ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition review: Powerful but in no way subtle
- Supremely powerful
- 300Hz display option
- Good port allocation
- Responsive keyboard
- Lacks webcam
- Fans can get noisy
- Battery life is predictably awful
Lots of gaming laptops try to be the masters of many crafts at once. That makes a lot of sense when you consider that they're also quite likely to be daily workhorse machines preparing more mundane tasks while they wait for their chance to unleash digital hell on hordes of unsuspecting space fiends.
That's not what the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition is. It's a gaming laptop, and it's not shy about letting you know that. It's a beautifully powerful gaming rig if that's what you need, although not one that's terribly portable or, for that matter, subtle.
Design: 300Hz display impresses, but you can't hide your gaming ambitions
ASUS really, seriously, wants you to remember 2 pertinent details about the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition.
Firstly, it wants you to realise that it's a gaming laptop, first and foremost. Secondly, it screams to the hills that it's powered by AMD's chips – that's the whole point of this being an "Advantage Edition" laptop, because that's AMD's particular marketing term for laptops that meet specific gaming criteria.
There are logos everywhere, some of which glow in that familiar RGB style. Speaking of RGB, there's also a glowing RGB bar around the front base of the laptop, as well as specifically clear WASD keys, because again that sells the concept of this being a gaming laptop.
What I'm basically saying here is that while you could use the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition to fill out a few Excel spreadsheets, everyone's going to think that you're actually playing an FPS instead.
In display terms, ASUS gives you a choice, with either a 300Hz/3ms display or 165Hz/3ms panel to pick from depending on your budget and need for that faster refresh rate.
Will 300Mhz be overkill for a lot of games? Without a doubt, but then in the world of gaming laptops, sometimes excess is the point.
Either way, what you don't get here is the option of a 4K display if that's important to you, with the 300Hz version as tested topping out at FHD resolution. If you need those extra pixels, opt for the WQHD 165Hz model, which is arguably the more sensible buy for most gamers.
The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition is a solid chunk of laptop, measuring 35.4 x 25.9 x 2.72cm with a carrying weight of 2.5kg. The base incorporates rubber feet with "For Those Who Dare" and "Back On Top" cut into them, because you're not meant to forget that this is a gaming laptop even when you're looking at the bottom of it.
The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition's keyboard response is solid for a gaming laptop, and while I can't imagine too many gamers will preferentially use the trackpad, it's also solidly built.
While the right-hand side of the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition does give you access to a pair of USB ports and headphone jack, the real peripheral action happens at the rear. That's where you'll find USB A and C type ports, full size HDMI, Ethernet and power sockets.
If your gaming ambitions extend to wanting to become a game streaming superstar, one limitation to bear in mind is the webcam on the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition.
It's not that it's badly placed, or low quality.
It's that it doesn't exist.
If you do want or need a webcam, you'll have to buy one separately and sacrifice a USB port to get it working.
The hinge of the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition includes a bright red section on the left with a prominent R logo on it. One of the more unusual parts of the design here is that it's a removable cap if you don't like the red accent, although leaving it exposed isn't going to be the best idea. It's certainly a different idea in design terms for a laptop that really, truly wants you to remember that it's a gaming laptop.
Performance: AMD brings the power
The generally accepted view for gaming laptops over the past few years has been that while AMD has offered good value options, if you wanted raw power, you went with an Intel/Nvidia combination for your needs.
The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition shows just how far and how well AMD has come in providing a true high-power alternative to that particular little duopoly. It's powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X CPU, 16GB of RAM and 12GB Radeon RX 6800M GPU.
To put the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition to the test, I first ran it through a standard suite of industry benchmarks, keen to see how it would compare against other high-end gaming systems.
That 3DMark figure shows precisely how competitive AMD's current systems can be when they're fine-tuned, as they are in the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition. It's not exactly a slouch in other benchmarks, either. You're still going to look like you're playing a game when you're checking your stocks or finishing that school assignment, but it's more than capable of handling more mundane tasks along the way.
From there, it was time to dive into some solid gaming action. Here, you're going to be constrained by the efficiency of the code in play and your game of choice over time.
To give some kind of comparative figure, I ran the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition through Forza Horizon 4's benchmark mode, noting the average frames per second rate. Forza Horizon 4 only looks for 60fps, but on some systems, such as the eGPU equipped ASUS ROG Flow X13, I've hit as high as 194fps.
The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition just outdid its smaller eGPU-equipped sibling, hitting a framerate of 205fps. In simplest terms, based on currently available games, you should be able to throw just about everything at the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition without notable framerate hiccups or concerns.
Combine that with the 300Hz display and you're in for some sweet gaming action – as long as you're happy enough in a Full HD world. Again, while the 300Mhz model is the one I've tested, most should look to the cheaper 165Hz model and its WQHD screen.
Battery: Hefty battery brick can't save you from power woes
It's very much a cliché that gaming laptops have terrible battery life, fed by the reality that pushing all those polygons requires a larger power commitment.
While we've seen some gaming laptops actively subvert this cliché, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition very comfortably sidles up to the cliché and offers to buy it a drink in our tests.
Using PCMark 10's gaming benchmark, a fairly brutal test, and comparing it against other gaming laptops shows the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition languishing towards the bottom of the stack. It does fare better with our video streaming test, but not to a level where you're going to want to spend any considerable amount of time away from a charger.
Sometimes, the clichés are there for a reason.
The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition leans further into gaming laptop cliché territory via its charging brick, which is hefty in the extreme. If you were looking to the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition as a portable machine, you'll need both extra space and muscle capacity to carry the charger with you.
Should you buy the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition?
- Buy it if you want a top-quality gaming laptop at an appealing price point.
- Don't buy it if you'd be embarrassed by lots of gamer bling.
The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition isn't a subtle machine. It wants you, and everyone around you, to know that you've got a powerful gaming rig at your fingertips.
If that's what you need out of a gaming laptop, it comes highly recommended. The price is sharp, performance is good and you can pick either a FPS-friendly 300Hz display or more wallet-and-pixel-friendly 165Hz option.
It's not flawless, however. The power brick truly does deserve the description of being a brick, and the lack of an integrated webcam is an odd one in an era where seemingly everyone wants to show off their gaming prowess online as easily as possible. It falls pretty deeply into the classic gaming laptop trap around battery life as well.
Pricing and availability
How we tested
The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition was tested over a 3-week period including benchmarking, physical appraisal, continuous battery testing and application testing.
Also, I played a lot of games on it, because that's very much the point of the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition.
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