The greatest Asus laptops are hidden among the company’s vast array of laptops, and deciding which one is right for you might be difficult.
That’s why, rather than you having to trawl through Asus’ huge laptop lineup, we’ve done it for you. We know which Asus laptops are the best since we’ve tested and reviewed a wide range of them.
1. Asus ZenBook 13 UX325EA
There’s something special about a ZenBook. They’re attractive, tend to be ultra-slim and light, and, thanks to Asus, have a digital ace up their sleeves. Intel’s new Tiger Lake CPUs are the secret sauce of the Asus ZenBook 13 UX325EA ($999 reviewed, $949 beginning).
Intel Tiger Lake chips, which are part of Intel’s new Evo project, offer more powerful performance, longer battery life, and the addition of Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6. You also get the ZenBook’s attractive yet robust chassis as an added benefit. The Asus ZenBook 13’s base model, which includes a 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB M.2 PCI 3.0 SSD, and Intel Iris Plus Graphics, costs $949.
The $999 model I evaluated included 1TB of storage and Intel Iris Xe graphics. Like most ZenBooks, the Asus ZenBook 13 is attractive. The ZenBook 13’s chassis is built entirely of Pine Gray aluminum alloy. Except for the gleaming chrome Asus logo in the center-left lot, there isn’t much sparkle.
Once you’ve gotten your eye there, pay attention to the concentric rings that cascade out over the lid. It doesn’t accumulate as many fingerprints as its convertible sister, the Asus ZenBook Flip S, but it still gets plenty.
The interior of the laptop is more of the lovely Pine Gray without the Asus concentric circles. Instead, you get a matte, cool-to-the-touch surface. A slightly raised palm rest on the lower portion of the deck houses an incredibly massive touchpad.
The palm rest is replaced by a recess that houses the full-size keyboard. When you open the laptop, you’ll see Asus’ ErgoLift hinge, which lifts the keyboard by three degrees to make typing more comfortable.
Asus is gradually reducing the display bezels, which now measure 0.16 inches on the sides and 0.24 and 0.43 inches on the top and bottom, respectively. It’s a start, but now that the Dell XPS 13’s InfinityEdge bezels have been stretched to all four sides, Asus’ NanoEdge bezels are insufficient.
The ZenBook 13 is a serious lightweight system, weighing 2.5 pounds and measuring 11.9 x 8 x 0.5 inches. At 2.7 pounds, the Acer Swift 3 (12.7 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches) is slightly heavier. The unlikely heavyweights in this review are the HP Envy Wood Edition 2020 (2.8 pounds, 12.1 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches) and the MacBook Air (2.8 pounds, 11.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches).
But the ZenBook 13 isn’t just a lovely face; it’s also a tough laptop. MIL-STD 810G certification means the thin clamshell can survive high temperatures, drops, shocks, vibrations, and altitudes. The ZenBook 13 offers a number of convenient ports and slots.
On the right, there’s a microSD card slot and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A connection. The ZenBook 13 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left and a complete HDMI 2.0 port on the right, making it one of the first laptops to support the new charging standard. However, the headset jack is noticeably absent, potentially ushering in a contentious trend of headphone ports disappearing.
When watching movies on the ZenBook 13, the display provides a vivid experience with crisp detail. I noticed the knit pattern on actress Zazie Beetz’s rose-pink sweater when I viewed the Still Here teaser on the ZenBook 13’s 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel matte display.
As the sun cascaded down her dark brown hair, the light glinted off her enormous, slender gold hoop earrings. Bottom-mounted speakers have never convinced me, and the ZenBook 13 hasn’t changed my mind. My living room was hardly filled by the Harman/Kardon speakers, and the vocals on Janelle Monae’s “Can’t Live Without Your Love” sounded distant and hollow.
The horns and strings didn’t help matters; in fact, the entire production sounded drowned. And when I went to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Captain Hook,” the bass lacked punch, and the triangle and other percussions took a backseat while Meg’s lines were forward-facing.
The keyboard on the ZenBook 13 is springy and comfortable. The broad, somewhat concave keys and their reasonable spacing provided plenty of room for my fingers. On the 10fastfingers typing test, I surpassed my 70 word-per-minute average, reaching 74 wpm.
