Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 Review Summary:

Expert Rating: 4/5

Design

Audiovisual

Keyboard

Performance

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Pros

  • Distinct look
  • 15-inch 2K display
  • Great speakers
  • Acceptable port choice
  • Fairly tactile keyboard and touchpad
  • Impressive battery life with support for USB-C charging
  • FHD Webcam supplied

Cons

  • External Webcam is one more thing to carry around
  • Iffy fingerprint reader
  • Ghost touches on the trackpad

Last year, Zephyrus G14 (review) was one of the best gaming laptops you could buy and it had won the Smartprix People’s Choice Award for the same category. This year again, the brand is back with a refresh for its ROG Zephyrus G lineup in both 14-inch and 15-inch sizes. Although I could have had my hands on either of the models, I chose to go with the latter for a few good reasons. The Zephyrus G15 2021 has got a slightly more expansive WQHD display, a larger touchpad area, better cooling technology, a 90 WHr battery, and the latest AMD plus NVIDIA chip combination. So, the specs on paper are promising. What was left to see is how they fare in the real world. And if Asus has managed to pull it off again this time.

Let’s find out whether it has and if yes, should you spend your money on it in this Smartprix review of the Asus Zephyrus G15 2021.

Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 Unboxing

The Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 comes in a cardboard box. Unpack it and here’s everything you’ll find:

  • The laptop
  • Charger and Cord
  • External Webcam
  • Guide booklets

Also Read:

Contents


Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 2021 (GA503QM-HQ145TS) Specs and Price in India

Dimensions and Weight: 355 x 243.5 x 19.9mm; 1.9KG
Display: 15.6 inch QHD (2560×1440) IPS 165Hz, DCI-P3 100%, 300nits, 3ms response times, Pantone validated, Adaptive sync, 8-bit, 100% DCI-P3, Gamma Level: 2.2
Processor: 7nm AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS 3.3 GHz, up to 4.6 GHz, 8 Cores, 16 Threads, 16MB L3 Cache, 45W TDP
Graphics: iGPU: 512MB AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 Graphics; dGPU: 6GB GDDR6 Nvidia RTX 3060 (GA106M); 95W TGP; 1425 MHz Boost Clock, Resizable Bar
RAM: 16 GB (8+8, one of them soldered to the board) 3200 MHz DDR4 Dual Channel (Up to 48GB)
Storage: 1TB PCIe x4 M.2 NVMe SSD Slot (1 vacant slot)
Keyboard and Touchpad: TenKeyLess, Chiclet, 1.7mm travel distance, White Backlit, Power key with a fingerprint sensor; Large Glass Touchpad
Webcam: Not built-in; External Webcam supplied
Audio: up firing tweeter x2, down-firing woofer x4 with smart amp, 3D mic support 2-way AI Noise Cancelation, Dolby Atmos Hi-Res certification
Ports: 2 x Type-C support USB3.2 Gen 2 and DisplayPort™ 1.4 and Power Delivery 3.0, 2 x USB3.2 Gen2 Type A, 1 x MicroSD ( 312MB/s), 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x 3.5mm combo Audio jack, 1 x Kensington Lock, 1 x RJ45
Wireless connectivity: Dual-band Wifi 6 802.11AX + Bluetooth 5.0
Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Battery: 4-cell 90 WHr lithium-polymer; 200W AC Adapter
Security: TPM 1.38
Zephyrus G15 2021 Price in India: ₹145,990.00


Let’s begin the review with —

Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 Design

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Asus has followed the same design cues from last year’s G14 and G15 laptops and it’s only upon closer look, you’d notice certain differences. My evaluation unit is still a magnesium alloy chassis with a Sangmarmar stone-like white color. This is officially called Moonlight White and you can pick the laptop in Eclipse Gray hue too. There is a wear-resistant coating on top that does keep smudges at bay (although my unit has got scuffed by one of the deck corners). Even any stains that appear in the course of use can be easily wiped off. Speaking of which, I’m afraid the perforations on the lid might accumulate dust or dirt eventually. But until it does, this gives the laptop a dual-tone finish and very subtle rainbowy reflections from the underlying ‘Prismatic Film’. Yeah, Asus has ditched AniMe matrix LED for a simpler approach this time.

