Notebookcheck

Asus GL551JK Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck, Tanja Hinum (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 04/27/2015

Readjusted. Despite its powerful hardware, the GL551JK remains a quiet and unobtrusive notebook. The comparatively long battery life is an added bonus.

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For the original German review, see here.

The Asus GL55JK is the successor of theAsus GL550JK-CN391H Notebook Review GL550JK, which we've reviewed here. Both machines are notebooks in Asus' "Republic of Gamers"-series and are therefore designed primarily for gamers. There's not a lot of difference as far as the hardware is concerned: both models come with a quad-core Core i7 CPU and a GeForce GTX 850M GPU. The design of the GL551JK has undergone some modifications - if those changes are positive or negative is the subject of the following review.

Competitors are gaming notebooks from other manufacturers like the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro, the Lenovo Y50, and the HP Omen.

Asus GL551JK-CN128H
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M - 4096 MB, Core: 902-1084 MHz, Memory: 1000 MHz, DDR3, ForceWare 350.12 (9.18.13.5012), Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR3-1600, dual-channel, two slots (both occupied)
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, LG Philips LP156WF4-SPH1, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM86 (Lynx Point)
Storage
SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G, 256 GB 
, 200 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC668 @ Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Audiokombo, Card Reader: SD, Sensors: Brightness sensor
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-N 7260 (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0
Optical drive
MATSHITA BD-CMB UJ172 S
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 32 x 383 x 255 ( = 1.26 x 15.08 x 10.04 in)
Battery
56 Wh Lithium-Ion, 10.8 V, 5000 mAh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Cyberlink MediaStory, McAfee LiveSafe-Internet Security (trial), MS Office (trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.7 kg ( = 95.24 oz / 5.95 pounds), Power Supply: 546 g ( = 19.26 oz / 1.2 pounds)
Price
1349 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case & Connectivity

As far as overall looks, materials, and color choices are concerned, the GL551JK looks a lot like the predecessor. Closer examination reveals a few changes: the chassis is a couple of mm thicker and the weight increased slightly as well. The bottom section has also undergone some modifications: while the predecessor had an integrated battery, the GL551JK features one that is removable. The GL550JK also required removal of the bottom plate to access the components, while the new model now comes with a maintenance cover, which allows access to the hard drive, the RAM, and the WLAN module.

Taking of the bottom section is a very difficult task. Even after we removed all the screws, the panel remained stuck. We refrained from further removal attempts to avoid potential damage. A few users might be tempted to open the chassis regardless, since there's either an open mSATA or M.2 slot, which is visible through an opening when the maintenance cover is removed. Unfortunately, we weren't able to identify the type of slot (see pic #7 in the gallery).

There aren't a lot of changes as far as the physical ports are concerned, as the GL551JK is equipped exactly like its predecessor with one notable exception: while the GL550JK had a subwoofer-out port, the GL551JK isn't equipped with one. The location of the ports has changed as well. The OS is Windows 8.1 (64 bit); a driver DVD is not included.

Left side: power, Mini Displayport, HDMI, Gigabit-Ethernet, 2x USB 3.0 (photo: Asus)
Left side: power, Mini Displayport, HDMI, Gigabit-Ethernet, 2x USB 3.0 (photo: Asus)
Right side: audio combo-port, USB 3.0,optical drive, Kensington lock slot (photo: Asus)
Right side: audio combo-port, USB 3.0,optical drive, Kensington lock slot (photo: Asus)
The front houses the card reader (photo: Asus)
The front houses the card reader (photo: Asus)

Input Devices

The GL551JK comes with a backlit (three levels) chiclet keyboard. The keys feature normal travel and a clearly defined actuation point, although we'd still prefer a little more resistance. Nonetheless, the keyboard is good enough even for those who are not interested in gaming. The clickpad measures 10.5 x 7.3 cm and supports multi-touch. The design is spacious and makes gestures a cinch. The individual gestures can be switched on and off using the "Asus Smart Gesture" software, which is pre-installed. The smooth surface of the pad lets the fingers glide easily. The clickpad has keys with short travel and well-defined feedback.

Input devices Asus GL551JK (photo: Asus)
Input devices Asus GL551JK (photo: Asus)

Display

The Asus notebook is equipped with a 15.6-inch display which supports a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The brightness of 288 nits is decent; the contrast ratio (580:1) and the black value (0.49 nits) are OK as well, but could be better considering the price of the notebook.

