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ASUS GL551JM 15-Inch Gaming Laptop [OLD VERSION]

4.3 out of 5 stars 259 ratings

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  • Intel Core i7-4710HQ 2.5GHz (Turbo to 3.5 GHz).
  • 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive. 16GB RAM.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 2GB GDDR5 with Optimus Technology.
  • 3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x MiniDisplay. SDXC Card Reader. 802.11 A/B/G/N. Gigabit Ethernet Port. 720P HD Webcam.
  • 15.6" Full HD Display. Aluminum Body ROG Signature Chassis.
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must be 18 years or older to purchase. sold as is (it is in perfect condition). no returns.

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Product Description

ASUS ROG GL551JM-DH71 15.6 Inch Laptop (Black), Intel Core i7-4710HQ 2.5GHz Haswell, NVIDIA GeForce GTX860M 2GB GDDR5, 16GB DDR3L (1600MHz), 1TB 7200RPM, 802.11AGN, Bluetooth, Windows 8.1

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Amazon.com Return Policy:You may return any new computer purchased from Amazon.com that is "dead on arrival," arrives in damaged condition, or is still in unopened boxes, for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. Amazon.com reserves the right to test "dead on arrival" returns and impose a customer fee equal to 15 percent of the product sales price if the customer misrepresents the condition of the product. Any returned computer that is damaged through customer misuse, is missing parts, or is in unsellable condition due to customer tampering will result in the customer being charged a higher restocking fee based on the condition of the product. Amazon.com will not accept returns of any desktop or notebook computer more than 30 days after you receive the shipment. New, used, and refurbished products purchased from Marketplace vendors are subject to the returns policy of the individual vendor.
Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here. [PDF ]

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
259 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2014
Verified Purchase
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great machine with a few quirks
By Engr. Jay Mendoza on November 10, 2014
TL;DR │ If you are looking for the most affordable and capable laptop, look no further. It doesn't matter if you're a gamer or not; this is it for you. It is great – save for a few drawbacks. It uses a TN panel instead of the superior IPS panel, and it doesn't have touchscreen.⁽ⁿ⁷⁾ It is also thick, but for a price that is at least $500 less than thin gaming notebooks, it is expected. However, it is also easily serviceable, which is a HUGE plus for a gaming laptop. Be responsible not to void your warranty though.

I will not discuss performance benchmarks here because Google already has a LOT of that info. Here, I'll discuss the hardware and some of the internals, with some photos.

CONTENTS: Intro │ What I Like │ What I Don't Like │ Package │ Measurements │ Notes │ Comments │ Verdict

- - - - -

I needed a new machine ASAP. It is a time where Intel's Broadwell and Skylake is just around the corner, as well as Nvidia's Maxwell. I didn't want to get a flagship laptop now and regret it after a couple of months, so I settled for a shorter term solution. My requirement is that it should have quad core i7 and an Nvidia graphics. Another thing was that it should be user serviceable and upgradeable. The GL551 is the cheapest one out there, so I decided to go with it.

WHAT I LIKE │ + │
+ Most affordable performance laptop, with solid build.
+ User serviceable for advanced users.
+ Removable battery.⁽ⁿ¹⁾
+ 2.5" storage drive slot.⁽ⁿ²⁾⁽ⁿ⁰⁾
+ Optical drive tray which is replaceable.⁽ⁿ³⁾⁽ⁿ⁰⁾
+ Doesn't use a thick power brick.
+ Screen-Off function. This should be a standard.
+ ROG logo on the back cover lights up. Neat!

WHAT I DON'T LIKE │ × │
× Fingerprint and smudge magnet. When will designers learn?⁽ⁿ⁴⁾
× Keyboard sucks for many reason.⁽ⁿ⁵⁾
× Touchpad is frictional/sticky, especially with wet or oily fingers.
× Unintelligent air flow system. No way to improve for CPU & GPU.⁽ⁿ⁶⁾
× Choice of TN panel.⁽ⁿ⁷⁾
× Audio is meh. Very flat, no bass. Possible hissing at 360 Hz.
× Camera has a very cheap quality.
× Bloatware, like an antivirus (Windows 8 already has one built-in).
× Drivers are MIA (currently). I had to use drivers from G551 series.
× BIOS is a bit tricky with Secure Boot and CSM. Not a big problem.

