In this article, I give you my ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 (2021) review with specs included. ROG is pronounced ‘rogue’ or ‘republic of gamers’ whatever you want.
This is the 2021 edition of the Asus 15.6 inch thin-and-light kind of classy gaming laptop with the Nvidia RTX 3000 series graphics and AMD Ryzen Zen 3 Cezanne in here.
I’ve got the Ryzen 9 5900HS 8-core 16-thread CPU inside for a lot of performance in a thin package. This has a wide gamut QHD 2560 by 1440 display which was Nvidia’s promise with the RTX 3000 graphics card saying that really is the new minimum. If you want to play games, you should enjoy your higher resolution. I’ve got that here too.
I’m pretty excited by this laptop. There are not many RTX 3000 series gaming laptops out yet but they haven’t been as super exciting as desktop cards because they don’t get as much performance improvement. The desktop cards got that performance boost by using more watts. More power is something you really can’t do much of on laptops.
The Intel CPUs consume more power than AMD and emit more heat. So here, speaking of that we have AMD Ryzen and that is a superior CPU in terms of using less heat, having better battery life, and wonderful performance, in multi-core particularly. Intel usually edges out a little bit on a single-core. But, the multi-core rocks on AMD.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 (2021) has a QHD matte IPS three millisecond response time 165-hertz wide gamut display here and it’s very natural looking. It’s Pantone calibrated and it’s pretty color accurate. It’s nice and it’s sharp looking.
If you’re going to play games and you want to see more details, this display does great. For example, when I play Forza Horizon I really enjoy those higher resolutions because all those trees and the details everywhere make a much prettier game. So, that’s a step in the right direction. It’s also sharp for everyday use if you’re doing photo editing or just reading text.
Let’s see where ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 (2021) sits amongst the competition. The Zephyrus line is ultra-thin and light. It is one of the thinnest and lightest 15-inch gaming laptops. In fact, it’s just a little bit lighter than not just the Razer Blade 15 Advanced but the 16-inch MacBook pro too. It’s 1.9 kilograms (which is 4.2 pounds). And it’s quite thin, significantly under an inch. It’s 19.9 millimeters.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 (2021) has a magnesium alloy top and keyboard deck. At the bottom, as far as I can tell, is ABS plastic. It has the 8000 dots on the lid instead of having the LEDs underneath as an optional thing like they did with the Zephyrus G14.
They have a mylar film underneath those dots so when you move the lid back and forth you’ll see color shifting and sort of like having RGB lights without having RGB lights and without using any power.
I think it’s a very clean look on this. Obviously, this design here is very similar to the Zephyrus G14 (2020) model which is one of the best gaming laptops for value and for what you get for the price.
Again, this laptop is not super cheap but for what you get it’s cheaper than the competition and that’s nice too. The model I have is $1799 MSRP. That gets you the Ryzen 9 5900HS, Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics, the QHD display, 16 GB of RAM, and a fast one terabyte NVMe SSD. That is not too bad.
You could go up to RTX 3080 and double your RAM to 32 GB while you’re at it but that’s like $700 more and the performance gain just isn’t that much, especially in a thin and light chassis. So, I would stick with the lower-end model.
So when you compare ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 (2021) to something like the Razer Blade 15 or 15 Advanced, as a competition, or the MSI GS66 Stealth (which is just a full HD display, there’s no QHD option) it’s hundreds of dollars cheaper while still being pretty premium and focusing on the things that many of us care about the most like the better quality display, the Ryzen CPU inside, that sort of thing.
For the keyboard, you have single-zone RGB backlighting. That means you can choose any color you want but it’s going to be all one color at a time. That’s fine with me.
There’s no bling, no Rogue Strix RGB body lighting anywhere. Again, with me, that’s fine because I like the staid, kind of modern, and futuristic look but at the same time very chill design that’s going on here.
We have a very large Microsoft precision trackpad on this. There is no number pad which for a 15-inch laptop personally I like and that’s up to you to know if you need or just like.
The keyboard on this has a great feel. If you’re a content creator who actually makes use of the written word you’re going to like this thing. It’s also fine for gaming too.
A nice deep keystroke on these keys, tactile feel springing back it’s like the good old days of keyboards without getting too thick. And it’s quiet, unlike the Rogue Strix Scar which has an optimum-mechanical sort of keyboard.
So, within light gaming laptops, some of the things that often take a hurt are the sound speakers. Well, they’ve got six speakers on this including force canceling subwoofers. It sounds quite good.
I’m still not sure if it’s as good as the 16-inch MacBook Pro, particularly for the depth of the bass, but compared to just about every other Windows laptop or gaming laptop of this size on the market, it sounds a lot better. And, the multiple drivers combined with Dolby Atmos can give you the sense of surround sound that’s very nice.
Some people have said that they hear, at high volumes of the bass particularly, rumbling making funny sounds. Mine is not doing that. I think that’s probably a driver issue but I don’t know.
Speaking of driver issues, with this machine, out of the box, there were so many driver updates, firmware updates, BIOS updates, etc. I’ve already gotten two BIOS updates. Be sure to actually run those updates including the My Asus app for BIOS updates because they do make a difference.
When I first got out of the box with the shipping BIOS it did crazy cracky things like sometimes would say the charger wasn’t plugged in which got me really worried.
That was purely a BIOS thing because they’re working on a USB-C 100-watt charging to get that going. That is not something that you’re going to use when you’re gaming but if you need to use it as productivity or a streaming laptop on the go that will be sufficient. Asus is supposedly going to sell a 100-watt power adapter that’s USB-C-based.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 (2021)