ASUS ROG Strix G531GT first impressions: full of questions… and RGB

So ASUS just took the wraps off of its latest ROG Strix lineup in India. One of the models that really caught my attention was the ASUS ROG Strix G531GT. The reason for that is the kind-of-weird hardware matchup. I’ll get to that in a bit. Now, keep in mind, that this is not a review. This article is based on a single first-day usage of the device, and what hits me at the first go. The review, in full Mr. Phone style, will be up in a couple of days, so make sure to stay tuned for that. Now then, let’s see what is the ROG Strix G531GT all about.

ASUS ROG Strix G531GT Design and Build Quality: RGB Galore

Right off the bat, the reason that this laptop intrigued me and my colleague Sreehari was how much of RGB it has. He, being an Apple fanboy, was kind of taken aback by it. However, I am a gamer myself, and I follow the #RGBEverything trend quite rigorously. As such, for me, the ROG Strix G531GT feels pretty damn good. It has got RGB lighting all under the frame of the laptop, as well as a backlight under the keyboard. And since this is ASUS, you obviously get the company’s Aura sync feature. But the ROG Strix isn’t all about lights. The laptop does feel quite premium. Despite being built out of a premium body, the chassis does feel heavy duty. Weighing in at 2.3kgs, it isn’t the heaviest gaming laptops out there either.

The Strix is pretty generous in terms of I/O as well. You get a trio of USB 3.0 ports coupled with the 3.5mm audio jack on the left side. On the back, you get an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and a DC charging port. Unlike what you’d assume, the cooling vents are on the back side as well. The right side of the device is completely sealed. I’ll have to dig inside to see what led to this decision, but so far, all I can tell is that you get nothing but RGB lights on the right underside. Speaking about omissions, there is no webcam here. None whatsoever. Privacy FTW, I guess?

ASUS ROG Strix G531GT Keyboard and Touchpad: So far so good

I am a gamer at night and all the other free time that I can find for myself in the day. But other than that, the majority of my work revolves around being a writer, so for me, the keyboard is obviously a priority. Thankfully, the keyboard on the ROG Strix G531GT is a pleasure to type upon. The key travel is just perfect, and it makes this slight click-ety sound that gives you the audio experience of a mechanical switch. Yeah, I know that’s quite weird, but I seem to like it a lot. The hotkeys are well located on the top, which includes the volume toggles, a mic mute/unmute button, fan profile switcher, and a quick access key to the ASUS Armory Crate software. I’ll head into the depths of that in my full review, but TL;DR, it is the company’s one-stop software for monitoring and tweaking system settings for better gaming performance. And it works just fine.

As for the touchpad, I’ve never fancied touchpads on a gaming laptop. That said, the one on the Strix G531GT is actually pretty good. All the Windows gestures work fine, thanks to Precision driver support. Being a gaming laptop, it also comes with dedicated left and right mouse click buttons. However, one thing I did notice is that the surface isn’t that good. It isn’t glass, and it seems to register palm sweat quite quickly. In just a single day, the touchpad has already begun to seem like it is a month old. I only expect it to get worse by the time I finish my review. Now, not that it would affect the performance by any means, but it does look kind of tacky, especially when everything else on the ROG Strix G531GT looks so darn good.

ASUS ROG Strix G531GT Hardware: Something’s weird

Okay, so reading off the spec sheet, the ROG Strix G531GT can be configured up to a 9th-gen Intel i5 or i7. As for graphics, you can choose between the GTX 1650, 1660Ti, RTX 2060, or the RTX 2070. Now, naturally, you’d assume that the lower portion of those GPUs would be configured with a Core i5, right? Well, that’s not the case here. The unit that I have for review with me, comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H couple with a GTX 1650. Ummm, what?

I mean, yes, the GTX 1650 isn’t a bad GPU, but it is just slightly better than the previous gen GTX 1050 Ti. Which is a mid-tier GPU. Who pairs it with a top of the line CPU? I’ll tell you who. People who are into content creation. They want a GPU decent enough to be able to edit their timelines, while a CPU powerful enough to reduce the render times. Makes sense, so far, except that the ROG G531GT doesn’t come with an SD card slot either. So, who is this laptop basically for? ‘Coz even without the benchmarks, I can tell you that the GPU is clearly going to be the bottleneck here, especially in terms of gaming. So why not save a bunch, and offer the GTX 1650 with a Core i5?

Stay tuned for the ASUS ROG Strix G531GT review

Maybe the other variants wouldn’t be as absurd as this, but I’m really looking forward to putting this laptop through my testing. Maybe I’ll find out something quite interesting, you never know. And only after completely analyzing it in depth, will I be able to answer whether the ASUS ROG Strix G531GT is the laptop for you.  The review will be out soon, so stay tuned for that.

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Varun Mirchandani
varun.mirchandani@u2opiamobile.com

Varun is your go-to guy for everything related to technology. Someone with a keen interest in the Android world, he installs a new custom ROM every week and is always living on the bleeding edge of technology. When not writing for Mr. Phone, you can find him gaming on his beastly gaming rig which is also his prized possession.