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ASUS ROG laptops are amongst the most popular on the market and, well, with good reason: they’re designed to deliver exceptional performance no matter the title and are, for the most, reasonably priced, too.
They’re not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but are nonetheless quite competitive MSRP-wise when compared to their direct competition.
Are they any good, though? Are they really worth the asking price or should you, instead, go with a Lenovo LEGION, HP OMEN, or a Razer Blade (amongst others)? That’s a very interesting question, especially given the overall state of the market.
So many OEMs are vying for your hard-earned money and, frankly, a good number of them should, for one reason or another, be avoided. Laptop manufacturers often tend to cut corners so as to lower the price of their laptops which, invariably, leads to a fairly poor user experience.
We’re talking TN panels with horrendous viewing angles, sub-70% sRGB coverage, 250 nits of maximum brightness, flimsy hinges, plastic shells, dreadful quality control issues, subpar cooling solutions, and so on and so forth.
Things have improved over the last year or two, but you should still read and watch as many reviews as possible before making any kind of purchasing decision — lest you end up with a gaming laptop that will severely disappoint.
To ASUS’ credit, all of its laptop that fall under the ROG umbrella (Republic of Gamers) are well-built, appropriately cooled (given their internals), have above average speakers, some of the best keyboards on the market, ample I/O, and, perhaps surprisingly, color accurate screens that range between 350 and 500 nits of maximum brightness.
That’s about as good as one can expect from a gaming laptop.
ASUS ROG Laptops — Are They Worth It?
ASUS’ ROG gaming laptops are, for the most part, a cut above the competition. They’re not better in every conceivable way, but — depending on the model — they cut the least number of corners and, even when they do omit a feature, it’s done in relatively good taste and with a higher goal in mind.
Most of them feature a chassis made out of magnesium which, while not as premium as what Razer offers with its Blades, is still a phenomenal, sturdy material that will stand the test of time. Their keyboards have been praised by both users and media outlets alike, and much of the same can be said for their screens as well.
This obviously varies from one model to the next, but ASUS seems to be well aware that, for a stellar gaming experience, one needs a bright, color accurate display with acceptable response times.
They did have a few duds here and there, but for the most part, their newer models have been absolutely phenomenal, especially for the asking price. ROG laptops are by no means budget friendly, but they are appropriately priced and, in some cases, are a much better investment when compared to anything that Razer or Alienware have to offer.
ASUS ROG Laptops — Pushing the Boundaries
If there’s one thing one has to applaud ASUS for, it is their willingness to think outside the proverbial box and push the boundaries whenever possible. They’re not the kind to reinvent the wheel, but they have shipped some mighty impressive and quite original products over the last couple of years.
They’re the only company that has a truly capable gaming tablet (ROG Flow Z13), alongside the most powerful 13” gaming 2-in-1 (ROG Flow X13). ASUS is also about to release the ROG Ally as well which is essentially a souped-up Steam Deck with the latest and greatest APU from AMD. They’re not resting on their laurels, they’re not recycling the exact same chassis design for years on end (unlike the vast majority of their competitors), and they often tend to innovate and iterate at just the right moment.
Heck, they’ve even engineered the XG Mobile, a much more powerful (and more expensive) alternative to “traditional” Thunderbolt eGPUs. This incredible device is not only smaller than any eGPU enclosure of the past, but is also a lot more potent because of its higher bandwidth (63 Gbps, eight PCIe lanes instead of four).
No other company does this.
ASUS ROG — Portfolio Breakdown
ROG laptops are neatly segmented into three different categories: Flow, Zephyrus, and Strix.
- ROG Flow — These are some of the most versatile gaming laptops (and tablets) on the market. They’re either small (13”) or large (16”), but they share the same DNA: stellar looks paired with jaw-dropping performance. This list includes the Flow X13 (2-in-1 convertible), Z13 (gaming tablet à la Microsoft’s Surface Pro), and the Flow X16 which is essentially a souped-up X13 with a much more impressive spec sheet.
- ROG Zephyrus — Zephyrus models are the quintessential gaming laptops. Clamshell designs, top-notch inputs, ample I/O, and a tremendous amount of power. They range from 14″ all the way up to 17.3″ and come in various different flavors, with the Zephyrus Duo line being the most awe-inspiring in regards to functionality.
- ROG Strix — Strix laptops are either relatively affordable or, conversely, incredibly expensive. They’re imbued with a metric ton of RGB and adhere to a certain kind of aesthetic which you’ll either immediately fall in love with or, alternatively, despite with all your being. These are all big laptops and they favor performance over portability and build quality.
No OEM Is Perfect
Despite all of ASUS’ strengths — which are plentiful, by the way — they’re not perfect. They, too, have quality control issues, even on their most expensive ROG gaming laptops. Their RMA procedures vary from acceptable to downright awful. Their customer support, too, is hit or miss.
They’re not an exception, for better or worse. All OEMs have these issues. When laptops are manufactured by the dozen, it’s hard to keep track of things and ensure a consistent level of quality control across such a wide portfolio of products.
No company is perfect in this regard. That’s why you should always buy your laptop of choice — be it an ROG one or not — from a reputable source like Best Buy or Amazon. These retailers have incredible return policies that will provide you with actual coverage and peace of mind — should something happen to go awry.
That way, if your brand new laptop happens to arrive and its trackpad is rattling or, say, there’s a lot of backlight bleed, you’ll be able to return it and get your money back straight away — this is obviously a lot better and more consumer-friendly than having to go through a drawn-out RMA procedure.
ASUS has also gotten a lot of flack recently and, well, with good reason.
That being said, each OEM has many different teams under its umbrella. They’re all essentially siloed from one another, hence the differing results, successes, problems, and so on.
Are ASUS ROG Laptops Worth It? — Conclusion
You can’t go wrong with ASUS, and that is especially true with their ROG line of laptops. We’re talking about some of the finest, most capable, most popular gaming laptops on the market.
Now, they’re not perfect. Some of them leave a bit to be desired in regards to build quality, others have certain QC issues, others still run way too hot despite utilizing liquid metal. You get the point. But there’s nothing overly glaring or dramatic to point out, no tremendous weakness to lambast and criticize — ASUS has a stellar track record overall, one that is defined by innovation and a surprising attention to detail.
That doesn’t always result in noteworthy laptops, but they have distanced themselves from the pack for their willingness to think outside the box. Their laptops are also well-priced (in most cases, at least), so some of those aforementioned flaws and drawbacks can definitely be forgiven.
And so, to answer the opening question: are ASUS ROG laptops worth it? Without a shadow of a doubt.