Asus ROG Strix G15 assessment: The gaming laptop computer that glows

“The Asus ROG Strix G15 gives simply sufficient efficiency to justify its 144Hz refresh charge.”

Strong gaming efficiency

RGB lighting is distinctive

Excessive refresh charge

Good thermals

Thick and clunky

No webcam or safe login

Larger refresh charges have turn into the massive speaking level for gaming laptops in recent times. Due to the beneficial properties in efficiency, even budget-level gaming laptops are getting refresh charges increased than 60Hz.

Asus’ flashy new gaming laptop computer, the $1,000 ROG Strix G15, is among the least costly laptops you will get with a 144Hz display screen. My assessment unit got here with simply an Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti, the entry-level possibility for severe cell gaming.

Is that sufficient horsepower to correctly energy a 144Hz show? Let’s discover out.

Design

Asus says it designed the ROG Strix G15 in collaboration with BMW, which sounds fascinating at first. Sadly, car-inspired aesthetics are nothing new — it’s been within the DNA of gaming gear for a few years.

The design collaboration leads to a plastic gaming laptop computer with plenty of ridges, strains, and textured supplies. That is faux brushed steel you can really feel in your fingertips. Nonetheless, I want the look over one thing extra gaudy just like the Acer Predator Helios 300.

ROG Strix G15 is made solely out of plastic, although the ROG Strix G15 is relatively tank-like in its structural integrity. The lid is the one weak spot. It’s simple to bend or flex, and the hinge will slam the lid shut except it’s open a minimum of 50% of the best way.

The wraparound mild bar brightens up your desk with a splash of RGB shade.

My unit got here in all black, and Asus says that gives it a “skilled persona.” Actually, nobody’s going to mistake it for something apart from a gaming laptop computer. Laptops just like the Razer Blade or MSI GS66 Stealth will slot in higher at a gathering (in case you nonetheless have these, that’s).

What the ROG Strix G15 does have is lights. Numerous lights. The keyboard has per-key backlighting, and that’s just the start. The ROG Strix G15 includes a “wraparound mild bar,” which brightens up your desk with a splash of RGB shade. The LEDs themselves are hidden from direct view, leaving a subtle glow beneath. It’s a pleasant impact that makes the Strix G15 stand out from the ocean of different black gaming laptops.

The ROG Strix G15 isn’t skinny or mild. It weighs 5.7 kilos and is slightly below a full inch thick. Even the Dell G3 Gaming Laptop computer, which is chunky in its personal proper, beats the Strix G15 in portability. The Strix G15 additionally has a big footprint, because of the location of the ports on the rear. To compensate, the laptop computer includes a large chin bezel. There’s a major hole between the show and the remainder of the chassis. Meaning the display screen sits up increased when open than some 17-inch laptops.

The ROG Strix G15 has a typical keyboard structure, although there are some eccentricities. I just like the brightly coloured WASD keys, and the additional operate keys alongside the aspect. Asus has additionally pulled a number of necessary keys out of the operate row, comparable to quantity management. Sadly, the buttons they used are squishy and really feel imprecise.

The touchpad is okay for a gaming laptop computer on this value vary. It has a easy floor and tracks nicely sufficient, although Asus opted for old-school, left, and proper bodily buttons, which feels outdated and cuts into usable touchpad house. As with many Asus laptops, you possibly can activate a digital quantity pad on the touchpad, for the reason that keyboard lacks one. It really works moderately nicely, however accountants received’t be happy.

Ports

The ROG Strix G15 follows the pattern of placing lots of lesser-used ports within the again. That’s the place your video out choices are, whether or not through HDMI 2.zero or USB-C. The USB-C port isn’t Thunderbolt three and doesn’t help energy supply. You’ll want to stay with the proprietary barrel plug for charging, which can be positioned on the rear subsequent to an RJ45 Ethernet jack.

The one ports on the edges of the system are three USB-A three.2 Gen 2 ports, together with a headphone jack. The appropriate aspect is totally port-free.

