ASUS ROG Chimera G703 Gaming Laptop Review
There is no question that there were a lot of areas upon which the ASUS ROG G703 could fall down, and yet it negotiated all of them without a single hitch.
Firstly, as we said in our introduction, anyone who has ever tried a gaming laptop in the past knows that the key part of the descriptor isn't the word gaming but the words gaming laptop. i.e it's a great performer for a laptop. There is a reason whenever a laptop is shown in a film or TV show they aren't playing The Witcher 3 on it. Secondly the Republic Of Gamers brand is firmly embedded in the enthusiast conscious as a watchword for high performing, high spec, high quality hardware. There is every possibility that the G703 either didn't live up to that ROG branding or didn't live up to the gaming laptop appellation.
Half of those fears are eliminated the moment you get your sweaty mitts on the G703 itself. We can't recall a laptop that felt more like a premium item from the second we opened the box until the time came to pack it away and send it back to ASUS. The metal is lovely and cool to the touch, even when it's been working hard for a while, and the brushed finish is so eye catching that we chose to include a close up of it as the image at the top of this review. Choosing the top page image is always a stressful task as you want something that emphasises the great points of the product, but as we don't want to annoy you with a gif of some smooth gameplay you get that. Lovely isn't it. Even the hinges the lift the screen, quite often the loose and floppy bit of a laptops build, and robust and smooth acting. You get the feeling this thing will survive along with the cockroaches if Trump gets his wish of dropping big bombs to compensate for his tiny brain.
Unquestionably some level of the robustness of the G703 is brought by the sheer weight of the thing. 4.8 KG is not light. However, we'll stop you right there. All this talk about a laptops selling point being that it's a few millimetres thinner than the competition, or a few grammes lighter, is absolute tosh in our book. This is a big 17 inch thing. At minimum you need a bag for it, and if you're carrying a big ungainly bag around with you then it doesn't matter if the laptop inside it is thinner or not. All thinness does is add flex to the chassis and limit the cooling capabilities. If you want something thin use a pen and paper.
So yes the G703 isn't the lightest or thinnest laptop on the market, but there is no doubting its performance as you have seen on all the preceding pages. The quad-core hyperthreaded Intel CPU is ably backed up by a GTX 1080 and some blistering storage speeds, all of which are a match for their desktop equivalents. So often laptop means compromise, but not here. It's a beast. It is just as happy slaughtering spreadsheets as it is providing you the tools to go fragging your friends and enemies alike. The keyboard is lovely to type on and well spaced, whilst the trackpad is accurate and responsive. The screen is almost the star of the show though. You can get a 60hz 4K screen on your G703 but you'd be crazy to when the 1080P 144hz screen is so good. Excellent colours, great contrast, no ghosting. It's everything you want from a screen and with the benefits of a fantastic anti-glare coating and nVidia's GSYNC technology.
If we had to quibble, we checked the contract and we do, then clearly with this much performance inside the air that gets blown out is quite toasty. This heat doesn't soak into the chassis as it can with other metal bodies we've reviewed, but it's worth noting that you can't cool a 4 GHz quad core CPU and a GTX 1080 with two slim laptop fans and not expect them to run quite loud a lot of the time. No louder than many other laptops, but not as quiet as you would expect from the umpteen 120mm fans you can fit in your desktop. It's also a little bit pricey, but because of the premium features and hardware it's not expensive. Indeed it's - relatively - affordable considering what you're getting.
All in all the ROG G703 is a gaming laptop worthy of both the "gaming laptop" appellation and the ROG branding. Fantastic.