Besides an array of CNC holes, there’s just a lustrous ‘Republic of Gamers’ insignia here towards the bottom left corner. The other brand engraving is present on the flip side of the lid right beneath the 16:9 display. This aspect ratio isn’t up to date. But more on the screen later.

You can easily raise the lid with a single hand. The display can recline all the way back to 180-degrees. But it won’t just loosen up like that. The hinge is firm and endows the ErgoLift mechanism by which the bottom half of the clamshell sits in an ever so slightly elevated position. This benefits typing posture and leaves some breathing space beneath for the internal machinery.

Anyways, by the base, there are air-intake vents and speaker grilles. These two shall be discussed in detail soon.

Coming to the sides, there are air exhaust vents, a DCIN charging port, an HDMI 2.0b port, an RJ45 ethernet port, a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port, two USB-C ports 3.2 Gen 2 (with DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery 3.0 support), and a 3.5mm combo headphone jack. This is just what’s on the left side. By the right, there’s yet another USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port, a MicroSD ( 312MB/s) slot, one more air exhaust vent, and finally a Kensington Lock. That should suffice most use cases. The only notable omissions are the lack of Thunderbolt interface and the use of micro instead of full-size card slit.

But, I’d say for a mobile design like this, the Zephyrus G15 is well equipped for connectivity purposes. Even wirelessly, you get solutions like dual-band WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. Again, not bad.

O Hi, He-Man!

Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 Audiovisual

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As customary, I watched an unhealthy amount of content on this screen, cuz I am a sucker for pretty things and if I like what I see, the laptop wins big in my book. The 2K screen on the Zephyrus G15 2021 offers sharp and well-defined imagery. The 15.6-inch IPS panel presents good color reproduction with nice viewing angles. It scores 100% in DCI-P3 and sRGB coverage, 93.50% of AdobeRGB, and is Pantone certified for accuracy.

I had a good time soaking in the sweet candy-colored world of Masters of the Universe: Revelation (Netflix, 2021). But whilst watching the trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s crime caper No Sudden Move (2021, YouTube), I felt the contrasts weren’t enough. This was further affirmed during Kingdom: Ashin of the North’s (Netflix, 2021) pitch dark scenes wherein I couldn’t make out most things. It was quite reminiscent of the infamous The Long Night episode of GOT. I tried maxing the brightness slider (peak: 300nits, Gamma Level: 2.2) and toggling the Windows 10 HDR (psst, this has got only 8-bit depth) setting but of no use.

But, in everything else — Ted Lasso S02E01 (Apple TV+, 2021), Malik (Prime Video, 2021), and a lot of YouTube clips, I had no problem. It was mostly all a valuable viewing on the Zephyrus G15 display.

The WQHD resolution is matched by 165Hz refresh rate, 3ms response times, with Adaptive sync (both G and Free). So even gaming on it has been a dash of savory. We’ll get into FPS scores in the performance portion of this review.

Now, the pleasantries extend to the audio part too. The Zephyrus boi comes with two upward-firing tweeters on either side of the keyboard, and four downward-firing woofers (with smart amp). The result is noice (for a laptop, that is). Play around within the Dolby Access equalizer settings and you could experience something even better.

The speaker output is complemented by the 3.5mm jack and multi-mic system with 2-way AI Noise Cancelation. Again within the Armoury Crate, there are a bunch of toggles to enable various microphone modes and Noise Cancelation options.

But with all the three mics, the experience would have been spoiled if Asus hadn’t bundled a webcam, ’cause you see the laptop is devoid of any built-in camera. Gladly, the company ships the ROG Eye GC21 Webcam (otherwise priced at around ₹5,800) for free and the thing is way better than your average 720P cam. You just place it on the top and plug in the wire to the USB-A socket of the laptop. What you get is a 1080p 60fps stream with Face auto exposure and beamforming microphone. To-siā Asus!