The Strix G15 doesn’t embrace a webcam, like most Asus gaming laptops offered as we speak. This determination makes some sense in a vacuum, as Asus is aware of avid gamers who stream will depend on a greater exterior webcam. Nevertheless, this determination is poorly timed given the sudden reputation of work-from-home.

Lastly, the Strix G15 doesn’t embrace an IR digicam or a fingerprint reader for safe Home windows Whats up logins. It does embrace the most recent Wi-Fi 6 for connectivity, together with Bluetooth 5.zero.

Show

The show is what makes the ROG Strix G15 an fascinating gaming laptop computer. However not as a result of the panel’s picture high quality is all that spectacular. It’s subpar by nearly each measure, and the colours are the most important detriment.

It solely hits 65% of the sRGB shade house, which is meager in comparison with the 98% of a laptop computer just like the Razer Blade or MSI GS66 Stealth. Even the reasonably priced Dell G5 SE hits 98%, as do midrange laptops just like the Lenovo Yoga C640. It has a barely inexperienced tint to it, making my pores and skin tone look downright sickly in a YouTube video we shot. In video games, it’s much less noticeable, although.

It’s not a shiny panel, maxing out at solely 278 nits, however the matte end helps keep away from harsh reflections. Let’s be sincere, you’ll in all probability be enjoying video games in additional dimly-lit rooms in any case.

The refresh charge is the true stand-out characteristic of the show. Only a 12 months or two in the past, 144Hz was the usual for high-end gaming laptops just like the Razer Blade. As of late, 300Hz screens have risen the usual, whereas the ROG Strix G15 might be configured as much as a 240Hz. It’s nonetheless uncommon on gaming laptops at this value level, making the ROG Strix G15’s display screen a spotlight of its gaming expertise.

Recreation efficiency

The ROG Strix G15 might solely have a paltry Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti onboard for graphics, however don’t underestimate it. Trendy, 3D titles play easily on it, even with settings maxed out. It could actually hit 64 fps (frames per second) in Fortnite, 56 in Battlefield V, and 63 in Civilization VI. These are a lot excessive, although they don’t make a lot use of the 144Hz refresh charge. If you happen to solely play on max settings, you received’t discover the distinction between this and an ordinary 60Hz display screen.

However it actually shines while you flip graphics settings down a bit. Body charges bounce up considerably, and also you begin to really feel the true energy of a better refresh charge. At Medium settings, Civilization VI performs at 108 fps, whereas Fortnite hits 86 fps at “Excessive” settings (which is one down from Epic). Curiously, it matches the efficiency of the equally-equipped Dell XPS 15 in nearly each recreation for $600 much less.

The issue? Not all video games fare in addition to these lighter titles. Battlefield V is an effective instance, which nonetheless solely averages 60 fps at Medium settings. In fact, you possibly can drop it right down to Low in case you actually wish to break 60 fps, however that’s no enjoyable. Murderer’s Creed Odyssey is a good higher instance. At its center setting, “Excessive,” the sport averages simply 42 fps on the ROG Strix G15. At Extremely Excessive, it’s right down to a measly 23 fps.

Even whereas gaming, the system retains floor temperatures surprisingly cool.

That’s why Asus classifies this laptop computer for “e-sports.” If you happen to attempt to play one thing extra demanding — and even simply wish to see extra graphical element in your video games — the ROG Strix G15 isn’t best for you.

That’s the place the AMD-powered Dell G5 SE makes a compelling case for itself. The AMD Radeon RX 5600M featured within the Dell G5 SE far outperforms the Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti — in some instances, by as a lot as 48%. Then once more, Dell sells the G5 SE and not using a 144Hz in decrease configurations. For a sure kind of gamer, the excessive refresh charge of the ROG Strix G15 is extra well-suited.

