Published on February 19th, 2021 📆 | 8584 Views ⚑0
Asus ROG Zephyrus G15: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series laptops
Finally, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs are arriving with the gaming laptops and the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is the latest on the list to feature these cards. At a first glance, there are a few noticeable design changes that pop out between the yesteryear model and this one. I think the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 2020 variant was just a test version to perceive if gamers liked the product or not. So you get the same yet unique laptop design with the promise of a stellar output in games. I will elaborate on each aspect that together constitutes the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 and the flaws that need to be addressed promptly.
Asus ROG series has always been flashy and riddled with RGB lighting all over the chassis. With this year’s ROG Zephyrus G15, Asus has toned down on the RGB lighting all-over the chassis. This year’s Zephyrus G15 gets a grid matrix lid with numerous tiny dots that do not illuminate like a special one but give a rainbow effect when you change your viewing angle. It also adds grip while carrying or closing. One problem that I found with the intricate dot pattern is that it attracts a lot of dust and gunk and retains it for a long time. Fingerprint smudges are not noticeable on the lid, but the dirt requires a clean-up after a few days.
For 2800 USD, you get only two color options, namely Eclipse Gray and Moonlight White, the latter of which is a dirt magnet in my option. One more design flaw exists in the white variant, because of its pale color the backlit keys appear not backlit at all in bright daylight or my studio light. I hope they fix it or give an option to increase the intensity of the light profiles. Due to the seemingly light chassis at just 1.9 kilograms, Asus thought it would be great not to include a webcam and I wonder why not. Thin bezels matter, I get it, but not including a webcam in a premium laptop is a no-brainer as the customer has to get an external one for the same.
The display is one of the three things that has improved on the laptop. In Asus ROG Zephyrus G15, you get a 15.6-inch display with a WQHD resolution. The aspect ratio stays at 16:9 although I would prefer a 16:10 as it increases the height a tad bit. The display comes with a response time of 3 ms so that you don’t encounter a delay in eSports competitions, and that’s about it for the response time. I don’t find it practical but if gamers do, it has got it for you. The refresh rate is equally impressive at 165 Hz, which is possible due to the powerful RTX GPU present inside the laptop.
Color production is vivid and since it’s a Pantone validates display with 100 percent sRGB gamut, the color accuracy is calibrated right out of the box. With the Pantone certification and the quad-HD resolution, you may even work with Photoshop and video editors on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15. It is an antiglare IPS display so you would not notice any visible glare.
Keyboard and trackpad
I wouldn’t have written extensively about the trackpad, but this time it is nicer than the previous one. For starters, it got a large surface area, almost a square shape, and is good even for my large fingers. I didn’t find myself running out of space while navigating or performing multi-gesture input. The Asus website labels it as a 20 percent increase in the trackpad area, and I believe them this time.
The keyboard in a fifteen-inch laptop usually came with a dedicated numeric keypad but this one sheds it. Due to the design change, you get slightly bigger keys to work with, and adequate spacing between each key. There are four hotkeys that disturb the alignment of the keyboard layout but serve important functions. The inverted-T layout of the arrow keys uses an equal size for all four buttons and I like it more than the compressed ones. The Gray variant has decent LED-backlit lighting profiles with a single blueish color scheme that is not customizable. One more thing about the keyboard is that it has a honeycomb plate beneath the palm rest, that prevents the chassis from flexing while typing or gaming. Key travel is like it is on most laptops and I saw no difference in the experience regardless of what the description on the website mentions about the laptop.
A fifteen-inch laptop should pack in every possible port and this one does it to some extent. You get two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports and an additional USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port that supports charging and display output. You do not get thunderbolt 4 support because it’s AMD but do get an HDMI 2.0b port for connecting to external displays. A 3.5 mm headphone jack and RJ 45 ethernet ports are also present on the laptop. Wireless connectivity options include a Wi-Fi 6 card with BlueTooth version 5.0, both of which offer great speed.
AMD is winning a lot of hearts this year by featuring its latest generation mobile processors in laptops. Team RED is making Intel chips feel inferior in comparison, and it is a good change so far. You get an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS with a 32 GB DDR4 RAM module that can run anything and everything you desire. The multithread performance of Ryzen 9 puts Intel core i7 processor to shame despite a lower power consumption and consistent performance. Storage is also pretty much fast as you get a PCIe NVMe 3.0 SSD, the pinnacle of SSD variant available on the market right now.
Maxing out the configuration can get you a whopping 48 GB of DDR4 RAM in dual-channel that is future proof considering how demanding the games and applications are getting these days. SSD can also be jacked up to 2 TB, although it would bump up its cost too much. Performance is not an issue with the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15, no matter what application you put to test.
Cyberpunk 2077 can run easily on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15, although the game is a nightmare for a gamer. Framerates are not an issue and considering the RTX 3080 inside it, despite a lower TDP. Vidoe rendering speeds are equally impressive with 5-6 mins of export time in 4K resolution. The screen is not 4K but a quad-HD panel still produces colors vibrant enough for gaming, as I witnessed in Cyberpunk 2077. It is the only RTX enables game that I ran on the laptop, and it ran fine.
The fans get unusually loud if you crank it up to performance mode. It is a problem with a lot of laptops, and this one’s no different than the rest. It makes annoying whirring sounds which I’m sure can be fixed by a software update to their proprietary fan software. There are six heat pipes that pull the heat from the GPU but the only problem is that the fans make a lot of noise in doing so.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 costs a lot but comes with a lot too. It is seldom to witness an upgrade in the display, CPU, and GPU altogether in a laptop. With a 90 wh battery, the laptop can go up to seven hours of battery life, which is good enough considering the components present inside it. You get almost all the ports that you need, fast-charging support that replenishes half the battery in just 30 minutes, and a fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button.
If only the fans could be a little less loud, the gaming experience could have been a whole lot better on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15. For the hefty price tag, I expect them to include a webcam, even a nose cam would do the trick. Nevertheless, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15, despite its price, has the chance of being the gaming-centric build of the year 2021.