ASUS K501UX 15.6″ Gaming Laptop Review

The ASUS K501UX is a sleek, ultraportable gaming laptop with a bevy of cool features that runs Windows 10 and features a 15.6-inch FHD display.

ASUS K501UX Review

Features

GeForce GTX 950M graphics

NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 950M graphics cards are designed to optimize laptop gaming performance while providing you with the lush graphics you’ve come to expect from NVIDIA. GeForce GTX 950M features NVIDIA’s Maxwell architecture which maximizes performance while optimizing efficiency to deliver an amazing combination of the two.

The GeForce GTX 950M uses a few technologies to provide the best laptops graphics experience, including: Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) Technology to offer the ultimate graphics experience on 1080p displays; NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, which does exactly what the name says by safely boosting your GPU to provide better graphics; and NVIDIA Optimus Technology which allows your system to toggle back and forth between NVIDIA’s graphics and the Intel Integrated Graphics on your laptop in the background so that it can provide you with the best graphics experience to meet your current demands. With this robust set of graphics-enhancing features, gaming on a laptop suddenly becomes visually stunning.

Another cool feature of GeForce GTX950M is that it comes with NVIDIA BatteryBoost Technology; with BatteryBoost, you can play games and smoother on a battery than ever before.

15.6-inch display

The ASUS K501UX’s 15.6-inch display is FHD with a matte finish, and the resolution is 1920×1080, providing the best possible displaying power for your gaming laptop.

6th generation Intel Core i7 Processor

One of the nicer features of the ASUS K501UX gaming laptop is that it runs on an Intel Core i7 Processor, commonly called Skylake. The processor base frequency is 2.50GHz with a max turbo frequency of 3.10GHz; it has 4MB of Intel’s Smart Cache processor memory (max memory size up to 32GB), enabling the dual cores to quickly access the cache at high speeds.

Not only is the processor fast, but it has some cool graphics specs as well. It’s equipped with Intel HD Graphics 520, which has a graphics base frequency of 300.00MHz. The core supports DirectX 12, Intel InTru 3D technology, Intel Clear Video HD Technology, and other cool features. The processor graphics can access up to 32GB of memory, which is certainly quite a lot.

Windows 10 operating system

If we’re going to be honest, Windows 8 sucked. And for a time, it seemed we’d never get another good Windows OS…until Windows 10 came along. Windows 10 brought back one of the most important features of the Windows operating system: The Start Menu. If you do a lot of modding, chances are you need quick access to your game files, etc., which was a huge pain about Windows 8. Now that the Start Menu is back in Windows 10, modders can rejoice, because everything is mostly back to normal—but better than normal.

Another boon for gamers when it comes to Windows 10 is the Xbox app. If you’re a gamer or Xbox user, you probably know all the ins and outs already, but for those who don’t: The Xbox app for Windows 10 enables you to play Xbox one games right on your PC. You also can stream games, game across platforms with friends and some other cool stuff which is one of the main reasons why Windows 10 was the operating system that was made for gamers, whether this was intentional by Microsoft or not.

8GB RAM

The 8GB RAM that comes with the ASUS K501UX is pretty sweet, because most games as of 2017 list 8GB RAM as their recommended amount of RAM. This means you should be able to play the game on normal settings if you have 8GB of RAM and meet the other requirements. However, there are some games out now, like Fallout 4, which list 8GB RAM as their minimum requirement; this means that game actually needs 8GB of RAM just to run. But, again, it’s important to remember that 8GB RAM is more than adequate for most games.

256GB SSD storage

SSD drives boot your system quicker than hard drives. It’s simply faster. The catch is that it’s a newer technology with the downside that it costs more per gigabyte than a traditional hard drive, which is why 256GB of SSD storage is pretty mid-range. Only super heavy multimedia users would want to go for 1TB or more of SSD, because it’s expensive and not really needed unless you’re going to be editing massive HD videos and the like. 256GB SSD storage is, essentially, more than adequate for most gamers.

Backlit keyboard

The backlit keyboard is a nice bonus and looks cool while you’re gaming in the dark.

USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI and Bluetooth connectivity

The ASUS K501UX features two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI and works with Bluetooth 4.0. This ultra-connectivity makes the K501UX a hyper-versatile gaming laptop.

Ultra-fast Wi-Fi

The K501UX features 802.11ac (also known as 5G) Wi-Fi. It uses 5Ghz frequency and is really fast. As in really, really fast. In laboratory settings, its theoretical upper speed is 7Gbps. Lab are like a fantasy land, though, because they lack the limitations that we experience in everyday life. However, 802.11ac is still superfast at home with speeds over 2Gbps. Another great feature of 802.11ac Wi-Fi is that it’s backwards compatible, so it works with the older 802.11n Wi-Fi devices.

ASUS Ice Cool Technology

ASUS Ice Cool Technology is a nifty feature which basically means the internal layout is intelligently designed in such a way that the palm rests on your laptop stay cool, making it comfortable to game for hours on end, if that’s how you roll.