289
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
257
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
263
cd/m²
297
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 311 cd/m² Average: 288 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 284 cd/m²
Contrast: 580:1 (Black: 0.49 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.02 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 4.01 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
53% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 3.11

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Many of Asus' notebooks are shipped with a pre-installed color profile and the GL551JK is no different. The average DeltaE deviation is 6.02 right out of the box - a value of less than 3 is the goal here. The display is free from any bluish tint.

CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Graylevels
CalMAN - Graylevels
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation

The notebook comes with an IPS panel and the viewing angle stability is therefore excellent. The display content remains readable from all positions and outdoor use is possible as well.

The GL551JK outside.
The GL551JK outside.
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
IPS 1920x1080
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
IPS 1920x1080
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
IPS 3840x2160
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
TN 3840x2160
Gigabyte P15F v2
TN 1920x1080
HP Omen
IPS 1920x1080
Schenker XMG A505
IPS 1920x1080
Screen
11%
24%
4%
-56%
11%
35%
Brightness middle
284
328
15%
301
6%
290
2%
219
-23%
315
11%
284
0%
Brightness
288
310
8%
303
5%
257
-11%
206
-28%
301
5%
275
-5%
Brightness Distribution
83
85
2%
87
5%
81
-2%
85
2%
85
2%
87
5%
Black Level *
0.49
0.43
12%
0.3
39%
0.512
-4%
0.75
-53%
0.38
22%
0.23
53%
Contrast
580
763
32%
1003
73%
566
-2%
292
-50%
829
43%
1235
113%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.02
3.99
34%
3.15
48%
3.72
38%
10.72
-78%
4.37
27%
2.46
59%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.01
5.18
-29%
3.94
2%
3.11
22%
11.59
-189%
5.46
-36%
2.3
43%
Gamma
3.11 71%
2.5 88%
2.35 94%
2.48 89%
2.64 83%
2.48 89%
2.32 95%
CCT
6102 107%
7619 85%
6855 95%
6959 93%
14959 43%
7915 82%
6393 102%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
53
59
11%
61
15%
48.16
-9%
38
-28%
60
13%
60
13%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
94.4
92

* ... smaller is better

Performance

The Asus GL551JK is a gaming notebook which allows the user to run current games without stutters. The powerful processor offers more than enough performance for everyday tasks. Our review notebook sells for about 1350 Euro (~$1470); Asus offers differently-equipped versions as well.

Processor

Asus equips the notebook with a Core i7-4710H processor. The quad-core CPU runs at a base frequency of 2.5 GHz and can be overclocked to 3.3 GHz (all four cores), 3.4 GHz (two cores), or 3.5 GHz (single core) using the Turbo. The Turbo is active with the notebook plugged in as well as running on battery power. The multi-thread performance when the notebook is plugged in is slightly higher, since one of the cores always drops to 800 MHz when the notebook runs on battery. The Core i7 CPU is a conventional mobile processor with a TDP of 47 watts. 

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6484
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
18068
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4894
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
59.36 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.06 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.5 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
86.46 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
655 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
135 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
135 Points ∼62%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
137 Points ∼63% +1%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
129 Points ∼59% -4%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
136 Points ∼62% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
134 Points ∼61% -1%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
134 Points ∼61% -1%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
142 Points ∼65% +5%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
655 Points ∼15%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
619 Points ∼14% -5%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
650 Points ∼15% -1%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
653 Points ∼15% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
506 Points ∼12% -23%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
642 Points ∼15% -2%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
538 Points ∼12% -18%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1.5 Points ∼61%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
1.55 Points ∼64% +3%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
1.53 Points ∼63% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
1.48 Points ∼61% -1%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
1.49 Points ∼61% -1%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
1.57 Points ∼64% +5%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
7.06 Points ∼26%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
6.68 Points ∼25% -5%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
7.13 Points ∼26% +1%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
7.1 Points ∼26% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
4.59 Points ∼17% -35%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
6.99 Points ∼26% -1%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
5.87 Points ∼22% -17%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
4894 Points ∼45%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
5125 Points ∼47% +5%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
5010 Points ∼46% +2%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
5058 Points ∼47% +3%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
18068 Points ∼36%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
18555 Points ∼37% +3%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
19386 Points ∼39% +7%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
19521 Points ∼39% +8%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
12374 Points ∼40%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
10955 Points ∼35% -11%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
12211 Points ∼39% -1%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3302 Points ∼70%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
2992 Points ∼64% -9%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
3252 Points ∼69% -2%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
89.5 ms * ∼1%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
93.3 ms * ∼1% -4%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
85.7 ms * ∼1% +4%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
96 ms * ∼1% -7%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1990.7 ms * ∼3%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
2013.1 ms * ∼3% -1%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
1997.4 ms * ∼3% -0%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2009.2 ms * ∼3% -1%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
16743 Points ∼34%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
15924 Points ∼32% -5%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
16503 Points ∼33% -1%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
16207 Points ∼33% -3%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3001 Points ∼48%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
2991 Points ∼48% 0%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
3019 Points ∼49% +1%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

