We rarely associate a tough and resilient chassis to a laptop. But with Asus’ TUF series, it offers gaming laptops complete with military grade MIL-STD-810 protection. This protects your laptop from awkward bumps and rough usage. But how does the Asus GX705 fare otherwise?
Design and build
The laptop either comes in red or gold accents depending on which variant you pick up. But our unit in the red finish definitely gives off a gaming vibe. The outside lid of the laptop has a radiating ‘X’ pattern which is a nice aesthetic but aside this, most of the laptop is made of a durable plastic. There is also a variant with a brushed metallic cover available presumably in the gold finish.
Weighing in at 2.6kg, there is not a lot of flex to this laptop. It feels solid in the hand but at the same time, it can easily fit into a backpack. One addition I would have liked would have been a lighting up Asus logo on the lid for that extra attention to detail. But you cannot have everything.
Display and I/O
For the form factor, the GX705 packs an impressively large anti-glare 17.3-inch display. It has a 144Hz refresh rate which is ideal to avoid screen tearing when gaming. Otherwise the 1080p resolution and its anti-glare coating make the display ideal for usage in a variety of different scenarios. Because the panel is an IPS-LCD, it also has decent viewing angles for when you are watching movies with friends.
But on the I/O side, the laptop is a bit lacking. There are ports like an Ethernet, HDMI, 2 USB 3.1, a USB 2.0 as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack combo. These are very limited and for a laptop of this age, the inclusion of a USB-C port is the least you can expect. Additionally, a dedicated microphone and headphone port on the laptop would have also done wonders considering the laptop’s main target audience is a gamer.
Considering the display on the laptop is 100% sRGB certified, another surprising omission is the SD card slot. While this may not directly correlate to gaming, it is something worth having.
Typically, mid-range gamers appreciate versatility in laptops and a simple inclusion could have added great value to the laptop. Nonetheless, one thing that Asus definitely kept in mind was to ensure that all the port inputs stay on the left side so that your right hand remains obstruction free when using the mouse for gaming.
Keyboard and trackpad
The resting area where you put your palm near the keyboard comes with a nice brushed finish. This makes the surface grippy and suprisingly adds to comfort levels. But aside this, I think Asus’ TUF laptop has a good keyboard with keys demonstrating satisfying travel.
There is a slight curvature to all the keys which makes typing just that bit more comfortable. Especially for gamers, the WASD keys are highlighted so that they stand out and otherwise, the overall keyboard experience is good. While the lack of RGB lighting is not a drawback, the cramped arrow keys on the right definitely is. And so is that enter key which I wish was two rows tall like a conventional keyboard.
However the trackpad is one of the lowest points for the laptop. It is cheap feeling with uneven click registration. It also does not have separate left and right keys for clicking which is not something I like.
Processing power and software
Like the majority of mainstream laptops these days, the Asus GX705 comes running Windows 10 Home. There is minimal bloatware from Asus that comes pre-installed. There is an impressive Dolby DTS 7.1 channel configuration software that also comes with the laptop to fine tune your audio experience.
But in its hardware, the FX705 is impressive. You get an 8th-generation i7-8750H processor coupled with 16GB DDR4 RAM. For storage, the laptop comes equipped with a generous 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD and a 1TB hard drive.
Gaming performance and benchmarks
For core gaming, the GX705 comes equipped with an NVIDIA GTX1050Ti graphics card. This brings in 4GB of usable VRAM when gaming but the combination of this and the laptop’s other hardware makes it just about decent for high-end gaming.
If you want to play popular titles like Fortnite or Apex Legends, you cannot play them on maximum settings and enjoy a consistent frame rate. But if you are willing to drop your quality settings a bit, the hardware offers a good degree of play-ability normally at 60-70 FPS.
How a game performs depends on its optimization. So titles that have very little optimization will struggle even on relatively low settings. As for benchmarks, we did put the laptop through its paces in a few benchmarks and you can have a look at the results.
While gaming, heat and noise levels from the laptop stay acceptable. The heat dissipation is thanks to Asus’ heat pipes and V-style exhaust design. Whereas noise levels on the balanced fan profile for the laptop worked well for me.
For a mid-range rugged gaming laptop, Asus’ TUF GX705 is near perfect. But at its asking price of Dh5,199, it falls in the higher-end spectrum when it comes to pricing. Granted, its 144Hz display, military grade protection or that generous 256GB SSD may not be on every laptop.
But yet, I feel it falls short to appeal to a typical mid-range gaming enthusiast. Typically, people interested in buying a laptop like this want to be able to do everything well. And considering its SD card and dedicated audio jack omission, people may well find options with a higher-end graphics card and a wider range of I/O for a similar price tag. An improvement to the pricing though to make it more streamlined with other laptops offering a 1050Ti graphics card would definitely strengthen the Asus GX705’s case for the power and uniqueness it brings.