It’s such a tough life reviewing tech products. Non-stop work, work, work, forever at the grindstone… Wait, who am I kidding? It’s bloody awesome. When the wife asks what you are doing playing games when there’s so many household chores to be done it’s great to be able to answer “I’m working!”
The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition laptop has been one such “chore”. It’s not often I get much time to play games these days so to be able to combine reviewing ASUS’ new gaming laptop with the time to play games is a godsend. So just how much did I love playing games on the ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition? Read on to find out.
Hardware and design
Gaming chops depend a lot on the hardware included in the machine. Not only that but many of us like their gaming machines to look like a gaming machine, and the ROG G15 does exactly that.
Some may consider the design of the Strix G15 as harsh with its square lines but when you add in the flash of colour on the hinge, the silver ROG flash on the black background of the lid and the RGB lights underneath it has the distinct look of a gaming laptop. Asus also includes in the box silver and black pieces that can be exchanged with the red piece on the hinge to change the look as you prefer.
The other side of the lid is a big, beautiful display. With very minimal bezels around the outside of the 15.6-inch FHD (1080P) display the display looks amazing and with a supported refresh rate of 300Hz (when not on battery) it is more than capable of pushing nearly every game to its maximum. The display temperature can also be adjusted using the in-built Asus software if there is something you prefer — this can be set for different game profiles so it changes for each game as you prefer it.
The matte display offers very minimal glare although if you are gaming in bright sunlight it does offer some glare but is still perfectly usable — tested as much as the Winter sun in Melbourne allowed.
The Strix G15 does lack a few pieces of hardware you would expect to see in most laptops these days including a webcam and a fingerprint scanner. The lack of a webcam is a strange one given the amount everyone loves to stream themselves gaming these days. For me though it wasn’t much of an issue as I just attached my USB webcam when required but itis certainly a strange omission (if you are serious about streaming your gaming there are many high-end webcams available for you to plug in if required).
The RGB backlit keyboard is the most comfortable keyboard I have ever used on a laptop — bar none. The keyboard is not a click but more of a soft push with a decent amount of travel making it for an extremely comfortable experience, whether gaming or just using it as a work laptop.
Above the keyboard are not just the usual function keys with dedicated gaming functions but a few extra buttons for even more dedicated gaming functions. You can easily mute your mic, turn the fan on or off, open the Armoury Crate (Asus software where all your gaming settings are located) and adjust the volume. The four usual gaming keys, WASD, are a white transparent colour, setting them apart from the other keys on the keyboard because, well, it is a gaming laptop.
The trackpad below the keyboard is massive and not only that is extremely responsive, but it is unlikely you will be using this much when gaming at home. When on the go though, you may not have room to plug in a mouse so the large, responsive trackpad will come in handy for some games.
The left-hand side of the laptop includes two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports along with an audio jack and a massive grill for the fan. Another grill for the fan sits by itself on the right-hand side of the laptop.
To plug in most things you will need access to the back of the laptop. This is where the massive power port is, along with a RJ45 LAN port, a third USB-A port, a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort and a full-sized HDMI 2.0b port. This was handy for my home setup as the hole in my desk for cables is located directly behind it.
For those who want to game without headphones there are dual 4W speakers with Asus’ Smart Amp technology and a built-in microphone with AI mic noise-cancelling. I would not be relying on these speakers to provide that deep surround sound experience, but they are ok, albeit a bit “tinny” but during games they certainly sound decent. Let’s face it, most of us use headphones while gaming so it’s not a huge issue.
Underneath the laptop are some more air vents along with the RGB strips to light up around the side/front of the laptop. Although the laptop has seemingly a lot of vents it did still get a bit warm while gaming, even with the fan at full speed (which was quite loud) — but that should be expected.
AMD promises all the performance with their new hardware and with the Radeon RX 6800M graphics chip they promise performance on a par with the RTX 3080. Although we didn’t have a laptop with an RTX 3080 to compare it to others believe that it is not up to scratch at high resolutions but competitive at FHD resolutions. The G15 we tested combines the RX 6800M with a 300Hz FHD display, hoping to take advantage of its capabilities — and it does.
The hardware list for the Strix G15 is good but not great. Inside is an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX partnered with a AMD Radeon RX 6800M GPU and the super-fast DDR4 RAM (just 16GB of it). Storage-wise it was a bit disappointing that 512GB used up extremely quickly with game installs. Of course, you probably won’t install this many games at once but more likely to install a few games at a time based on what you are playing that the moment. I did have 11 games installed — all for the sake of reviewing the laptop — but that left just 50GB or so free. You can install a second m.2 SSD yourself to expand your storage though if you prefer.
All of these specs combined made for a great experience with it not missing a beat with any of the games I threw at it. Of course, general work itself was a breeze with this fast hardware under the hood.
