Asus ROG Strix Hero II (GL504GM) review: Is this the gaming laptop you dream?
The Asus ROG Strix Hero II is a high-end gaming laptop with some powerful specs to back it up. The laptop is mostly focused towards the MOBA gamers as most ROG laptops are. Some of the key specs of the device include 8th Gen Core i7 processor which is coupled with Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics, also a 144-Hz display panel which could make spending your money worth it but it is not all perfect. So you won’t have any issues playing any latest title on the ROG Strix Hero II. But is it for you? Find out in our full In-depth Review of the ROG Strix Hero II.
The ROG Strix Hero II rocks a 15.6-inch IPS LCD 144-Hz display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels which has a response time of 3ms. CPU is the 8th generation 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H, coupled with 16GB of DDR5 RAM. For the graphics, you get Nvidia GTX 1060 with 6GB of DDR5 VRAM. The primary drive is a 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD which is paired with a secondary drive of 1 TB HDD running at 5400 RPM.
Asus ROG Strix Hero II is very premium right off the bat, the Aluminium lid is very different and dashing. The slash at the back and in the logo of ROG is representing a battle cut in MOBA games. Just above that, you get an engraved ROG logo with RGB lighting. The whole device gives a very satisfying feeling when you touch it. The top lid is carved so even with the flap down you can view LED indicators for Battery, Power, Hard drive and Wi-Fi on the Internal chassis.
Internal chassis also has an RGB light bar at the front bottom, below the lid of the device which can be customized with the keyboard. Inside you are greeted with a 15.6-inch LCD panel which has a matte layer on it for glare. The bezels on the top and the sides are practically nonexistent but have a comparatively large chin where the webcam is placed awkwardly. So if you are going to be doing much video calls, people are sure to be staring at your chin.
The Strix Hero II is focussed to MOBA gaming and has transparent QWER keys
The internal chassis, unlike the top lid, is made out of very high-quality plastic. The keyboard also features an RGB-backlight that is 4 zone customizable. The keyboard has transparent QWER keys to emphasize them out for MOBA gamers, which is a nice touch.
Directly above the keyboard are four recognizable buttons for the audio slider, Microphone on/off, and ROG gaming center. Below the keyboard, you get one of the best touchpads on a laptop with two discrete clickers, which seems like a small thing but enhances your user experience by a lot.
Hero II sure is heavy but its one of the lightest hardcore gaming laptop you can buy on the market. Weighing at just 2.4 Kgs, it is lighter than any of its competitors.
If ports are what you look for among the top things to have in your laptop look no further because there are bare. The Strix Hero II has a wide range of ports on both sides. On the left, you start with the power jack, an RJ45/ Ethernet jack, a mini display port, an HDMI port, two USB 3.1 port, a USB Type-C port, and a headphone Jack. On the right, you have an SD card reader slot, another USB 3.1 port, and a Kensington lock.
The Asus ROG Strix Hero II has a 15.6-inch IPS LCD display which has a resolution of 1920×1080 with a 144-Hz panel. The 144-Hz panel is on the most satisfying and impressive displays you can find on a gaming laptop. The panel is bright enough that you don’t miss a single detail while playing and vivid enough that to capture every detail.
While playing NFS, I was able to see every bit of damage, even a scratch after crashing on-coming cars. FPS games feel way better with this display, every movement, every shoot feels faster, more accurate. Not just games but movies and general web scrolling too feel better and faster.
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We got around 290 nits of brightness which is plenty bright even in direct sunlight, with good color reproduction. The Anti-Glare IPS panel sure helps to make viewing just a bit better.
The keyboard on the Asus ROG Strix Hero II is not just a treat for the eyes, it is well engineered too. The keyboard is very comfortable and easy to use once you become used to the layout. I really like the extended spacebar which helps you to reach it better and looks cool too. The allow keys are perfectly embedded with the number keys, which gives room to align Enter, Shift, and Control keys together. There is plenty of room to move and have a travel distance of 1.8mm. So you won’t have any issues while gaming or just typing.
Keyboard also has RGB-lighting which can be customized in 4-zones with the Aura Sync. You can use a preset or design how you would like the colors to be, possibilities are truly endless.
The touchpad on the laptop is one of the finest we’ve seen in quite some time. Considering most gamers use an external mouse, Asus haven’t cheaped out one bit on the touchpad. It also comes with Windows Precision drivers which helps with gestures to work smoothly. I also like the distinct clickers, which are very responsive and give a good feel.
The Asus ROG Strix Hero II is a performance monster, and there is no denying it. This baby can handle any game that you can think of throwing at it. Multitask like an absolute boss playing music, while opening more Chrome tabs than you ever need is light work for the Asus ROG Strix Hero II.
The power comes from an Intel Core i7- 8750H processor with 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD. All that gaming is also helped with a GeForce GTX 1060 card with 6GB of VRAM. The device is also VR ready, meaning any normal or VR game this PC can run with ease.
On the GeekBench performance test, the device scored a score of 16,996 which is higher than a mainstream gaming laptop score. On the Cinebench, OpenGL score was 85.61 fps, we even got a 90fps on an earlier test which was one of the top scores on a gaming laptop. CPU test and Single core test were also better than any similar performance laptop on the market. The 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD is really helpful and bumps up the score in favor of the Hero II.
We were achieving good frame rates and were able to run Dota 2 at highest settings with ease. Every movement and swipe was fluidic and we experienced no frame-rate drop.
We also played NFS: Payback at full settings and were able to get around 100 FPS which was going up and down with the intensity of gaming, but was always above 40 and running smoothly.
The laptop offers you multiple fan modes for when you are intense gaming or when you are just scrolling the web. There is a silent mode when the fan is inaudible, there is balanced which is good enough for casual gaming and OverBoost which is for hardcore, High FPS gaming. The Overboost setting is very loud and gets annoying really fast if you are playing without headphones.
You can also access ROG Gaming center to optimize the device to give the best possible performance for your need. With Gaming center you can practically access and customize anything and everything to your want.
The speakers on the Asus ROG Strix Hero II are definitely not the loudest we have ever heard but are surely one of the best on a laptop we have come across. The sound is crisp and the speakers have a good amount of Bass. The synergy between Bass and Treble is beautifully engineered and a treat to listen.
Gaming laptops are criticized for their poor battery life, but the Asus ROG Strix Hero II puts up a really good fight for the cause and I was impressed. The device was able to give around 4 hours of usage at normal use and never really died on me. Although gaming on the device without plugging in is possible, to get the full performance you are better off being plugged in. You also get a comparatively faster charger than the competition which is appreciated highly.
Asus ROG Strix Hero II is an absolute demon of a gaming laptop, and it is much more. Hero II is striking to look at, very well built and premium to hold. It is the ideal laptop for Gamers, even content creators, and streamers. The laptop is thinner than the competition and still manage to give similar performance if not better. The display is a thing of beauty and the 144-Hz refresh rate is a pleasure to use.
At a price of INR 1,40,000, Asus ROG Strix Hero II offers value for your buck. The battery might not be class leading and the Webcam placement is a bit odd, but disregarding that this is one of the best gaming laptops you will find. If you are in the market for a gaming laptop you should definitely consider going for the Asus ROG Strix Hero II.