Gaming

ASUS ROG Strix GL702VM Review: Portable gaming powerhouse

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ASUS’ ROG line of gaming laptops has an updated entry to the fast-growing gaming market. Let’s a take a look at the ROG Strix GL702VM with its NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics unit.

We recently reviewed the ROG Zephyrus, and it set the bar for a true portable gaming laptop. It doesn’t cut corners with its high-end specs, but it has a ridiculously high price tag at the same time. The laptop we have now wants to set the right balance.

At first glance, the laptop already shows its gaming characteristics. Let’s first have a tour of the laptop’s body.

It’s no doubt an ROG laptop with its design and colors

The lid lights up!

Like most gaming laptops, it has striking red accents

It’s gray overall with red accents

We have red backlit chiclet keys with a relatively small trackpad

No mechanical keys here

There is a plethora of I/O ports for your convenience

USB 3.0, USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, Ethernet, SD card reader, and DisplayPort

Even its bottom bestows its gaming characteristics

Modern patterns on the bottom plate

Great gaming performance on the go

The 17.3-inch display of the ROG Strix GL702VM doesn’t make it a portable PC, but by gaming laptop standards, its size packs in a lot of power. For one, the display is a 4K anti-glare panel which has great saturation levels and wide viewing angles. It makes all kinds of content pop, from high-resolution videos to colorful gaming titles. The processor inside is a quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ with 16GB of DDR4 memory. As for storage, it gets a combo drive: 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD.

To pump up its gaming prowess, ASUS put in an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 chip with 6GB memory as its dedicated graphics processing unit — the lightweight member of the NVIDIA 10-series graphics card. Both the latest and future titles will be playable on the laptop, plus it has support for virtual reality. During the course of our time with it, we were able to enjoy Grand Theft Auto V with smooth frame rates of around 80fps on high settings and 1080p resolution. Bumping things to 4K consumed a lot of power and memory, but it’s still manageable when you tone down some of the graphics settings like shadows and anti-aliasing.

It also doubles as an everyday multimedia laptop

Gaming aside, the laptop is a beast for everyday tasks. It would be overkill to turn it into an everyday work laptop, but it can handle processing really well, thanks to its compelling specs. Multimedia consumption is also something you can enjoy with its 4K display and powerful speakers.

Without mechanical keys, hitting the keyboard (whether for typing or gaming) didn’t feel as tactile as I’d want. ASUS promotes 1.6mm travel on the laptop, which I found a bit mushy during actual usage. What I enjoyed about the keyboard is the space between each key. The trackpad is a different story, as it’s kinda small but very responsive.

Not exactly super portable, but it’s not that bulky

The king of portable gaming laptops is still the ROG Zephyrus, but the ROG Strix GL702VM could be a good runner-up. It may not have the slim waistline of an Ultrabook (thin but definitely not for gaming) or the average size of an everyday 14-inch laptop, yet it has the power of a dedicated gaming machine. The term “laptop” is still applicable.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t have an optical disc drive. That shouldn’t pose a problem, since we download our games online nowadays. Too bad, though, since you’ll need to find a spare external DVD drive if you want to play the classic games you already purchased.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

It won’t be an easy choice to go for a 17.3-inch laptop when you’re just looking for a laptop that can do more. The ROG Strix GL702VM is targeted at those who want a gaming laptop that isn’t ridiculously heavy. For wallets, however, it’s quite hefty.

This gaming machine retails in the Philippines for PhP 119,995 (US$ 2,335) with the configuration we reviewed. With this amount of cash, you can already build a good desktop rig with even more power, but it won’t give the portability a laptop like this can offer. The 4K display is also a good selling point; however, it’s not necessary for gaming, since we stick to 1080p most of the time.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ROG Zephyrus Review: So thin, so powerful

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Accessories

Razer now has its own gaming finger sleeves

Keeping your thumbs dry

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Razer has somehow transformed into the ruler of gaming lifestyle accessories. After releasing treasure troves of peripherals and devices, the company has slowly branched off into stranger and stranger niches including toasters and SUVs. Razer is now blending peripheral with accessory in its latest product: Razer Gaming Finger Sleeves.

If you haven’t heard of finger sleeves before, think gloves but only for your fingers — or, in this case, finger. The Razer Gaming Finger Sleeves are meant to be worn on your thumbs. It’s specifically made for mobile gamers.

Made with a mixture of sliver fiber fabric, nylon, and spandex, the sleeves can keep your thumbs dry for serious gaming on your phone. Despite wrapping your thumbs, Razer says that the fabric is still breathable at 0.8 millimeters. They’re also a universal fit for any type of thumb.

Mobile gaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment especially in Asian countries like the Philippines. Playing on your phone can easily whittle away the time spent in traffic or outdoors. However, since some countries are too warm and humid, sweat can just as easily accumulate and create an unsightly portrait on our otherwise pristine phone screens.

The Razer Gaming Finger Sleeves are out now and retails for US$ 9.99.

SEE ALSO: Razer unveils its Phantom Keycap Upgrade Set

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Accessories

The Pulse 3D Wireless Headset now sports Midnight Black

Nicely paired with the DualSense controller and your “Midnight Black” PS5

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Pulse 3D Wireless

Back in June, Sony announced two additional colorways for its next-generation DualSense controller. Apart from the classic white, the PlayStation 5’s newest controller also received a Midnight Black and Cosmic Red. This time around, they’ve extended the invitation to another PS5 peripheral, the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset.

Much like the DualSense controller, the headset will also come in Midnight Black. Other than this, everything else is pretty much the same for the Pulse 3D Headset. In essence, it still gives you deeper, more immersive 3D sounds to games that fully take advantage of this. It’s just that now, you have other color options to choose from. Whether or not this also comes in Cosmic Red, Sony has yet to announce that.

It’s worth noting that included in the PS5’s second major update is an equalizer for the 3D Pulse. It adds another layer of control for players. This lets them enjoy the game precisely the way they want to. But if tweaking isn’t your thing, there are also three presets: Standard, Bass Boost, or Shooter.

The Pulse 3D Wireless Headset in Midnight Black will be available on October 29 for PhP 5,590/ SG$ 149 / MYR 469/ DR1,699,000 / THB3,490 / VND2,699,000.

SEE ALSO: How to use the DualSense controller with PC, Mac

 

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Gaming

Nintendo Switch gets Bluetooth audio compatibility

Update rolling out today

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The Nintendo Switch is one of the most versatile consoles available today. Besides being a home console, commuters and travelers can easily take their favorite games with them. However, for all its bells and whistles, the console lacks a key feature present in today’s traveling tech: Bluetooth audio support. In a surprise move, Nintendo is finally bringing the Switch into the wireless fold.

Today, an official software update is rolling out to Switches everywhere. The update adds in support for Bluetooth audio output. Gamers can now play their favorite games through the wireless earbud of their choice. The system’s settings screen now has a Bluetooth Audio setting to pair the console with wireless audio devices.

There are some caveats, though. The new feature is a single-player one. Users can’t attach Bluetooth microphones using the update. Though some games thrive in multiplayer, Nintendo won’t allow the feature yet.

Further, only on audio device can be paired at a single time, adding more complications for local multiplayer. Likewise, pairing an audio device will limit the console’s wireless controller connections to just two at a time. There might be some latency issues as well, according to the official support page.

The update is already rolling out now. Switch users should have access to the feature as soon as they get it.

SEE ALSO: Is the Nintendo Switch (OLED) worth the upgrade?

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