The Strix GL702ZC is one of the very first gaming notebooks in the ROG lineup to be powered by AMD’s Ryzen processors. And they made sure to put one of the most powerful in their own list, the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 1700.

Combine that with a 17.3-inch Full HD display, 24GB of 2400MHz DDR4 RAM, and AMD’s RX 580 GPU, and you have a machine that should blast through any game you throw at it, but will also be excellent in multi-threaded tasks such as rendering, etc.

We were able to have a look at the machine and give our initial thoughts. However, do not that the unit we had was an engineering sample, so we weren’t able to do the usual tests such as PCMark and 3DMark. This will mainly focus on ergonomics, design, build quality, the display, and a tidbit of what it can do in terms of performance.

ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC Specifications (Actual Unit Used)

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Processor (8 Cores, 16 Threads)
  • Memory: 24GB of 2400MHz DDR4 RAM (Up to 32GB)
  • Display: 17.3-inch Full HD IPS Display, Up to 120Hz Refresh Rate, Freesync
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX580 with 4GB, VRAM
  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Ports: 1 x HDMI, 1 x Card Reader, 1 x Mini Display Port, 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB Type-C, Power Port, Headphone Jack, Kensington Lock Slot, LAN
  • Dimensions: 415 x 280 x 34 mm (WxDxH)

Design and Build Quality

The GL702ZC has just about every aesthetic bit you’ll find in most ROG Notebooks. The brushed surface, the Strix and ROG logos, the illuminated sections of the cover, and of course, the backlit keyboard, which only has red lighting. Yes, no RGB here.

ROG Strix GL702ZC First Impressions: Ryzen Meets the Republic

The two speakers are located on the sides, instead of underneath. There are also three indicators in the middle for drive activity and power. This notebook is quite thick and heavy, most likely due to the cooling system that’s needed for the processor.

ROG Strix GL702ZC First Impressions: Ryzen Meets the Republic

The GL702ZC does cover most of the basic ports that you’ll need. On the left is a high-speed USB port, a mini displayport, an HDMI port, a dedicated LAN port, the power port, and a USB Type-C port. On the opposite side are two more high speed USB ports, a card reader, and a kensington lock slot.

ROG Strix GL702ZC First Impressions: Ryzen Meets the Republic

The keyboard feels very responsive, and has a good tactile feel. I do feel like the spacing between keys are adequate, but we’ll have to see during our gaming test.

ROG Strix GL702ZC First Impressions: Ryzen Meets the Republic

The 17.3-inch Full HD IPS display shows sharp text, vivid colors and great representation. We’ll have to see in our gaming test whether the refresh rate lives up to the reputation of smoothness and fluidity.

Performance

ROG Strix GL702ZC First Impressions: Ryzen Meets the Republic

We haven’t seen what the GL702ZC can do as far as gaming, yet. But we were able to at least perform a Cinebench test to see how fast it can render a high quality image.

ROG Strix GL702ZC First Impressions: Ryzen Meets the Republic

What this basically means is that the Ryzen 7 1700 outperforms the i7-7700K in more CPU intensive tasks such as rendering, most likely due to the sheer number of cores. Of course, it’s a different story when it comes to games. We’ll have to see during our actual review.

Software

ROG Strix GL702ZC First Impressions: Ryzen Meets the Republic

The GL702ZC also has the same software that you’ll find in most ROG notebooks, such as Gaming Center, which lets you optimize your gaming experience by terminating processes to free up memory, monitor system temperature, and even perform overclocking. The UI is quite simple and straightforward, which makes it ideal not only for advanced users but also for beginners.

Initial Verdict

The ROG Strix GL702ZC seems to have covered most of the things that one would want in a gaming laptop: A sturdy build, a vibrant display, and great processing capability. The lack of RGB capability is a bit odd, given many other ROG products have it. During our full review, we’ll be doing actual gaming tests to see how it manages system temperature, and how it handles some demanding titles.

As of this writing, ASUS Philippines has not yet announced the prices of the GL702ZC Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 variants. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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