Asus Rog Zephyrus G Ga502: Does It Justify Its $1200 Tag?

The ROG Zephyrus G GA502 is a gaming laptop the name is a bit of a mouthful but considering the performance you get and the price well, I think this is something a little bit special.

Overview

The G A502 is a great laptop for 1080p gaming and given that it costs about 1200 dollars. This machine that gets you around 60fps in pretty much all recent AAA games at high settings. It also offers a decent battery life.

We’ve got an Nvidia GeForce GT 1660 ti max q, a high refresh rate 120-hertz screen, 512 gigs NVMe storage, and a fairly compact chassis. Maybe more.

With an AMD Ryzen mobile processor, a Ryzen 3750h. They’ve made a very balanced product. It goes for mid-tier performance which these days is still very capable but also strips out a lot of the cost. It’s not all great news though. We are looking at a cheaper feeling plastic chassis, a fairly dim screen, and slow wi-fi.

Mainstream Gaming Laptop

At 1200 dollars, the g502 ranks as a mainstream gaming laptop. You’d need to pay a lot more to step up to the next tier of machines to get a meaningful jump in performance. So for a lot of people, I think this will be the sweet spot.

Build and Design

It is compact for a gaming laptop, it’s slim and reasonably light at 2.1 kilograms. So it is portable.

You’ve got a classy looking brushed effect black aluminum lid. Only the illuminated Asus rog logo gives it away that this is a gaming laptop.

Open it up, however, and it’s black plastic all the way the kind that wants to preserve your fingerprints every time you touch it. Cheaper materials are the kind of compromise you can expect given the price.

You don’t get an RGB keyboard either but at least it is backlit. The keyboard works well. Even though the key travel is fairly average and there isn’t a very defined clicky feel but it’s good enough that it didn’t annoy me in use.

Processor

So with a lot of gaming laptops, they tend to come with high-end intel CPUs but this usually jacks up the price but for gaming it. You don’t need a high-end chip if you’re just partnering it with a similar level mid-range GPU.

So, in this case, the four-core, eight-thread, Ryzen 3750h chip turns out to be a really good match for the 1660 ti max-q with neither limiting the performance of the other.

It is a mid-range mobile CPU though and performance is about the same as an intel eighth or ninth gen i5 8300 or 9300.

Display

This model of the GA502 comes with 16 gigs of ram which for my money is the sweet spot for gaming. The 120 hertz, 1080p panel you get here I think is the balanced choice.

Less demanding games or lower settings will let you take advantage of that full 120 hertz. Though there is a 60-hertz screen available, do yourself a favor and go for the 120 hertz.

Screen quality again is good for the price but not exactly premium. It is an IPS panel so viewing angles are good. The problem is it’s just not all that bright and the colors don’t look particularly punchy.

Benchmark

It got an average of around 60 fps in battlefield 5 using high settings with 40 to 50 fps on ultra.

In pubg, it was able to push the settings to ultra and apart from the occasional dip into the 50s managed a 60 to 70 fps average.

Apex legends run equally well with a study 60 to 70 fps on high.

Battery

The 76 Whr battery and overall efficiency of the components mean battery life is pretty impressive.

Here I got 3 to 4 hours of gaming on a single charge and close to five hours of mixed-use like video, gaming, and office tasks.

Connectivity

We get 3x USB 3.1 type-a ports, a single USB 3.1 type c port that does
Support DisplayPort 1.4 but unfortunately not fundable. We’ve also got an HDMI 2.0 b and an ethernet port.

The installed wi-fi chip is definitely of the bargain-basement variety with its measly one by one antenna setup. This can limit upload and download speeds. You can upgrade the chip yourself as you can with storage but That’s not ideal.

Serious gamers will prefer to be tethered using an ethernet cable for faster speeds but for most people, this is a bit of a pain.

Specification

  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Display: 15.6in FHD 120Hz vIPS display, anti-glare
  • Graphics: NVIDIA ® GeForce ® GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6
  • Memory: 8/16GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: 512GBM.2 NVMe PCIe® SSD
  • Wireless: 1×1 Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
  • Bluetooth: ® 5.0
  • Connectivity: 1 x RJ-45 jack, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 TypeC ™ w/ DisplayPort 1.4, 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 TypeA, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x 3.5 mm audio combo jack, 1 x Kensington lock
  • Keyboard: White-backlit chiclet keyboard w/ N-key rollover and Overstroke
  • Audio: 2 x 1W w/ smart amplifier
  • Battery: 76Wh 4-cell Lithium-ion
  • AC adapter: 180W AC Adapter
  • Size: 360 x 252 x 19.9 mm
  • Weight: 2.1 kg

 

Conclusion

So what about the alternatives? Well, probably the closest competition to the Asus is, dells g315 gaming laptop, and the Acer Nitro 5.

Which are a bit cheaper but I think these suits more than justifies its price. Given what you’re getting, there are several others to consider like the MSI GF 63 thin, and the hp omen 15t.

Overall then the Zephyrus GA502 will be in that price/performance sweet spot for a lot of people. If you can live with the middling screen the slow wi-fi and fairly plasticky chassis. Then for most people in the market for a good mid-range all-rounder, this is one to consider.