ASUS ROG Zephyrus G GA502DU Review
A few months ago, ASUS launched its full ROG lineup for 2019 including the new Zephyrus series, one of them is the Zephyrus G GA502DU. It’s a slim gaming beast for those who want to game on-the-go. I took it for a full spin to find out if this 1660Ti-powered device is worth the money. Check out the full review below.
Design and Construction
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G GA502 is the company’s most affordable Zephyrus variant to date but still sports the same aluminum body with a brushed matte finish. You’ll also see the iconic Republic of Gamers logo on the right which glows red when you boot up the laptop. Its design follows other ROG devices, so there’s nothing unique to see here, but it still looks fresh and premium.
Opening the lid with one hand is possible while doing a screen flex shows that it has a little wobble, which means that its hinges are solidly built.
The thin top and side bezels cover the 15.6-inch screen with the “ROG Zephyrus” logo placed at the bottom. You’ll also notice that there are no webcams in this device which is alright given that this is a gaming laptop after all.
Looking to the left shows the charging, RJ-45, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Type-C, and headphone ports.
On the right are two other USB 3.1 Type-A ports and an exhaust vent. There is no SD card slot which could have been an excellent addition given that I store photos directly for editing purposes.
You’ll see two other exhaust vents at the back part with the “Republic of Gamers” text sitting in the middle of them.
Moving to the main body, the Zephyrus G has a diagonal line design at the top part which houses the LED notification lights and the air intake vents. Just like with any other ROG laptops, it also has dedicated volume adjustment, mute microphone, and ROG Armoury buttons for ease of access.
The 80% chiclet keyboard layout has a white-backlit LED, which is fine. However, given that it is a gaming laptop with a slightly expensive price tag, I expected it to have RGB at the very least. The buttons are clicky, but the Zephyrus G does not match the tactility of the Zephyrus S. I urge you to try both devices out to know what I mean.
The trackpad is smooth when I ran my fingers across it. It does have some resistance, but it’s easily negligible as it didn’t pose any problems when I tested it out these past few days.
You can also see two speakers on each side of the laptop if you flip it upside down.
The Zephyrus series takes pride in its lightness, and slim form factor — the Zephyrus G does not disappoint in this aspect. I tried putting it beside my Nintendo Switch, so you’ll see that the laptop’s thickness is only 1.5 times its size, which is nice.
As I’ve said previously, the Zephyrus G is lightweight and slim, which are the deciding factors in choosing a traveling companion. I can carry it with one arm while its brushed matte finish lets me have a firm grip on it.
Display and Multimedia
The Zephyrus G’s screen features a Full HD resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate TN panel. For a first-person shooter player such as myself, getting an above 60Hz screen is always a delight. Everything feels smoother, which lets me react on time whenever an enemy comes out of nowhere. The color reproduction is decent while the sharpness is also okay. You can adjust the Screen Color Mode using the ROG Game Visual app which lets you choose over eight different presets for your viewing pleasure.
As for its audio quality, its two 1W speakers have a Smart Amp technology which enhances your listening experience further. It is evident when I played some songs, and the highs, mids, and lows are all present. The Sonic Studio III, on the other hand, lets you customize and modify the bass, treble, voice, and reverb. There are also four audio presets to choose from such as Music, Movie, Gaming, and Communication.
OS, Apps, and Storage
Running the OS department is the Windows 10 Home, running on a 512GB NVMe PCIe Solid State Drive storage. Pre-installed apps include the previously mentioned ROG Game Visual and Sonic Studio III along with ROG’s iconic Armoury Crate which is the laptop’s dashboard that shows various hardware status like temperature, CPU load, RAM, and storage usage. There’s also the McAfee LiveSafe which serves as the anti-virus software of the whole laptop.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Zephyrus G is an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor, NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti, and 16GB of RAM. Multitasking isn’t a problem here while its gaming capabilities are, without a doubt, above average. Check out our benchmark tests below.
I’ve tested this laptop on various games, may it be AAA or not, with the highest settings possible. I also tweaked some settings to see how it fares if it has low Frames Per Second (FPS) measurement.
Crysis 3 has the lowest FPS count of 46.63 while Rainbow Six Siege comes in second place with 51.3. What’s good is that most of the games are at 60 fps and above, which means that the majority of them will have smooth performance even at the highest graphics settings. I would advise you to tweak it down a little bit to get the most optimal result when you’re playing.
Thermals and Battery Life
Benchmarking the temperatures show that the AMD Ryzen 7 3750H gets a maximum of 89°C which is safe given that it is under its maximum operating temperature. As for the NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti, the thermal benchmark yielded 77°C, which is relatively cool and attributed to its exhaust system that dissipated the heat effectively.
Our video loop test (1080p movie, 50% brightness, 50% sound, airplane mode, w/ headphones) shows that it lasted for 9 hours and 5 minutes which is quite impressive for a gaming laptop, making it an ideal gaming laptop for traveling.
Overall, the Zephyrus G is, by far, my favorite Zephyrus to date. Aside from its lightweight and slim form factor, it also delivers above-average gaming performance with a 120Hz refresh rate, which is suitable for First-Person Shooter games. Not only that, it has an impressive battery life for a gaming laptop. My only beef here is that there are times that it glitches out like when the screen completely turns all black for a moment then goes back to normal. I also would’ve preferred an SD card slot and RGB backlit-keyboard which should complete my whole gaming experience.
For PHP 84,995, this is already an excellent introductory Zephyrus gaming laptop which provides good overall performance for a reasonable price. It is also a good alternative if you cannot afford ROG’s more premium models of the Zephyrus line.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G key specs:
- 15.6-inch 120Hz FHD+ IPS-level display @1920 x 1080px
- Windows 10 Home
- AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti (6GB)
- 16GB DDR4 2400MHz memory
- 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD
- White Backlit chiclet Keyboard
- 2x 1W speakers w/ SmartAMP technology
- 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C w/ DisplayPort 1.4
- 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
- 1x HDMI 2.0
- 1x 3.5mm headphone port
- 1x Kensington lock
- 1x RJ-45 port
- 1x charging port
- WiFi 802.11 ac
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 360 x 19.9-20.4 x 252mm
What I Liked:
- Slim Form Factor
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Good audio quality
- Decent Performance
- Decent thermals
- Impressive Battery Life
What I Didn’t:
- No SD Card Slot
- Average keyboard tactility
- No RGB lighting