Those who can’t really afford one of those shiny li’l ROGs but still wants a gaming laptop pretty badly this Asus FX503 can be for them. This FX series from Asus is pretty affordable and leaves all the unnecessary gamery accents at the bay that would help to higher the price of the machine. Anyway, this time we would look at Asus FX503VD-EH73, a 15-inch gaming cum multimedia notebook housing a discrete GPU. Let’s head towards the review then.
- CPU – Intel Core i7 Quad-Core (7th Gen), 2.8 GHz
- GPU – 4 GB DDR5, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
- Memory – 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4, extendable upto 32 GB
- Screen – 15.6-inch Full HD IPS (1,920 x 1,080)
- Storage – 1 TB SATA HDD + 128 GB SSD,
- OS – Windows 10 Home edition
- Performance – It houses an Intel Core i7 processor, 8 gigs of RAM (seems a bit low to me, 16 gigs would have been much better) which can be expanded up to 32 gigs and a dual storage of 128 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD- nothing more, nothing less either. FX503VD showed no major sign of lag or stutter as it went through all the rigorous tests and trials. It showed a middling performance in almost all the tests in comparison with the competing notebooks like HP Pavilion 15t and Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7567. The 5400 rpm HDD does not really come to any other work than for bulk storage. The transfer rate is as expected pretty low- around 100 MBps for sequential operations. The relatively faster solid state drive really helps make the machine rather zippy with its higher transfer rates (nearly 500 MBps for the sequential read operation and slightly sluggish 250 MBps for the sequential write operation).
- GPU -It houses an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU (4 GB variance) to tackle your gaming and graphical needs. It’s a rather basic graphics unit designed for gaming. To make its native FHD display come to use this GTX 1050 should be enough. Although it should not be used for gaming in the ultra settings as it generally can’t handle that very well (or even gaming in a more demanding resolution). That being told, despite its lack of power, it can make almost all your latest games run comfortably in medium preset and even in the high settings (although that won’t be as smooth as it would be in medium; the frame rates should be found just around the minimum playable threshold of 30 fps). And here’s the result- The Witcher 3 (>50 fps in 1080p Medium, ~35 fps in 1080p High), Hitman (~55 fps in 1080p Medium, ~37 fps in 1080p High), Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon (~37 fps in 1080p Medium, 34 fps in 1080p High) and Tom Clancy’s The Division (~45 fps in 1080p Medium, 37 fps in 1080p High) ran buttery smooth in 1080p resolution. But rather graphics-heavy titles like Assassin’s Creed: Origins, ARK: Survival Evolved and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was rather choppy in ultra (or even high) preset as the frame rate was quite low.
- Display – The display is not really the best in its class. It in fact barely is passable. It comes with a 15.6-inch FHD display. Anyway, the display is pretty dim at only 220 nits. Competitors like Acer Aspire VX15 (260 nits) and MSI GL62M 7RD (235 nits) comes with a much brighter screen. The colour coverage and the contrast ratio are pretty poor as well with a result of nearly 58% (sRGB coverage) and 450:1 respectively. The coverage is especially worse than the competitors as it lags way behind the category average of starter gaming laptops of 80-90%. But at least the screen is lit pretty uniformly as the brightness distribution is excellent at 90% which is much higher than the competitors’ average of 80%.
- Cooling – While the machine gets reasonably hot under load it’s not the worst out there; there are many rigs that gets much hotter than FX503. But it seems it has some issues with irregular heat distribution. The left side of the machine (especially the WASD buttons area and the left-hand rest) got reasonably warm (41°C) after a short period of intense gaming. The temperature underside the keyboard deck was recorded at 45°C (113°F) near the vent. But the rest of the laptop was way cooler than that at that time. As a result, this laptop is not really the best machine for using on your lap despite its portability.
If you want the most powerful gaming rig in the world then I have to sadly say that you should look elsewhere. The rather expensive GL series from the very Asus might be a good choice for that. But this one’s a part multimedia laptop and part gaming notebook designed for the light gamers and the digital content creators. It’s a much cheaper and lighter version of the rather beefier and heavier gaming beasts.