Tue. Nov 30th, 2021

Hello, welcome to playgora. Today’s article, I will give you the full review of ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15. This is one of the best laptop for gaming.

Keyboard

The keyboard on the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 is nice, it has kind of a shallow travel distance. But the keys do feel tactile, and they don’t wobble. You also get plenty of space at bottom ofthe keyboard, which makes it comfortable to rest your palms there. So the typing experienceon this keyboard is decent, and I really have to appreciate the layout of keys on this keyboard. Because everything is laid out in a logical manner. And all the keys like delete, backspace, shift and control are in their proper place and are properly sized. It also has dedicated buttons for volume control on the left side. Which makes it very comfortable to access while gaming. The keyboard is also backlit with white LEDs, the font on the keys is clean for a gaming laptop, and the keyboard also has minimal flex in it.

Screen

The screen is of course a very big highlighton this laptop. As it is a 15.6 inch IPS display panel with a 1080p resolution, which looksquite sharp. And the most special thing about it is of course its crazy refresh rate of 240Hz, which has adaptive sync. So there’s no screen tearing while gaming. Now, you will see many people saying thatbeyond 144Hz, it doesn’t make a big difference. But once you move your mouse pointer or windowson this screen, you really see another level of smoothness. And it is an amazing experiencethat really makes all the movements in UI massage your eyes. A 144Hz version may actually have been morepractical on this laptop.

But Asus decided to go with a 240Hz screen because YOLO, andthere is a 120Hz version of this laptop available. But it has significantly less powerful hardwareinside. This display is also color calibrated by Pantone, so it is also suitable for content creation. Which we will talk about soon, and its 300nits brightness is also nice for indoor use. The matte finish of the screen also has verybalanced strength. It doesn’t decrease the quality of the display. The touchpad on this laptop is big enough, and it works as expected. The gestures work nicely, and I didn’t haveany issues with its tracking of my fingers.

Speaker

The down firing speakers are not super loud, but their quality is good. But if you put the laptop in your lap, the sound gets absorbedin your crotch.

I/O

You do have good I/O options with the laptop. As you get 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 type A ports along with a Kensington lock on one side. And the other sider, you have another USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A port along with the 3.5mm headsetjack. A USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C port that also has a Display port out, then a full size HDMI2.0b port. An RJ-45 Jack for ethernet, and then the port for power adapter. Speaking of power adapter, the G15 comes with a 180W charger. Which has a reasonably sized brick, it does charge it pretty fast up to 80-90% in less than an hour. But the USB Type C port on this laptop also supports Power Delivery. So you can also just use any Type C charger, but that of course won’t be as fast as the 180W brick.

Missing hardwares

You don’t have a webcam on this, which mightbe a deal breaker for a lot of people. If you are serious about webcam quality, you may want an external solution anyways as most on board webcams on laptops in this range have the quality of a potato. But something is still better than nothing. We also have an absence of any kind of biometrics which you could use to log in with Windows Hello. It is something I don’t personally mind, but you may like the intimacy of a fingerprint or iris login over typing a pin or password.

Specifications

We have a 1terabyte NVMe SSD which is really fast and makes it boot up very quickly. And it hasan 8 + 8 GB RAM configuration, which means that 8GB RAM on it is soldered. But you can replace the other RAM stick with a 16 GB unit, and that will expand the RAM to 24 GB. Some people may find this approach to be odd,but at least we don’t have completely non upgradable RAM like Macbooks. And 24 GB ofRAM is actually just good enough to edit even 4K videos on it. You can also expand the storage because itdoes have an extra m.2 slot. And you can also replace the existing 1 TB SSD with a higher capacity one. But since you can only use M.2 SSDs, the price of upgrading this to a 2 or3 TB of total storage will be expensive.

And you will need that storage if you want to install more than 3-4 modern games on it. And also want to have space for media, especiallyif you’re video editing. It also comes with Wi Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 which is sweet. And this laptop is 2 centimeters thick in a body that weighs 2 KGs, which Ithink is kind of impressive for the specs we have. But the star of the show are the CPU and GPU of course, and the G15 is REALLY packed with some very powerful hardware. Because it feature san AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS, which is an amazing CPU to have in a laptop. It is an 8 core 16 thread CPU that goes upto 4.3 GHz, and that is some serious horsepower to have in a mobile device.

