Our Review: Asus ROG G531GT
Avid budget gamers will undoubtedly give the Asus G531GT a rousing welcome to the Republic of Gamers.
At an incredibly moderate price, this budget gaming laptop offers an ultrasmooth Full HD 1920 x 1080 display, 9th generation Intel Core i7-9570H processor, GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and almost unlimited storage room. It packs both SSD and HDD storage.
The hardware is certainly good enough to deliver a more than decent gaming experience, which is just as well. Because, with its blazing lights, big ventilation grills, and bold design, the ROG G531GT does not pretend to be anything other than a gaming laptop under 1500 dollars.
That’s not to suggest that this laptop will do a botch job of any other task. With specs like that, it has the power to make light work of almost anything that’s thrown at it. However, its weight makes it difficult to carry around and its battery leaves a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, all that may not prove to be serious challenges if you’re going to be leaving it on a desk all day.
Design and Appearance
As we noted earlier, the ROG G531GT is unlikely to be mistaken for anything other than a gaming laptop. The lid sports Asus’ trademark brushed design, with the RGB lit ROG logo at the edge announcing this laptop’s intention to stand out. Loud lighting seems to be the design theme of this laptop. The keyboard is backlit, and an RGB strip wraps around the base of the keyboard, increasing its bold charm. It’s just as important that Asus Laptops includes the option of killing the lights when they begin to get a little overwhelming. On a side note, the chassis features a plastic finish, although it feels anything but flimsy.
In spite of its bulk, the ROG G531GT can be flipped open with one hand, with minimal flex. When you do flip open the lid, you’re bound to notice the narrow bezels at the top and around the sides of the display. That may be before or after you notice the absence of a webcam. Asus has also placed a strong focus on appropriate ventilation, creating what it terms a “heavily ventilated 3D Flow Zone.” Exhausts open to the rear, and there are raised ridges above the keyboard base for air circulation. Because there are no heat vents on the sides, longer gaming sessions are possible.
Move your gaze further south to the chiclet keyboard with narrow arrow keys and beautifully transparent WASD keys removing every remaining doubt as to the purpose of this laptop. The keys are a little soft, but they do offer decent travel, making them adequate for typing long documents as well as for gaming. Directly atop the keyboard, Asus placed a few dedicated keys for necessary functions such as Home, Page Up, Volume control, and the Armoury Crate app, which can be used to control RGB lighting across the keyboard among other things. The RGB lighting on the keyboard is zonal rather than per-key, as seen on high-end ROG models.
Number crunchers may be disappointed at the absence of a Numpad on the keyboard, but Asus did not completely discard it. Reiterating the design of Asus’ Zenbook models, this laptop’s touchpad doubles as a Numpad, a neat trick we found impressive there and which is similarly welcome here. The touchpad itself works well, and Asus bags wins all around here.
Ports and Connectivity
Like most gaming laptops in the ROG line, including the Zephyrus S, Asus places a fair few ports at the ROG G531GT’s rear, for easier and better connectivity to external outputs and devices. At the rear of this laptop, there’s a charging jack, an HDMI port, and an RJ-45 connector. The laptop’s right flank is left completely free of ports, with the left side accommodating three USB Type-A 3.1 ports and an audio jack. The G531GT does not make provisions for either an Ethernet port or a USB Type-C Thunderbolt port.
Display and Audio
The ROG G531GT’s display can make anyone fall in love with the laptop. With a 1080p full HD resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 3ms response time, gamers can expect full graphic detail in scenes. Beyond that, its matte coating protects the screen from the glare of the sun, the screen is bright enough, and the contrast is high enough.
Even with the settings on high, you’ll have a fun time playing games on this laptop. Watching movies on this laptop’s screen is similarly engaging. On the flip side, this display’s narrow color coverage means that the laptop will struggle with tasks such as video and photo editing.
Asus lets you sync this laptop’s speakers to the RGB lighting, which, depending on the way you look at it, may be a good touch or a fail. However, it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone putting up any argument in support of the speakers. The speakers are loud enough if you’re sitting right in front of the laptop, but any further away and you’ll struggle to make out what’s being said. On this score, the bad audio quality does not help matters, and the lack of bass support means that playing music on this laptop is by no means an uplifting experience.
Backed by the latest 9th generation Intel Core i7-9570H processor, GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, and a nifty SSD, the ROG G531GT gaming laptop delivers above-average frame rates for most games, including the high-end titles. It doesn’t really struggle at any point, even though you’ll get comparatively better performance when you run the demanding games on medium settings.
For other productive tasks and multitasking, this laptop is a thoroughbred racehorse. It absolutely plows through most day-to-day tasks without even seeming to exert itself, delivering with remarkable speed. The best part is, it stays absolutely quiet while performing these tasks.
Heat and Noise Emission
While the ROG G531GT gaming laptop can power through most regular tasks without expending much effort, it does tend to struggle with the more demanding ones. Everything is fine when it’s in normal mode, but things get a bit loud, and toasty when it switches to turbo mode.
In our tests, temperatures can reach as high as 95-degrees Fahrenheit after a few minutes of heavy-duty operation, which falls firmly in uncomfortable territory. As for the fans, they can help cool the system down considerably, at the expense of their noise.
Put plainly, the ROG G531GT’s battery is nothing to write home about, although that’s par for the course when it comes to gaming laptop under 600. The ROG G531GT’s battery can power the device for more than 4 hours of basic usage, including web browsing, and media consumption.
The battery can support about 1 hour and 15 minutes of gaming before you need to find a power outlet, which is just okay. It takes around 1.5 hours to completely charge the battery using the included 150W charger.
The ROG G531GT is very close to being the complete gaming laptop. With powerful hardware, a bold and chiseled design, and a sharp display, it’s almost easy to forget that this laptop is essentially a budget laptop.
Nevertheless, in spite of its many positives, this laptop also checks many boxes in the negatives column. Its plastic chassis is a constant reminder of its status as a budget laptop, the speakers do not set one’s heart racing, and its battery life is pretty unremarkable. This is a personal quibble, but the absence of a webcam, USB Type-C ports, and an Ethernet port is hardly ideal.
Despite these “shortcomings”, this laptop remains a great buy and we won’t hesitate to recommend it to savvy budget gamers looking to extract utmost value for their money.