Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Gaming drives technology, without a doubt. Starting off the year with a bang is a whole new slew of products dedicated to gaming from none other than Asus.
ROG Zephyrus G14
First up is what ROG claims to be world’s most powerful 14-inch gaming laptop to date, the Zephyrus G14.
Powered by the latest AMD Ryzen 4000 Series Mobile Processor, up to the Ryzen 7 4800HS to be specific, and up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, up to 32GB of DDR4-3200 RAM and NVMe PCIe SSDs up to 1TB, the Zephyrus G14 will pretty much be able to handle all your favourite e-sports with relative ease, and even pushing Ultra graphics on several of the latest AAA titles.
What’s amazing though? It is that you get all that performance in an overall small footprint. The G14 is made mostly out of aluminum, with a mix of magnesium-aluminium alloy at parts, making the notebook relatively light, yet strong. As the name suggests, it features a modern 14-inch IPS display which comes in several flavours, and the entire laptop comes in at 17.9mm thin and weighs just 1.6kg. (Weight might vary depending on the model.)
One interesting aspect to take note of on the G14 is actually the design of the lid…
If you’ve noticed, there are different ‘designs’ of the lid from the images shown so far. No, it’s not like the Strix Scar and Hero which feature different physical decals. In fact, what you’re seeing is an LED matrix display integrated right on the lid itself. That’s right, no kidding.
ROG calls it the AniMe Matrix display, which used a total of 1,215 mini LEDs, with each LED emitting a white glow, along with 256 levels of brightness control. You can import animated GIFs, build your own custom animation frame by frame, type text messages with different fonts or even visualize music audio levels.
ROG says more is to come in the future, along with implementation of system functions such as email notifications, date, time and battery level readout.
Another interesting design feature which ROG has borrowed internally, is the ErgoLift hinge. To note, it’s the first ROG to feature this design.
Basically, when you lift the lid, the bottom of the display lifts the rear end of the notebook, making more room of the vents located on the base to breath. This design, working in conjunction with the thermal management system which includes the same fan size featuring an asymmetric blade design used in the 15-inch models, translates to better thermal performance and noise levels.
Of course, we will personally try and test it out when we do get it, but so far? Sounds promising on paper.
Other things of note, is that the G14 does have the option for a 1440p display, albeit 60Hz, AMD FreeSync support, nifty features such as fingerprint unlock integrated with the power button, up to 65W USB-C charging and support for Wi-Fi 6.
All in all, we can’t wait to try it out when we get our hands on it here in Singapore, and it looks like the resurgence of the 13.3-inch/14-inch gaming laptops is on the way back! We’ll update once more, when we have details on local availability, pricing and configurations.
By the way, the white looks pretty nice, don’t you think?
ROG Zephyrus G15
If 14-inches is not your things, well, ROG also has the slightly bigger Zephyrus G15, a slim 15-inch gaming laptop. To get to the point in one sentence, the G15 is basically the successor to the previous Zephyrus G GA502.
Of course, you get a 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display that’s available in either 144Hz or 240Hz, both with support for AMD FreeSync, an AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS, up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, up to 32GB of DDR4-3200 RAM and up to 1TB of NVMe PCIe SSD storage.
Similar to the G14, the G15 is made up of mostly aluminium, and comes in at 19.9mm thin, while weighing just a tad above 2kg.
An interesting to note is that ROG has decided to forgo RGB for the keyboard this time around, despite the whole craze, and have went for simple white backlighting which they say will be less distracting in a crowd. In our opinion, it does make for a more minimalist design. The keyboard does also feature ROG Overstroke technology, which raises the actuation point for key switches, which enables faster input, yet retain a comfortable user experience.
Ports wise, you still get a good amount of ports, with plenty of USB 3.2, HDMI 2.0b, the trusty 3.5mm audio combo jack, and surprisingly enough, an RJ45 Ethernet. But if you’re always on the go, don’t fret, for the G15 does also support the latest Wi-Fi 6.
To sum up, it’s looking to be a pretty great laptop, and is certainly the bigger brother to the G14.
TUF Gaming A15 & A17
Apart from ROG, there’s also TUF. These here are the TUF Gaming A15 and TUF Gaming A17. Both are identical in every aspect, with the difference being the size of the display at 15.6-inches and 17.3-inches respectively.
Available in both the latest AMD Ryzen 4000 Series or 10th-Gen Intel processors, up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, up to 32GB of DDR4-3200 RAM and M.2 NVMe PCIe SSDs up to 1TB, the A15 and A17 offers well rounded performance in a military-grade chassis that should offer much higher durability. In fact, it is certified to meet MIL-STD-810H standards for vibration, short drops, and extreme temperatures and humidity.
Now that’s actually something to think about.
For the display, both models run a 1080p IPS panel with pretty slim bezels, that is capable of AMD FreeSync. The main difference being the refresh rate, up to 144Hz on the A15 and up to 120Hz on the A17.
Both variants will be available in two finishes, Fortress Gray and Bonfire Black.
Fortress Gray features a sandblasted metal lid with exposed concentric screws on the four corners while Bonfire Black is an assortment of multiple textures, such as trapezoidal cuts, brushes aluminium, a red band to separate and mix it up, offering a more aggressive look. Personally, we think it looks pretty great and give those who want a little bit of flair with their laptops a nice option to choose from.
