What is the Asus ROG GR8 II-T017Z?
The PC is the greatest gaming platform on earth, but the size of many such rigs makes them rather inflexible. Not so with the Asus ROG GR8 II, since this little PC is console-sized and will be as at home under a TV as it is connected to a monitor. A low price for this mid-range model (the T01Z) makes it all the more exciting, although a few hardware upgrades may be necessary to make the most of this computer.Update: Since my inital review, Asus has informed me they plan to sell a version with an SSD in the UK. It’s a good move, as flash storage would make the PC much faster to boot and load applications. If you want a GR8 II, it might be worth waiting. Asus has also announced that several new specifications will be launching later this year, including a 6GB GTX 1060 model along with a cheaper GTX 1050 Ti version as well. It might pay to wait until then, although right now some retailers are selling the ROG GR8 with a mouse, keyboard, headset and mousemat bundle. I’ve not tested the products in the bundle, but it’s a decent freebie.
Asus ROG GR8 II-T017Z – Design and Build
I love the look of the ROG GR8 II. Measuring just 88 x 299 x 281mm, it’s around the size of a PS4. It’s designed to stand vertically, although there’s no real reason why you couldn’t lay the PC flat; you may want to attach some stick-on felt feet for protection. This offers plenty of flexibility as to whether the GR8 II will be used as a living room PC or simply a standard desktop computer.
Gaming PCs are known to sport over-the-top design, but the ROG GR8 II gets the balance just right. A combination of the simple styling – a grey exterior with a burnished orange flourish in the middle – with neat angled sides makes this PC stand out for the right reasons.Related: Best PC Games 2017
Asus’ Aura LEDs run through the case, letting you synchronise the GR8 II with other ROG products. There are 8 million colours from which to choose, with plenty of effects to cycle through a range of choices. Personally, I prefer a fixed, more subtle colour. You do have the option to turn off the lights, too, if you don’t want any distractions.
Included are all the ports you’d expect from a modern PC, including two USB 3.0, headphone and microphone ports at the front. At the rear, there are a further three USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, Gigabit Ethernet (there’s built-in 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi as well), line-out and optical S/PDIF. Via the integrated Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card, there are two HDMI and a single DisplayPort output.