ASUS ROG G703-XS98K. The Beast
Ok, so the holidays have passed and here we are sitting in a brand new fresh year and many of you are probably already breaking your New Year's' Resolutions. But hey, don't most of us? Let's take a look at a custom gaming laptop from about 6 months ago, the ASUS ROG G703-XS98K, it's a custom built 17" gaming laptop made exclusively by HIDevolution. Let's take a look and see if it's worth picking up or not.
With a starting price of $3,699, this laptop is really expensive. This is a big and powerful laptop that caters to those that want the ultimate gaming performance on the go. It is pretty big and heavy weighing in at 10.4-pounds and 2" thick.
The bottom panel is made out of plastic and can be removed; however, Asus added a quick access cover to get to your components easier. You have access to your m.SSD, a 2TB drive, two empty RAM slots (the other 2 sticks are near the motherboard), and two 256 m.2 NVME SSDs. The two NVMEs are Intel's 760P series and they are very fast with Read/Write speeds of 5691 and 2195 respectively. Obviously, everything on this laptop feels super snappy and quick.
The hinge on this laptop feels very sturdy and strong. When you have a laptop this big you want a very reliable hinge system. The durability of this laptop is superb. There is hardly any top panel and keyboard flex. It's really built well.
As far are ports are concerned, you get a decent amount of ports. On the left side you have the RJ45 Ethernet, USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, a USB 3.0 and headset and microphone inputs. On the right side you have an SD card reader, two more USB 3.0s and the security lock. Around the backside, under the Republic of Gamers logo, there are two charging ports (it requires two AC adaptors) and a full-size HDMI 2.0 port and a mini Displayport.
The 17.3" Full IPS display panel has all the bells and whistles. It runs at 144 Hertz with sRGB at (98% and Adobe RGB at 75% and of course 310 nits. It's G-sync ready and the color accuracy and viewing angles are top-notch.
Trackpad and Keyboard
The trackpad is pretty solid and uses Windows Precision drivers. The trecture is smooth and you also get two physical buttons. It's an A+ trackpad overall.
The keyboard has a very nice layout and awesome tactile feedback, and the key travel is more than adequate. You also get a decent amount of customization options on the backlit keyboard; however, they are not individually backlit. Along the top, there is a combination of hotkeys that you normally use like the volume, Xbox and Asus Command Center.
The Core i9-8950HK offers incredible horsepower and this chip is insanely fast. Finally, it's in a mobile configuration. The Geekbench single core score was 6002 and the multi-core score was 23,758. When you combine that horsepower with the GTX 1080, you a killer configuration. You can play any of today's triple-A rated games on ultra settings and 1920x1080p and it won't even break a sweat. Many first-person shooter games on epic type of settings are going to give you 90-160 frames per second. It's insane but awesome.
When it comes to cooling this device Asus really did a great job. The external temps were about 40ºC and the WASD keys around 38ºC. These are some really respectable temps coming from this big boy. With the thermal interface upgrades with HIDevolution and the cooling system by Asus keeps this laptop really efficiently cooled. It averages about 68º-70ºC and a max of 86ºC on the CPU and the GPU stayed cool with 72ºC and a max of 81ºC. At a full load the fans can get up to about 48 decibels, and with turbo mode kicked in they can climb to about 55 decibels.
The Asus ROG gaming center offers a ton of information for your laptop settings. You can monitor the GPU and CPU temps, megahertz, ROG color backlighting, fan control and much more.
Speakers and Battery
The speakers on this rig are great. There are two 2 watt front-facing tweeters on the base of the display and two 4.5 watt subs towards the front of the unit that are bottom-firing. Their sound levels are great and their overall sound quality is a serious thumbs-up.
The battery performance on the 71 watt-hour battery pack was pretty weak, but with these kinds of components, it's pretty much impossible to get great battery life. With that being said, you can expect about 2.5 hours with medium screen brightness under casual usage, and about 45 mins of gaming on the battery pack.
This is an incredible laptop, and with a price tag over $3,500 USD, it does seem crazy expensive, but you are getting some really top-notch hardware. Assus is planing to sell laptop to hardcore gamers with thick wallets. The IPS G-sync screen is beautiful to look at, and running at 144 Hertz, games look buttery smooth. The thick chassis fits the Core i9-8950HK very well. It offers more than enough breathing room to keep this rig rolling. The GTX 1080 can handle anything you throw at it, and the overall build quality is exceptional.