ASUS has been producing computers of all types and for all budgets for years and is constantly present in the rankings of the best-selling brands, always close to perhaps the most famous brands. Among the many products it offers in the price list, the notebooks of the ROG (“Republic of Gamers”) series, created with the aim of providing powerful and versatile laptops, specific for the gaming world but also suitable in many other contexts.
The notebooks in this series boast high-end displays and video cards, innovative cooling solutions, performance and light weight. Among the various models available, we had the opportunity to try the Asus ROG GA401I-HE172t, a notebook with a 14 ″ screen with 1920 × 1080 resolution, AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS 2.9 GHz CPU, 32GB of RAM memory, NVIDIA GeForce video card RTX 2060 and 1TB SSD. Features, details, tests and impressions are provided below.
Inside the package we find the actual notebook (32.4 x 22.0 x 1.99 ~ 1.99 cm – 1.7 Kg) and the power supply (20V, 9A, 180W). The notebook comes in a metallic gray color, with an aluminum and magnesium alloy shell that gives the feeling of robustness. The touch sensation that the laptop offers is pleasant; the same thing also with regard to the backlit keyboard, silent and with the slightly longer space bar on the left side.
The inverted T arrow keys are a bit small but easier to find, for example when working on a spreadsheet or when playing games. The keyboard is located in the central part; on the upper part we find the volume keys, to exclude the microphone and to recall Armory Crate, a utility that allows you to view statistics on the GPU, GPU, memory and recall various modes of use. The on / off button integrates a fingerprint recognition sensor through which you can access the system safely.
Packaging Open on desk Left side Right side
The panel that protects the rear display has a perforated texture on half of the surface, characterized by a customizable LED backlight: it is possible to show animations, text and other illuminated effects on the lid of the laptop thanks to a dedicated utility (“Anime Matrix”). In addition to having fun customizing the writings, the system that shows writings on the body can be useful for showing the battery level, the clock, the date or notifications on incoming emails.
The utility to customize the cover
The LED texture of the display cover is customizable in various ways
On the left side we find the input for the power supply, an HDMI 2.0b port, a USB-C port and the audio jack. On the right we find 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A – 1x Type C USB 3.2 Gen 2 (with Display Port support and power delivery) and the Kensington-type lock socket. Of course, there is no shortage of Wireless (Wi-Fi 5 802.11a) and Bluetooth 5.0. The webcam is not included: a choice that may seem strange but it is also true that the target audience for this product (gamers) usually prefers dedicated external solutions. However, it would have been useful to have a webcam for mobile use.
The right and left sides of the notebook show two slits; below these are the tweeters of the 4-speaker audio system; two others are on the bottom of the laptop, a “trick” to use the support surface as a sounding board. In the tests we carried out with music reproduction, the audio proved to be of good quality, clear and the volume was high.
The touchpod is located at the bottom center; it's not big but the smoothness is good and it feels quite accurate.
Power under control
The computer integrates the AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS 2.9 GHz CPU (8M Cache and capable of up to 4.2 GHz); the video card is NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB GDDR6. The presence of these two components, the large amount of available RAM memory and the fast SSD (M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0) are noticeable with any application. All the ones we tried turned out to be fast, snappy, not making you regret a desktop machine.
The power available in such a compact form factor could raise doubts about the effectiveness of the cooling system. Asus did a great job and stress tests of CPU and GPU at the same time, at maximum load with utilities such as Prime95 and Furmark, they always show stable scores and temperatures under control even after repeating the tests over and over again. Same result also with “empirical” tests with the conversion of folders with thousands of files from one format to another, the decompression of large RAR and ZIP archives, the export of movies in various formats; the cooling system has always proved to be effective and punctual.
Even the video card is proven to be up to par, able to “express itself” at its best not only with games but also in the management and export of 4K movies. This “little gem” can give a lot of satisfaction even with software like Premiere and the like.
The operating system is Windows 10 Home; various utilities from Asus are included as standard; some leave as long as they find others are comfortable; as mentioned, by pressing the button with the “ROG” logo it is possible to recall the ASUS Armory Crate and from here to optimize the performance of the computer according to the type of use. It is possible to create “profiles” and recall commands that act on and the more experienced ones adjust the rotation speed of the fans and set limits on the frequency of the GPU. From here it is also possible to monitor the resources and effects of some accessories.
With the 4-cell battery (76Wh) we managed in normal use (web browsing, word processing, watching movies) to reach eight / nine hours. The battery life obviously depends on how much the activities performed “stress” the CPU and GPU: in intensive gaming obviously the duration plummets. The standard power supply (180W) is not small but allows you to recharge the laptop in less than two hours.
The model we have to try, at the time of writing on Amazon is sold for 2199.00 euros. It is a high price but not too much by virtue of the machine we are dealing with, the technical characteristics and what is offered.
The machine is compact, powerful, easy to transport, light. The display is of excellent quality. The price is not within the reach of all budgets but we are faced with a solution of great quality, able to offer satisfactions and comparable with few rivals. As we have mentioned from the beginning, the reference target is the world of gamin) but it is able to guarantee excellent performance also in numerous other areas.