortable over-the-ear model with a microphone for chatting during multiplayer games. And finally, there’s a lovely bag to carry it all, including the laptop. Those are thoughtful additions for a gaming laptop, kudos to Asus there.
Should You Buy It?
The Asus G551JK, in our opinion, is a desktop replacement. It’s a good laptop under certain circumstances. If 80% of the time, you will use it at a desk, connected to an external monitor, then it’s a pretty good deal. But you need to want to use it on-the-go for 20% of the time, otherwise a desktop PC is going to make more economical sense.