In my gloomy living room, the LED illumination is nice and bright, making it simple to read the letters. Better still, you can dim or adjust the backlighting. This touchpad is massive. The glass surface of the ZenBook 13 is 5.1 x 2.6 inches and serves as a typical touchpad. As a result, I had no trouble using the standard multitouch Windows 10 gestures like pinch-zoom, two-finger scrolling, and three-finger taps.
However, if you need to crunch a lot of numbers for whatever reason, the touchpad can be turned into a calculator by pressing an icon. The NumberPad 2.0 technology from Asus transforms the touchpad into a calculator by tapping the icon in the top-right corner.
The LED-illuminated device features a full number pad with mathematical symbols. There are two brightness settings in the lighting, which may be changed with an icon in the top-left corner. The calculator can also be launched by swiping left from that icon.
We scarcely knew you, Ice and Comet Lake. However, while the sun sets on Intel’s previous-generation chips, it rises on the company’s newest: Tiger Lake. Tiger Lake is Intel’s third 10-nanometer processor, and it’s based on the new Willow Lake architecture, which aims to enhance power efficiency and performance.
Intel has successfully launched greater clock rates using its new SuperFin process, which Intel claims will result in 20% improved performance. With the ZenBook’s 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-1165G7 quad-core processor and 16GB of RAM, I launched 30 tabs of Google Chrome for the real-world test.
Some tabs displayed YouTube videos, while others displayed Twitch feeds, TweetDeck, other GSuite programs, and miscellaneous news sites. There were no indicators of sluggishness on the laptop.
The laptop performed admirably in our synthetic benchmarks, scoring 5,084 on the Geekbench 5 overall performance test, well above the 4,030 average for premium laptops. With a score of 4,862, the Swift 3 came closest to matching the ZenBook 13 with its AMD Ryzen 7 4700U CPU. The Envy (Core i7-1065G7 CPU) and MacBook Air (Core i5-1030NG7 CPU) each scored 3,487 points.
The ZenBook 13 transcoded a 4K film to 1080p in 17 minutes and 51 seconds, faster than the category average of 18:47 and faster than the MacBook Air (27:10) and Envy 15 (27:20). (24:56). The Asus, on the other hand, couldn’t keep up with the Swift 3, which finished in 11 minutes.
The ZenBook 13 scored 742 on the Puget Photoshop benchmark, which cycles through 21 distinct Photoshop jobs three times per test. This put it ahead of the 598 average. The MacBook Air had a score of 459, while the Swift 3 received a score of 549.1.
After duplicating 25GB of multimedia files, the ZenBook 13’s 1TB M.2 PCI 3.0 SSD exhibited a transfer rate of 583.6 megabytes per second in our File Transfer test. The result is only enough to beat the category average of 571.1 MBps and the Swift 3’s 406.8 MBps.
There’s a new processor in town, as well as a new GPU that’s built We’re getting a new integrated graphics chip, Intel Iris Xe, with the launch of 11th Gen CPUs. Intel claims that this new component would double the gaming performance of the previous generation CPU, allowing players to play more games at 1080p.
2. The Asus ROG Strix Scar III
With the ROG Strix Scar III, Asus returns for Part 3, and the new model is just as badass as its predecessor. For $1,799, you get a powerful RTX 2060 GPU, a smooth 15.6-inch 240-Hz panel, a comfortable keyboard, and a nice ROG Keystone.
The chassis, on the other hand, is a tad thick, and there’s no webcam to be found. But decent battery life and a pair of solid speakers complete out the Strix Scar III’s features, making it one of the best gaming laptops available. The $1,799 Strix Scar III I examined had an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. You can upgrade to the RTX 2070 variant for $2,299 if you want a little more oomph.
If you’re looking for a less expensive model, the Strix Scar III is currently $1,238 on Amazon. That is, unless you get the 17-inch model, which drops with a GTX 1660 Ti GPU and a 512GB PCIe SSD combined with a 1TB HDD.
The gray hood of the Strix Scar III features a faux-aluminum design that has been brushed such that the lines meet around the center, with half of the hood brushed diagonally and the other half sporting a vertical gradient. The lid features an RGB-lit ROG logo, with an off-center cutout displaying the deck underneath. The hinge protrudes more outward, with a pair of copper vents encircling the new ports.
