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Review: ASUS FX503 Gaming Laptop

Review: ASUS FX503 Gaming Laptop

ASUS ROG is one of the most well-known companies when it comes to gaming laptops. While we have reviewed quite a few of their devices in the past, we haven’t really focused on an entry-level ASUS gaming laptop. So, today we have with us the ASUS FX503, the laptop for the gamer on a budget.

Tech Specs

ProcessorIntel Core i7-7700HQ
RAM8GB DDR4
Graphics CardGTX 1050 4GB
Display15.6-inch 1080p
Storage128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
PortsUSB 3.0, Audio port, LAN, HDMI, SD Card Reader

The ASUS FX503 comes with the Intel Core i7-7700 HQ Kaby Lake processor along with the Geforce GTX 1050 GPU with 4GB VRAM. It also has 8 GB of DDR4 RAM which can easily be expanded up to 32 GB. There’s a 128 GB SSD for loading and booting up your OS while a secondary 1 TB hard disk drive is provided to take care of all your storage needs. The display comes in a full HD 1920 x 1080 panel.

Now, the device doesn’t feel as premium as the higher-end ASUS ROG notebooks, but it sure packs a punch. The design is streamlined and cutting-edge, making it great looking laptop. The textured lid has a glossy ASUS logo in the middle, brought into focus by four slanting streaks. The lid wobbles a bit when you tap it lightly, but it doesn’t affect the display in any way. The overall build quality is sturdy, but it’s clear that this isn’t a high-end device. However, as the FX503 is a budget gaming laptop, some compromise between performance and build quality is expected.

On the left side of the laptop, you can find the Ethernet and the HDMI ports, a MiniDisplayPort, two USB 3.0 ports, the audio port and the charging port. Move on to the right, and you’ll find one more USB 3.0 port along with the SD Card reader. The back has two vents for heat dissipation.

Opening the laptop, you can find the full-sized QWERTY keyboard sitting amidst a brushed metaliic finish, with a red power button at the top. It features a red LED backlight with highlighted WASD keys to enhance your gaming experience. As a whole, the keyboard is quite responsive and comfortable to use, with the keys being properly spaced and easy to press, with a 1.8mm travel distance. It also has N-key rollover support, making sure all your key strokes are registered and you don’t suffer in the game. The trackpad is decent enough too for working, but anyone who plays will prefer to use a mouse.

Performance and Benchmarks

Powered by an i7-7700HQ and a GTX 1050, the ASUS FX503 is the sweet spot for any entry-level gamer. Even though you won’t be able to play all the latest games at the highest settings, esports titles like DOTA 2 and CS:GO will run without any issues and with a little compromise on graphics quality, you can easily play heavier games too. Take a look at the numbers for a better idea.

First we decided to test Rise of the Tomb Raider. Running the game at the Medium preset, the notebook was able to provide an average framerate of 53.4 FPS in DX11 with a slight drop in framerate upon switching to DX12, to 51.2 FPS.

Next, we ran Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Here as well we saw a decrease in the performance while switching, with the device running the game at an average 38.5 FPS in DX11 on Medium settings, dropping down to 34.1 FPS after switching to DX12. In Ashes of the Singularity, we got an average framerate of 37 FPS when running the game on the Standard preset in DX11, which went down to 35.7 on DX12.

For open world titles we tested GTA V with most settings on High. The laptop performed quite well here, with an average framerate of 67.8 FPS in the in-game benchmarks. The general performance of the laptop is impressive too, making it a good choice for students and casual gamers who need to use the same device for gaming and work. Moreoever, the cooling system employed in the laptop does a fine job of keeping the temperatures under control. The maximum temperature we observed was a little over 80 C, though if you’re playing continuously for long hours the fan noise does become noticeable. But still, it’s not high enough to cause any discomfort and on the positive side, we never experienced thermal throttling.

The one thing that I did not like about the device is the display, but that’s mostly subjective as I tend to prefer IPS panels. The TN display on the FX503 is bright and gets the job done, but the viewing angles and contrast aren’t up to the mark. The good thing is that it’s not glossy so you don’t have to worry about annoying reflections when using in brightly lit rooms. And this is a budget laptop, and by those standards, it’s an all-round impressive device.

The battery life, as we’ve come to expect from gaming laptops is more or less average. We were able to get about 3 hours of normal usage (including web browsing and multimedia) on a single charge. However, for gaming that’s not a major concern as you’ll mostly be using it with the charger plugged in all the time.

The Verdict

Starting at INR 69,990, the ASUS FX503 is an incredible entry-level gaming laptop. However, note that the review model we received has a price tag of INR 87990. Even then it is perfect for casual gamers who like to get the most out of their devices while being cost effective. At 2.5 kg, it is highly portable and you can take it anywhere you may need to. It looks as great as it performs, making it an incredible choice for anyone who’s on a budget but doesn’t want to compromise on the performance.

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