ASUS ROG G703 Review – Perfect in Batman’s Tumbler
The ASUS ROG G703 is an exercise in geektastic excess. It’s a huge, bulky, outrageously powerful machine that has no business being called a laptop. Everything about its size, weight and massive exhaust vents would make it absolutely useless on your lap.
It’s, so…much, that it even needs two power adapters to run at maximum power. It’s a totally impractical as a laptop and belongs firmly planted in one place with lots of breathing room and a soundproof room. You know, where you won’t wake up your neighbourhood with its ridiculous fan roar.
But, I absolutely love it and I’m about to tell you why.
ASUS ROG G703 Review
The ASUS ROG G703 is the top of the line and most powerful of the ASUS gaming laptops. Its large chassis houses desktop grade CPU and GPU for the fastest performance I’ve ever seen on a laptop. Here’s what it’s packing:
- Processor: Intel 8th Gen Core i9-8950HK (base 2.8GHz, Max 4.8GHz, Overclockable)
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
- Display: 17.3-inch FullHD 144Hz, 3ms, 100% sRGB, G-SYNC
- RAM: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz SDRAM
- Harddrive: 512GB SSD System drive, 1TB Storage drive(RAID 0 Configurations available).
- Audio: 2x 2W speakers + 2x 4.5W speakers with Smart AMP technology
- Connectivity: 10/100/1000Mbps/2.5Gb Ethernet, Intel® 802.11ac (2×2) Gigabit Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
- Power: 280W Power Adapters x2
- Thermal: HyperCool Pro — 0.1mm 12v fans, Quad-Outlet chassis
- Weight: 4.7 kg
Any PC with such specs is going to perform like a champ but the G703 isn’t just any PC — it’s a laptop. Yes, it looks like a performer but I honestly wasn’t ready for the level of performance from something you can technically use on the go.
ASUS ROG G703 — Performance
When you buy a machine like the G703, performance is first and foremost the thing you care about. So here’s how this beast performs.
Starting with synthetic benchmarks— to which I’ve added Geekbench alongside 3DMark 11 and PCMark 10 — you can see, the G703 slices through them like a Lightsaber through butter. With these numbers, the G703 easily outpaces other laptops and many desktop rigs.
Turning to game benchmarks, it’s almost laughable at how the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 handled every game in my tests without breaking a sweat.
All games were tested at FullHD 1920×1080 resolution with Ultra settings. The G703 had no trouble hitting triple digit FPS in every game I threw at it. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was the most demanding scoring a ‘measly’ 109 FPS and this was with Ray Tracing enabled.
Combined with the 144Hz refresh display, every game played ultra smoothly and the G-SYNC ensured no screen tearing. The 144Hz displays are becoming standard issue on gaming laptops but not many can actually reach those numbers let alone at ultra settings.
Next, I decided to see how the G703 would handle full 4K HDR gaming. I hooked it up to my Samsung UHD TV and re-ran the tests. On average, I was able to achieve the desirable 60FPS in most of the games with the exception of Shadow of The Tomb Raider which often dipped below 30FPS.
If you want to do 4K gaming, the G703 will handle most AAA games at 60FPS with a little tweaking of the settings. QHD or 1440p gaming would be the perfect sweet spot, easily running at 80FPS with Ultra settings
ASUS ROG G703 — Design & Build
Right out the box, the G703 screams ‘Extreme Power’. Weighing a hefty 4.7Kg for the laptop alone, the G703 isn’t something you’ll want to carry around often. Add on the two power bricks and accessories, you’re looking at over 7Kgs of weight.
The G703 is extremely well built with no flex or wobble anywhere. Designed as a traditional clamshell laptop, the G703 measures 45cm wide, 31.9cm deep and 5.1cm at its thickest point. It’s lightyears from slim but this isn’t your ‘use me on the bus to work’ type of laptop.
What that chunkiness gives you is excellent thermal cooling. During the most demanding stress tests, the G703 remained cool inside and out. The HyperCool Pro heavy-duty cooling comprised of high-performance fans and four large air vents are the secret sauce.
This keeps everything crispy cool allowing for the top performance with no throttling due to overheating. However, this comes at the price of a hell of a lot of fan noise when running at max power. In fact, it’s so noisy that even with headphones, the roar is going to get on your nerves. I suppose that’s the price you have to pay for the excellent cooling.
For materials, the G703 is mostly tough plastic with some very handsome brushed metal accents on the lid. The stylish metal finish on the inside camouflages the Power button and is very attractive. Bright Orange accents around the back break the line of aggressive air vents that wrap around the G703.
Opening the lid feels like opening a dungeon loot chest. The book cover style hinge is strong and rigid. This leaves about an inch jutting out from the rear of the display. The lid holds the 17.3-inch display with rather large bezels for a 2019 laptop.
Below that is the full-size keyboard with number pad. Above that is a set of gaming hotkeys and below, a large trackpad with chunky buttons.
Turning the G703 over, the base is mostly clean except for more air vents and speaker grills for the dual subwoofers and rubber grips that stop this beast from sliding around.
Overall, this thing is built exactly like the Tumbler from Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. It’s not the most attractive thing in the world but the right combination of materials, aesthetics and choice colour scheme make it a formidable looking machine.
Pull this out anywhere and your competition will immediately be intimidated.
ASUS ROG G703 — Display and Audio
The G703 is yet another laptop sporting a 144Hz refresh display panel with 3ms and G-SYNC. It’s a 17.3 inch, FullHD(1920x1080p) panel with 100% sRGB colour range which looks really good on most content. The viewing angles are superb and it gets suitably bright.