While the Strix Scar III has a good number of ports, it lacks a Mini DisplayPort, making VR setup a little more complex. Three USB 3.1 Type-A ports and a headphone jack are located on the left side of the system, while the power jack, a USB Type-C DisplayPort 1.4 port, an HDMI 2.0B port, and an RJ45 port are located on the backside.
The ROG Keystone, which is a magnetic, encrypted key that contains information such as unique lighting effects for the laptop, is located on the right side. It can also unlock a piece of storage on your hard drive that has been locked.
To use this “Shadow Drive,” you must first create an Asus account. The 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 display on the Strix Scar III is bright and vibrant, but it also offers a smooth 240-Hz refresh rate and a 3-millisecond reaction time.
The titular character summoned a ball that blazed a blazing red on the Strix Scar III’s display in the Morbius trailer. I could see the shape and most of the details of the black walls of the cave where Morbius wrangled a swarm of bats.
Adria Arjona’s facial pores were visible because to the panel’s sharpness. As I explored the dirt roads of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the brown feathers sprouting from Eltariel’s shoulder pads were bold and crisp. I entered a dimly lighted dungeon and discovered my victim, a rat; I pursued it up some steps, nailed it with an arrow, and gazed at its corpse on the steps (evil laugh).
I could see the details in the mossy stone steps despite the lack of light. The Strix Scar III covered 110 percent of the sRGB color gamut, topping the mainstream gaming laptop average of 109 percent, according to our colorimeter. However, it couldn’t beat the 114 percent of the Dell G7 15 or the 152 percent of the Zephyrus M.
The Strix Scar III isn’t particularly bright at 275 nits, but it’s near to the category average (278 nits). It is, however, somewhat less bright than the Dell G7 15 (303 nits) and the Zephyrus M. (280 nits). The Strix Scar III’s keys were smooth and had enough bounce to provide a pleasing sensation with each click. The carbon-fiber palm rest made it extremely comfortable to use when typing or gaming.
On the 10FastFingers.com typing test, I clocked in at 81 words per minute, much above my 70-wpm average. The key travel felt enough, but it was the amount of force required to depress the keys that made typing on them so enjoyable.
The keys are individually RGB-lit, and the lighting can be customized in the Armoury Crate app’s Aura Sync page. Presets such as Rainbow and Breathing are available, but if you want to go all out with the lighting, you’ll need to download Aura Creator from the Microsoft Store.
However, because Aura Creator functioned more like video-editing software, customizing the lighting with that program proved to be unnecessarily difficult.
The 4.1 x 2.8-inch touchpad is velvety, has two independent clickers, and can also be used as a digital numpad, so it’s quite nice. Thanks to its Windows precision drivers, this pad also responds well to Windows 10 motions like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing.
On either side of the Strix Scar III are speakers. This machine isn’t quite top-firing, but it’s also not bottom-firing, and the audio quality was good.
Low Roar’s “I’ll Keep Coming” began with bassy instruments that were a little low, yet consistent. The lead vocals sounded full and clear, as did the supporting vocals. However, some of the percussion in the middle of the song lacked punch. However, as the song progressed, I was able to discern each instrument I heard when they all joined together.
In Shadow of War, I slashed an orc’s spine with a sword, and the sharp stabbing sound followed by the snapping of his bones was quite satisfying.
When I battered orcs with my character’s pole arm or hammer, the speakers offered enough bass to give Celebrimbor’s magical skills the oomph they deserved. When Eltariel growled or yelled as I spun in circles around a group of caragors, her voice sounded crisp.
The Sonic Studio III audio program from Asus has presets for music, movies, gaming, and communication. For both music and gaming, music sounded best.
Smart Volume, Voice Clarity, Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Reverb, and Upmix/Surround all have changeable parameters in the presets. You may also assign different presets to different apps so that you don’t have to adjust your audio settings while switching between music, gaming, and movies.
3. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
For years, gamers have wished for a gaming computer like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. It packs a lot of power into its small 14-inch chassis, thanks to the latest AMD Ryzen 9-4900HS processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU. It also comes at a fair price, starting at $1,049 ($1,449 for the model we tested). It’s not just one of the greatest gaming laptops on the market.