Alas, you can’t still log in with your face for there is no IR support. The good thing however is the presence of an embedded fingerprint reader right within the Power Key. Although this also supports an intuitive cache feature that should log you in automatically with the boot, mostly I couldn’t get it to work. The blame is on my fingers though as often they tend to be moist.

Let’s now take a look at the rest of the deck:

Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 Keyboard

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Zephyrus G15 2021 lays out a tenkeyless chiclet keyboard with a very satisfactory 1.7mm stroke. Initially, I had some trouble getting used to this layout. But in a few days, I got a hang of it. Similar to its predecessor, the white backlighting on white is hardly visible in good lighting conditions. It comes of use as the ambient lux drops.

I also like the dedicated hotkeys for controlling volume, mic, and firing up Armoury Crate. I wish there were keys for media control as well. And while we are wishing, some of you might want a Print option too on the list of keys and the direction keys were a tad bigger in size.

What is bigger though is the glass touchpad which is convenient for gaming, creating, or for general productivity. In my use, I found the palm rejection wasn’t right. So, I would face ghost touches.

Well, that’s about it here.

Moving on…

Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 Performance

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Asus AMD marriage has been one of the great things to happen to the laptop land. Add Nvidia to that and you get the holy trinity. Asus has armed the 2021 Zephyrus G15 with a 7nm based AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU that runs at a base clock speed of 3.3 GHz. This can jump up to 4.6 GHz at peak requirements. Similarly, the 8 Core chipset leverage 16 threaded processes with support from up to 16MB L3 Cache and a max 45W TDP. In the Armoury Crate’s Manual profile, you can slide the thermal ceiling from 35W to 45W.

Similarly, you can dial up the graphics performance too within this Asus app. You can switch between iGPU (Radeon RX Vega 8) and the discrete RTX 3060 GPU thanks to Optimus. And if required, set it to iGPU only mode too. That’s not it. You can enable Panel Overdrive to reduce any ghosting issue if in case you face it.

So, as you see the Zephyrus G15 (2021) lets you micromanage a lot of aspects when it comes to performance. And if you don’t want to bother with any of those options, you can simply cycle between Silent (tamps down the fan noise) and Turbo mode depending on your power needs.

My review unit comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM (8+8, dual-channel, and 3200 MHz), but one of the RAM chips is soldered onto the board. So, you have got only one slot for bumping up memory. Even the default 1TB PCIe x4 M.2 NVME SSD storage can be increased thanks to a vacant slot.

All these big numbers mean the laptop blazes through almost everything you throw at it. And to ensure things don’t get toasty, Asus has used two 84-blade fans, coupled with 6 heat pipes, 0.15mm fins, and a liquid metal compound. There are 4 air outlets and 2 air inlets too.

Time for some tests and results —

Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 Benchmark (Plugged-in, Turbo Mode)Scores
3DMark Time Spy | Fire Strike Extreme | Ultra | Fire Strike7933 | 9131 | 4916 | 17577
Cinebench R23 Multi-cores | Single-core | MP Ratio12423 | 1457 | 8.53x
CrystalDiskMark Seq Read | Write Speed3597.90 | 1149.34 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark Random Read | Write Speed2224.36 | 1810.09 MB/s
Geekbench 5 Single-Core | Multi-core (CPU) 1453 | 7409
PCMark 10 (Modern Office)6807
Handbrake test (1GB WebM file to H.265 MKV 1080p30 conversion)22 min
Unigine Superposition14173
Blender bmw27 | classroom3m20s | 8m55s

As for gaming, here are some titles I ran on the Zephyrus G15 2021:

  • Control DX12 High | DX12 RTX High | DX12 RTX High DLSS: 78 FPS | 47 FPS | 74 FPS
  • Fortnite: 92.9 FPS
  • Metro 2033 Redux: 159 FPS
  • Valorant: 145 FPS
  • GTA V: 122 FPS
  • PES 2021: 206 FPS
  • Apex Legends Very High: 139 FPS
  • Watch Dogs 2 Ultra: 75 FPS

Coming to the software,

Zephyrus G15 ships with Windows 10 Home edition but is ready for the Windows 11 update.

