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Asus Republic of Gamers GL552VW (ROG) review - mid-range gaming

Richard Easton
17 Apr 2016
Asus ROG GL552VW teaser
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,000
inc VAT

The ROG GL552VW is a good value mid-range gaming laptop let down by a mediocre screen

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Asus’ Republic of Gamers series of gaming laptops have never been known for their subtlety. Generally speaking, though, the GL552VW is certainly one of the more understated laptops I've seen in this range recently, especially when you sit it down side by side with the behemoth G751JT I reviewed at the end of last year.

This gargantuan laptop had a protruding rear when you lifted up its massive 17in screen, but the GL552VW's smaller, 15.6in lid stretches across the whole length of the chassis, making it feel positively svelte by comparison. However, with a weight of 2.6kg and a chassis measuring 35mm thick, it’s not something you'll want to carry around with any degree of regularity, but you'll probably be all right throwing it in a backpack for the occasional gaming session at a friend's house.

The GL552VW still has plenty in common with the G751JT, though, as you’ll find the lid has the same soft-touch finish and identical Asus ROG logos emblazoned on its central brushed aluminium panel. The upper chassis showed a few signs of flex, but nothing too concerning.


Asus ROG GL552VW logo

Keyboard and Touchpad

There’s a spacious palm rest area below the keyboard, but it picks up greasy palm prints quite easily, which rather spoils its overall look. The keys are backlit, though, and you can adjust the brightness of its red LEDs - perfect for those late-night gaming sessions. 

The keyboard's surprisingly pleasant to type on, too, as it has a reasonable amount of travel and provides good level of feedback on each key stroke. Asus hasn't messed with the layout of the keyboard, so everything's where you'd expect it to be, and it's even made room for a dedicated number pad. There aren’t any gamer-specific macros, however, and the only gamer-centric customisations are the highlighted WASD keys.


Asus ROG GL552VW keyboard

It’s a shame some of the shortcuts and macros available on other ROG laptops haven’t been included here, particularly when there’s so much space above the keyboard. Asus hasn't left this area completely barren, thanks to its supposedly Mayan-style patterning, but there's no denying it could be put to better use. 

There’s also a good-sized touchpad, which was both responsive and easy to use. Swipes glide across the surface with minimal resistance, and taps and multitouch gestures were detected without any issues. The integrated buttons had a good click action, too.

Of course, most gamers will immediately abandon the touchpad in favour of a mouse, so you'll be pleased to hear Asus has actually included one in the box. However, you'll probably still want to swap it out for your own mouse, as this ergonomically designed Asus ROG-branded model isn't without its problems. It fits comfortably enough in your hands, but I found it was very easy to hit its side Back and Forward shortcuts accidentally with my thumb. 

Rather annoyingly, Asus doesn't include any pre-installed software that lets you disable these buttons either. Instead, you have to download the drivers separately (the mouse model is GX850) from Asus' website. Once you've done this and opened up the mouse menu, you'll find you can also configure the buttons to act as macro shortcuts, but given how irritating they are, I wouldn't be surprised if most people ended up simply disabling them. 

Asus ROG GL552VW mouse

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