The NVIDIA RTX 2080 has no problem making use of that refresh rate and G-SYNC ensures that everything plays nicely; which it does. I would have loved to see a 4K or QHD panel here because the G703 has more than enough power to handle higher resolutions.
For audio, the G703 has a Saber HiFi four speaker setup that impresses. Listening to Spotify at about 30% volume, my wife commented on how rich and full the sound is. Two 2W tweeters on top and two 4.5W subwoofers at the bottom provide loud and undistorted sound.
ASUS’s Smart Amplifier tech does a fabulous job here and combining it with Sonic Studio III the G703 can output simulated 7.1 surround sound from your games and media. It all sounds pretty darn good and is a very nice addition.
ASUS ROG G703 — Keyboard and trackpad
The G703 has a full-size, backlit keyboard and a number pad for the accountants among you. The wonderful 2.5mm travel of its 0.3mm curved keys is a pleasure to type on. Each press is deliciously deep yet with great feedback and no mushiness.
The ASUS ROG HyperStrike Extreme technology gives the keys 1.25mm firing stroke and 1.875mm overstroke for precise inputs with zero lag. All keys have N-Key rollover and anti-ghosting for multiple, simultaneous inputs.
Thanks to ASUS Aura RGB, individual keys backlighting can be customised to your liking. I settled for one of the many presets for a soothing rainbow that cascades across the keyboard.
The G703’s keyboard is a great overall package that’s a joy to use, both in typing and gaming.
Sadly, the trackpad is nothing special to write about but it gets the job done. One complaint is how it’s placed off-centre to the keyboard. This forced me to awkwardly shift my hands to the left which caused some discomfort every time I used it.
With all the available space, ASUS could really have put a larger, smoother and better-aligned touchpad similar to that of the Razer Blade or MacBook. Both have it centred in the middle of the chassis and have better ergonomics.
Above the G703’s keyboard are a set of game-focused hotkeys. These give you quick access to volume, microphone and Windows Xbox functions. The other keys give access to ASUS Aura for all the lighting and customisation, XSplit Gamecaster for streaming controls and finally an ASUS Armoury Crate for your performance management tools.
ASUS ROG G703 — Connectivity
As you’d expect, the G703 has literally every connectivity option you could want out of a computer. On the right-hand side, you have SD Card Reader which will please content creators and two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports. You also have a Kensington Lock to um, lock down your precious machine when you need to take a toilet break at that LAN party.
The left-hand side has 2.5Gb Ethernet port for a lag-free data connection. You also have a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C/ Thunderbolt 3 port for performance external peripherals. A USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C port with ASUS USB Charger Plus for fast-charging your phone or tablet. For audio, you have a dedicated microphone jack and a headphone/ microphone combo jack.
Finally, on the back of the G703 is your Mini DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0a for 4K 60FPS output. For power are the two DC power ports for the included power bricks. You need to use both when running the G703 at maximum power for sustained periods.
ASUS ROG G703 — Battery
I wasn’t expecting anything much of the G703 battery given its desktop grade internals but boy was I really surprised. In my testing, when put in balanced mode and NVIDIA Optimus activated, the G703 could attain approximately 3-3.5 hours on its generous 96Wh battery.
Colour me impressed as no single gaming laptop I’ve tested in recent past could do over 2.5hrs and those don’t even have comparable hardware and cooling. So if you want to use this beast on the go, you actually can.
The caveat is that if you attempt to game or do any other processor intensive work, that figure will nose dive to well under an hour, but then, what else do you expect?
The G703 is a powerful machine that needs two power adapters to run at full tilt for any reasonable amount of time. The G703’s internals needs so much power when unleashed that it will use the battery even while it’s connected to power.
When the battery is drained, the single adapter won’t be able to singlehandedly power the G703 and it will black out. So, for those intense gaming marathons, make sure you have the G703 double plugged in for the duration.
The ASUS Armoury Software — launched via the aforementioned hotkey — does an exceptional job at controlling various power settings of the G703. The handy presets allow you to quickly change from high performance, fan screaming to quiet mode for doing less demanding work.
Enthusiasts can control various other overclocks and tweaks and save them as profiles for quick access. It’s a good design and intuitive interface that I used quite often.
ASUS ROG G703 — Verdict
I stated earlier that the ASUS ROG G703 is the equivalent of Batman’s Tumbler. Big, brash, powerful, not remotely stealthy and can jump across rooftops if you need it to. (I’m kidding but you get the point)
And like Batmans vehicle, the ASUS ROG G703 will cost you a pretty penny. The exact configuration that we tested retails for, wait for it, AUD $5999! That’s a whole lot of money wherever you come from. However, I’m not sure that’s a deal breaker for what you are getting.
There is literally nothing the G703 can’t handle when it comes to gaming and productivity. Top marks across the board with no sacrifice due to overheating or any nonsense like that. This machine doesn’t make any compromises. If I could change only one thing, it’d be to get a higher resolution display.
The G703 is a true desktop replacement. Get a dedicated space, some monitors, a mouse and this machine is literally all you need for full-on gaming, productivity and streaming setup.
ASUS has done a fine job here and for those willing to spend the money, they will be very pleased with their purchase. The ASUS ROG G703 is an easy recommendation from me.
The ASUS ROG G703 was provided to PowerUp! by ASUS Australia for the purpose of this review.
Product Name: ASUS ROG G703
Product Description: Gaming Laptop
- Gaming and performance
- Design and build
- Display and audio
- Battery and thermal cooling