Although it is a laptop that can be used for anything, and I did, the main purpose of it is obviously gaming so let’s start there.
The ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition (from here on referred to as the G15) is a powerhouse of a gaming laptop with it performing extremely well on all benchmarks I threw at it. With the display set on its full resolution and each game at the highest resolution it supported, games were crazy good — although my performance on them didn’t improve.
The laptop’s 8GB DDR4-3200 performs well but you would expect its performance to improve with increased amounts of RAM. Luckily the laptop does support up to 32GB of RAM in its two SODIMM slots and if you are looking for that extra few FPS this is one way you could achieve it.
With what was in it though, games clocked at certainly decent levels — over 165Hz without any issue with some games, and that was while I also had a 4K monitor connected to the laptop as a second display. Without the display connected it worked great, as you would expect.
Battery life, while good when not gaming, was about average as you’d expect when gaming. I managed to get a bit over an hour of full gaming with the inbuilt software dropping display resolution to 60Hz when on battery power — which is about par for a gaming laptop. The laptop comes with possibly the biggest charging brick I have ever seen on a laptop and took about 90 minutes to charge the laptop to full from nearly empty.
The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10 Home and the hardware is Windows 11 ready. Microsoft has already said the update will be free, so when that launches later this year you’ll be ready to go.
The stock build of Windows includes a number of additional apps including the usual MS Office Trial, McAfee suite including Live Safe, Vaults and more. There are also many utilities for things like Dolby Atmos/Vision and more. Suffice to say, if you like a clean interface there are some apps you can certainly uninstall if you like a cleaner system — you will get a lot of McAfee reminders to upgrade when your free trial with the laptop is nearing an end, make the decision one way or the other early.
As you would expect from a gaming laptop there are some great gaming enhancements on the software level. All of their gaming enhancements are located in the Armoury Crate. The Armoury Crate includes the system stats such as CPU and GPU stats and quick config changes such as “Panel Overdrive”. It is here where you set the gaming RGB lights such as the keyboard backlight and other RGB lighting such as the under-device lighting.
You can also set profiles for various games so that when you open said game that profile is selected and changed to enhance your gaming experience — eg. racing, scenery, RTS/RPG, FPS, Cinema, Eyecare and Vivid along with a custom setting.
All games you install, no matter the game store you purchased from — Xbox, Steam, Epic Games, EA etc — will appear in the armoury crate as well giving you quick access to all games with a single glance. If it doesn’t automatically add them you can always just add them manually.
Battery and Power
The Strix G15 includes a 90WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion battery and is charged using possibly the biggest charging bricks I have ever seen on a laptop but given its 280W supply that is not entirely surprising. You can also charge the laptop using the USB-C port on the rear (up to 100W) which worked perfectly fine when connected to my USB-C LG monitor.
Although this is a gaming laptop, I did use the laptop mostly for general work stuff. When doing so I was able to get around 9-10 hours of battery life — but that was without the RGB lights underneath the laptop on.
Get going on the gaming with this laptop, turn on the bells and whistles but with the display refresh rate automatically dropped to 60Hz, battery life capped out at around 90 minutes before I got the warnings of extremely low battery.
The battery takes around 90 minutes to charge to full with fast charging for the first 30 of those. With the size of this charging brick, it is not something you want to be carrying around all the time if you aren’t expecting to be gaming on it — if you are though, with less than two hours of gaming in the battery you probably should take it with you.
Should you buy it?
High end gaming laptops will typically set you back aover$4,000 but this ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition will come in under $2,900 which considering what you are getting is amazing value.
It is more compact and portable than the bigger 17-inch gaming laptops while at the same time offering high end design and performance thanks to its AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU and AMD Radeon RX 6800M GPU. I was able to push all games attempted to their limit with it easily passing the 165Hz refresh rate when the game supported it. In an ideal scenario the laptop will support a full 300Hz refresh rate.
When not gaming the laptop was able to get over 9 hours of battery life, enough to last a day of work (assuming you are not going to add in some gaming during the day). The G15 though is distinctly a gaming machine though, which a single glance will tell you — the rest is just cream on top.
For more information and where to buy head on over to the ASUS website. Expect to pay around the $2,900 mark for it which is a great price for a compact, “easily portable,” gaming laptop with the chops to play all games.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 6800M
RAM: 16GB RAM
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1080pp), 300Hz
Storage: 512GB SSD
Ports: 1 x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (with DisplayPort 1.4), 3 x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x 3.5mm combo jack, 1 x RJ45 Ethernet
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth
Weight: 5.25lbs (2.38kg)
Size (W x D x H): 13.94 x 10.23 x 0.95 ins (354 x 259.9 x 24.2 mm)