A powerful Core i7 processor and a fast Solid State Disk guarantee a system that runs both fast and smoothly. The results of the PCMark benchmark tests are very good. The scores of the predecessor GL550JK were almost identical, which isn't surprising since the new model features nearly the same hardware. The minor CPU-speed difference between the two notebooks is not noticeable during normal use.

PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3657 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4349 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4360 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3657 Points ∼60%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3097 Points ∼51% -15%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
3618 Points ∼59% -1%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
3729 Points ∼61% +2%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
3086 Points ∼51% -16%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
3588 Points ∼59% -2%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
3746 Points ∼61% +2%

Storage Devices

Our review notebook is equipped with a Solid State Disk from Sandisk. The 2.5-inch drive has a capacity of 256 GB and convinces with good overall transfer rates. The write speeds do lag a little behind the capabilities of current SSDs, however.

SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
Sequential Read: 437.8 MB/s
Sequential Write: 439.5 MB/s
512K Read: 313.9 MB/s
512K Write: 354.3 MB/s
4K Read: 30.99 MB/s
4K Write: 73.53 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 366.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 308.2 MB/s

GPU Performance

The GL551JK makes use of the Nvidia Optimus-technology, which allows switching between the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 850M GPU. The Intel GPU is used for various daily tasks and when the notebook is running on battery, while the GeForce GPU handles power-intensive applications like computer games. The switch from one GPU to the other happens automatically, although the user has the option to intervene manually. The GTX 850M is an upper middle-class GPU with a base speed of 902 MHz and a Turbo-speed of up to 1084 MHz. The results of the 3DMark benchmarks are in line with our expectations and appropriate for this kind of hardware platform.

3DMark 11 Performance
4562 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
108538 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
14393 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2832 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
4562 Points ∼15%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4675 Points ∼15% +2%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
5058 Points ∼16% +11%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
5210 Points ∼17% +14%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
4990 Points ∼16% +9%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
4858 Points ∼16% +6%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
5639 Points ∼18% +24%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
2832 Points ∼11%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
2908 Points ∼11% +3%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
3714 Points ∼14% +31%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
3733 Points ∼14% +32%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
3455 Points ∼13% +22%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
2836 Points ∼11% 0%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
4071 Points ∼15% +44%
1280x720 Sky Diver Score (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
10352 Points ∼18%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
10666 Points ∼18% +3%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
11750 Points ∼20% +14%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
12472 Points ∼21% +20%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
14393 Points ∼25%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
13808 Points ∼24% -4%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
15749 Points ∼27% +9%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
15550 Points ∼27% +8%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
12435 Points ∼21% -14%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
14231 Points ∼24% -1%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
14231 Points ∼24% -1%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
15511 Points ∼27% +8%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
108538 Points ∼10%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
61851 Points ∼6% -43%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
101562 Points ∼9% -6%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
82813 Points ∼7% -24%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
72527 Points ∼7% -33%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
104745 Points ∼9% -3%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
84779 Points ∼8% -22%

Gaming Performance

It's of course not surprising that the GL551JK handles games rather well - after all, the notebook is a member of Asus' "Republic of Gamers"-series. The notebook has no issues with pretty much any of the current crop of games  at HD resolution (1366 x 768) and medium to high graphics settings. Full-HD resolution is only usable in some cases. Considering the offered gaming performance, the system seems a tad expensive at 1350 Euro (~$1470). Users who are satisfied with a conventional HDD (1 TB), a DVD-RW drive and 8 GB of RAM can buy the notebook (GL551JK-CN126H) for about 1000 Euro (~$1090).

Should the gaming performance of the GL551JK not be sufficient, we recommend looking at Acer's series of Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G notebooks which are equipped with either a GeForce GTX 860M or GeForce GTX 960M GPU. The entry-level systems in that particular series start at a price point of about 900 Euro (~$980).