Performance benchmarks

As you can see this benchmark, it does givea serious competition to a desktop Core i9 9900K. And even though this is a 2 year old CPU, having this kind of power in a laptop is a big deal. The GPU on board is also an RTX 2060 Max-Q, so it also performs really well for gaming. And we do see a good performance when you try to play games on it. Now these figures are way below the 240Hz refresh rate of this laptop. So if you really want to game at 240 FPS, your choices willreally be limited to games like CS:GO. Which are very easy on the GPU. The performance while video editing is alsonice, and it rendered a 6 minute 4K video with some effects in around 4 minutes, leveragingthe newly added NVENC support in Premiere. And that is a very good result for a laptop.

Thermals

But this laptop doesn’t have the ergolift feature of some of the other Asus laptops. Which lifts the bottom of the laptop up toincrease the airflow. And I think that would have really helped it because the thermal design on this laptop is weird. It has these very thick rubber pads at bottomwhich help it lift up the laptop to a higher than usual height. And this does help thethermals somewhat. But the intake on the fans are blocked by a plastic film.

And Asus seems to have done it to channel the airflow in a way that keeps the keyboard at lower temperaturewhile also cooling other components. But why would they design a bottom that hasvents in it, and then block it with a film. I can’t actually show it to you becauseI think that will void the warranty on this laptop. But it does seem like some last moment decisions were taken with the air flow design on this laptop. Whatever the actual reasonmay have been.

So the thermal performance of this laptopis okay-ish. Whenever you’re doing something demanding, the CPU temperature rises to 90-95 degrees celsius. And GPU also goes into the mid 80s,and so after 4 or 5 minutes of intense workload. The CPU throttles to 3.3 GHz from 4 GHz, andGPU core clock also drops to 1400 MHz from 1700 MHz. Now this is not a terrible drop in performance, and at these clocks the laptop can also perform decently.

But I am not sure if this situation could not have been better. Especially because there are videos on YouTube that show up to a15 degrees of reduction in temperature. If you remove those plastic covers. Another thing to note here is that to sustainthe maximum possible performance on this laptop. You will have to run the fans on their maximum speed on the turbo mode. Which is only available when you have it plugged into power, and theturbo mode is actually very audible.

It isn’t overly noisy for a gaming laptop, but then you also have to keep it on full blast while gaming. And while that is the compromise that you have to make with laptops typically. It is definitely not a pleasant experience to hear the loud fans at all time, when doing serious work like video editing. For gaming you will be wearing headphones, so you will probably not get bothered by the noise. Battery life on the Zephyrus G15 is good, as long as you’re not doing something too intensive. So in general use you will be ableto get around 6 to 8 hours of usage. But if you’re gaming with the highest settings, you may only get around 1 to 2 hours.

Conclusion

So in conclusion, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 is a laptop that does perform well. And the price point is also not unjustified considering it has a 240Hz screen, an RTX 2060 max Q, along with the very powerful Ryzen 4900HS. Which is a rare combination to see on laptops, but I am not sure if the thermals on this laptop couldn’t have been better. Which would have also helped the sustained performance, which is even more unfortunate. Because Asus does have better cooling solutions for their laptops, that we don’t have on this model. But that being said, I am also not sure if there is an alternative to this laptop. Because I really tried finding laptops with 4900HSCPU, and there very VERY few options. There was one laptop from Dell but it didn’t haveRTX 2060 Max Q. And there was a lenovo laptop which uses the integrated GPU on 4900HS.

There’s also Asus’s own G14, but I am not sure, if that is a clearly better choice than this laptop. The Intel competition in comparison seemsvery inefficient while still not being as good. And considering how much this laptopis heating up even with the 4900HS. I am not sure that something as powerful as this canbe tamed in a better way in a 2 kilogram body of this size.

I also don’t know whether Asus India specifically, will void the warranty if you open this up to upgrade the RAM or Storage and I’llhave further information on this in a pinned comment, so make sure you check that. But if you’re a person who does bursts ofproductivity or gaming on the go, it does perform well. And the hardware and especiallythe screen is pretty solid. And even if you get some thermal throttling it will still perform better than laptops with inferior hardware.

By Ahsan