There are two kinds of gaming laptops – one that just offers raw power at the expense of design and portability and the other that offers a near-perfect blend of style and power. And if you’re one of those who would prefer the latter kind over the former, then the ASUS GU502G is worth a look. The new ROG Zephyrus M GU502G blends style, portability, performance, and value in a neatly wrapped package, which can be used for a variety of functions – from content creation to hardcore gaming.
Design and display
Measuring just 18.9mm in thickness and weighing 1.9 kgs, the ASUS Zephyrus M GU502 is 25 per cent thinner and 45 per cent lighter than a typical 15-inch laptop. The laptop comes with a sleek reinforced metal chassis, making it durable for everyday use, while its soft-touch skin and palm rest give it a clean and professional look. The entire body is black, with a brushed-metal finish on the lid.
The display cover sports a diagonal-cut design with a diamond sand brush finish in the lower half and a glossy black finish in the upper half. The V-cuts, at the rear air exhaust, are designed to increase the airflow to protect the device from excessive heating.
The ROG Zephyrus M GU502 features a 15.6-inch Full-HD (1920x1080) display with a refresh rate of up to 144Hz and a response time of 3ms. The display offers great colours, which is quite useful for content creators who make a living on their laptops. And with a screen-to-body ratio of 81 per cent, it offers an immersive experience for those who have a penchant for hardcore gaming. The 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time are well-suited for FPS (first-person shooter) games. The Full-HD IPS display is Pantone validated, which not only looks great but also offers vivid, accurate colours at all times. The trademark ROG logo on the lid lights up when you switch on the laptop, making it look stylish, especially in the dark.
The keyboard sits in the centre of the deck and not towards the front edge like other Zephyrus gaming notebooks, and still, it has a big enough palm rest and a large touchpad. The keyboard features island-style keys, which are decent in size, which means that even if you’ve big hands, you’ll feel comfortable enough while typing. The keys are backlit with RGB lighting, and users can control the backlight effect via ‘Aura’ function provided by the Armoury Crate software.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GU502 is powered by the latest 9th Gen mobile i7-9750H and a Hexa-core processor with 12 threads with a clock speed that can be boosted up to 4.5GHz. ASUS advertises the GU502G as a portable gaming machine, and while this status is more suitable for its GX line of laptops, the GU502, nonetheless, is a well-balanced device, which can handle almost everything from everyday tasks and graphic-demanding tasks to intense gaming sessions. The high refresh rate of 144Hz is good enough for some of the big game titles such as Far Cry 5, Sekiro, and DMC 5.
According to ASUS, the laptop employs a unique algorithm that constantly scans the wireless environment to select the best pair of antennas to establish a wireless connection, resulting in the best possible signal. The laptop supports the latest Wi-Fi 5 standard and dual-frequency 5GHz/2.4GHz Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) Wave2, with MU-MIMO 160MHz channel bandwidth.
ASUS has also introduced a newly designed ROG Armoury Crate software, which provides detailed system information, including CPU and GPU frequencies, temperature, and voltage. It also offers information about game profiles, memory/storage usage, and fan speed. While the laptop is set to balanced mode by default, gamers can choose between several other modes, such as turbo, silent, windows, and manual. Additionally, it also has a network optimiser called Game First V, which can specify the type of connection, Wi-Fi or wired, should be used for a particular application, and Sonic Radar III, which comes in handy for those who want to improve their gameplay or those with a hearing impairment. Sonic Radar III offers a visual simulation of sound locations, which does not interfere with the game code or operation –it’s simply an analysis tool that interprets sounds produced by the game in real time.
On a full charge, the ASUS Zephyrus M GU502 can last around four hours. During our test, the laptop lasted for 4 hours and 20 minutes, during which it was used continuously for web-surfing over Wi-Fi at full brightness.
For connectivity, the GU502 has HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4 (via USB Type-C connection) display outputs, which can be used to connect it to 4K HDR monitors – ideal for content creators who need larger displays with better resolution. The ASUS Zephyrus M GU502 has all connectivity options that are needed for gaming and working on the go, which includes 1 x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4 and PD charging, 1 x RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-A, 2 x USB3.1 Gen1 Type-A, 1x HDMI 2.0b, a 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack, and 1x Kensington lock.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GU502G is one of the best gaming laptops you can buy, thanks to its solid performance, plenty of connectivity options, and travel-friendly design.
Sturdy, light and compact
Average battery life