The gaming laptop industry has exploded in recent years, and it is becoming increasingly hard for laptop manufacturers to make a product that can stand out of the crowd. The ROG Strix G15 Electro Punk edition from ASUS is one such laptop that truly achieves this with its utterly unique, exciting design and powerful specifications. Read on for my review of the laptop.
Design and lighting
The 2021 ASUS ROG Strix G15 Electro Punk edition laptop is easily one of the most uniquely designed devices in the market now. From every angle, there are distinctive design elements that make this laptop stand out, and I love the whole look. The whole laptop features an aluminium alloy build, giving the chassis great strength and a durable feel. There is basically no keyboard deck flex, little-to-no lid flex and the hinge has just the right tension. ASUS has made some upgrades over the last generation, with a smaller overall footprint, tighter tolerances and smaller bezels around the display.
There are really cool graphics and cybertext (all of them being gamer-related terms) on both the laptop’s lid and the keyboard deck, and they have this pearlescent shimmer effect that subtly changes when shone under light. These are unique to the Electro punk edition, and they lend the laptop a futuristic flair. On the right lip of the laptop below the display, there is an accent piece with the ROG insignia that is bright pink in colour and even one of the rubber feet on the bottom of the lid is coloured in pink.
It is quite common to see some gaming laptops with RGB lighting elements like the keyboard, but the Strix G15 takes it up a notch. Along with the per-key RGB lighting for the keyboard and the light up logo on the laptop lid, the Strix G15 has an RGB light bar that extends all across the bottom lip of the laptop. All of the lights can be synced and controlled via ASUS Aura Sync, with cool presets and loads of customization options. Something I found interesting were the various lighting effects that ASUS incorporated into the laptop for certain actions like turning on the laptop, waking it up from sleep, and it even has a light pattern to indicate when the laptop is in Sleep mode. It is small details like these that make the laptop stand out from the crowd.
Display and Audio
Our model was configured with a 16:9 WQHD IPS panel with a smooth refresh rate of 165Hz, 3ms response time and a resolution of 2560 x 1440. Simply put, the display is fantastic for both gaming and productivity. For a 15.6-inch display, having 1440p resolution is amazingly sharp and the 165Hz refresh rate is the cherry on top. Viewing angles are great, and it even supports 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space, which is important for colour critical workloads such as photo and video editing. Overall, it’s one of the best displays I have ever experienced on a gaming laptop.
The audio capabilities of the laptop were quite strong too, with two 4W speakers that provide a pretty good stereo experience. It supports ASUS’ Smart Amp Technology and Dolby Atmos, which enhances the headphone audio experience, and it comes with a built-in array microphone and AI mic noise-canceling technology.
Performance and thermals
Powered by an AMD Ryzen 9-5900HX processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, the Strix G15 is no slouch in performance either. The R9 5900HX is an 8 core/16 thread beast of a processor that can boost up to 4.6GHz, and it is paired with 16GB of DDR4 3200MHz and a GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU (8GB) that can use up to a maximum of 130W of power.
With the power of AMD’s Zen 2 architecture and NVIDIA’s Ampere architecture, the laptop was able to handle pretty much any workload that was thrown at it, and the gaming experience was fantastic. It had no problem running heavy AAA titles or lighter E-Sports titles, and for nearly all types of games, the laptop’s QHD 165Hz panel shines really well.
Here are some benchmarks:
Keeping a powerful system like the Strix G15 cool is a challenge altogether, and I am happy to see that ASUS did a very good job here. The laptop does feature advanced thermal solutions such as highly efficient Arc Flow fans, and it even uses liquid metal compound from Thermal Grizzly for its thermal paste, which is impressive. All of this results in great thermal performance, with perfectly acceptable temperatures during extended use. Both the GPU and CPU were able to maintain their clocks well above their base speeds, whether it was gaming or for productivity related tasks.
The fans do get loud when the laptop is in ‘Turbo’ mode, but it did not get annoying at any point. Another useful feature of the laptop is its 0dB technology, where the laptop will turn off the fans in Silent mode and passively cool the system, which is perfect when you need quiet operation. When either the CPU or GPU becomes too hot, the fans will then kick in.
Keyboard, trackpad and ports
Enhancing the gaming experience on the Strix G15 is its excellent keyboard. The layout was perfect in my opinion and the keys have adequate spacing between them, especially the function keys, which prevents mis-clicks. While the click mechanism feels good when gaming or typing, I noticed that they feel less click-y and more soft towards the end of the press. Thankfully, they don’t feel mushy.
In the top left corner of the keyboard, there is the usual set of dedicated hot keys for volume, microphone toggle, Armoury crate shortcut and fan speed profile switcher. What is extra with this keyboard are the dedicated hotkeys for media control, print screen, and delete button on the right edge, which are very convenient. The trackpad is large and glass-topped with perfect, accurate tracking. It uses Windows Precision drivers, and it supports all the Windows gestures.
For ports, there are 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports and an audio combo Jack on the left side. The rest of the ports can be found in the back, including a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C (with support for DisplayPort and 100w USB-PD), a LAN RJ-45 jack, an HDMI 2.0b and a power plug. Overall, I like this port selection, and I especially like the fact that there are no ports on the right edge, which frees up space for mouse movement.
Traditionally, laptops with these kinds of specs aren’t known for having great battery life, but somehow, the Strix G15 has surprised me here too. The laptop comes with a large 90Whr cell and ASUS has done some great power management with it. During regular use such as browsing, streaming and word processing, I was able to get an impressive 7-8 hours of battery life. When running the PCMark 10 Battery benchmark, it scored 9 hours and 24 mins, which is incredible for a high-performance gaming laptop.
The laptop does support Fast Charge Technology too, which can take the laptop from 0-50% in about 30 mins. The only complaint I had about the laptop is the fact that its 240W charging brick uses a 15 Amp plug, which can be inconvenient for a lot of Indian households and especially annoying when travelling.
The ASUS ROG Strix G15 certainly has a lot going for it, and very little against it. The Ryzen CPU and NVIDIA GPU can pretty much chew through any current generation game and almost any modern workload. The design is bold, unique and futuristic, and the display offers a joyful viewing experience. Not to mention, the battery life is seriously impressive.
Considering all of this, the Strix G15 is an easy recommendation for anyone who wants a high-performance gaming laptop that will stand out from the crowd. It is one of the best gaming laptops that ASUS has produced till date, and when you take the price into consideration, I think it is the gaming laptop to beat in 2021.
Pricing and Availability
The ASUS ROG Strix G15 with a Ryzen 9 5900HX and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 is priced at MOP of Rs. 157990 and can be found on Amazon and in offline channel stores across India