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 2741267033.5fps
Evolve (2015) 66.949.325.622fps
Battlefield Hardline (2015) 118.685.836.921.2fps
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
33.5 fps ∼12%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
34.5 fps ∼12% +3%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
46.4 fps ∼17% +39%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
46.7 fps ∼17% +39%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
50.8 fps ∼18% +52%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
70 fps ∼14%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
71.9 fps ∼14% +3%
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
108.3 fps ∼21% +55%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
104.6 fps ∼21% +49%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
114.7 fps ∼23% +64%
Evolve
1920x1080 High Graphics Quality AA:FX (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
25.6 fps ∼13%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
35.1 fps ∼18% +37%
1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
49.3 fps ∼22%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
36.4 fps ∼16% -26%
Battlefield Hardline
1920x1080 High Graphics Quality (DX11) (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
36.9 fps ∼19%
1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (DX11) (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
85.8 fps ∼43%

Emissions & Energy

System Noise

The GL551JK is pretty quiet during idle as the fan runs at its lowest speed and is barely audible. Unsurprisingly, the fan spools up quickly under load since the hardware components are very powerful. When we conducted our stress test, we measured a maximum of 46.2 dB. During gaming the system does not get nearly as loud and values of around 40 dB are common. At no time did we find the cooling system noise obtrusive.

Noise Level

Idle
31.3 / 31.3 / 31.3 dB(A)
DVD
35.8 / dB(A)
Load
41.8 / 46.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GTX 850M/4710HQ
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GTX 850M/4700HQ
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GTX 860M/4710HQ
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GTX 860M/4710HQ
Gigabyte P15F v2
GTX 850M/4710MQ
HP Omen
860M/4710HQ
Schenker XMG A505
GTX 960M/4720HQ
Noise
4%
-3%
5%
-12%
-8%
-4%
off / environment *
Idle Minimum *
31.3
30.2
4%
31
1%
28.2
10%
34
-9%
32.2
-3%
29.2
7%
Idle Average *
31.3
30.6
2%
34
-9%
28.2
10%
34.2
-9%
34.3
-10%
30.8
2%
Idle Maximum *
31.3
31
1%
36.1
-15%
29.2
7%
34.2
-9%
36.2
-16%
42.6
-36%
Load Average *
41.8
40.2
4%
41.6
-0%
41.3
1%
48.3
-16%
46.2
-11%
41.6
-0%
Load Maximum *
46.2
42.6
8%
43.6
6%
48.2
-4%
53.9
-17%
46.6
-1%
43.8
5%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The GL551JK during the stress test.
The GL551JK during the stress test.

The GL551JK handles the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark running in parallel for at least one hour) in different fashion depending on if the notebook is plugged in or not. With the notebook on battery power, the GPU runs at full speed (1084 MHz), while the processor remains at 800 MHz with one or the other core accelerating to 3.3 GHz. Plugged in, the processor starts out at 2.5 GHz but drops to 2.1 to 2.3 GHz during the test. The graphics card shows a similar behavior with 1084 MHz initially and 1000 to 1084 MHz later on. The GL551JK doesn't get overly warm and only one area exceeded 40 degrees C during the stress test. The predecessor GL550JK ran substantially warmer.

Max. Load
 37 °C
99 F
36.1 °C
97 F
29.1 °C
84 F
 
 40.1 °C
104 F
43.9 °C
111 F
30.3 °C
87 F
 
 31.4 °C
89 F
38.5 °C
101 F
29.1 °C
84 F
 
Maximum: 43.9 °C = 111 F
Average: 35.1 °C = 95 F
25.7 °C
78 F
32.6 °C
91 F
40.2 °C
104 F
25.6 °C
78 F
41.9 °C
107 F
40.4 °C
105 F
27.3 °C
81 F
29.2 °C
85 F
26.3 °C
79 F
Maximum: 41.9 °C = 107 F
Average: 32.1 °C = 90 F
Power Supply (max.)  55.8 °C = 132 F | Room Temperature 22.3 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-360
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.1 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 43.9 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 39.3 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 41.9 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 41.7 °C / 107 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24 °C / 75 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 38.5 °C / 101.3 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-9.8 °C / -17.6 F).
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GTX 850M/4710HQ
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GTX 850M/4700HQ
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GTX 860M/4710HQ
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GTX 860M/4710HQ
Gigabyte P15F v2
GTX 850M/4710MQ
HP Omen
860M/4710HQ
Schenker XMG A505
GTX 960M/4720HQ
Heat
-31%
-30%
-32%
-22%
-22%
-44%
Maximum Upper Side *
43.9
62.1
-41%
47.8
-9%
59
-34%
48.1
-10%
45.7
-4%
56.4
-28%
Maximum Bottom *
41.9
60.3
-44%
45.7
-9%
61.3
-46%
50.6
-21%
53.5
-28%
61.8
-47%
Idle Upper Side *
27.8
32.6
-17%
38.3
-38%
34.7
-25%
33.7
-21%
34.2
-23%
41.3
-49%
Idle Bottom *
26.4
31.9
-21%
43.2
-64%
32.2
-22%
36.1
-37%
34.6
-31%
40.2
-52%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The speakers are located in the area above the keyboard and produce a full-bodied, pleasant sound. Like most notebook speakers,  bass is lacking. Nonetheless: the speakers provide a decent listening experience even for longer periods of time.