PACKAGE │ ✓ ✗ │
✓ Adequately powerful laptop.
✓ Handsome, albeit, unremarkable box.
✓ Three-prong power cord (NEMA 5-15P).⁽ⁿ⁰⁾
✓ 120-240v power brick with angled connector.⁽ⁿ⁰⁾
✓ Printed materials for amateurs.
✓ Two (2) cable ties.
✗ NO Service manual
✗ NO Garbage

- - - - -

⁽ⁿ⁰⁾ MEASUREMENTS

Laptop │ L:15" W:10⅛" H:1¼" (front) H:1⅓" (rear)
Power Brick │ 6¼" × 3" × 1"
Power Brick Cord │ 70 inches
Power Cord │ 35½ inches (plug to plug)

Drive Tray │ 2.5-inch form factor
CD Slot Tray │ 9.5mm thick (NOT 12.7mm)

NOTES

⁽ⁿ¹⁾ Removable battery is important. This means you can have backup batteries, and it could be replaced when needed. More importantly, this means the laptop could be operated without battery; this will ensure that the life of the battery would last longer.
⁽ⁿ²⁾ Slot for 2.5" means I have an option of using either an HDD or an SSD. This also means cheaper SSD drives (compared to mini PCIe, mSATA or M.2 SSD).
⁽ⁿ³⁾ I don't really care for the optical drive. I am replacing it with another storage drive using a caddy adapter [[ASIN:B00FWOR638 like this]]. This just means that there is another full size SATA connection.
⁽ⁿ⁴⁾ This laptop's surface is so bad. This includes the cover, the wrist area, and the touchpad. It is impossible to keep clean, and cleaning it is a chore. Even with water, the smudge won't budge.
⁽ⁿ⁵⁾ Here it goes: (1) Keyboard is almost unreadable when not backlit. (2) There is no dedicated "END" key, but they managed to put in "PgUp" and "PgDn" (Really?); this is a problem when writing any text. (3) There are no macro keys; for a gaming laptop, these should be required. (4) The Power button is a key, and it's placement is very idiotic. (5) No finger feedback. No click. Typing feels really mushy even for a membrane keyboard.
⁽ⁿ⁶⁾ There is one air flow vent, ONLY for hot air exhaust. Cold air intake is impossible. Cooling pads are useless for CPU/GPU. There are vents for memory modules and drives though, which are separate from the CPU and GPU location.
⁽ⁿ⁷⁾ IPS is the current standard in LCD display. For a screen size where you have to move your head, IPS should now be required. I am aware of the IPS version of this laptop (G551), but good luck finding one right now. Touch should have also been considered, since Windows 10 greatly improves that area.

COMMENTS

The first thing I did? Remove the HDD/RAM cover, and replace the main drive with an SSD I have. The cover is held by two screws, and the HDD tray with three screws. The next thing was the optical disc drive, which was held by only one screw from the back. I only had 12.7mm caddy so I had to get a 9.5mm one for use with another SSD. I am keeping the HDD if I need to get back to stock. So far, there is NO warranty voiding stickers on the way. Before I opened up everything, I made sure all components were working – just in case.

I then changed BIOS settings because Secure Boot and CSM are enabled and won't let me boot with non-stock component. I could NOT even boot to USB. I installed Windows 10, and installed drivers for G551 because GL551 drivers give a Page Not Found error on the web site. Everything is working so far. I also adjusted text DPI settings to remove blurry text.

If Asus voids my warranty on any defective component that I never touched (e.g. speakers, screen, etc.), I shall report it here and give this review a 1 star rating, for I believe that it would be unreasonable. We'll see. So far, everything's OK.

- - - - -

VERDICT: I recommend this product.
★★★☆☆ | 3 stars out of 5. It doesn't mean I don't like it. It is not perfect, but very good for the price. The main drawbacks are the surface and keyboard. The speakers sound crappy too. I am aware of the TN screen before I bought this product, and it is NOT a variable in rating this product.

Questions? Hit the comments!

This review is for [[ASIN:B00MMMMMX2 Asus ROG GL551JM-DH1 (1TB 7200RPM HDD)]].
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Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2014
Verified Purchase
4 people found this helpful
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