ASUS has been one of the companies that produce quality gaming laptops, specifically under their ROG line. However, what we have in our hands is in fact, an ASUS gaming laptop that doesn’t fall under the ROG brand. The FX503VM is one of their upper mid-tier gaming laptops. Check out our hands-on first impressions of it below.
The FX503VM may not have the usual bleeding red color of the majority of gaming laptops today, but it still has a premium look to it. Its back panel makes it an eye-catcher thanks to its “slashed” design and brushed aluminum finish. Additionally, it’s not much of a fingerprint and smudge magnet, which is always a plus for us.
The FX503VM has a 15.6-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and an anti-glare panel. On top is where the HD webcam sits. The display is bright enough for most situations, while the color accuracy and saturation are good as well. Viewing angles are good and didn’t pose any problems when looking at it from different sides.
Looking to the right, we can see the Kensington lock and the lone USB 3.0 port together in one spot, while the SD card reader and speaker sit just below them.
On the left are the main group of ports, which includes charging, RJ-45, HDMI, two USB 3.0. and audio ports. One thing that we like is that the FX503VM has three USB 3.0 ports, which is good since file transfers will be always fast.
It is worth noticing that FX503VM keeps the LED light notification location like in the ROG Strix GL503.
The FX503VM uses a chiclet keyboard with backlit red-colored keys. We find the keyboard layout is weird in a sense since its arrow keys are pushed out of the way to make room for a numpad. The rest of keys are well spaced making it easy to use even for users who are not used to laptops. The brightness of the keyboard backlighting is alright, but it cannot be adjusted which we find disappointing.
The trackpad has a nice red line covering the sides while another small line serves as a divider for the left and right buttons. We didn’t find any problems with running our fingers across the pad.
The ASUS FX503VM is sturdy and has a solid build, as it has little keyboard flex. The screen shows evident flexing, but it immediately reverts back to normal after testing it. We manage to open the lid with one hand which is a good sign that the hinge is not stiff and can be easily opened. The laptop is heavy, however, making it a questionable commuting partner if you don’t have a personal car to travel.
The ASUS FX503VM starts at $962 for the Core i5, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, GTX 1050 model; while the Core i7 variant with GTX 1060 (FX503VM-E4070T) starts at $1,346. Users can upgrade it up to 32GB RAM and install an SSD. The Core i7 with GTX 1060 is exclusively available at Complink stores nationwide, while the Core i5 with GTX 1050 is available in ROG stores.
ASUS FX503VM specs:
- 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Panel
- Intel Core i5/i7 processor
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 / GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5
- 4GB DDR4 2400MHz SDRAM up to 32GB
- SATA 1TB 2.5″ HDD (FireCuda)
- Windows 10 (64-bit)
- Backlit chiclet keyboard
- 1280 x 720 webcam
- SD card reader
- Speakers powered by ICEpower technology
- 3x USB 3.0
- 1x Headphone-out & Audio-in Combo Jack
- 1x RJ45 LAN
- 1x HDMI port
- 1x Kensington Lock
- WiFi 802.11ac
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 4 Cells 64 Whrs Battery
- 384 x 262 x 24 mm