Not just that, it runs Linux distros like Pop!_OS and the latest Ubuntu 21.04 just fine.

And finally, battery life. For a gaming laptop, the Zephyrus G15’s 10 hours score (on the PCMark 10 test) was nothing short of impressive. On an ordinary workday, I was getting around 9 hours. Then from the red line to full takes about 1Hr 40 mins only. The charging and charge-retainability of this machine make it one for the roads. And you don’t have to lug around the bulky charger. Instead, a smaller 100W Type-C charger would also get the job done.

With that, we are at the end. Time to see if the Asus Zephyrus G15 is worth it?

Review Verdict: Should You Buy Asus Zephyrus G15 2021?

Editor’s rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Yes, Asus has done it again. The Zephyrus G15 2021 is a heavy hitter when it comes to performance and battery efficiency. For the size and price it comes, it can easily run rings around its competition. And for good measure, there is an expandable option on both the storage and memory front. Even the rest of the offering like its beguiling looks, 2K expansive display, decent speakers, clicky keys, hotkeys, large touchpad, and the collection of ports makes it a great laptop, gaming, or otherwise.

Asus averts the ire of the customer and critics by including a good-quality FHD webcam in the box. The only quibble would be that it is one more thing to carry around. Now, if I were to nitpick, there are one or two other issues I had. But they don’t warrant enough weight to bring down the value at offer here.

There’s still some time till we come up with our best-of-year lists, but I am fairly sure Zephyrus G15 (GA503) could be part of the showdown for the best gaming laptop 2021. So, if you are waiting in the wings for one, you could check it out at leading e-commerce stores and the official Asus India website.

Reasons to buy

  • Powerful performance
  • Distinct look
  • 15-inch 2K display
  • Great speakers
  • Acceptable port choice
  • Fairly tactile keyboard and touchpad
  • Impressive battery life with support for USB-C charging
  • FHD Webcam supplied

Reasons to not buy

  • External Webcam is one more thing to carry around
  • Iffy fingerprint reader
  • Ghost touches on the trackpad

Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 FAQ

Q. Does Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 support G-Sync?

A. Yes, the Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 screen does support Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync (or Adaptive Sync).

Q. Does Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 support Nvidia Optimus?

A. Yes, Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 does feature Nvidia Advanced Optimus. The Auto iGPU mode within Armoury crate switches dynamically between Radeon and RTX 3060 depending on demand.

Q. Is Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 good for gaming?

A. Yes, it is one of the best laptops to buy. It comes with a 165Hz refresh rate, 3ms response times, Adaptive-Sync (for alleviating screen tearing issues), powerful hardware including RTX graphics, and an octa-core AMD CPU.

Q. Does Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 support Thunderbolt?

A. No, Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 doesn’t come with a Thunderbolt port. But, both the USB-C (3.2 Gen 2) ports support DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery 3.0.

Q. Can you charge the Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 using a USB-C cable?

A. Yes, the Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 does support USB-C charging thanks to Power Delivery 3.0.

Q. Does Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 feature a Webcam?

A. There is no built-in webcam but Asus is offering an FHD camera in the box. But due to lack of IR, there is no Windows Hello Face support here.

Q. Does Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 feature a fingerprint sensor or Windows Hello?

A. You get Windows Hello Fingerprint recognition with an auto Windows login facility.

Q. Is Asus Zephyrus G15 2021 upgradeable?

A. Yes, the laptop supports a max 48GB of DDR4-3200MHz Dual-channel RAM and also has an additional open slot for SSD storage. So, you could say it is rather future-proof.

Q. What are the hardware SKUs of Zephyrus G15 2021 available in India?

A. At the moment, Asus has Zephyrus G15 3060, Zephyrus G15 3070

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