Asus: 2020 Brand Report Card

Asus: 2020 Brand Report Card
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Asus has finally risen to the top to claim the crown. After years of pushing innovative and risky features packed in the most glorious designs we’ve seen, it all finally paid off. The company practically willed products with dual-screen displays and super powerful detachable gaming machines into existence.

Asus blew us away with the Zephyrus G14 and the ROG Mothership, with the former being the longest lasting gaming laptop around, and the latter being the first detachable gaming laptop. And while the company did lose some points on tech support, Asus made up for it with its well-designed, affordable and innovative laptops.

Asus: 2020 Brand Report Card

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Asus’s Key Strengths

  • Top reviews score: Asus earned a high 36 out of 40 in our review scores section. It also earned a 5-star, Editor’s Choice rating for the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.
  • Killer innovation: Asus continues to push its dual-screen display agenda forward with the ZenBook Duo UX481 and ZenBook Pro Duo UX581, continuing to enhance the experience. This year we also got the Asus ROG Mothership, an innovative gaming machine best described as a portable all-in-one.
  • Incredible designs: Almost all of Asus’ laptops have some wild design choices, ones that we don’t get to see much of in other competitors. Like, any semblance of color, for example.

Asus’s Main Weaknesses

  • Support and warranty: Unfortunately, Asus still needs to work on its tech support. In our phone calls, the support team we spoke to lacked the appropriate knowledge and couldn’t answer our questions.

Top-Rated Asus Laptops

Reviews (36/40)

None of the Asus laptops included in this report received lower than a 3.5-star rating, meaning every product we reviewed got our recommendation. Two laptops in particular stood out, those being the Asus ROG Mothership, an innovative gaming machine best described as a portable all-in-one, and the Asus ROG Strix Scar III (G531G), a powerful gaming laptop. 

ZenBook Duo (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Asus also earned some serious props for its dual-screen laptops, including the ZenBook Duo UX481 and ZenBook Pro Duo UX581. These wildly creative notebooks have their quirks, but the benefits of having two displays outweigh the compromises. 

What’s most exciting about Asus’ collection is that it proves how capable the company is at crafting compelling laptops in a wide range of categories as shown by the ExpertBook B9450, an ultra lightweight business laptop; the ProArt StudioBook Pro, a stunning workstation; and the Chromebook Flip C436, our favorite Chromebook on the market.

Design (15/15)

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Asus knows how to make a beautiful laptop. From business to mainstream to gaming, it was hard to find a dud in Asus’ portfolio. The company has a penchant for blue and copper as evidenced by the gorgeous ZenBook 15, StudioBook ProArt W700G3T and the barely-there 2.2-pound ExpertBook B9450. Need more color? Check out the VivoBook S15 which we reviewed with a Moss Green lid with neon orange accents. Heck, even the company’s Chromebooks are pretty, as evidenced by the Flip C436. Aside from the lovely hues, Asus outfits most of its premium and mainstream systems with its ErgoLift hinge, which slightly elevates the keyboard deck for a more comfortable typing experience. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Asus is also distinguishing itself as the king of dual-screen laptops. There’s the ScreenPad 2.0 found in the ZenBook 15 and VivoBook S15, which toggles between a touchpad, Num Pad and secondary touchscreen display. And then you have the ZenBook Duo UX481 and ZenBook Pro Duo, which have full-length secondary touchscreens gracing the top of the keyboard deck. 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (Image credit: Future)

And the hits keep coming for Asus with its stunning gaming laptops. Not only did the company give us RGB lighting, it gave us the ROG Zephyrus G14 with its innovative LED AniMe Matrix display that allows you to create illuminated designs on the lid. Then you have the ROG Mothership, what’s essentially a massive gaming tablet with a detachable keyboard that blurs the lines between gaming laptop and desktop. If we can find fault with Asus’ gaming laptops it’s that the design is becoming a bit one-note with the ROG Strix Scar III, ROG Zephyrus G GA502, ROG Zephyrus M GU502 and ROG Zephyrus S GX502 sporting the same brushed aluminum chassis with the massive ROG logo on the lid.

Support and Warranty (13/20)

Asus has quite a solid web service, with both Twitter and Facebook agents responding within 10 minutes and providing the correct information needed for the job. Outside of one interaction which took 24 minutes and resulted in no solution, we were generally provided with kindness and courtesy. The Asus support website also has a handful of FAQs with useful how-tos. However, with phone operators, we weren’t so lucky. Our experience involved some misinformation and one agent lacking knowledge regarding some of Asus’ standard software, but we also spoke to some who successfully helped us get what we needed.

Many of Asus’ laptops come standard with a one-year warranty, including accidental damage and free two-way shipping. You can also upgrade storage or RAM without fear of voiding the warranty. For those interested in extending this warranty, you can upgrade by an additional year for $40.99 or four years for $299.99.

Innovation (10/10)

Asus isn’t afraid to take leaps of faith into the realm of innovation. ScreenPad 2.0, for example, is one of Asus’ most ingenious, cutting-edge features. Who knew you could transform your touchpad into a mini display? Asus did!

ZenBook Pro Duo (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The Taiwan-based laptop maker is also charging full steam ahead into dual-screen device territory with incredible productivity-boosting devices such as the stunning Asus ZenBook Duo, which features a second display that takes up half of the keyboard deck. The two dual-screen Asus laptops we reviewed this year — the ZenBook Duo and the ZenBook Pro Duo — received a stellar four-star rating with our Editor’s Choice stamp of approval.

Innovation, of course, doesn’t only focus on quirky, out-of-this-world features — it also touches upon breaking new ground with performance, which Asus has demonstrated with its gaming rigs. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is the longest-lasting gaming laptop we’ve ever tested. It lasted more than 11 hours on our Laptop Mag battery test, which is even longer than most non-gaming laptops. If discovering the secret to long battery life on power-hungry gaming rigs isn’t innovation, I don’t know what is. The laptop is also the first to feature Asus’ AniMe Matrix display, which allows you to trick out the lid with your own custom LED designs.

Value and Selection (14/15)

Asus features a wide range of laptops from Chromebooks to dual-screened beauties. However, one area the company doesn’t cover is rugged systems.The company flaunts some pricey laptops, but it also has a variety of mainstream and budget laptops as well. The Asus VivoBook S15 is a solid mainstream entry, but if you want something in the sub-$400 range, check out the cheaper laptops in the VivoBook line. 

Meanwhile, you can get a luxurious 14-inch laptop for a reasonable, albeit premium price, such as the Asus ZenBook Duo UX481 ($1,499). Of course, Asus also makes some of the best Chromebooks available, like the Asus Chromebook Flip C436 ($799). We haven’t reviewed any of the other Asus Chromebooks, but they start from $179 and range to $529 in the mid-range, so there’s a decent variety.

Asus offers one of the best business laptops around in the Asus ExpertBook B9450 ($1,799), which delivers a ridiculous 16-plus-hour battery life. If you need a workstation, Asus has got you covered with the Asus ProArt StudioBook Pro W700G3T ($1,999), which packs an Intel Xeon E-2276M processor and an Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000 GPU.

Asus also prides itself on its wide range of gaming laptops. The Asus TUF Gaming A15 is a one of the budget gaming laptops it offers, while a great mainstream gaming laptop is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 ($1,449). If you want something more premium, check out the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX502 ($2,199), is outfitted you with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU.

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(Image credit: Laptop Mag)