This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!

JT JT 14 January
This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!

Well ASUS have done it. They’ve done what  everyone’s been asking for and made high end   Ryzen gaming laptops. Not only that, but there’s  also some nice improvements to the cooling,   let’s take a look and see  what they’ve got in 2021.

Strix Scar 15/17

Let’s start with the ASUS Strix Scar 15 and 17.  Traditionally an Intel only model in the past,   the Scar series is now available with up to AMD’s   8 core 16 thread Ryzen 9 5900HX  processor and Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!Screen options have also seen  an update,with both 1080p   360Hz or 1440p 165Hz, both with adaptive sync. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!It now uses an optical mechanical keyboard  with 1.9mm of travel distance and an 85%   larger touchpad than last gen, so some nice  changes that I look forward to testing out.

ASUS have also added liquid metal  to their AMD gaming laptop lineup.   Last year only Intel models  got the liquid metal treatment,   and this was because the AMD mobile processors  have more conductive components next to the die.   ASUS says this makes developing an automatic  process to apply the liquid metal challenging,   but they’ve got it done so now their  AMD gaming laptops get this benefit.

The last gen scar 15 didn’t offer Type-C charging,  but these new Ryzen based Scar laptops do,   and this is an area where  ASUS have really expanded,   all of their new gaming laptops can now be  charged with 1USB Type-C up to 100 watts. Sure, it’s not enough to get  full performance playing games,   but 100 watts is more than most  others and it let’s you have the   option of using a smaller power brick  when you don’t need full performance.

The Scar also now has a  larger 90Wh battery, or 36%   more capacity over the 66Wh  battery in the last gen Scar. ASUS are saying that the Scar can  run the AMD processor at 80 watts   sustained in a CPU only workload, or  at 54 watts when the GPU is active too,   so while gaming for instance, so we  should be in for some nice performance. It’s also got some user customization, you can  change out this back plate with different options.  This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!

Despite all of these changes, the Scar  gaming laptop is actually a little smaller   than the last gen model in terms of width and  depth, though it is slightly thicker instead.

Zephyrus Duo 15 SE

Next up is the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE, their top  end dual screen gaming laptop. Like the Scar,   last gen this was Intel only model, and  now it goes up to Nvidia RTX 3080 with AMD   Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, which does mean  that CPU overclocking should be possible. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!The main screen can either be 4K 120Hz,  or up to 1080p 300Hz with adaptive sync. I’m not going to go into too much depth  on the dual screen setup as I’ve already   reviewed the Duo 15. The new version  also has a Micro SD card slot on the side,   a nice little bonus for creators  that last year's model didn’t have.

TUF Dash F15

Next is the TUF Dash F15. This one’s  a bit different because it’s using   Intel’s new 11th gen H35 Tiger Lake processors. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!These quad core chips are meant to be  for thinner ultraportable gaming laptops,   and the Dash F15 is under 2cm thick. Despite quad  core processors, it’s probably going to do alright   in games.

The last time I compared 4 cores against  6 cores in games, the 6 core laptop didn’t do that   much better on average, This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!but it does of course  depend on the specific game and settings in use.

Now the Intel H35 processors have a 35W TDP,   and ASUS have said that this will be the  limit when both the CPU and GPU are active   at the same time. For a CPU only workload we’re  looking at 64 watts of sustained performance.

Visually it seems to have a similar design   aesthetic to the Zephyrus  series with a clean finish. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!It’s available with up to Nvidia RTX 3070  graphics, up to 240Hz 1080p screen with adaptive   sync, 76Wh battery, WiFi 6, two M.2 storage slots  and 16 gig of DDR4-3200 memory is soldered to the   board, but there is space on the motherboard  to install a stick for dual channel operation. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!While we’re looking at internals  as provided by ASUS, here are some   shots of the cooling solution as provided by ASUS. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!I/O on the left includes the power input,  gigabit ethernet, HDMI 2.0b output, USB 3.2   Gen1 Type-A port, Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port with  USB 4.0 support, DisplayPort 1.4a output, and you   can also use this port to charge the laptop with  100 watts, followed by a 3.5mm audio combo jack.This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021! The right has less I/O to keep cables  out of the way of your mouse hand,   just two more USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A  ports here and a Kensington lock. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!Available in either moonlight white or eclipse  gray, the TUF Dash F15 is an interesting laptop   that I look forward to testing.

TUF A15 Refresh - Improved cooling!

Continuing with the TUF series, the A15  and A17 have also got some nice updates.This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!   They’re available with up to Nvidia RTX 3070  graphics and AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor. The   90Wh battery is the default now, and the single  USB 2.0 Type-A port from last gen on the right has   been updated to 3.2 Gen 1. It now comes with WiFi  6 instead of 5, and there’s now a 240Hz screen   option, which I’d expect to have much better  response time than the options last generation.