Power Consumption

Nothing is out of the ordinary as far as the power consumption is concerned and the recorded values are within normal parameters across the board for the given hardware platform. The GL551JK is more frugal than the more or less identically equipped predecessor. Especially the power draw during idle is quite a bit less.

The power adapter has a nominal output of 120 watts.
The power adapter has a nominal output of 120 watts.
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.1 / 9.2 / 11.9 Watt
Load midlight 75.4 / 112.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GTX 850M/4710HQ
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GTX 850M/4700HQ
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GTX 860M/4710HQ
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GTX 860M/4710HQ
Gigabyte P15F v2
GTX 850M/4710MQ
HP Omen
860M/4710HQ
Schenker XMG A505
GTX 960M/4720HQ
Power Consumption
-48%
-83%
-41%
-54%
-77%
-74%
Idle Minimum *
6.1
11.8
-93%
16.1
-164%
10.7
-75%
13.7
-125%
15
-146%
11.2
-84%
Idle Average *
9.2
15
-63%
21
-128%
14.7
-60%
16.8
-83%
19
-107%
18.6
-102%
Idle Maximum *
11.9
20.4
-71%
22.7
-91%
18.2
-53%
17.3
-45%
23.7
-99%
26
-118%
Load Average *
75.4
81.2
-8%
88.4
-17%
85.1
-13%
79.5
-5%
87.9
-17%
100.2
-33%
Load Maximum *
112.4
115.8
-3%
130.7
-16%
114.3
-2%
124.3
-11%
129.5
-15%
147.6
-31%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

During our practically relevant WLAN test a script cycles through various web pages every 40 seconds. We use the balanced profile and set the screen brightness to roughly 150 nits. The GL551JK shut down after 5 hours and 17 minutes, which is a good 2 hours longer than the run time of the predecessor. The reason is the significantly reduced power consumption during idle.

The battery is removable.
The battery is removable.
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (IE 11)
5h 17min
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3 (sort by value)
Asus GL551JK-CN128H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710HQ, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
317 min ∼115%
Gigabyte P15F v2
GeForce GTX 850M, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
275 min ∼100%
WiFi (sort by value)
HP Omen
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, SanDisk A110 SD6PP4M-256G-1006
208 min ∼96%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-75TD
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
181 min ∼84%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 (59424712)
GeForce GTX 860M, 4710HQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
250 min ∼116%
Asus GL550JK-CN391H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4700HQ, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
201 min ∼93%
Schenker XMG A505
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
216 min ∼100%

Pros

+ Bright Full-HD IPS display
+ Fast SSD
+ Only gets moderately warm and noisy
+ Comparatively good battery life
+ Maintenance cover
+ Good input devices
+ Blu-Ray combo-drive

Cons

- Only DDR3-VRAM

Verdict

Asus GL551JK-CN128H, courtesy of: notebooksbilliger.de
Asus GL551JK-CN128H, courtesy of: notebooksbilliger.de

The Asus GL551JK is a 15.6-inch gaming notebook. The Core i7 processor has more than enough power for all conceivable scenarios and the GeForce GPU can handle all current games. Although the hardware is very powerful, the notebook only gets moderately warm and remains quiet even under load. Thanks to a fast Solid State Disk, the system is very responsive. The Full-HD IPS display is bright and features a good contrast ratio.

Not everyone will appreciate the modifications Asus made to the successor of the GL550JK. Overall, the changes are positive though and the new notebook is an improvement over the older model.

Asus GL551JK-CN128H - 04/15/2015 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
82 / 98 → 84%
Keyboard
82%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
74 / 81 → 91%
Weight
58 / 10-66 → 86%
Battery
89%
Display
86%
Games Performance
92%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
90 / 95 → 95%
Noise
82 / 90 → 91%
Audio
74%
Camera
56 / 85 → 66%
Average
80%
86%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Asus GL551JK Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2015-04-27 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).