Asus ROG G15 2022 Review: A Solid Gaming Laptop for Less Than $1,000
Above-average performance and a nice design distinguish this model from the competition.
Lori GruninSenior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
ExpertisePhotography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
When thinking about buying a budget anything, the big question you need to ask is, "Where did they cut corners?"; followed by "Do I care which corners are lying on the floor?" A lot of models will cut memory down to 8GB; that's not a tradeoff you really want to make. Other common manufacturer concessions are the screen, build quality and RGB lighting (for gaming laptops). In the case of the Asus ROG Strix G15, the chosen slashes are on the screen and webcam. For the latter, you'd probably be better off buying a standalone over any Asus would have offered at this laptop's price, anyway. The screen's pretty meh, though.
Asus ROG Strix G15 (G513RC, 2022)
Price as reviewed
15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 144Hz IPS
3.2GHz AMD Ryzen 7 6800HS
4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
2 x USB-C (1 x DP 1.4, PD) , 2 x USB-A 3.2, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x audio combo
Realtek Gaming 2.5GbE Ethernet, MediaTek Wi-Fi 6E MT7922, Bluetooth 5.3
Microsoft Windows 11 Home 22H2
Those compromises allow Asus to barely squeeze the G15 under the $1,000 mark. Like many of its competitors, the line starts with a 512GB SSD and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 (a last-generation entry-level graphics chip), in addition to a solid AMD Ryzen 7 6800HS processor and 16GB RAM. It's not light at almost 5 pounds, but it's relatively thin.
If you do want to step up from this, it's a relatively big step -- up to around $1,200 for a better screen and more storage. Whether that's worth another $200 is between you and your budget gods.
I hesitate to call the screen bad because, in the most basic sense, it does the job. It's surprisingly bright (measured at 333 nits) and displays a picture. Somehow it's got around 1,600:1 contrast (as tested), despite generally appearing washed out.
But the color gamut is about 66% sRGB as tested, which is sad in 2023, and people have noticed if customer reviews are to be believed. In addition to having color uniformity issues, notably having a green cast on the left side, my evaluation unit had noticeable bleed from the edge lighting and visible brightness uniformity issues. (All measurements are performed using the most recent version of Portrait Display's Calman Ultimate software using a Calibrite Display Plus HL. Read more about our monitor testing methodology.) This is not a system to buy for your creativity-on-a-budget needs.
It specs as 144Hz refresh rate, but it doesn't seem to have a pixel refresh speed to match -- there's a lot of motion blur. Whether or not that's an issue for you depends on what games you like to play and how much you tend to notice. Of course, if you plan to connect an external monitor to the laptop, those problems may be moot, and the built-in screen should be fine for general productivity-type work.
The design is pretty nice, both aesthetically and functionally, and feels pretty well constructed despite having a lot of plastic. It uses a power brick -- no USB-C charging, but that's pretty typical for the money -- but the connector is in the back where it won't get in your way. Most of the connectors are on the back, with two USB-A on the left side: friendly for left-handers connecting a mouse or keyboard, but less great for righties.
There's per-key RGB lighting for the keyboard and underglow, and the keyboard isn't bad. You'd never mistake it for a mechanical and the keys are a little flat and slippery, but it otherwise feels OK, and has different keycaps specifically for WASD.
Asus squeezes as much performance out of the Ryzen CPU and RTX 3050 as it can; Asus usually does manage above-average performance with its gaming laptops. But you won't be able to play some AAA games, or some games well, because the 3050 is relatively low power and only has 4GB of VRAM (which can bottleneck operations that use it, such as retrieving textures). Still, it can be pretty nimble for fast but lightweight 2D games, like Hades and Fortnite.
And while it tested as having an above-average (for this class) seven-hour battery life, unplugged performance drops precipitously at those battery-saving settings: CPU performance dropped by almost half, which makes everything feel more sluggish.
The Asus ROG Strix G15's a pretty good choice if that's your budget cutoff, and definitely a better buy than cheaper models with lesser graphics and 8GB RAM. But if you're pickier you may not be able to get everything you want for that money.
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