From the information that I’ve been provided, it  sounds like there will be both a Ryzen 4000 and   Ryzen 5000 version of the A15 and A17, though  both will have the newer Nvidia RTX 3000 graphics.   I would assume the 4000 one would be cheaper,  but we’ll have to wait and see.

Now these sound   like some nice updates, but there’s more. There  was a concern around thermals last generation,   however improvements have been made here too. if we look at the heatsink for  the updated model This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!we can see   that there are now three shared heatpipes  between the CPU and GPU instead of two,   in addition to this top pipe continuing  over to the heatsink on the right. There’s also more air ventilation holes on  the bottom too. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!The picture isn’t the best,   but we can clearly see additional holes above  the intake fans on both the left and right. So it really sounds like there are  some nice improvements to the A15,   keep an eye out for when I compare  it against last year's model.

Zephyrus G14 Refresh

Now let’s move over to the Zephyrus  G14, which has also been refreshed. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!Again it’s now available with Zen 3,   up to the 8 core 16 thread Ryzen 9  5900HS with Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!The cooling also seems to have a small upgrade,   the old solution has two heatpipes  running directly between the CPU and GPU,   while the newer system appears to  have three in this same position.

The screen has also been updated. Last year the  14” screen was either 1080p 144Hz or 1440p 60Hz,   and this year both get a bump. Now  we get 1080p 144Hz or 1440p 120Hz,   and this is important because response time was  an area where the G14 had issues last generation,   so hopefully these new panel  options improve in that area.

Zephyrus G15 - New design

This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!The larger Zephyrus G15 has also been updated  significantly. It looks much more like a larger   version of the G14 now with a very similar  design aesthetic, whereas last generation   it was a fair bit different, and this  change makes it both smaller and lighter   compared to last generation while the  touchpad size actually increases by 20%. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!The new G15, once again, has been updated with  up to AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS and Nvidia RTX 3080,   however like the A15, the specs  indicate that there are also Ryzen   4000 configurations with new graphics,  so there’s a choice between Zen 2 and 3. This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!The G15 also receives a screen update,   and is available with up to a 1440p 165Hz panel  with 3ms response time, or 1080p 300Hz panel,   both with adaptive sync. The screen also goes the  full 180 degrees back now to help with sharing.

Like the TUF A15, it looks like we’ve got some  nice upgrades to the cooling solution too,This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021!   just check out the differences  in heatpipes between the old   G15 design and this photo of the new  one. The new one has far more pipes,   as well as exhausts on both sides while  the old one only exhausted from one side.

The battery size of both the G15 has  also increased up to 90Wh from 76,   so around 18% extra capacity. Again  like the other AMD laptops tested,   both the G14 and G15 support Type-C charging  up to 100 watts. Last gen it was 65 watts.  

Also like the other ASUS Ryzen gaming  laptops, liquid metal is now standard here. Another small change is the use of a  holographic film behind the cutouts   on the lid.This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021! Depending on the light angle  the lid will have a slight colour effect   instead of just nothing like with  the last gen G14 non lit version.

As for completely brand new gaming  laptops, ASUS also have the ROG Flow   X13.This Is Why ASUS Gaming Laptops Win CES 2021! A smaller 13” gaming laptop with up to  AMD’s top end Ryzen 9 5980HS processor in the   limited edition supernova edition. What makes  this one most interesting is ASUS have provided   a direct PCIe connection to attach Nvidia RTX  3080 graphics in a very portable eGPU setup. As there’s so much ro cover with this model, I’ve  actually dedicated a whole review to it if you want   all the juicy details.

Why ASUS were the best at CES 2021 for gaming laptops

Overall, I think ASUS have  done very well here, and are doing exactly what   people are asking for, which is high end Ryzen  gaming laptops. Pretty much everything I’ve   just covered uses the new Ryzen 5000 processors,  with the exception of the TUF Dash F15. Serious,   think about it. Even the top end dual screen Duo  15 is now Ryzen based with RTX 3080 graphics.

Other companies like MSI and Razer for  instance are sticking to Intel 10th gen   and just refreshing the graphics,  and maybe upgrading the screens. Cooling in ASUS laptops should also have some nice  improvements this generation. Not only are ASUS   now able to automate liquid metal application for  AMD laptops, as we saw, the TUF A15, Zephyrus G14   and Zephyrus G15 all have fairly significant  upgrades to the cooling. The A15 in particular   now has more air ventilation underneath,  and as the new G15 design copies the G14,   the back of the laptop lifts up when you’re using  it, allowing for more air to flow in underneath.

Another weak area in some models last generation  like the A15 and G14 were screen response time,   but it seems like there are more  panel options available now,   so hopefully those have better response times. Anyway while this all sounds, I still need to  get these in for testing to actually say for   sure what the differences are.

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