Asus ROG G20CB review: Brilliant design, but overpriced
Laptops have become increasingly powerful over the years, to the point where they’re now a viable option for gamers short on space. Sometimes, however, you just need more oomph, and at this point, compact PCs such as the new Asus ROG G20CB come into play. In terms of performance per cubic inch, it must be the most powerful PC I’ve ever seen, and its aggressively angular design makes it the perfect companion to either a desk-bound monitor or living room TV. However, it comes with an equally eye-watering price.
Asus ROG G20CB: Design
We’ll get onto the flaws in a bit, though – let’s enjoy the good stuff first. First, simply nothing matches the G20CB for looks. The angled styling of the matte black chassis and the perforated, backlit edges cut an aggressive dash, the glowing red core that runs through the middle of the machine looks great, and colour of the lights can be customised via the bundled Aegis software.
With a horizontal footprint of just 358 x 340mm or 108 x 340mm when placed on its side, the Asus ROG G20CB will fit just about anywhere, be it on your desk or beneath your TV. It’s immensely practical, which is something worth paying for if space-saving is your prime motivator. There is one caveat to this, though: the power supply is external. In fact, it’s two large power bricks housed inside a plastic frame, making it much bulkier than a traditional PSU.
On the front of the chassis are a pair of red-accented USB 3 ports and two 3.5mm audio jacks. There’s also a pop-out DVD drive, although considering how much the ROG G20GB costs, it’s more than a little disappointing it isn’t a Blu-ray drive for Full HD playback.
At the rear there are six USB ports, which are made up of two USB 3.1, two USB 3, and a pair of USB 2 ports, denoted by light blue, dark blue and black connectors respectively. There’s also a Gigabit Ethernet port and six 3.5mm audio jacks.
There’s no optical S/PDIF for use with some soundbars and older AV receivers, but the graphics card (more on this later) has three DisplayPort connectors, an HDMI port (which can carry a digital audio signal anyway) and a DVI port. In short, the physical design of the Asus ROG G20CB isn’t just a resounding success, it’s the best part of this PC.
Asus’ choice of keyboard is less impressive. The wireless keyboard and mouse combo supplied with our review unit is as basic as they come and really doesn’t match the G20CB’s premium ambitions. The keyboard is soft and not particularly comfortable to type on, while the mouse lacks extra, gaming-specific inputs. If you’re seriously considering making a purchase, budget for a better keyboard and mouse. Moreover, you’ll probably also want a games controller, if you’re going to be using it as a living room PC.
Asus RoG G20B specifications
|Processor||Quad-core 3.4Ghz Intel Core i7-6700|
|Motherboard chipset||Not stated|
|Front USB ports||2x USB3|
|Rear USB ports||4x USB3, 2x USB2|
|Case dimensions HxWxD||108x358x340mm|
|Memory slots (free)||2 (0)|
|Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)||1 (0)|
|Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)||1 (0)|
|Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)||1 slimline (0)|
|Total storage||128GB SSD, 2TB hard disk|
|Memory card reader||None|
|Optical drive type||DVD rewriter|
|Graphics card||4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 970|
|Graphics/video ports||3x DisplayPort, 1x DVI, 1x HDMI|
|Sound card||Realtek HD Audio|
|Sound card outputs||6x 3.5mm|
|Operating system||Windows 10 64-bit Home|
|Warranty||One year RTB|
|Price including delivery (inc VAT)||£1500|