ASUS Zephyrus G15 review
It was thin light and one of the most powerful gaming notebooks we’d ever seen, but i never got around to testing the g15. The slightly larger version last year that basically took everything we loved about the g14 and put it in a 15 inch gaming notebook package. So that sounds like a surefire winner right after testing out the 2021 edition of the zephyrus g15 it’s clear than ever to me that asus has kind of figured out the mystery of creating really solid premium gaming laptops now it’s worth remembering that it really wasn’t. Always this way for aces they’ve been making gaming laptops for years and the first zephyrus, which we really like you know, showed a lot of promise. But it was also very clearly one of the first thin and light premium gaming laptops. It had a gtx 1080, which was amazing at the time and weighing under five pounds. That was also a pretty significant milestone, but it had practically no battery life, a terrible keyboard. It just wasn’t really practical for a lot of people. Over the last few years, asus has just refined its gaming laptop formula, especially for the zephyrus line, and i think they really perfected it with the g14 last year that thing weighed just three and a half pounds. It was incredibly fast and it actually got pretty decent battery life too, for a gaming notebook so onto the g50. Now, of course, it can’t be nearly as light as the g14 it’s a bigger machine after all, but it still weighs 4.
2 pounds which is pretty competitive when it comes to 50 inch. Gaming laptops the razer blade and many others typically weigh around four and a half pounds these days, it’s also just as impressive as the g14 design wise. It has a sturdy magnesium aluminum case which just really feels good to hold, and the top part of the case. Also has this dot matrix design that just looks really cool it’s, also kind of functional, too aces filled those dots with like a prismatic paint material. So just shimmers as you move the laptop around, but also some models can actually have leds in that lid and you can put images and little animated, gifs and stuff. I didn’t get a chance to test that out, but that was something aces demoed last year with the g14 before ces under the hood, the g15 features amd’s ryzen, 9 5900 hs processor, nvidia’s, rtx 30 series gpus and an optional 1440p quad hd display running at 165. Hertz with g sync and freesync support it’s one of the first gaming laptops to rock amd’s new hardware and to me that alone makes it a particularly compelling purchase, we’re still waiting for intel to release its faster h series 11th gen laptop cpus right now. They’Re just limited to four cores and they’re, really more meant for ultra portable gaming laptops. So if you want to future proof yourself a bit the ryzen 9 system, any of amd’s new zen 3 hardware would be a better investment.
Our review unit included nvidia’s, rtx 3080 gpu and that 1440p screen, which together just feels like a very nice and complementary pairing there. When i reviewed the msi gs66, i mentioned that 1440p is just a really compelling option for gaming laptops and it’s popping up in more and more machines this year it offers more sharpness, and you know more pixels and typical 1080p displays and also it’s, just a little More practical than a 4k display on a gaming laptop if you like the game natively and that is have games running at the full resolution of the display, which typically looks best 4k, is really hard to power. You waste a lot of power just trying to get games up to that. I think 1440p, for most people is a really nice middle ground. So with that combination of hardware, when i was mowing down bad guys in destiny, 2 for jumping between overwatch rounds, everything just looked really silky, smooth and that’s. Exactly what i want from a gaming laptop like this, and when i was able to take a breath, it was also easy to see that you know the g15 1440p screen just delivered a little more sharpness, especially around fine edges things. That kind of bother me on 1080p screens, no matter how fast those refresh rates get while the zephyrus g14 was more than powerful enough to deliver over 100 frames per second in both of those games. What really mattered more to me was how it felt, and it just felt very good – the screen just instantly kept up with whatever i was doing.
I felt like i had an extra advantage during really frenetic firefights, but it was also really useful during slower sequences, where i had to like slow down and look through a sniper scope just being able to refresh the screen faster, gives you more control and more precision Which could really, you know, make or break a match for you? Basically, what i’m saying is that having a high refresh rate screen – and you know, variable refresh rate technology that can synchronize your display, with whatever frame rate you’re at is kind of like the gaming equivalent of hearing a symphony in perfect harmony, now it’s worth pointing out The g15 doesn’t have the fastest 1440p screen we’ve seen that msi ds66 went all the way up to 240hz, but i don’t think that’s really going to matter for most people unless you’re an aspiring, esports player or something you’re, probably not even going to notice the difference Between 120 hertz and beyond, just like we saw with nvidia’s rtx 2080 gpu, though don’t expect the same exact speeds between the desktop and mobile parts and, in particular the 3080, just didn’t feel as beefy as what i saw on my gaming desktop in our review unit. Even the rtx 3080 kind of struggled with cyberpunk 2077 with 4040p maxed out graphics and the highest retracing settings it chugged along between 40 and 45 fps, which is playable, i guess, but on a gaming laptop like this that’s, not really what i want, and in that Case even nvidia’s dlss technology, which renders a game at a lower resolution and uses ai to kind of upscale things.
