Asus G550JK: Keyboard & Trackpad
The Asus has a Scrabble-tile keyboard, just like its competitors, and quality is high. The keys are light and we’ve used some that have more travel, but the slight lack of feedback isn’t a big problem with the firm base – we were quickly able to hammer away during intensive gaming sessions.
The excellent typing experience matches the MSI and improves on the Gigabyte, but it’s got minor issues. The keys on the numberpad are narrower than those on the rest of the keyboard, and the cursor keys are narrow and not set apart from the rest of the keys, which can make them tricky to hit. There aren’t any dedicated macro keys, either – a feature offered by the Gigabyte.
The G550JK’s trackpad is wide and feels smooth and responsive – it’s one of the best units we’ve used. The buttons at the bottom of the pad feel just as good for the most part, although they need to be depressed further in each corner to register clicks. It’s a minor annoyance that you’ll notice if fingers stray during gameplay.
Should I Buy the Asus G500JK?
This laptop is reigned-in when compared to much of the gaming notebook market, and the G550JK’s more sensible design comes with several of its own pros and cons.
The G550JK looks and feels fantastic, it’s not overly thick or heavy, and its keyboard and trackpad are both rapid, responsive units. The screen is another high point because of its great colour accuracy, contrast and brightness.
The lack of budget means a mid-range GPU, which means demanding games aren’t playable until quality settings are reduced. The speakers are poor, and battery life is no better than rivals. There’s also no SSD.
Other gaming notebooks have more power, but have their own problems: the MSI’s high-end components and slim chassis cause a litany of thermal issues, and the Gigabyte system has impressive components but a poorer screen, disappointing thermals and a stratospheric price.
The G550JK sits in the middle of the road, but that’s no bad thing. It’s a cheaper and more manageable purchase that’s worth investigating in if the high prices and thermal issues of rivals are enough to put you off.
This laptop won’t play games at top settings, but it offers good compromise between performance, price and ease of use. If you want a laptop for all occasions, not just gaming, it’s a good option.
Score in detail
Build Quality 9
Heat & Noise 7
Battery Life 5