In fact, Asus gives extra highly effective configurations of this laptop computer too. A lovely possibility, for instance, is likely to be the $1,500 mannequin, which comes with an RTX 2070, a 240Hz refresh charge, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of solid-state storage. Razer gives a really related configuration of the Blade for a whopping $500 extra.

Moreover, the ROG Strix G15 has a bonus in cooling over smaller gaming laptops. Even whereas gaming, the system retains floor temperatures surprisingly cool. It’s on the expense of fan noise (and chassis thickness), however you’ll respect the cooling temperatures on the palm rests after lengthy gaming classes.

Content material creation efficiency

In efficiency outdoors of gaming, the Dell G5 SE as soon as once more poses an issue within the comparability. It options an eight-core processor, versus the six-core possibility within the ROG Strix G15. Meaning considerably higher efficiency in highly-threaded functions. With its give attention to gaming, that’s may not be a deal-breaker for the ROG Strix G15.

My assessment unit got here with the Intel Core i7-10750H, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It’s efficiency in Cinebench R20 had me a bit nervous. It’s single-core rating lagged behind even puny 15-watt laptops just like the Microsoft Floor E-book three. Due to the 2 further cores, the Dell G5 SE was 26% quicker in Cinebench’s multi-core check.

That translated on to how briskly the ROG Strix G15 carried out at video encoding too. The Dell G5 SE was 27% quicker at encoding a 4K film trailer to H.265 in Handbrake. Clearly, the ROG Strix G15 wasn’t designed with this sort of workload in thoughts, however if you wish to do some content material creation on the aspect (that doesn’t rely on the standard of the display screen), the ROG Strix G15 can get the job performed.

The ROG Strix G15 additionally comes with an empty M.2 slot for future enlargement. You may also improve the RAM as much as 32GB.

Battery life

The ROG Strix G15 isn’t lower out for lengthy classes away from the wall.

Three hours and 50 minutes in our mild internet looking check shouldn’t be good, even for a gaming laptop computer. The Dell G5 SE lasts over six hours on this identical check.

The Strix G15 did show itself within the video playback check, which loops a neighborhood 1080p video clip till the battery dies. The Strix G15 lasted eight hours, even beating the Dell G5 SE by an hour and a half. Sadly, this doesn’t symbolize the battery lifetime of a typical workload.

In my day by day work setup, consisting of a dozen browser tabs and some functions, it lasted round 4 hours on a single cost. There are much better gaming laptops for battery life.

Our take

The Asus ROG Strix G15 is an effective alternative for a sure kind of gamer. It’s the most cost effective 144Hz gaming laptops you should buy, and gives simply sufficient efficiency to utilize it in some video games. The picture high quality of the show is disappointing, and it lacks loads of the bells and whistles of spendier gaming laptops. Most avid gamers can be happier upgrading to a laptop computer with a minimum of an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti, however the ROG Strix G15 is an effective place to begin in case you’re strapped for money.

Are there any options?

The Dell G5 SE is an issue for the ROG Strix G15. It’s extra highly effective in nearly each means, and in case you can bump up the worth to $1,zero50, it even comes with a 144Hz display screen. The ROG Strix G15 gives that increased refresh charge at cheaper configurations, although, and comes with a extra polished-looking chassis.

The $920 Lenovo IdeaPad 3i is among the solely low cost gaming laptops with a excessive refresh charge. It’s 120Hz relatively than 144Hz, however you’ll possible not discover the distinction. It comes with a slower Core i5 processor, however can be barely cheaper than the ROG Strix G15.

How lengthy will it final?

The ROG Strix G15 is a well-built laptop computer, however its graphics card isn’t the quickest. In a number of years, you might discover that newer video games battle to play easily on it. Nevertheless, the flexibility to improve the RAM and storage is a plus for the longevity of the ROG Strix G15.

Asus gives customary one-year warranties on its laptops. After that, you’re by yourself.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. If you happen to’re an e-sports gamer who cares extra about body charges than graphical element, the ROG Strix G15 gives simply sufficient efficiency to you by.

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