The Zephyrus G14 has a reputation for being nearly too good to be true: More than 11 hours of battery life, incredible gaming and VR performance, thermal management that never gets hot to the touch, and a design that will please gamers while also looking professional. All of this, plus some unique customisation options.
But this isn’t a dream. This is an outstanding gaming laptop, as you’ll see in our Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review, that’s portable enough to go everywhere and powerful enough to play anything.
It also has some of the best battery life of any laptop on the market, without sacrificing design or functionality, making it one of the best Windows laptops available.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a 14-inch gaming laptop with plenty of power at a lower price than you may expect from a gaming laptop. The Zephyrus G14, which starts at $1,049 and goes up to $1,999, packs a lot of punch into its small chassis. However, Best Buy is currently offering a discount on the G14, bringing the price down to $849 for the base model configuration.
Our review unit offers for $1,449 and is arguably the best combination of power and value for the Zephyrus G14 we’ve encountered. It’s a powerhouse with an AMD Ryzen 9-4900HS processor, 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of VRAM that can handle most gaming needs. It’s also suited for both gaming and productivity, with a 1TB SSD and a 1080p 120Hz display.
The Zephyrus G14’s base model costs $1,049 and comes with a Ryzen 9-4900HS CPU and Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU. You’ll still get a competent gaming computer with the RAM and storage space cut in half (8GB and 512GB SSD standard, respectively) but without the prowess given by stronger setups.
The $1,999 configuration appears at the top of the menu. It contains the same Ryzen 9-4900HS CPU, RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU, RAM, and storage as our review unit, but it sports a 1440p, 60Hz display panel.
It also has some intriguing features, such as the AniMe Matrix display, which is a small LED RGB array on the lid. The Zephyrus G14 is a tiny marvel in terms of design.
It is very thin and light in comparison to other gaming laptops, putting more gaming power into its 14-inch chassis than any comparable Ultrabook from the previous few years.
The compact Zephyrus G14 measures 12.8 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches and weighs only 3.5 pounds, making it the smallest and lightest gaming laptop on the market. The computer’s slim body is made of rigid magnesium and aluminum, with rigid magnesium and aluminum utilized for the chassis, deck, and lid. However, a couple of functions have been removed from the compact design in order to reduce weight and size.
The lack of a webcam is particularly notable. While the display’s small bezels don’t allow for much room for a camera above the screen, there is no webcam below it or on the laptop deck. You’ll need a different camera if you wish to video chat or stream yourself playing on Twitch.
There are many ventilation grilles around the outside edge of the chassis, which are an essential aspect of any high-performance laptop with heat-generating components within. The grilles have an angular aspect and a triangular three-dimensional design, and the design features a fashionable flourish along the back hinge edge.
The attractive design also puts an unexpected twist to a section of the laptop that is typically overlooked: the lid. The lid’s smooth, flat surface looks to be adorned with a pattern of dots that spans half of the lid’s surface. These dots are actually small holes, as closer scrutiny reveals.
As a result, the laptop has a unique look that is surprisingly understated for a gaming laptop. But don’t worry, RGB aficionados: Asus still has blinkenlights. While our review unit simply had the hole/dot texture across the lid, Asus now offers the Zephyrus G14 with an array of micro LED lights – called the AniMe Matrix display – that illuminate each pinprick hole with RGB deliciousness.
You can then make an animated marquee out of those dots, which you can further customize with text and pictures.
A variety of useful ports can be found on the laptop’s sides. Two USB 3.0 ports and a USB Type-C port are on the right. If you’re afraid about someone walking away with your soon-to-be portable gaming machine, a Kensington lock slot allows you to physically protect the laptop.
A 14-inch 1080p 120Hz display was included in our review unit. While I would have preferred a higher resolution panel, Asus only offers its 1440p WQHD resolution with a lower 60Hz refresh rate, which I prefer above marginal resolution increases.
4. Asus ROG Flow X13
The Asus ROG Flow X13 ($1,499 as reviewed) is one of the thinnest and lightest gaming laptops we’ve encountered, which is notable given their reputation for being bulky, heavy machines.
They’ve started to slim down in recent years, thanks to technological advances: laptops like the Razer Blade 14 and the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 are wonderful examples of laptops that manage to give real gaming power in a thin and light chassis — and now they’re up against competition.
