Asus ROG gaming laptop initial review

Since the POS Dell was dying (again), I needed a lower priced machine for my daily CAD work. I opted for the ASUS ROG GL551JW-WH71, mainly due to price and local availability as my need was urgent. Here are some initial thoughts on the laptop.

The Dell that had been my daily abuser for the last 20 months was the Precision M6800.

Here is the review of the previous version(s). Dell gave me a new 6800 in May 2014 not long after that review because it just died (again). Fast forward to a month ago when the hard drive started failing. Out of warranty now, I had an SSD installed. That greatly helped with Autodesk Inventor. Then the video card started to die last week. As opposed to paying $400 on Ebay for a used card, I spent $800 on a new laptop. The ASUS is an older model, but had specs approximating the M6800 from two years ago.

Crossing my fingers, the hard drive was pulled from the Dell and put into the ASUS. Graphic card drivers being the sole exception, everything went smooth without having to reinstall every stupid program I own. This may have an affect on features of the new laptop, but it's certainly better than the exercise of installing everything and making my ancient version of AutoCAD look just how I like.

The ASUS has a 15.6" screen which is down from the Dell's 17". To solve the screen real estate problem, I hooked the ASUS up to my 32" monitor and it works like a charm. Email/web browsing stays on the laptop screen, AutoCAD and Inventor on the big screen.

The keyboard is the chicklet variety. I've not used that as a daily work keyboard for three years (my chromebook that I'm typing this from has one though). Luckily, the keys don't have the odd feel that my Acer Chromebook does or that would get annoying unless I trimmed my fingernails.

The only thing that I need to dive into is the volume of the speakers. I'm sure there are some drivers out there to fix (or possibly further screw up) the issue. Right now I have to turn the speakers up to about 50% to hear something.

Other than that, the thing zips along and handles my Inventor assemblies easily. That's exactly what I needed it to do. I also fired up Combat Arms which usually turned my Dell into a jet engine in both heat and fan noise. It ran absolutely quite and cool.

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