Didn’T really help the performance very much towards the end. I just settled on playing cyberpunk with medium ray tracing settings and dlss turned on to get 55 to 63 fps that’s pretty smooth, especially when you’re, comparing it to console performance when it comes to benchmarks. The zephyrs g15 outperformed msi’s gs66 and geekbench 5’s multi core score. But otherwise the two laptops were fairly neck and neck, their 3dmark time spy extreme numbers were practically identical. That may just be a sign of how much intel caught up with amd’s performance last year, since the msi notebook is powered by last year’s, 10th generation intel cpu under load. The g15s fans were noticeable, but not nearly as annoying as the gs66 is. So that was really nice. The battery life was pretty impressive too. I got 8 hours and 50 minutes in our benchmark, which wasn’t nearly as impressive as the near 13 hours. I got with the g14, but still it was almost half an hour more than the gs66. Now a gaming laptop needs more than just powerful hardware. It also has to actually feel good to play on and thankfully asus’s keyboard still works really well uh. It has a healthy 1.7 millimeters of travel, so there’s a lot of clickiness, a lot of responsiveness and sure it’s, not mechanical, like what we’re going to see on the upcoming alienwares, which are going to have cherry mx keyboards, but it still feels pretty solid to me.
I also appreciate that the keyboard is still pretty quiet too, so it doesn’t sound super clicky, which means you can bring this notebook into a classroom or an office and not really distract everybody. The trackpad is also pretty solid, it’s large it’s, a glass trackpad. It is smooth and accurate it’s great for productivity tasks and just browsing around the web, mostly i’m. Just glad it’s, not shoved off to the right side of the keyboard, like asus, has been doing with so many other laptops. Asus rarely skims on connectivity with its gaming machines too, and the g15 is no exception. It features an hdmi port, ethernet, usb 3.2 type. A connection to usbc and a microsd card slot personally i’d still like to see a full size, sd card slot. But i suppose at this point it’s easy enough to use microsd in cameras and other devices. So laptop makers are just putting in the smaller port to make things easier for them. And, yes, there is one missing major accessory on the g15, just like the g14 there’s, no webcam and honestly i’ll say that didn’t really bug me too much. While i was testing it, but the problems do arise when you know you consider that we’re pretty much always on zoom calls these days having a built in camera is just nice if you’re far off and away from your desk, and you just want to quickly be On video with somebody personally, i think a lot of gamers already have you know nice external cameras that they’re using for streaming or for you know, uh more high quality settings, but maybe moving forward aces, who just put a cheap camera in the box to give people An option there, the zephyrus g15 currently starts at 14.
99 with an rtx 3060 and 16 gigabytes of ram that’s, not too bad, considering it still has the ryzen 9 and a speedy 1440p display. Our review unit sells for 2500., with the rtx 3080 and 32 gigabytes of ram but i’m, not quite sure, that’s worth the 1000 premium. The 36e will still deliver excellent quad hd performance and has more than enough memory for gaming and streaming simultaneously. Once again, asus is offering significant value for the price, considering that the latest razer blade starts at seventeen hundred dollars with an rtx 3060 and a 1080p 144hz screen. Saving 200 for a better screen seems like just a no brainer to me. It all really boils down to this. For me, the zephyrus g15 just has everything i want in a gaming laptop it’s, powerful, it’s, relatively lightweight and it’s, not super expensive either. Even if it doesn’t have a webcam, i don’t think that’s a huge issue for a lot of people get an external webcam you’ll have better performance anyway for most gamers. I think that zephyrus g15 is kind of a dream. Machine stay tuned, gadgets.com for more gaming, laptop reviews.