The Flow X13, on the other hand, is more than an ultraportable gaming laptop. It’s a powerful 13-inch 2-in-1 that can also be used as a tablet, and its RTX 3050 Ti GPU and Ryzen 9 CPU provide adequate gaming power for its size.
The optional XG Mobile external graphics card (which was not included with my review unit) has a beefier Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU, allowing customers who choose that model more graphical power.
The Flow X13 is a good gaming laptop even without the eGPU, and it’s lighter and slimmer than others. It’s a tad underpowered, and it eats through batteries like other gaming laptops, but if portability is vital to you, this could be one of the greatest gaming laptops available.
The Flow X13 is one of the smallest and lightest gaming laptops available, measuring 11.8 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches and weighing 2.9 pounds. It is smaller and lighter than the Zephyrus G14 in terms of size and weight. The Flow X13 may be tossed into your backpack and virtually forgotten about.
The ROG line is known for its simple, all-black design. It has textured diagonal lines on the lid and bottom, as well as a ROG nameplate on the bottom corner. The palm rests include diagonal lines that are similar, albeit thinner. The textured lines aren’t just for show; they also help with grip.
Despite being composed of magnesium alloy, the laptop has a plasticky feel about it. The keyboard has a small bit of give that isn’t evident in the palm rests. This isn’t a significant flaw, but you’ll notice it during your first few hours with the device. Despite this, the laptop appears to be well-made.
If you’re right-handed, the port placement isn’t optimal. The ports on the right side are roughly halfway down the device to accommodate the vents; when using an external mouse, I constantly touched the side of the USB-C wire. This is a minor irritation when perusing the web, but it may be extremely frustrating when playing a game. This problem may have been remedied if there had been another USB-C port on the left side.
When using the spacious keyboard, which is equivalent in size to those found in 15-inch laptops, your fingers won’t feel cramped. Key spacing is generous, giving you enough of room to move around, and keystrokes are crisp. I spent the most of this review on the Flow X13, and it was a fantastic experience. The illumination of the keys may be adjusted to three different brightness levels.
There are no RGB illumination choices, unlike the Zephyrus G14. I’m not a big fan of RGB lighting, so I didn’t think this was a big deal, but I understand why some people might be.
The Flow X13 has a glossy 13.4-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 and a refresh rate of 120Hz. The 16:10 aspect ratio of the display (which we’re seeing more and more in modern laptops) provides you greater verticality. Bezels around the screen are thin on the sides but thicker at the top and bottom.
The display delivers an average brightness of 289 nits in our lab testing, though it reaches the full 300 nits around the center of the screen as advertised by Asus.
That’ll suffice in most cases, though you’ll notice yourself reflected in dark areas of the screen even if you’re playing in a dimly light location. Using the device in a bright room or in full sunshine, on the other hand, makes it nearly hard to see what’s going on.
We found that the Asus ROG Flow X13’s screen reaches 113 percent of the sRGB color spectrum and 80 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut when we used our colorimeter on it (the closer to 100 percent , the better). Simply put, whether you’re gazing at the neon glare of Cyberpunk 2077’s streets or the earthy tones of Dirt 5’s mud-covered tracks, colors look good and are quite properly represented.
My review unit came with a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU, 16 GB of RAM, and a 1TB NVME PCIe Gen 3 SSD. Even though it’s impressive, don’t expect to play games at anything higher than medium settings if you want to get half-decent framerates.
By plugging the laptop in, you can get a few extra frames out of certain games, but don’t expect to be blown away. The Asus ROG Flow X13 performs poorly when compared to the Razer Blade 14 and Alienware m15 R4.
I put our review unit through its paces by playing Doom Eternal, Dirt 5, and Cyberpunk 2077 at the Nvidia GeForce Experience-recommended settings for each game. When I was playing Doom Eternal, I got the best framerates, which were in the mid-fifties.
This isn’t surprising given how well the game is optimized; the now-infamous Cyberpunk 2077, for example, consistently delivered 30 FPS in both open-world and indoor locations.
When we tested its integrated graphics benchmarking tool in our lab, the Flow X13 failed to run Dirt 5 at a reasonable framerate: it lingered around 30 frames per second, and in my hands-on testing, I routinely saw framerates in the low 20s. Such low frame rates are unacceptable for a racer.