Any evidence that the computer you tested was this model?
Purely specs-wise, this looks like a golden opportunity to get a brand new GTX 1080 laptop with a 120Hz panel and 1-year warranty. The only issues I have are with the lighting zones, which I feel could have been individual keys, and the awkward design clash of the keyboard area cover (silver) and the frame around the screen (black), which doesn't look like any other GL702VI model I've seen floating around. That needs to be checked, for sure.
As little as a few months ago, this would have been impossible to pass up. Do you know what kind of prices you normally find these (generally overpriced) GTX 1080 laptops around? Easily over $2,000, but normally within $200 of the $2500 mark. That's for the basic 16GB RAM, 7700HQ, and 1TB HDD/256GB SSD package.
In some unforeseen shift, this specific model GL702VI-WB74 appears to be on sale everywhere else for $1900. iBuyPower lets you get some free stuff and change a few things, XoticPC (down to $1842.03 with a "3% Cash Discount") gives you even more free stuff and lets you change even more things, like the thermal solution, and Amazon (and therefore Best Buy) and Newegg will just sell you the same model retail straight-up. I guess Asus is doing some kind of manufacturer deal thing. No way this is coincidence.
Mind you, when this came out /just last fall/, it was $2500. That is one hell of a deal on brand new gear.
With the market the way it is, and the news being that nVidia couldn't give two shits about cannibalizing it's own performance dominance with a Pascal successor for gamers right now, this is either the best deal of the year on unused stuff, or a half decent time to make the mistake of getting in on Pascal too late, right before prices are washed away in the sell-off moving to a new platform.
I happened to have picked up a used G701VI-XB78K for less than this drop, though. I found out it had a dying fan and ordered parts online for close enough to $100 that we'll call it that. If things do wash out, the ram and storage components will endure most of the lost value. If things don't, I'm sitting on gold already. Still typing this from my dated G750JX-DB71 as the parts are still making there way here.
I would like to say that, again, purely specs/price-wise, this is the best damn laptop drop I've seen on Massdrop so far. That doesn't mean anything even by the time you would get it home, which would be immediately before or immediately after nVidia's GPU Technology Conference on 03/26/2018, but I have been genuinely unimpressed by just about every single other gaming laptop that has had the joy of fumbling through here.
I see three real options here.
Option 1: Don't buy it.
-GTC is around the corner and Pascal is 2 years old. Gamers would be pissed if nVidia dragged their feet on a new architecture.
-Prices (and therefore the value left in your hands) will fall by a few hundred dollars if new tech lands.
-You could save the money to invest in that new tech, but the new tech premium will eat away at the performance per dollar in exchange for raising the performance ceiling.
-The RAM and storage config is basic and only the 120hz panel, which still not all tuned laptops have (looking at you, Predator 21X), really stands out besides the price in the current market.
Option 2: Buy it now.
-This is a historically low price that might go away for a little while. ASUS is already cheaper than its competitors MSI and Alienware, and this sale puts it in Acer and HP territory while being a better product. See also: HP Omen X 17 configs and Acer Predator 17 configs.
-nVidia is in the best possible position a company can be in: everything it is making has a buyer straight out of the factory. Miners are buying. Big tech companies are using GPU brains instead of CPU brains. Gamers still want to game, and just as many people are holding their breath as are giving in to the urge to buy. I price hunt a lot and I don't find many people dumping their rigs—where I've been looking, anyway. Coming out with a new GPU process could backfire incredibly hard as tons and tons of old systems and cards literally flood the market in response. It would make complete sense if nVidia just kept public press releases about AI and data center hardware while it waits for AMD to produce another dumpster fire that it can crush with an immediate response. There have been zero leaks, hints, or anything BUT rumors about "Ampere/Turing/1180/2080" even to this day. Perhaps there really is nothing to be waiting for.
-Massdrop has never offered a better hardware package at this price, which still trumps others by $50. Makes me wonder if you could persuade them or another seller to adjust accordingly.
Option 3: Buy it later.
-As with all tech, it's probably not just going to disappear. Mind you, higher end systems are a remarkably small footprint in general, and that footprint is even smaller in gaming laptops—hence the generally obscene prices. Low volume items have less competition, and parts are harder to get if something does blow up.
-If prices fall, or you prefer to pinch even more pennies, you can save with used/refurb units. This model is barely half a year old, but the components are a little more dated than that. One year on the 7700HQ and GTX 1080, at least?
-In fifty years we will all be brains in jars, teleporting about the universe on intergalactic, faster-than-light superhighways. You could get this kind of performance for $100 then, easily.
I leave short or no comments on bad/alright-looking stuff. This was definitely worth the time to write. It's odd.