A little bit of a nice touch is a couple of easy access to upgrade options. The entire bottom of the laptop uses standard Phillips screws while a special pop-open screw also helps separate the panel without the use of a prying tool.
Inside, you’ll have access to two SO-DIMM slots which can accommodate up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM whle a couple of M.2 slots also allows you to install more drives, increasing storage space even further.
Thus far, the TUF Gaming series is looking to be quite the well-rounded laptop that can provide the performance, while perhaps taking a little beating. But before we forget, there’s also two other variants, the TUF Gaming F15 and the TUF Gaming F17, of which the difference is the inclusion of a Wi-Fi 6 capable adapter.
If you’re looking to get ready for Wi-Fi 6, perhaps those would be a better option.
Strix GA15 & GT15
Even more hardcore into gaming? Perhaps a desktop is just what you need.
Here are the Strix GA15 and the Strix GT15, a couple of powerful but affordable pre-built gaming desktop that can power through most, if not all, AAA titles.
The chassis will fit a full size ATX motherboard but still remain quite compact and weighs in at roughly 10kg when loaded. A built-in carrying handle also makes it easier to transport around, and there’s also a fold-down headphone hook, for well, your headphones.
LAN parties, anyone?
The chassis also incorporates subtle design features to enhance airflow, providing better thermal management. Inside, the parts are separated into two main zones. The top which is where the motherboard which houses the CPU, along with the GPU and RAM, and the bottom which is where the PSU and storage are located, separated by a full-length PSU shroud.
To showcase the parts installed, there’s a full-sized EMI-shielded glass panel which allows the internal RGB lighting to show through. The front of the chassis also has a single RGB strip with a soft glow that gives an added flair. Everything is customizable through ROG Armoury Crate software.
Both the GA15 and the GT15 also offers fast charging and data transfer via a USB Type-C port located on the front I/O. A nice touch.
The GA15 will be available in various configurations, anywhere from the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X to a Ryzen 7 3800X for the CPU, up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super for GPU, up to 32GB of DDR4-3200 RAM and up to 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD along with a 1TB or 2TB HDD.
The GT15 on the other hand will be equipped with the latest 10th-gen Intel Core series CPUs. At the moment, a specific CPU has yet to be confirmed. We’ll update once more information is available.
But of course with it being a desktop, you can pretty much change, swap parts, upgrade as you go along, and that’s the beauty of it.
Strix GA35 & GT35
If you need even more performance, don’t worry, ROG has you covered.
This here is the Strix GA35 and Strix GT35, designed with e-sports as the focus, and versatility for much more. The systems are even more hardcore and beefier versions of the already very capable Strix GA15 and Strix GT15.
The main difference between the GA35 and GT35 compared to the GA15 and GT15 is the type of chassis. While GA15 and GT15 feature a more traditional ATX chassis, with the motherboard on the top, and the power supply unit (PSU) at the bottom, the GA35 and GT35 utilizes a side-by-side, dual chamber design, with the PSU located behind the motherboard.
In terms of design, the overall shape of the chassis is what ROG calls a Wind Shear design, featuring widened air vents which should help draw more air through the internal cooling system.
There’s even a header for an M.2 fan that will enable direct airflow over the top of the SSD, providing additional active cooling.
With such a design, not only are thermals much better managed, but acoustics are much better controlled as well, with ROG claiming noise levels of under 35 dB during an internal gaming test with Metro Exodus.
It also includes a built-in carrying handle, which should help with transporting the system to and fro from places. Especially handy for tournaments.
Of course when it comes to performance, the GA35 and GT35 has plenty of it.
The GA35 will be available in various CPU configurations, anywhere from an 8-core 16-thread AMD Ryzen 7 3700X to double that at 16-core 32-thread AMD Ryzen 7 3950X, running on the X570 chipset.
For the GPU, options start from an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB of VRAM, all the way to the RTX 2080 Ti with 11GB of VRAM.
You can also choose to outfit up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 RAM and up to 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD along with a 1TB of 2TB HDD. Of note is the space for an additional space for both the M.2 slot and 3.5″ bay, which further increases your storage options, with the 3.5″ bay being hot-swappable.
As for the GT35, it’ll come equipped with the latest 10th-gen Intel Core processors, though it’s not confirmed which specific chip at the moment. We’ll update once more information is available.
If you’ve been using ROG for awhile now, you might’ve heard of their Keystone technology. (It’s that orange/red chip on the carrying handle) It’s now back with its second revision, Keystone II, and the GA35 and GT35 are the first to implement it.
To refresh your mind, Keystone is an NFC-enabled key that can be docked in compatible devices to allow quick access to user customized settings that’s linked to ROG ID.
Keystone II can be configured to switch the system to a specific operating mode, launch an individual game or application, or unlock a hidden Shadow Drive for access to private files. All these, using the ROG Armoury Crate software, which also handles all that RGB.
But well, beyond gaming itself, the system looks set to be a promising solution for content creation, game streaming, compute and much more. And after all, it’s a desktop.
So it’s laptops and desktop galore at the start of the year with the Republic of Gamers (ROG) from Asus. The G14 is certainly the most interesting of the bunch, and the GA35 and GT35 are looking to be really powerful systems that can handle pretty much anything that you throw at it.
We’re looking forward to getting our hands on it, especially the G14, and when we do, we’re sure to review it. So in the meantime, relax in your chair, and keep on gaming. Till then!