A gaming laptop designed to suit every gamer

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It has become clear that gaming laptops have a very specific audience that they cater to. Traditionally, gaming laptops have been chunky and come with a fast charger, high refresh rate display (without the ability to use it as a touchscreen), and a GPU to support all modern titles.

These laptops are meant to be plugged in for the most part and not to be carried around on a daily basis. Lately, Lenovo and Razr and a few others are trying to blur the lines between a gaming laptop and portability. Asus’ ROG line is the one that doesn’t adapt to this new trend.

The name Republic of Gamers (ROG) has become synonymous with gamers and the gaming landscape in India. Asus created ROG in 2006 and now it has spread its wings to smartphones and releases new laptops and PCs every year.

The ROG Strix has always been popular among hardcore gamers and the 2022 edition is no different. While I really admire Asus’ Zephyrus gaming laptops for many reasons, the ROG Strix G15 has proven to be more than capable since I got it. I’ve been playing a number of games on it for over a week and while I appreciate its gaming prowess, the heaviness and low key travel throughout the average battery life has me slightly disappointed.

Let me explain.

There’s a lot to like about the ROG Strix G15. When unboxing the ROG Strix G15, I was super excited to see that it had AMD’s Ryzen 9 6900HX chipset. Laptops with this particular chipset have received rave reviews across the globe. There’s also an 8GB Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti (RTX 3080 is also available if you want to spend more), 1TB SSD + 16GB DDR5 RAM, a 90Wh battery and, icing on the cake, the 15.6-inch QHD 165Hz display.

Reading the spec list and your jaw drops. Asus spared nothing. They did everything. Best of all, the laptop is built like a tank. Subtle touches like the glossy ROG logo on the lid, RGB lighting on the keys add to the premium feel of the laptop.

A beast of a game

You’re probably wondering if you can play the latest installment in the Halo franchise without losing that all-important “advantage” to your opponents. I started out playing Forza Horizon 5, one of my favorite games lately. Driving through Mexico, on the 15.6-inch QHD (2K) IPS LCD screen, was a treat from the moment I accelerated at a blistering pace. The screen has very good viewing angles and a 2K QHD screen is a good compromise. Gamers much prefer a screen with a higher refresh rate than an OLED, which is much preferred by binge-watchers. I regularly got over 85fps while playing Forza Horizon 5. Lower the resolution to 1080p and you can get higher fps.

Asus has cleverly added a MUX switch (something new) that allows the user to “manually enable or disable the integrated graphics”. This allows users to get the most out of the 3070 Ti.

Other than Forza Horizon 5, I’ve played Halo, Mortal Kombat, and old school games like TrackMania Nations Forever and FIFA 22 and didn’t even realize where the time was going. The keyboard was comfortable, and yes, I had an external mouse with me. The laptop got hot, but it never got to uncomfortable levels. There are dedicated hotkeys – volume, mic mute controls, operating modes and Armory Craft – at the top left of the keyboard. To my surprise, these hotkeys are programmable. Thus, the user can decide which function to assign to which key.

There’s a row dedicated to media and quick controls at the top of the keyboard, with play, stop, back and next keys, among others.

There is a good mix of I/O ports. There are two USB 3.2 Type-C ports, an HDMI port, an RJ45 port, and the power port on the back. On the left, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack and two USB 2.0 ports.

Finally, the laptop comes with a massive 280W charging adapter. It’s bulky but gets the job done. It charges the laptop in about two hours. USB-C charging is supported but limited to 100W.

Where the laptop wobbles

ROG Strix G15 is not intended for battery use. Nonetheless, I headed to a neighborhood cafe and fired up the gaming beast. Predictably, I received a ton of errors about “graphics card not found” and “please reduce settings for a smoother gaming experience. These aren’t exclusive to the ROG Strix G15, mind you. It’s the same as most gaming laptops.

Yeah, I don’t need to say it again, but I’m going. Do not play on battery. Maybe a casual game or two, but definitely nothing on the level of Halo or Battlefield. First, you will do yourself an injustice and start at a disadvantage to your opponent, as the laptop will stutter at times. Second, the laptop will barely last 80-90 minutes before shutting down.

The thing that disappointed me was that even with casual, non-gaming tasks, I was able to kill the laptop in less than four hours. That pretty much means the laptop can’t be taken anywhere there isn’t a plug point. In an age where work and play have intermingled, it’s disappointing that you can’t use this laptop for both.

Gamers will be thrilled, but creators certainly won’t. Key travel is shallow and my typing speed suffered. The rectangular arrow keys are difficult to access for people with large fingers.

There’s no built-in webcam either. There’s an external FHD webcam that comes in the box, but that in turn takes up one of the USB ports.

Verdict: Is the ROG Strix G15 the laptop for you?

If you are a hardcore gamer, the ROG Strix G15 is a no-brainer even at ₹1,94,990. It has the Ryzen 6000 chipset, a high-end GPU and much more. If you’re not dedicated to the gaming scene, you might want to look elsewhere, as laptops like the Dell XPS 13 and HP Specter x360 are sleek, portable, and powerful ultrabooks that are available for much less.

The Asus ROG Strix G15 is a gaming laptop designed for gamers and gamers only. I had a fantastic experience playing it for over a week, and in that respect I can’t complain at all.

As a content creator and big binge-watcher, I just can’t justify the exorbitant entry price, but neither can I for many other laptops. That’s all we can say about it.

For gamers, the ROG Strix G15, like previous iterations, will be an absolute delight. It will provide the necessary edge in games and the high refresh rate display is one of the best around. For everyone else, just look around and you’ll see plenty of other options.

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