Dual fan cooling system

The CPU and GPU each have their own dedicated copper cooling fan. The benefit of this is that it obviously doubles the cooling power, but there’s more to it than that. Most people are aware of the importance of cooling CPUs, but they forget about how important it is to keep your GPU frosty as well, which is what makes the dual fans on the K501UX so awesome, because it takes a lot of the cooling worry away, so you can stay focused on gaming.

Smart Gesture multi-touch pad

The Smart Gesture multi-touch pad is designed to feel intuitive and as natural possible so that you can work organically without focusing on the touch pad at all.

ASUS SonicMaster audio

ASUS SonicMaster audio technology is a combination of hardware, software and tuning that is optimized to give the K501UX the best possible sound experience. asus k501uxThe result is a richly robust audio experience that pays attention to the finer details which should never be overlooked, because a lot of laptop sound systems suck; the same can be said about gaming laptops just as regular laptops. A laptop with great sound quality is a rare thing, but an awesome thing, and that’s what you get with the K501UX with SonicMaster.

First impression of the ASUS K501UX 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

I like the looks of the ASUS K501UX. It’s a gaming laptop for grownups. It’s cool and sophisticated and the dark blue is a nice color choice.

As for performance, let’s start with the basics first. For starters, sound quality lives up to the hype. The detail is great and you can hear the nuance in voices that isn’t really there in poorer sound systems. The touchpad is responsive and the keyboard is comfortable—the backlight doesn’t bother the eyes at night.

I started playing a few games on medium settings just to be sure all was copacetic. The Witcher III plays great on medium (not so much on high, unfortunately). BioShock Infinite and The Sims 4 both ran so smooth that I tried them out on high settings and they did great. (The Sims 4 works on ultra, FYI, but it’s known to be an accessible game in terms of graphics, so that’s not surprising.)

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare not only ran smooth on high settings, the graphics looked amazing. I truly believe the NVIDIA BatteryBoost thing works, because I played unplugged and it worked great. Also, I noticed the laptop didn’t get crazy hot while I was playing either, which makes me really happy, because like all PC enthusiasts, I like my system to run cool and live long.

What’s included with the ASUS K501UX 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop

The K501UX gaming laptop comes preinstalled with Windows 10; Cortana will be available if it’s supported in your area. It also comes with a one-year international warranty and ASUS’s Accident Damage Protection (detailed below). It also comes with its own lithium-ion battery.

Laptop performance

Thanks to the combination of the GTX 950M graphics and 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor, performance is pretty great.

Some popular games you can play on high settings with a minimum of 30fps or above:

  • BioShock Infinite
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Need for Speed 2016
  • Resident Evil 7

And here are some titles you can play at ultra settings with a minimum of 30fps or above:

  • Battlefield 1
  • Overwatch
  • Farming Simulator 17
  • FIFA 16
  • World of Warships
  • The Sims 4
  • Mad Max
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth
  • Alien: Isolation
  • GRID: Autosport
  • Diablo III

Most new games will be easily playable at medium or lower settings, with the notable exception of Batman: Arkham Knight, which is known to be finicky and poorly-coded anyway. Far Cry primal may also only be playable on low settings. This isn’t that big of an issue though, because this list isn’t comprehensive. Chances are, your favorite games will be easily playable.

Warranty

The ASUS K501UX gaming laptop comes with a one-year international warranty and a year of ASUS Accident Damage Protection (ADP). With ADP, you don’t have to flip out if you spill your soda or drop your laptop. Granted, both of those things should be avoided if at all possible, but it’s nice to have a year of protection against it.

Positives
  • Aesthetics: It has a deep, dark blue, brushed aluminum cover with rounded corners that looks modern and chic, but without being obnoxious about it. It’s a very gender neutral, grownup look that most gamers, regardless of age or gender, would find appealing.
  • Optimized cooling: The main source of cooling are the two fans, one dedicated to the CPU and the other dedicated to the GPU. Also, the internal component layout is designed in a way that keeps the surface of the laptop cooler to the user’s touch.
  • 11ac Wi-Fi: This is ultrafast Wi-Fi at its best and a must for any gamer who plays MMORPGS.
  • Amazing audio lends itself to a rich sound performance while gaming, making sure you hear your friends and game NPC clearly. It’s also great for streaming TV and music, too.
  • Comfy, backlit keyboard
  • 256GB of wicked fast SSD storage, enabling you to boot and access stored items quickly.
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
  • HDMI
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 8GB
  • Windows 10
  • Average battery life of 5 hours
  • Weighs only about 4.5 pounds, give or take
  • 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • 6-inch FHD matte 1920×1080 display
  • GeForce GTX 950M graphics with BatteryBoost, DSR technology and more

Negatives
  • It only has 256GB SSD storage: However, it’s important to remember that SSD storage is faster, but more expensive than regular hard drive storage. So, for the same price, you will get less gigs.
    But it’s faster. So, it’s a personal preference thing, but if you’re a gamer who isn’t going to be working with gigantic file sizes, you’re fine.